Department of Environmental Sciences

General Degree Requirements

University and College Requirements for all Baccalaureate Degree Programs Offered in the Department:

The Department of Environmental Sciences (DES) offers a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Sciences (BS) degrees in Biology, Environmental Sciences and Geology. The department also offers minors in Geology and Environmental Sciences. 

All departmental undergraduate degree programs require 120 semester credits that include fulfillment of both University and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) requirements in addition to the specific requirements of the major. Of these 120 credits, at least 64 must be completed at the 2000 or higher level and at least 32 must be completed at the 3000 or 4000 level.

 General Education Requirements

  • English Composition I & II: ENGL 1110 (3 credits) and one of the following: ENGL 1130-1150, 2950, 2960 (3 credits). Students in the Honors Program satisfy this requirement with alternative honors readings courses. Students must achieve a "C" or better in these courses.
  • Multicultural Courses: One course must involve U.S. culture and the other non-western culture. There are a number of designated courses that satisfy these requirement. 

  • Math and Other Competency Areas: These requirements are met by fulfilling the college and departmental requirements. Students must achieve a "C" or better collectively for these courses.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Requirements

  • Orientation Course: NSM 1000 (1 credit), a one hour orientation course is required for incoming 1st year students. DES usually teaches several sections of NSM 1000 for those incoming students who have declared a major (or expressed an interest) in biology (ecology concentration), environmental sciences/studies or geology.
  • Writing Intensive Courses: Students must complete two courses designated as writing intensive (WAC-writing across the curriculum). The first WAC course is taken after completion of the English Composition requirements and may be taken from any department. The second WAC course is a junior/senior level course required for the major (EEES 3900 for biology, environmental sciences/studies majors; EEES 3220 for geology majors).

  • Foreign Language Requirement: Students enrolled in a BA degree program are required to demonstrate proficiency in a single foreign language through the elementary (foreign languages 1120) level by successfully completing a foreign language course at this level or by achieving an appropriate score on a proficiency/placement test administered by the Department of World Languages and Cultures that reflects the equivalent.  Alternatively, students may satisfy the foreign language requirement by studying abroad for at least once semester in an approved study abroad/exchange program for academic credit.  Students in a BS degree program do not have a foreign language degree requirement.

  • Humanities Requirement: In addition to the General Education requirement of two courses for six credits, BA students complete nine added credit hours that include one history, one fine arts and one literature course.  No more than six humanities credits can be from the same department.

  • Social Science Requirement: In addition to the General Education requirement of two courses for six credits, students in a BA degree program in NSM are required to take one additional course for a total of nine hours. No more than six social science credits can be from the same department.

  • Natural Science Requirement: Two or three science/mathematics courses from two or three different departments outside of the student’s major are required for the BA and the BS degree, respectively. These courses must be major-level and may be taken care of within the requirements of the degree programs.
Last Updated: 6/27/22