Environmental Science

major

Environmental Science integrates natural and social sciences to study the interrelationships between people and nature. Using an interdisciplinary approach that incorporates academic fields like ecology, hydrology, earth and soil sciences, natural resource management, ethics, as well as environmental policy and law, the Environmental Science program empowers students to analyze complex environmental issues across multiple perspectives. In doing so, Environmental Science students learn to assess causes of environmental problems and apply their knowledge to develop solutions to these problems.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

School Information

The School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) offers campus-wide, interdisciplinary degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. SNRE is governed by the SNRE Advisory Board and advised by the SNRE Faculty Advisory Council.
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CONTACT

Email | 352.392.9230

P.O. Box 116455
103 BLACK HALL
GAINESVILLE FL 32611-6455
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 Curriculum

The School of Natural Resources and Environment’s environmental science degrees approach complex environmental issues with multidisciplinary academic knowledge and interdisciplinary perspectives to prepare graduates for jobs in environmental consulting companies, government environmental offices, land and water management agencies, or non-government organizations. SNRE’s environmental science degrees are campus-wide programs, allowing students to learn from experts in multiple academic units at the University of Florida. Multiple course options are available to meet most degree requirements, giving students a large degree of flexibility in customizing their program of study to suit their individual interests with the assistance of our advising staff.

About half of environmental science students advance to graduate or professional degree programs. The combination of the school's broad undergraduate degree with a subsequent graduate or professional degree is highly marketable.

The school also offers a combination degree program that pairs a bachelor's degree in environmental science with a Master of Science in interdisciplinary ecology.

Requirements and Differences Between B.A. and B.S. Degrees

Both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees prepare students for a wide range of careers in environmental science. The B.S. places greater emphasis on the natural sciences, whereas the B.A. is more focused on the social sciences and their application to economics, policy, and management.

The freshmen and sophomore years lay a foundation of coursework through critical tracking classes for building later expertise. Students need to know the natural sciences of physics, chemistry, and biology. Study of microeconomics and macroeconomics is required to understand the human economy. Introductory statistics empowers students to independently evaluate quantitative data. College algebra (B.A.) and an introduction to calculus (B.S.) enable students to work with rates of change, the heart of ecological science.

Critical-Tracking Requirement B.A. B.S.
Biological Sciences BSC 2010/L & BSC 2011/L (8 credits) BSC 2010/L & BSC 2011/L (8 credits)
General Chemistry CHM 2045/L (4 credits) CHM 2045/L & CHM 2046/L (8 credits)
Economics ECO 2013 & ECO 2023 (8 credits) AEB 3103 (4 credits) or ECO 2013 & ECO 2023 (8 credits)
Mathematics MAC 1147 (4 credits) MAC 2311 (4 credits) or MAC 2233 (3 credits)
Physics PHY 2004 (3 credits) or PHY 2020 (3 credits) PHY 2004/L (4 credits) or PHY 2048/L (4 credits) or PHY 2053/L (5 credits)
Statistics STA 2023 (3 credits) STA 2023 (3 credits)
Public Speaking AEC 3030C (3 credits) or SPC 2608 (3 credits) N/A
Total 33 credits 30-36 credits

In addition to the critical tracking requirements, students admitted as freshmen are responsible for completing the university's general education and writing requirements.

Certain critical tracking and core courses simultaneously fulfill general education and writing requirements, and students should seek to maximize the number of overlapping courses for efficiency. For most students, all but 15 credit hours of the general education requirement are met through the B.A. and B.S. curriculum.

  • Biological and Physical Science and Mathematics requirements are satisfied through critical tracking coursework.
  • The Social and Behavioral Science requirement is satisfied through critical tracking coursework and the civic literacy requirement. SNRE recommends POS 2041 American Federal Government to meet the civic literacy requirement.
  • Humanities: Choosing humanities courses that simultaneously meet the International (GE-N) and Diversity (GE-D) general education requirements is recommended. To meet the state core requirement, recommended options are ARH 2000, MUL 2010, and THE 2000. For Quest 1 courses that also include GE-N or GE-D, see http://undergrad.aa.ufl.edu/uf-quest/students/quest-courses/.
  • Additional Required: This requirement is met by critical tracking and Quest 2.
  • Composition: One general education composition course is chosen according to placement. The required writing course ENC 3254 fulfills the remaining requirement.
  • Writing Requirement: The general education composition class awards 6000 words, as does ENC 3254. The remaining 12000 words should be earned by a combination of eligible core classes and electives.

Once general education and most critical tracking coursework is complete, students begin to take the degree’s core courses (40-46 credits for the B.A., 40-47 credits for the B.S.), providing a base of common knowledge and experience in subjects essential to environmental science. During the fourth year, students enroll in SNRE’s capstone course that further develops and assesses critical thinking skills by confronting conflicts of ecological and economic paradigms, synthesizing across physical, biological, and social systems, and engaging diverse knowledge and views to help resolve key environmental problems.

Core Requirement B.A. B.S.
Foundation Courses 7 credits 7 credits
General Ecology 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
Ecology of Specific Systems N/A 3 credits
Earth and Soil Science 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
Hydrologic Systems 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
Global Systems 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
Methods and Technology N/A 3-4 credits
Organic Chemistry N/A 3 credits
Natural Resource Management 3-4 credits 3-4 credits
Resource Economics 3-4 credits N/A
Environmental Ethics 3 credits 3 credits
Environmental Policy and Law 6 credits 3-4 credits
Social Science Perspectives 3 credits N/A
Capstone Course 3 credits 3 credits
Total 40-46 credits 40-47 credits

Beyond the core requirements, each student selects additional credits from a wide list of approved electives according to individual interest, allowing students to broaden their skillset or specialize in a particular aspect of environmental science.

Elective Requirement B.A. B.S.
Communication & Leadership 3-6 credits N/A
Additional Skills and Concepts 6-15 credits 6-15 credits
Biological Sciences 3-12 credits 6-15 credits
Physical Sciences N/A 3-15 credits
Human Dimensions 6-15 credits 3-9 credits