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Advisors: Douglas Graber Neufeld, Matthew Siderhurst and James Yoder
Degree: Bachelor of Science
Semester Hours: 50

The environmental science major is the cornerstone of EMU's Environmental Sustainability program.  The Environmental Sustainability program is composed of the environmental science major and minors in environmental science, environmental studies and environmental justice.   Its goal is to provide an interdisciplinary approach to sustaining the quality of our natural world with an emphasis on the interrelationships between the natural world and the social world. The Environmental Sustainability curriculum recognizes a balance between technical training and the broad education of a liberal arts philosophy.

The environmental science major focuses on the ecological and chemical aspects of environmental sustainability. The solid coursework in natural sciences prepares students to work on such issues as biodiversity and loss of species, pollution and toxicology, land use and degradation, waste management, resource depletion and energy consumption, climate change, and alternative agriculture. Completion of the environmental science major equips students to work in fields of conservation, environmental monitoring, agriculture, alternative energy promotion and development, sustainable development, environmental advocacy, and environmental education. In addition, the curriculum prepares students for graduate work in many areas related to environmental science.

The curriculum for environmental science is divided into three stages. Students begin their coursework in three introductory courses, followed by a set of core integration courses, which set the foundation for further work. Students then take core and elective courses in their chosen areas of focus which gives depth by concentrating on natural science aspects of environmental science while retaining breadth through coursework that combines essential elements from both social science and natural science to bring a holistic and integrated perspective. Finally, students take a series of courses that serve to integrate the natural science and social science perspectives of sustainability.

Required Courses: Introduction to Sustainability (12 SH)

  • BIOL 173 Concepts in Biology-Unity and Diversity of Life - 4  Details
  • BIOL 174 Concepts in Biology Seminar - 1  Details
  • BIOL 235 Ecology-Adaptation and Environment - Details
  • SOC 245 Environment and Society - 3  Details

 Required Courses: Integration (18 SH)

  • *ENVS 205 Environmental Applications of GIS - 3  Details
  • *ENVS 325 Environmental Ethics - 2  Details
  • *ENVS 365 Environmental Risk and Policy - Details
  • *ENVS 385 Conservation Biology - 4  Details
  • ENVS 429 Environmental Sustainability Internship - 3  Details
  • ENVS 430 Environmental Sustainability Capstone - 2  Details
  • STAT 120 Descriptive Statistics  Details OR STAT 220 Inferential Statistics - 2  Details

Required Supporting Courses (9 SH)

  • BIOL 255 Biology Research Seminar - 1  Details
  • CHEM 223 General Chemistry I - 4  Details
  • *CHEM 285 Environmental Chemistry - 4  Details

Environmental Science Electives (5 SH)
Select from the following:

  • BIOL 215 Organismal Biology - 4  Details
  • BIOL 240 Molecular and Cellular Biology - 4  Details
  • *BIOL 327 Advanced Microbiology - 3  Details
  • *BIOL 358 Natural History of the Shenandoah Valley - Details
  • *BIOL 368 Blue Ridge Botany - 2  Details
  • *BIOL 388 Entomology - 3  Details
  • *BIOL 465 Topics in Advanced Ecology - 2  Details
  • CHEM 224 General Chemistry II - 4  Details
  • *CHEM 305 Alternative Energy - 2  Details
  • CHEM 315 Organic Chemistry I - 4  Details
  • CHEM 316 Organic Chemistry II - 4  Details
  • *CHEM 325 Analytical Chemistry I - 2  Details
  • *CHEM 345 Analytical Chemistry II - Details
  • ENVS 135 Earth Science - 2  Details
  • *ENVS 235 Sustainable Food Systems - 2  Details
  • *ENVS 379 Techniques in Environmental Monitoring - 1  Details

Social Sustainability Electives (6 SH)
Select from the following:

  • BUAD 221 Principles of Management - 3  Details
  • BUAD 465 Project Management and Grantwriting - 3  Details
  • ECON 201 Survey of Economics - 3  Details
  • ECON 211 Principles of Microeconomics - Details
  • ECON 212 Principles of Macroeconomics - Details
  • *ECON 300 Environmental and Ecological Economics - Details
  • *ECON 311 Contemporary Economic Issues - Details
  • *ECON 401 Development Economics - Details
  • *ECON 411 International Economics - 3  Details
  • *PXD 261 Community and Conflict Analysis Techniques - Details
  • PXD 365 Social and Political Economy - 3  Details
  • PXD 375 Globalization and Justice - 3  Details
  • PXD 485 Global Development - 3  Details
  • SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology - Details
  • SOC 210 Social Stratification - 3  Details
  • SOC 225 Theories of Social Change - Details   
  • *SOC 255 Social Movements - 3  Details
  • *SOC 350 Urban Sociology - 3  Details
  • SOC 336 Methods of Social Research - Details
  • *SOC 430 Environmental Justice - 3  Details  
  • SOWK 360 Race and Gender - 3  Details
  • *VACA 354  Conservation Photography - 4  Details

* indicates the course is offered in alternate years

Enrollment in upper-level biology, biochemistry, chemistry and environmental science courses (BIOL, BIOCH, CHEM, ENVS 300s and 400s) requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all science and math courses (BIOL, BIOCH, CHEM, ENVS, MATH, PHYS). Students who fail to earn a C- in any coursework required for their major should promptly schedule a meeting with their advisor.

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