Bachelor of Arts

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.


Email | 352.392.9230

P.O. Box 116455
2035 McCarty Hall D


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 the 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 BA and BS Degrees

Both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees prepare students for a wide range of careers in environmental science. The BS places greater emphasis on the natural sciences, whereas the BA 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 courses 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 (BA) and an introduction to calculus (BS) enable students to work with rates of change, the heart of ecological science.

Critical-Tracking Requirement BA BS
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 credits of the General Education requirement are met through the BA and BS 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 to meet the Civic Literacy requirement.
  • Humanities: choosing Humanities courses that simultaneously meet the International and Diversity 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 Gen Ed International or Diversity , see
  • 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 course awards 6000 words, as does ENC 3254. The remaining 12000 words should be earned by a combination of eligible core courses and electives.

After General Education and most critical-tracking coursework is complete, students begin to take the degree’s core courses (40-46 credits for the BA, 40-47 credits for the BS), 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 BA BS
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 them to broaden their skillset or specialize in a particular aspect of environmental science.

Elective Requirement BA BS
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
Total 29 credits 29 credits

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

Semester 2

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses
  • 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 3

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses
  • 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 4

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses
  • Complete at least 1 core course
  • 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 5

  • Complete all 9 critical-tracking courses
  • Complete at least 1 core course
  • 2.5 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete at least 2 core courses
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 7

  • Complete at least 1 core course
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 8

  • Complete EVS 4021 (capstone) and the remaining courses for the degree
  • 2.0 upper division GPA required
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities with Diversity or International) 3
BSC 2010
Integrated Principles of Biology 1
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 1 (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological and Physical Sciences)
MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Mathematics) 1 4
Gen Ed Composition (according to placement) 3
Semester Two
BSC 2011
Integrated Principles of Biology 2
and Integrated Principles of Biology Laboratory 2 (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological and Physical Sciences)
CHM 2045
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological and Physical Sciences)
Civic Literacy Requirement (recommended: POS 2041) 3
State Core Gen Ed Humanities with Diversity or International 3
Semester Three
Quest 2 (Gen Ed Social & Behavioral Sciences or Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences) 3
AEC 3030C
Effective Oral Communication (Critical Tracking)
or Introduction to Public Speaking
ECO 2013 Principles of Macroeconomics (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 4
STA 2023 Introduction to Statistics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Mathematics) 3
Earth and Soil Science Core course 3-4
Semester Four
ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 4
ENC 3254 Professional Writing in the Discipline (Writing in Environmental Science; Gen Ed Composition) 3
Select one: 3
Applied Physics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Introduction to Principles of Physics (Critical Tracking)
General Ecology Core course 3-4
Environmental Policy & Law Core course 3
Semester Five
EVS 3000
Environmental Science 1
and Environmental Science Laboratory
Environmental Ethics Core course 3
Environmental Policy & Law Core course 3
Resource Economics Core course 3-4
Natural Resource Management Core course 3-4
Semester Six
Global Systems Core course 3-4
Hydrologic Systems Core course 3-4
Social Science Perspectives Core course 3
Electives for the major 1 6
Semester Seven
Electives for the major 1 12
Elective 3
Semester Eight
EVS 4021 Critical Thinking in Environmental Science (Critical Tracking) 3
Electives for the major (if needed) 1 11
 Total Credits120

From Approved Electives list.


The Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental science focuses on the social sciences that connect the natural sciences and engineering to society. Emphasis is placed in the areas of environmental policy & law and resource economics, making the B.A. the preferred degree for students interested in the policy aspects of environmental consulting and public agency work or advancing to law school.

Core Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts

Required Foundation Courses
ENC 3254Professional Writing in the Discipline (Writing in Environmental Science; Gen Ed Composition)3
EVS 3000
Environmental Science 1
and Environmental Science Laboratory
Environmental Ethics
Select one:3
Agricultural and Natural Resource Ethics (Gen Ed Humanities or Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Moral Leadership in Agriculture and Natural Resources
Environment and Cultural Behavior
Eco-Civic Engagement
Psychology of Sustainability
Environmental Ethics (Gen Ed Humanities)
Religion Ethics and Nature (Gen Ed Humanities)
General Ecology3-4
General Ecology (Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
Natural Resource Ecology
Earth and Soil Science
Select one:3-4
Dynamic Planet Earth
and Dynamic Planet Earth Laboratory (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Physical Geology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences, BS only)
Environmental and Engineering Geology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Introduction to Soils in the Environment
and Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Global Systems
Select one:3-4
Climate Change Biology
Managing for a Changing Climate
Oceans and Global Climate Change
Introduction to Oceanography
Hydrologic Systems
Select one:3-4
Environmental Hydrology: Principles and Issues
Forest Water Resources
Principles of Geographic Hydrology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Hydrogeology and Human Affairs
Environmental Policy and Law
Select two:6
Agricultural and Natural Resource Law
International Humanitarian Assistance (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences and International)
International Development Policy (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Natural Resource Policy and Economics
Rich and Poor Nations in the International System
International Environmental Relations (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences and International)
Natural Resource Management
Select one:3-4
Agricultural and Environmental Quality
Introduction to Ecosystem Restoration
Introduction to Fishery Science
Field Operations for Management of Ecosystems
Urban Forestry
Sustainable Ecotourism Development
Conservation of Resources
Fundamentals of Pest Management
Environmental Nutrient Management (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Soil and Water Conservation
Water Resource Sustainability
Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Conservation
Resource Economics3-4
Introduction to Natural Resource and Environmental Economics (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Environmental Economics and Resource Policy
Social Science Perspectives
Select one:3
Anthropology of Sustainability
International Sustainable Development
Facets of Sustainability
US Population Issues
Gender, Race and Science
Required Capstone Course
EVS 4021Critical Thinking in Environmental Science3
Total Credits40-46

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

  • Communication & Leadership 3-6 credits
  • Additional Skills and Concepts 6-15 credits
  • Biological Sciences 3-12 credits
  • Human Dimensions 6-15 credits

Students interested in taking courses not on the master list, including requirements for pre-Veterinary and pre-Medical students, must contact the undergraduate coordinator for approval.

Students can substitute appropriate graduate courses for electives, with approval of the school and permission of the instructor. To substitute a 5000-level course or higher, the student must have senior standing and a minimum junior/senior-level GPA of 3.0.

Transfer and HSAA students may enroll in ALS 4932 (Connecting with CALS; 3 credits) and count the class towards their Environmental Science major as a Human Dimensions elective.

Master List 

Communication & Leadership
Select 3-6 credits
AEC 3043Communication and Leadership for Agricultural and Life Sciences Policy Issues3
AEC 3071Social Media Strategy and Leadership for Agricultural and Life Sciences3
AEC 3073Intercultural Communication3
AEC 3209Instructional and Event Planning in Agricultural and Life Sciences3
AEC 3413Working with People: Interpersonal Leadership Skills3
AEC 3414Leadership Development3
AEC 4434Communication and Leadership in Groups and Teams3
AEC 4465Global Leadership3
ALS 3415Challenge 2050: Developing Tools for Changing the World3
Biological Sciences
Select 3-12 credits
AGR 3303Genetics3
ALS 3153Agricultural Ecology3
ALS 4162Consequences of Biological Invasions3
ANT 3514CIntroduction to Biological Anthropology4
BOT 2011CPlant Diversity4
BOT 2710CPractical Plant Taxonomy3
BOT 3151CLocal Flora of North Florida3
ENY 3005
Principles of Entomology
and Principles of Entomology Laboratory
ENY 4201Insect Ecology3
ENY 4202Ecology of Vector-Borne Disease2
ENY 4208Ecology and Conservation of Pollinators3
ENY 4161Insect Classification3
ENY 4210Insects and Wildlife3
ENY 4455CSocial Insects3
ENY 4571Honey Bee Biology3
FAS 4105CField Ecology of Aquatic Organisms3
FAS 4175Algae Biology and Ecology3
FAS 4270Marine Ecological Processes3
FAS 4271CInvasion Ecology of Aquatic Animals3
FAS 4274Freshwater Ecology3
FAS 4364Marine Adaptations: Environmental Physiology3
FNR 3131CDendrology/Forest Plants3
FOR 3153CForest Ecology3
FOR 3214
Fire Ecology and Management
and Fire Ecology and Management Laboratory
FOR 4110Ecology and Restoration of Longleaf Pine Ecosystems3
FOR 4934Topics in Natural Resources1-4
GEO 4300Environmental Biogeography3
PCB 2441Biological Invaders3
PCB 3063Genetics4
PCB 4674Evolution4
PCB 3601CPlant Ecology3
PLP 4653CBasic Fungal Biology4
PLS 3004CPrinciples of Plant Science3
VME 4013Aquatic Wildlife Health Issues3
VME 4016Manatee Health and Conservation3
WIS 3402
Wildlife of Florida
and Wildlife of Florida Laboratory
WIS 3410The Ecology of Climate Change3
WIS 3553CIntroduction to Conservation Genetics4
WIS 4203CLandscape Ecology and Conservation3
WIS 4454Ecology of Bird Introductions and Invasions3
WIS 4501Introduction to Wildlife Population Ecology3
ZOO 4050Animal Behavior3
ZOO 4205CInvertebrate Biodiversity4
ZOO 4307CVertebrate Biodiversity4
ZOO 4403CMarine Biology4
ZOO 4405Sea Turtle Biology and Conservation3
ZOO 4472CAvian Biology4
Human Dimensions
Select 6-15 credits
Any courses listed under Natural Resource Management, Environmental Ethics Core, Environmental Policy & Law Core, and Social Science Perspectives not counted towards the core requirement, as well as:
AEB 4085Agricultural Risk Management and the Law3
ALS 3940Challenge 2050: the Experience3
CLA 2521Classical Antiquity and Sustainability3
DCP 3210Sustainable Solutions for the Built Environment3
DCP 3220Social and Cultural Sustainability and the Built Environment3
FOR 3202Society and Natural Resources3
FYC 3401Introduction to Social and Economic Perspectives on the Community3
FYC 3521Community Food Systems3
GEA 2270Geography of Florida3
GEA 3500Geography of Europe3
GEA 3600Geography of Africa3
GEA 4465Amazonia3
GEO 2006Natural Hazards Geography3
GEO 2500Global and Regional Economies3
GEO 3315Hungry Planet: Global Geographies of Food3
GEO 3352The Human Footprint on Landscape3
GEO 3427Plants, Health and Spirituality3
GEO 3430Population Geography3
GEO 3502Economic Geography3
HIS 3465The Scientific Revolution3
PHC 4320Environmental Concepts in Public Health3
POS 2112American State and Local Government3
REL 3160Religion and Science3
SWS 4231CSoil, Water and Land Use3
SWS 4550Soils, Water and Public Health3
SWS 4932Special Topics in Soil and Water Science1-3
SYD 3395Sociology of Globalization3
SYO 4530Social Inequality3
SYA 4930Special Study (Climate Change & Society)3
SYA 4930Special Study (Introduction to Conservation Criminology)3
WOH 3404Global History of Energy3
Additional Skills and Concepts
Select 6-15 credits
Business Management & Finance
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Principles of Agribusiness Management
Program Development and Evaluation
The Legal Environment of Business
Business Finance
Principles of Management
Intermediate Microeconomics
Intermediate Macroeconomics
International Trade
Marine Protected Areas
Introductory GIS 1
Forest Resources Information Systems
Foundations of Geographic Information Systems
Geographic Information Systems
GIS in Soil and Water Science
Survey of Planning Information Systems
Environmental Technology
Introduction to Biofuels
Organic and Sustainable Crop Production
Additional Math and Statistics
Topics in Natural Resources
Survey of Calculus 1
Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1
Introduction to Statistics 2
Programming With Data in R
Natural Resource Sampling
Aerial Photo Interpretation
Environmental Soil and Water Monitoring Techniques
Methods of Social Research
Additional Concepts
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory
Energy and Environment
Environmental Science Internship
Environmental Education Program Development
Preview of Urban and Regional Planning
Extreme Weather

Students should not enroll in more than one of the following courses: FOR 3434C, GIS 3043, GIS 3072C, URP 4273, SWS 4720C.

Environmental Science is the science of humanity's role in natural systems, the basis of our economy. This program accesses courses university-wide and provides numerous opportunities for international study. Students will acquire reliable knowledge and interdisciplinary perspectives of complex environmental issues, gaining the full range of knowledge relevant to a professional understanding of complex environmental problems in the biological and physical sciences, ethics, economics, policy, and law.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Complete at least one course in each of the foundation areas.
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major will Learn To

Student Learning Outcomes | SLOs


  1. Apply acquired knowledge of basic terminology, concepts, methodologies, and theories in the physical and biological sciences that describe environmental systems.
  2. Apply acquired knowledge of essential concepts in the social sciences that describe human activity in the environment.

Critical Thinking

  1. Develop reasoned solutions to environmental problems through application of the scientific method.


  1. Communicate knowledge, ideas, and reasoning clearly, effectively, and objectively in both written and oral forms.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4
ENC 3254 I
EVS 3000 and EVS 3000L I I I R
EVS 4021 A A A A
Earth and Soil Sciences R
General Ecology R R
Environmental Ethics R R
Environmental Policy & Law R R
Global Systems R R
Hydrologic Systems R R
Natural Resource Management R R R
Resource Economics R R
Social Science Perspectives R R
Electives R R R R


  • Oral presentation or written essay