College of Arts and Sciences


Interdepartmental Major in Environmental Science - B.S.

The Environmental Science major is an interdepartmental program that leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, Chemistry, or Geology, with a major in Environmental Science.  It provides a rigorous interdisciplinary background in the natural science segment of the environmental sciences, combined with a significant background in the allied disciplines of physics and mathematics, and coursework in environmental affairs.  The Environmental Science major is designed to prepare students for graduate programs or employment as scientists in technical fields associated with the environmental industry and government sector.  These disciplines include hydrology, environmental hazard mitigation, waste management, water and air quality issues, ecology, and habitat issues.  

All students are responsible for fulfilling the general requirements of the bachelor's degree as established by the College of Arts and Sciences, which include a minimum of 36 hours at the 300-400 level.  Completion of the BS in environmental science requires a total of 120 credit hours and a minimum of a 2.0 grade point average.  Students fulfill core requirements from the disciplines of geology, biology and chemistry and choose two disciplines for an interdepartmental concentration area.  Please consult the individual departments for more information.  Students are required to complete a minimum of 40 credit hours in the interdepartmental major with a minimum of 12 credit hours at the 300- or 400-level in each of the two concentration areas.  Students are required to complete additional courses in associated areas of study.  


Complete the general education requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree in the College of Arts and Science. Fulfill the following:

  • Geology, Chemistry, and Biology requirements
    • Any one of the following 100-level courses AND laboratory:
      • GEOL-G 101 Introduction to Earth Sciences (3 cr.) AND GEOL-G 102 Intro. to Earth Science Lab (1 cr.)
      • GEOl-G110 How the Earth Works (3 cr.) AND GEOL-G102 Intro. to Earth Science Lab (1 cr.)
      • GEOL-G 185 Global Environmental Change (3 cr.) AND GEOL-G 102 Intro. to Earth Science Lab (1 cr.)
    • GEOL-G209 – History of the Earth – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
    • CHEM-C105 – CHEM-C125  Principles of Chemistry I/Experimental Chemistry I (5 cr.)
    • CHEM-C106 – CHEM-C126  Principles of Chemistry II/Experimental Chemistry II (5 cr.)
    • BIOL-L101 – Introduction to Biological Sciences I – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
    • BIOL-L102 – Intro to Biological Sciences II – Lecture/Lab (4 cr.)
  • Public and Environmental Affairs allied environment requirement.  Coursework selections must be approved by the student's Faculty Advisor. 
    • Select one of the following
      • SPEA E272 Intro to Environmental Science (3 cr.)
      • SPEA E400 (Topics in Environmental Studies) (3 cr.)
  • Complete a combined total of 40 credit hours from two scientific disciplines in the major.  The 40 credit hour concentration need not be equally divided between the two disciplines. Each of the two areas should include a minimum of 12 credit hours of 300- 400-level coursework.  Geography GEOG-G315, and GEOG-G338 may be used in fullfillment of this requirement.Coursework selections must be approved by the student's Faculty Advisor. Coursework completed in the students’ chosen disciplines from 2. above (Geology, Chemistry, and Biology requirements) count toward the total credit hours.
  • Allied Sciences (8-15 credit hours) - Choose two of the following:
      • MATH-M215 – Calculus I (5 cr.)
      • K300 – Statistics (3 cr.)
      • PHYS-P201 and PHYS-P202  – Algebra-based Physics I (5 cr.)
      • PHYS-P221 and PHYS-P222 – Calculus-based Physics II (5 cr.)
  • Senior Seminar (capstone) (integration of Biology/Chemistry/Geology into environmental topics of current importance) (1 cr.) – GEOL-G490/BIOL-L403/CHEM-C301


The following list is designed to provide students with guidance in course selection. Students should speak to their advisors to choose elective courses that best meet their educational goals.

  • Any coursework from Biology, Chemistry, and Geology that was not used to satisfy major requirements.
    • MATH-M216 – Calculus II (5 cr.)
    • SPEA H316 – Environmental Health (3 cr.)
    • SPEA E400/V450 – Environmental Planning (3 cr.)

Academic Bulletins

PDF Version

Click here for the PDF version.

IUN Bulletin

Click here to go to IUN Bulletin Homepage.