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Environmental Science BS

Semester Requirements

http://www.rit.edu/cos/environmental/

Program overview

Environmental scientists solve problems relating to power generation, waste reduction and recycling, pollution control, land use and land cover change, preserving biodiversity and ecological services, transportation, forestry, agriculture, economics, and a wide range of other areas. They study our relationship to nature and to each other, developing solutions that prevent or reverse environmental deterioration and work toward sustainability. Meeting these challenges requires problem-solving abilities based in science, mathematics, the social sciences, and other disciplines. The BS program provides students with the education and experiences they need to be successful.

Curriculum

The practice of environmental science demands that students be well-rounded specialists. To accomplish this, each student is required to complete an environmental science concentration in one of the following areas: digital imaging, environmental biology, environmental economics, environmental public policy, mathematics and statistics, or remote sensing. Students also may develop a self-designed concentration in an area of personal interest, subject to approval from an environmental science review committee.

Environmental science, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENVS-101 Concepts of Environmental Science 3
ESHS-200 Environmental Geology 3
BIOL-121, 122 Introductory Biology I, II 8
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
ENVS-201 Environmental Workshop 3
ESHS-250 Introduction to Hydrology 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
STS0-220 Environment and Society 3
ENVS-250 Applications of Geographic Information Systems 4
BIOL-240 General Ecology 4
ESHS-201 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement I 2
CHMG-141, 145 Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I and Lab 4
MATH-161 Perspective 7A: Applied Calculus 4
ENVS-301 Environmental Science Field Skills 4
BIOL-475 Conservation Biology 3
ESHS-251 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement II 2
CHMG-142, 146 Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II  and Lab 4
Third Year
STSO-422 Great Lakes 3
STAT-145 Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
CHMO-231, 235 Organic Chemistry I and Lab 4
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
Choose one of the following: 3
   STSO-421    Environmental Policy  
   PUBL-210    Introduction to Qualitative Policy Analysis  
STAT-146 Introduction to Statistics II 4
  LAS Immersion 1 3
Fourth Year
ENVS-551 Environmental Science Capstone I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
ENVS-552 Environmental Science Capstone II (WI) 3
IMGS-431 Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 125

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2013-14 academic year.

Accelerated dual degree option

Students may apply to the accelerated dual degree (BS/MS) option, which provides them with a considerable advantage over other environmental science graduates in the job market. The curriculum was developed in conjunction with an advisory board of environmental leaders to ensure that students’ education meets the current and future needs of the industry. In order to function as an environmental scientist, an individual must have an extensive background in mathematics, physical science, and life science. The BS/MS program is one of the strongest programs available with respect to mathematics and science.

Environmental science, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENVS-101 Concepts of Environmental Science 3
EHSH-200 Environmental Geology 3
BIOL-121, 122 Introductory Biology I, II 8
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
ENVS-201 Environmental Workshop 3
EHSH-250 Introduction to Hydrology 3
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
STSO-220 Environment and Society 3
ENVS-250 Applications of Geographic Information Systems 4
BIOL-240 General Ecology 4
EHSH-201 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement I 2
CHMG-141, 145 LAS Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I and Lab 4
MATH-161 LAS Perspective 7A: Applied Calculus 4
ENVS-301 Environmental Science Field Skills 4
BIOL-475 Conservation Biology 3
ESHS-251 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement II 2
CHMG-142, 146 LAS Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II and Lab 4
Third Year
STSO-422 Great Lakes 3
STAT-145 LAS Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
CHMO-231, 235 Organic Chemistry I and Lab 4
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
Choose one of the following: 3
   STSO-421    Environmental Policy  
   PUBL-210    Qualitative Methods and Analysis  
STAT-146 Introduction to Statistics II 4
  LAS Immersion 1 3
Fourth Year
ENVS-551 Environmental Science Capstone I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
ENVS-601 Environmental Science Graduate Studies 3
ENVS-552 Environmental Science Capstone II (WI) 3
IMGS-431 Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing 3
STSO-630 Biodiversity and Society 3
Fifth Year
  Free Elective 3
  Graduate Public Policy Core Elective 3
  Graduate Science Core Elective 3
  Graduate Elective 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   ENVS-790    Environmental Science Thesis  
   ENVS-780    Environmental Science Project 3
ENVS-670 Advanced Concepts of Environmental Chemistry 3
ENVS-650 Advanced Applications of GIS 4
ENVS-710 Environmental Science Graduate Research 2
Choose one of the following: 3
   ENVS-790    Environmental Science Thesis  
   ENVS-780    Environmental Science Project  
Total Semester Credit Hours 155

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information. Students completing bachelor's degrees are required to complete two Wellness courses.
† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2013-14 academic year.

Additional information

Cooperative education

Cooperative education is optional for environmental science majors, however, it offers students a great way to get a head start on their career with paid, professional work experience. Students can participate in cooperative education as soon as the summer after their second year of study. Co-op placements are typically with local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit environmental organizations, and a host of environmental consulting firms.

Employment opportunities

There is a great need for individuals who have both a strong background in environmental science and the ability to participate in an interdisciplinary problem-solving team. Upon graduation, students will be valued for their broad understanding of environmental science, their depth of knowledge in a particular aspect of environmental science, and their ability to attack and solve tough environmental problems.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

Environmental scientists solve problems relating to power generation, waste reduction and recycling, pollution control, land use and land cover change, preserving biodiversity and ecological services, transportation, forestry, agriculture, economics, and a wide range of other areas. They study our relationship to nature and to each other, developing solutions that prevent or reverse environmental deterioration and work toward sustainability. Meeting these challenges requires problem-solving abilities based in science, mathematics, the social sciences, and other disciplines. The BS program provides students with the education and experiences they need to be successful.

Curriculum

The practice of environmental science demands that students be well-rounded specialists. To accomplish this, each student is required to complete a minimum of 20 quarter credit hours in an environmental science concentration. Available concentrations are digital imaging, environmental biology, environmental economics, environmental public policy, mathematics and statistics, and remote sensing. Students also may develop a self-designed concentration in an area of personal interest, subject to approval from an environmental science review committee.

Semester conversion
Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. Each program and its associated courses have been sent to the New York State Department of Education for approval of the semester plan. For reference, the following charts illustrate the typical course sequence for this program in both quarters and semesters. Students should consult their academic advisers with questions regarding planning and course selection.

Environmental science, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
1001-200 Freshman Symposium 1
1001-251, 252, 253 Introduction to Biology I, II, III 12
1011-215, 216 General and Analytical Chemistry I, II 7
1011-205, 206 Chemistry Principles I, II Labs 2
Choose one of the following math sequences:  
   1016-214, 215    Elementary Calculus I, II** 6
   1016-281, 282, 283    Project-Based Calculus I, II, III 12
0508-460 Environment and Society 4
1006-202 Concepts in Environmental Science 4
  Liberal Arts* 4
1105-051, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
1006-203 Environmental Science Field Studies 4
1006-350 Applications of GIS 4
1011-202 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry 3
1011-207 Introduction to Organic Chemistry Lab 1
Choose one of the following physics sequences: 12
   1017-211, 212, 213    College Physics  
   1017-311, 312, 313    University Physics  
1016-319, 320 Data Analysis I, II 10
0630-370, 372 Environmental Geology and Lab 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
Third Year
1001-340 General Ecology 4
1001-475 Conservation Biology 4
1006-503 Capstone in Environmental Science 4
0508-463, 464 Great Lakes I, II 8
0630-380, 382 Introduction to Hydrology and Lab 4
  Environmental Science Concentration§ 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  General Education Elective‡ 0-4
Fourth Year
1051-420 Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing 4
  Environmental Science Concentration§ 12
  University-wide Electives 20
  Liberal Arts* 8
Total Quarter Credit Hours 182-185

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

** Students selecting this sequence must complete an additional 3 credits in general education course work.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Number of general education elective credits will depend on choice of calculus courses.

§ See environmental science concentrations. It is highly recommended that students, in consultation with their faculty adviser, take additional environmental science electives during the fourth year.

Environmental science, BS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENVS-101 Concepts of Environmental Science 3
ESHS-200 Environmental Geology 3
BIOL-121 Introductory Biology I 4
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
  LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar 3
ENVS-201 Environmental Workshop 3
ESHS-250 Introduction to Hydrology 3
BIOL-122 Introductory Biology II 4
ENGL-150 LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
STS0-220 Environment and Society 3
ENVS-250 Applications of Geographic Information Systems 4
BIOL-240 General Ecology 4
ESHS-201 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement I 2
CHMG-141 Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I 3
CHMG-145 Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I Lab 1
MATH-161 Perspective 7A: Applied Calculus 4
ENVS-301 Environmental Science Field Skills 4
BIOL-475 Conservation Biology 3
ESHS-251 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement II 2
CHMG-142 Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II  3
CHMG-146 Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II Lab 1
Third Year
STSO-422 Great Lakes 3
STAT-145 Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
CHMO-231 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHMO-235 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
Choose one of the following: 3
   STSO-421    Environmental Policy  
   PUBL-210    Introduction to Qualitative Policy Analysis  
STAT-146 Introduction to Statistics II 4
  LAS Immersion 1 3
Fourth Year
ENVS-551 Environmental Science Capstone I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
  Free Electives 6
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
ENVS-552 Environmental Science Capstone II (WI) 3
IMGS-431 Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing 3
Total Semester Credit Hours 125

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

Accelerated dual degree option

Students in the environmental science program may choose the accelerated five-year BS/MS option, which provides them with a considerable advantage over other environmental science graduates in the job market. The curriculum was developed in conjunction with an advisory board of environmental leaders to ensure that students’ education meets the current and future needs of the industry. In order to function as an environmental scientist, an individual must have an extensive background in mathematics, physical science, and life science. The BS/MS program is one of the strongest programs available with respect to mathematics and science.

Environmental science, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
1001-200 Freshman Symposium 1
1001-251, 252, 253 Introduction to Biology I, II, III 12
1011-215, 216 General and Analytic Chemistry I, II 7
1011-205, 206 Chemistry Principles Labs I, II 2
Choose one of the following math sequences:  
   1016-214, 215    Elementary Calculus I, II** 6
   1016-281, 282, 283    Project-Based Calculus I, II, III 12
0508-460 Environment and Society 4
1006-202 Concepts in Environmental Science 4
  Liberal Arts* 4
1105-051, 052 First-Year Enrichment 2
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
1006-203 Environmental Science Field Studies 4
1006-350 Applications of GIS 4
1011-202 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry 3
1011-207 Introduction to Organic Chemistry Lab 1
Choose one of the following physics sequences: 12
   1017-211, 212, 213    College Physics  
   1017-311, 312, 313    University Physics  
1016-319, 320 Data Analysis I, II 10
0630-370, 372 Environmental Geology and Lab 4
  Liberal Arts* 12
Third Year
1001-340 General Ecology 4
1001-475 Conservation Biology 4
1006-503 Capstone in Environmental Science 4
0508-463, 464 Great Lakes I, II 8
0630-380, 382 Introduction to Hydrology and Lab 4
  Environmental Science Concentration§ 8
  Liberal Arts* 12
  General Education Elective‡ 0–4
Fourth Year
1006-711, 712, 713 Environmental Science Graduate Study I, II, III 5
1006-879 Environmental Science Graduate Research 3
1006-710 Graduate Readings Seminar 3
1015-720 Environmental Chemistry 3
1051-420 Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing 4
  Environmental Science Concentration§ 4
  University-wide Electives (undergraduate) 12
  Liberal Arts* 8
Fifth Year
1006-890/891 Thesis/Project 5-9
  Environmental Science Core Graduate Elective 4
  Environmental Public Policy Core Graduate Elective 4
  Environment and Society Core Graduate Elective 4
  Professional Electives 12-20
  Environmental Science Concentration§ 8
  University-wide Electives (undergraduate) 4
Total Quarter Credit Hours 233-236

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

** Students selecting this sequence must complete an additional 3 credits in general education course work.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Number of general education elective credits will depend on choice of calculus courses.

§ Please see environmental science concentrations.

Note: The articulation of the BS and the MS curriculum is accomplished by the inclusion of 11 quarter credit hours of graduate work in the fourth year of the curriculum.

Environmental science, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence (semesters), effective fall 2013

CourseSem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
ENVS-101 Concepts of Environmental Science 3
EHSH-200 Environmental Geology 3
BIOL-121 Introductory Biology I 4
  LAS Perspective 1, 2 6
  LAS Foundation 1: First-Year Seminar 3
ENVS-201 Environmental Workshop 3
EHSH-250 Introduction to Hydrology 3
BIOL-122 Introductory Biology II 4
ENGL-150 LAS Foundation 2: Writing Seminar 3
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
STSO-220 Environment and Society 3
ENVS-250 Applications of Geographic Information Systems 4
BIOL-240 General Ecology 4
EHSH-201 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement I 2
CHMG-141 LAS Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry I 3
CHMG-145 LAS Perspective 5: General and Analytical Chemistry Lab 1
MATH-161 LAS Perspective 7A: Applied Calculus 4
ENVS-301 Environmental Science Field Skills 4
BIOL-475 Conservation Biology 3
ESHS-251 Environmental Monitoring and Measurement II 2
CHMG-142 LAS Perspective 6: General and Analytical Chemistry II 3
CHMG-146 LAS Perspective 6: Gneral and Analytical Chemsitry II Lab 1
Third Year
STSO-422 Great Lakes 3
STAT-145 LAS Perspective 7B: Introduction to Statistics I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
CHMO-231 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHMO-235 Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
  LAS Perspective 3, 4 6
Choose one of the following: 3
   STSO-421    Environmental Policy  
   PUBL-210    Qualitative Methods and Analysis  
STAT-146 Introduction to Statistics II 4
  LAS Immersion 1 3
Fourth Year
ENVS-551 Environmental Science Capstone I 3
  Concentration Courses 6
  Free Elective 3
  LAS Immersion 2, 3 6
ENVS-601 Environmental Science Graduate Studies 3
ENVS-552 Environmental Science Capstone II (WI) 3
IMGS-431 Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing 3
STSO-630 Biodiversity and Society 3
Fifth Year
  Free Elective 3
  Graduate Public Policy Core Elective 3
  Graduate Science Core Elective 3
  Graduate Elective 3
Choose one of the following: 3
   ENVS-790    Environmental Science Thesis  
   ENVS-780    Environmental Science Project 3
ENVS-670 Advanced Concepts of Environmental Chemistry 3
ENVS-650 Advanced Applications of GIS 4
ENVS-710 Environmental Science Graduate Research 2
Choose one of the following: 3
   ENVS-790    Environmental Science Thesis  
   ENVS-780    Environmental Science Project  
Total Semester Credit Hours 155

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

Additional information

Cooperative education

Although cooperative education is optional for environmental science majors, it offers students a great way to get a head start on their career with paid professional work experience. Students can participate in cooperative education as soon as the summer quarter of the second year. Co-op placements are typically with local, state, or federal government agencies, nonprofit environmental organizations, and a host of environmental consulting firms.

Employment opportunities

There is a great need for individuals who have both a strong background in environmental science and the ability to participate in an interdisciplinary problem-solving team. Upon graduation, students will be valued for their broad understanding of environmental science, their depth of knowledge in a particular aspect of environmental science, and their ability to attack and solve tough environmental problems.