Environmental Science, B.S.

Program Code: ENVSC_BS

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, a student must:

  1. attain at least a C (2.00) cumulative grade-point average for all courses taken at the University; and
  2. have third-semester classification.

READ SENATE POLICY 37-30: ENTRANCE TO AND CHANGES IN MAJOR PROGRAMS OF STUDY

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science, a minimum of 121 credits is required, with at least 15 credits at the 400 level:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 0-1
Requirements for the Major 102-103

27 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 6 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GH courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

Each student must earn at least a grade of C in each 300- and 400-level prescribed, additional, and supporting course.

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Common Requirements for the Major (All Options)

Prescribed Courses
BIOL 220WBiology: Populations and Communities Keystone/General Education Course4
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 112Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course3
CHEM 113Experimental Chemistry II Keystone/General Education Course1
CHEM 202Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry I3
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 160Mapping Our Changing World Keystone/General Education Course3
GEOG 161Applied Geographic Information Systems1
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 110Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity Keystone/General Education Course4
BIOL 4023
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
ENVSC 400WCase Studies in Environmental Analysis and Problem-Solving3
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
Foundations: Civic and Community Engagement Keystone/General Education Course
American Politics: Principles, Processes and Powers Keystone/General Education Course
Foundations of Leadership in Sustainability Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3-4
Introduction to Statistics for Business Keystone/General Education Course
Elementary Statistics Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Biostatistics Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
The Earth System and Global Change Keystone/General Education Course
Physical Geography: An Introduction Keystone/General Education Course
Physical Geology
Select one of the following:3
Ethics Keystone/General Education Course
Ethical Leadership Keystone/General Education Course
Bioethics Keystone/General Education Course
Globalization, Technology, and Ethics Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Environment and Society in a Changing World Keystone/General Education Course
Economic Geography Keystone/General Education Course
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one of the following sequences:8
General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course 1
Introductory Physics I Keystone/General Education Course
and Introductory Physics II Keystone/General Education Course 1
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 3 credits from the Natural & Physical Sciences program list 23
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits of the following in consultation with adviser: 23
BIOL, ENVSC, GEOG courses
Thesis Research
Internship
Independent Studies
Requirements for the Option
Select an Option33

Requirements for the Option

Environmental Field Science Option (33 credits)
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
BIOL 435Ecology of Lakes and Streams3
GEOG 363Geographic Information Systems3
GEOSC 303Introduction to Environmental Geology3
GEOSC 452Hydrogeology3
Additional Courses
Select one of the following:3
Environmental Chemistry and Analysis 1
Energy and the Environment Keystone/General Education Course
Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection Keystone/General Education Course
Energy and Modern Society 1
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
GEOSC 451Natural Resources: Origins, Economics and Environmental Impact3
or GEOSC 454 Geology of Oil and Gas
Select 3 credits of the following:3
Any Biology 400-level field/lab course
Water Resources Geochemistry
Soil Environmental Chemistry
Supporting Courses and Related Areas 2
Select 12 credits from the Natural & Physical Sciences and/or the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities program lists with not more than 6 credits from the latter list 312
Environmental Lab Science Option (33 credits)
Prescribed Courses
CHEM 203Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 227Analytical Chemistry4
MICRB 201Introductory Microbiology3
MICRB 202Introductory Microbiology Laboratory2
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CHEM 301Environmental Chemistry and Analysis3
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select one of the following:3
Water Resources Geochemistry
Soil Environmental Chemistry
The Organic Geochemistry of Natural Waters and Sediments
Select one of the following:3
Natural Resources: Origins, Economics and Environmental Impact
Hydrogeology
Energy and Modern Society
Supporting Courses and Related Areas 1
Choose 9 credits from the Natural & Physical Sciences and/or the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities program lists with not more than 6 credits from the latter list 29
Choose 3 credits at the 400-level from the Natural & Physical Sciences program list3

Program Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of the Environmental Science program are to produce graduates who:

  1. are proficient in the communication of results of field, lab, or literature based research in both oral and written formats, in both solo and team settings.
  2. can demonstrate possession of the science skills and quantitative competency necessary to understand, interpret, and analyze data from across the interdisciplinary environmental science spectrum. 
  3. have proficiency in major concepts and methods in environmental science that are typically required of entry-level scientists in the workforce.
  4. have demonstrated undergraduate-level research skills; project and experimental design skills.
  5. can demonstrate skills in field/lab data collection, analysis, and synthesis; in utilizing the inter-disciplinary research literature to analyze and synthesize issues in environmental science; and in undergraduate-level grant-writing.
  6. can demonstrate possession and application of higher-level learning skills in critical thinking and problem-solving as applied to environmental science.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

Erie

Michael Naber, Ph.D.
Associate Teaching Professor of Geosciences
25 Hammermill
Erie, PA 16563
814-898-6298
mdn10@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Environmental Field Science Option: Environmental Science, B.S. at Erie Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 110*4CAS 1003
CHEM 110*3CHEM 1123
CHEM 1111CHEM 1131
ENGL 15 or 30H3MATH 140*4
Course Selection (N and PS List) or Course Selection (SSA and H List)3General Education Course (GH Selection)3
PSU 71General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15 15.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GEOG 10, GEOSC 1, GEOSC 20, or EARTH 2*3CHEM 2023
BIOL 220W4PHIL 103, 119, 132, or STS 245Z3
MATH 141*4ENVSC 200, SUST 200, CAS 222N, or PLSC 1*†3
GEOG 1603STAT 200, 250, or SCM 2003-4
GEOG 1611GEOG 363*3
 15 15-16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
PHYS 211 or 250*4BIOL 402*3
GEOSC 303*3ENGL 202C‡†3
CHEM 301 or STS 420 (or EGEE 101 (MATSE 101) or EGEE 102)13PHYS 212 or 251*4
Course Selection (N and PS List) or Course Selection (SSA and H List)3Course Selection (N and PS List)3
General Education Course (GA Selection)3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 14.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL/CHEM/GEOSC/ENVSC 494 or 495*3GEOSC 451 or 454*3
BIOL 435*3ENVSC 400W*3
GEOSC 412 (GEOSC 418 (SOIL 419) or 400-level BIOL Course)*3General Education Course (GA Selection)3
GEOSC 452*3GEOG 126 or 30N (or ECON 102 or ECON 104)3
Course Selection (N and PS List)3Course Selection (N and PS List)3
 15 15
Total Credits 121-122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Program Notes

1.) Students who have not met the admission requirement of two units of a high school world language must complete a college level-one world language within their first 60 credits.
2.) Not all courses will be offered every year at Penn State Behrend, but a sufficient number of courses will be offered that will allow students to complete their chosen option.
3.) ENVSC 400W is the capstone course.

Natural & Physical Sciences List (N and PS)
BIOL 200-level or higher
CHEM 200-level or higher
CMPSC 100-level or higher
EARTH 100, EARTH 103N, EARTH 105N, EARTH 111, EARTH 202EARTH 204
EGEE 100-level or higher
ENVE 300-level or higher
ENVSC 494, ENVSC 495
ENVSE 400-level
ENVST 200, ENVST 299
GEOG 313, GEOG 362, GEOG 430, GEOG 431, GEOG 432, GEOG 463, GEOG 469
GEOSC 1, GEOSC 40, GEOSC 71, GEOSC 200-level or higher
GEOSC 497A
MATH 200-level or higher
MICRB 200-level or higher
SOILS 101 or higher
STAT 300-level or higher
STS 201, STS 420
WFS 400-level or higher

Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities List (SSA and H)
COMM 160, COMM 315, COMM 409
ECON 428
ENGL 180, ENGL 424
ENVST 100N
GEOG 30N, GEOG 126
LARCH 60
PHIL 403
PLSC 2, PLSC 14, PLSC 22, PLSC 135, PLSC 299, PLSC 419, PLSC 482, PLSC 487, PLSC 489, PLSC 499
PSYCH 301W
STS 245Z
Any 1, 2, 3 World Language

Environmental Lab Science Option: Environmental Science, B.S. at Erie Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL 110*4BIOL 220W4
CHEM 110*†3CHEM 1123
CHEM 1111CHEM 1131
ENGL 15 or 30H3MATH 140*†4
Course Selection (N and PS List) or Course Selection (SSA and H List)*3General Education Course (GH Selection)3
PSU 71 
 15 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
GEOG 10 or GEOSC 1 (or EARTH 2 or GEOSC 20)3CHEM 2023
MICRB 2013STAT 200 or 250 (or SCM 200)*3-4
MICRB 2022ENVSC 200, SUST 200, CAS 222N, or PLSC 13
MATH 141*4CAS 1003
GEOG 1603General Education Course (GA Selection)3
GEOG 1611 
 16 15-16
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CHEM 2033PHIL 103 or 119 (or PHIL 132 or STS 245)3
PHYS 211 or 250*4BIOL 402*3
CHEM 2274ENGL 202C‡†3
General Education Course (GA Selection)3PHYS 212 or 251*4
Course Selection (N and PS List)3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 17 14.5
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
BIOL/CHEM/GEOSC/ENVSC 494 or 495*3ENVSC 400W*3
CHEM 301*3GEOSC 451 or 452 (or STS 420)*3
GEOSC 412 or 418 (or GEOSC 419)*3GEOG 30N or 126 (or ECON 102 or ECON 104)3
Course Selection (N and PS List)3Course Selection (N and PS List)3
400-level Science Course Selection (N and PS List)*†3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 15 13.5
Total Credits 121-122

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

Program Notes

1.) Students who have not met the admission requirement of two units of a high school world language must complete a college level-one world language within their first 60 credits.
2.) Not all courses will be offered every year at Penn State Behrend, but a sufficient number of courses will be offered that will allow students to complete their chosen option.
3.) ENVSC 400W is the capstone course.

Natural & Physical Sciences List (N and PS)
BIOL 200-level or higher
CHEM 200-level or higher
CMPSC 100-level or higher
EARTH 100EARTH 103NEARTH 105NEARTH 111, EARTH 202, EARTH 204
EGEE 100-level or higher
ENVE 300-level or higher
ENVSC 494ENVSC 495
ENVSE 400-level
ENVST 200, ENVST 299
GEOG 313GEOG 362GEOG 430GEOG 431GEOG 432GEOG 463GEOG 469
GEOSC 1GEOSC 40GEOSC 71, GEOSC 200-level or higher
GEOSC 497A
MATH 200-level or higher
MICRB 200-level or higher
SOILS 101 or higher
STAT 300-level or higher
STS 201STS 420
WFS 400-level or higher

Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities List (SSA and H)
COMM 160COMM 315COMM 409
ECON 428
ENGL 180ENGL 424
ENVST 100N
GEOG 30NGEOG 126
LARCH 60
PHIL 403
PLSC 2PLSC 14PLSC 22PLSC 135PLSC 299PLSC 419,
PLSC 482PLSC 487PLSC 489PLSC 499
PSYCH 301W
STS 245Z
Any 1, 2, 3 World Language

Career Paths

The study of environmental science leads to a wide variety of careers. Penn State Behrend offers two options to help you tailor your degree to your interests. The Environmental Field Studies Option has a concentration in field biology, geographic information systems, and environmental geoscience, while the Environmental Lab Science Option emphasizes analytical chemistry and geochemistry. Penn State Behrend has a comprehensive support system to help you identify and achieve your goals for college and beyond. Meet with your academic adviser often and take advantage of the services offered by the Academic and Career Planning Center beginning in your first semester.

Careers

State and federal agencies, nonprofits, and corporations are looking for environmental scientists. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that over the next twenty years the number of jobs for environmental scientists will grow faster than the average for all occupations. This increase will be driven by population growth and the concurrent need for water, energy, and mineral resources. A recent survey of undergraduate institutions showed that environmental science students typically are prepared for careers in many parts of the economy, including government agencies; nonprofit, advocacy, and nongovernmental organizations; consulting; education; industry; and resource management and conservation.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PROGRAM

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

A graduate degree allows you to take your environmental science education in a targeted direction. Advanced-degree disciplines commonly pursued by environmental science majors include environmental engineering, resource management, environmental science and policy, public health, atmospheric science, oceanography, and sustainability.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Contact

Erie

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE
1 Prischak
4205 College Drive
Erie, PA 16563
814-898-6105
behrend-science@psu.edu

http://behrend.psu.edu/school-of-science