The Bachelor of Arts with a major in environmental sciences requires a minimum of 120 s.h., including a minimum of 63 s.h. of work for the major. Students must maintain a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all courses for the major and in all UI courses for the major. They also must complete the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences GE CLAS Core; some courses required for the major in environmental sciences may be used to satisfy GE CLAS Core requirements.

Students complete requirements in four areas: the science and mathematics foundation, the environmental sciences foundation, environmental sciences field study, and environmental sciences track courses.

The science and mathematics foundation develops fundamental skills and comprehension in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, and statistics. The environmental sciences foundation includes an introductory course in environmental science and additional courses that focus on the geomorphic and environmental processes that shape the Earth’s surface, the ecological factors that influence the distribution and abundance of organisms, and a choice of one course that deals with remote sensing techniques or with the use of geographic information technologies. The environmental sciences field study gives students hands-on experience with methods of analysis and interpretation of natural systems/organisms.

Each of the program's four tracks focuses on areas of specialization within environmental sciences:

  • Biosciences (Green) Track: biological systems and ecological approaches;
  • Chemical Sciences (Yellow) Track: environmental systems and chemistry;
  • Geosciences (Brown) Track: earth materials and surficial geologic processes; and
  • Hydrosciences (Blue) Track: hydrogeology and hydrogeologic systems, and water chemistry.

Students select one course from each of the four tracks in order to develop breadth of understanding and skill in these areas.

Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Bachelor of Arts in environmental sciences, visit the UI General Catalog.

Degree Requirements
Title Hours
Science and Mathematics Foundation Courses 27
Environmental Sciences Foundation Courses 15-16
Environmental Sciences Field Study Course 3-4
Environmental Sciences Policy Courses 6
Environmental Sciences Track Courses 12-15
Total Hours 63-68

For help planning your courses, please contact the Environmental Science Program's undergraduate academic advisor.
 

Science and Mathematics Foundation (27 s.h.)

Students must complete ALL of the following:

BIOL:1411 Foundations of Biology (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.
BIOL:1412 Diversity of Form and Function (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.
CHEM:1110 Principles of Chemistry I (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.
CHEM:1120 Principles of Chemistry II (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.
EES:1050 Introduction to Geology (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.

and ONE of these courses:

MATH:1460 Calculus for the Biological Sciences (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.
MATH:1850  Calculus I (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.

and ONE of these courses:

CHEM:2021 Fundamentals of Chemical Measurements (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
STAT:3510 Biostatistics (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.

 

Environmental Sciences Foundation (15 s.h.)

Students must complete ALL of the following:

ENVS:1085 Fundamentals of Environmental Science2 (Fall only) 4 s.h.
ENVS:2673 Ecology (Spring only) 3 s.h.
ENVS:2010 Interdisciplinary Environmental Seminar:
Discovering Research, Exploring Careers, Building Connections3 (Fall Only)
1 s.h.
ENVS:3010 Interdisciplinary Environmental Seminar:
Presenting Research, Preparing for Careers, Strengthening Connections
4 (Spring only)
1 s.h.
ENVS:3020 Earth Surface Processes (Fall only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:1050 Foundations of GIS (Fall and Spring) 4 s.h.

and ONE of these:

GEOG:1050 Foundations of GIS (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
GEOG:3500 Intro to Environmental Remote Sensing (Fall only) 3 s.h.

2 - In special circumstances, ENVS:1080 may be used as a substitute. Students should contact their academic advisor if they think they have a need to make this substitution.
3 - take sometime during FIRST 2 years of degree.
4 - take sometime during LAST 2 years of degree.

 

Environmental Sciences Field Study (3-4 s.h.)

Students must complete 3-4 s.h. from this list:

EES:4680 Field Methods in Hydrologic Science (Summer only) 3 s.h.
EES:2831 Geologic Field Methods (Summer only) 3 s.h.
ENVS:3095 Field Ecology (Fall only) 3 s.h.
ENVS:3096 Winter Ecology (Spring only) 2 s.h.
ENVS:3097 Introduction to Bird Study (Spring only) 2 s.h.
ENVS:3230 Special Topics (when topic involves field work / field trips) 1-4 s.h.
GEOG:4010 Field Methods in Physical Geography (Spring only) 3 s.h.
IALL:3103 Aquatic Ecology (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3105 Plant Taxonomy (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3117 Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3126 Ornithology (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3163 Conservation Biology (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.

 

Environmental Sciences Policy Courses (6 s.h.)

Students must complete TWO of these:

BIOL:1260 Plants and Human Affairs (Fall only) 3 s.h.
ECON:3625 Environmental and Nat Resource Economics (Fall only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:1070 Contemporary Environmental Issues (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
EES:1115 The History and Science of Oil (Fall only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:2910 The Global Economy (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
GEOG:2930 Water Resources (Fall only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:3760 Hazards and Society (Spring only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:3780 U.S. Energy Policy in Global Context (Spring only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:4770 Environmental Justice (Fall only) 3 s.h.
PBAF:2020 Environmental and Society: Sustainability, Policy, and Politics (Fall only) 3 s.h.

 

Environmental Sciences Track Courses (at least 12 s.h.)

Students must complete ONE course from each of the four tracks (Biosciences, Chemical Sciences, Geosciences, and Hydrosciences):

Biosciences (Green) Track:

BIOL:1261 Introduction to Botany (Spring only) 4 s.h.
BIOL:2374 Biogeography (Fall only) 3 s.h.
BIOL:2246 Entomology Lab (Fall only) 3 s.h.
EES:3070 Marine Ecosystems and Conservation (Spring only) 3 s.h.
EES:3220 Evolution of the Vertebrates (Spring only) 4 s.h.
GEOG:2950 Environmental Conservation (Spring; but moving to Fall only in 2023) 3 s.h.
GEOG:3315 Ecosystem Ecology (Fall only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:3350 Urban Ecology (Spring only) 3 s.h.
IALL:3105 Plant Taxonomy (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3117 Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms (Summer only - Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.

Chemical Sciences (Yellow) Track:

BIOC:3110 Biochemistry (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
CEE:4150 Environmental Chemistry (Fall only) 3 s.h.
CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology (Fall only)  3 s.h.
CHEM:2210 Organic Chemistry I (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
CHEM:3120 Spectroscopy and Separations (formerly Analytical Chemistry II) (Spring only) 3 s.h.
CHEM:3250 Inorganic Chemistry (Spring only) 3 s.h.
CHEM:4431 Chemical Thermodynamics (formerly Physical Chemistry I) (Fall and Spring) 3 s.h.
CHEM:4873 Atmospheric and Environmental Chemistry (Every other Spring) 3 s.h.

Geosciences (Brown) Track:

EES:2200 Historical Geology (Spring only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:2310 Introduction to Climatology (Fall only) 3 s.h.
EES:2410 Mineralogy (Fall only) 4 s.h.
EES:3070 Marine Ecosystems and Conservation (Spring only) 3 s.h.
EES:3300 Sedimentary Geology (Fall only) 4 s.h.
EES:3360 Soil Genesis and Geomorphology (Every other Spring) 3 s.h.
EES:3380 Fluvial Geomorphology (Every other Fall) 3 s.h.
EES:3390 Integrated Watershed Analysis (Every other Fall) 3 s.h.
EES:3840 Structural Geology (Spring only) 4 s.h.
EES:3500 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology (Spring only) 4 s.h.
EES:4490 Elements of Geochemistry (Every other Fall) 3 s.h.
EES:4520 Isotope Geochemistry (Currently on hiatus) 3 s.h.
EES:4720 Paleoclimatology (Every other Spring) 3 s.h.
EES:4790 Applied Environmental Geology (Fall only) 3 s.h.
ENVS:3110 Chemical Evolution of the Oceans (Every other Spring) 3 s.h.

Hydrosciences (Blue) Track:

CEE:3371 Principles of Hydraulics & Hydrology (Spring only) 3 s.h.
EES:3300 Sedimentary Geology (Fall only) 3 s.h.
EES:3390 Integrated Watershed Analysis (Every other Fall) 3 s.h.
EES:4490 Elements of Geochemistry (Every other Fall) 3 s.h.
EES:4630 Hydrogeology (Fall only) 4 s.h.
EES:4640 Contaminant Hydrogeology (Every other Spring) 3 s.h.
EES:4790 Applied Environmental Geology (Fall only) 3 s.h.
GEOG:4470 Ecological Climatology (Every other Fall) 3 s.h.

 

Joint B.A./M.A.T. with Science Education Subtrack

Bachelor of Arts students majoring in environmental sciences who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in teaching may apply to the joint Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts in Teaching program offered by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Education. For more information, visit the UI General Catalog Environmental Sciences Program page.

Teacher Licensure

Students interested in teaching in elementary and/or secondary schools should seek admission to the Teacher Education Program (TEP) in the College of Education.

To qualify for licensure in secondary teaching, students in the TEP complete a degree in education as well as a related College of Liberal Arts and Sciences degree. See Teacher Education Program Application and Admission on the College of Education website for details on requirements and deadlines for applying to the College of Education and about TEP choices of majors leading to licensure.