The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science provides scientific coursework in both the natural and social sciences, while focusing on the complex relationship among science and public policy. This online bachelor's degree offers a fundamental understanding of environmental policy and analysis, and environment management issues such as stewardship of natural resources, pollution management, fish, and wildlife management, and hazardous materials. This degree program helps prepare you for a career as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspector, environmental engineer, civil engineer, or urban or regional planner. In addition to the core scientific studies, this bachelor’s degree helps to improve your critical thinking, analytical skills and communication skills that are valuable assets in all industries.

Courses in this online degree are taught by expert practitioners. Many are leaders in the field and hold positions at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, the Nature Conservancy, and other prominent government and nongovernment organizations.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general education level learning objectives, this degree also seeks the following specific learning outcomes of its graduates. With reference to each of the respective areas of environmental science, graduates in this degree program will be able to:

  • Assess the political, legal, economic, and social dynamics associated with the environment and management of the environment.
  • Examine environmental compliance in terms of moral, political, and economic factors.
  • Analyze environmental issues within their economic, historical, and theoretical context.
  • Assess an environmental perspective that includes alternative approaches to economic development and incorporates a code of responsibility.
  • Evaluate the consequences of ecological disasters on public health, productivity, and social and economic welfare.
  • Explain the social, environmental, and economic barriers to the implementation of sustainable environmental practices and programs.

Degree at a Glance

General Education Requirements30
Major Required29
Select one of the following concentrations:12
Final Program Requirements3
Elective Requirements46
Total Semester Hours120

Degree Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (30 semester hours)

Arts and Humanities (6 semester hours) 1
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Art Appreciation
Film and Literature
Image Enhancement using Adobe Photoshop
World Literature through the Renaissance
World Literature since the Renaissance
English Literature: Beowulf to18th Century
English Literature: 18th Century to Present
American Literature before The Civil War
American Literature from The Civil War to Present
Arabic I
Arabic II
French I
French II
German I
German II
Introduction to Japanese
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Philosophy
Critical Thinking
Introduction to Ethics
Philosophy of Science
Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese
Introduction to World Religions
Russian I
Spanish I
Spanish II
Civics, Political and Social Sciences (6 semester hours) 1
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Introduction to Anthropology
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Human Sexuality
Social Media and Society
Intercultural Communication
Microeconomics
Macroeconomics
Humane Education: A Global Interdisciplinary Perspective
Introduction to Geography
Practical Food Safety and Awareness
International Relations I
Contemporary World Culture Through Literature
Cultural Diversity in Contemporary American Literature
American Government I
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
American Popular Culture
Communication: Writing, Oral, and Multimedia (8 semester hours)
COMM110Information & Digital Literacy2
ENGL110Making Writing Relevant3
ENGL221Scientific Writing3
History (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
American History to 1877
American History since 1877
World Civilization before 1650
World Civilization since 1650
Western Civilization before The Thirty Years War
Western Civilization since The Thirty Years War
African-American History before 1877
African-American History since 1877
History of the American Indian
History of Science
Mathematics and Applied Reasoning (3 semester hours)
Select 1 course from the following:3
College Algebra
College Trigonometry
Calculus
Natural Sciences with Lab (4 semester hours)
SCIN138Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab4
Total Semester Hours30
1

All literature courses require successful completion of ENGL101 - Proficiency in Writing or ENGL110 - Making Writing Relevant.

Major Required (29 semester hours)

BIOL133General Biology I with Lab4
CHEM133General Chemistry I with Lab4
EVSP201Environmental Economics3
MATH302Statistics (Prerequisite: MATH110 - College Algebra, MATH111 - College Trigonometry, or MATH225 - Calculus)3
EVSP310Water Science (Prerequisites: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab and MATH302 - Statistics)3
EVSP311Soil Science (Prerequisites: CHEM133 - General Chemistry I with Lab or SCIN131 - Introduction to Chemistry with Lab and SCIN138 - Introduction to Physical Geology with Lab)3
PHIL320Environmental Ethics3
EVSP411Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law3
EVSP413Environmental and Ecosystems Management (Prerequisite: EVSP310 - Water Science)3
Total Semester Hours29

Students must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from a General Concentration, Environmental Technology and Management Concentration, Fish and Wildlife Management Concentration, Regional and Community Environmental Planning Concentration, or Sustainability Concentration. 

General Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

 A general concentration allows you to take courses across a number of areas of study within your program based on your own interests.

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Introduction to Sustainability
U.S. Federal Environmental Organization
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
Air Quality Management
Environmental Impact Assessment
General Ecology
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Environmental Technology and Management (12 semester hours)

Explores the theoretical foundations of environmental hazard mitigation and pollution management and how regulations, policies, and politics influence environmental management and sustainability. Covers management strategies, compliance standards and current and emerging technologies in contaminant treatment, remediation, and disposal. Examines strategies and mitigation plans for contaminants and the impacts on public health, public safety, society, and the economy.

 Objectives

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Define the theoretical foundation of the disciplines of environmental hazard mitigation and pollution management.
  • Explain the regulatory, policy, and political influences on environmental management and sustainability.
  • Develop management strategies that incorporate environmental compliance standards and achieve organizational missions.
  • Describe the current and emerging technologies in the treatment, remediation, and disposal of environmental contaminants.
  • Evaluate strategies and assess mitigation plans for environmental contaminants.
  • Assess the consequences of the ecological impacts on public health and safety, and social and economic welfare.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Chemistry of Hazardous Materials
Energy and Resource Sustainability
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
Environmental Management Systems
Air Quality Management
Pollution and Pollution Management
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Fish and Wildlife Management (12 semester hours)

Offers an overview of concepts and principles of fish and wildlife resource management. Examines the agencies responsible for resource management and the competencies of professional fish and wildlife managers. Management techniques and methods, public lands management, and the regulations, policies, and politics that influence U.S. fish and wildlife management are also covered. NOTE: Students wishing to enroll in SCIN311, SCIN314, SCIN401, or SCIN402 for their concentration work MUST also take BIOL134 as a prerequisite. BIOL134 is NOT included in the BS Environmental Science major and is needed for these more specialized courses offered through the Natural Sciences program. Please note that students can complete the Concentration in Fish and Wildlife Management without taking these specialized courses, but if these courses are desired the additional BIOL134 prerequisite must be completed as part of the student’s elective hours.

Objectives

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamental concepts and principles of the management of fish and wildlife resources.
  • Explain the impact of human activities on the survival and management of fish and wildlife populations.
  • Identify the federal, state, and local agencies responsible for the management of fish and wildlife resources.
  • List the competencies needed to become a professional fish or wildlife manager.
  • Compare the effectiveness of fish and wildlife management techniques and methods.
  • Explain the regulations, policies, and politics that influence the management of fish and wildlife in the U.S. 

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Fish and Wildlife Policies, Programs, and Issues
Public Lands Management
Introduction to Wildlife Management
Population Ecology
General Ecology
Conservation Biology (Prerequisite: BIOL133 - General Biology I with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)
Fishery Biology (Prerequisite: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab, SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab, or SCIN206 - Marine Biology)
Botany (Prerequisite: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)
Mammalogy (Prerequisite: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)
Ornithology (Prerequisite: BIOL134 - General Biology II with Lab or SCIN130 - Introduction to Biology with Lab)
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Regional and Community Environmental Planning (12 semester hours)

Identifies critical issues in landscape level planning and development that affect regional and local environmental planners. Examines how to assess and meet resource needs and solve complex land use problems. Topics include leading trends and challenges in environmental planning and how current and emerging technologies affect sustainable land use and energy development.  

Objectives

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Identify critical issues in landscape level planning and development that affect regional and local environmental planners and assess their implications on the environment and quality of life for the citizenry.
  • Assess the resource needs (energy, water resources, sustainability, green space, etc.) of a population and develop strategies for meeting them.
  • Describe innovative approaches, alternative actions, and strategic planning efforts needed to resolve complex, landscape-level land use planning problems and meet the needs of multiple and varied stakeholders.
  • Assess leading trends and challenges in the fields of local and regional planning, landscape-level planning, and environmental assessment and impact.
  • Describe current and emerging technologies in sustainable land use planning and energy development and discuss appropriate applications. 

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

EVSP321Land Use and Planning3
EVSP322Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems3
EVSP415Environmental Impact Assessment3
EVSP421Water Resources Management3
Total Semester Hours12

Concentration in Sustainability (12 semester hours)

Examines foundational principles of resource and energy sustainability and how these principles apply to land use and development planning. Topics include current and emerging renewable energy technologies, society’s dependence on fossil fuels and other traditional forms of energy, and why social and economic barriers prevent acceptance and use of sustainable products, goods, and services.

Objectives

Students who successfully complete this program will be able to:

  • Explain the foundational principles of resource and energy sustainability.
  • List current and emerging renewable energy technologies.
  • Explain society’s dependence on fossil fuel and traditional energy sources.
  • Explain the social and economic barriers that prevent the acceptance and use of sustainable products, goods and services.
  • Apply the principles of sustainability to land use and development planning.
  • Assess the impact of green infrastructure and sustainable design on global resource sustainability.

Concentration Requirements (12 semester hours)

Select 4 courses from the following:12
Introduction to Sustainability
Energy and Resource Sustainability
Land Use and Planning
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
Green Infrastructure and Renewable Technologies
Total Semester Hours12

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

EVSP498Senior Seminar in Environmental Science (to be taken as the last course before graduation) 13
Total Semester Hours3
1

Prerequisite: Senior Standing and completion of all major courses prior to enrollment.

Elective Requirements (46 semester hours)

Select any courses that have not been used to fulfill major requirements. Credits applied toward a minor or certificate in an unrelated field may be used to fulfill elective credit for the major.