Bachelor of Arts

Environmental Science is the study of people’s role in our natural systems. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the Environmental Science program approaches complex environmental issues across multiple perspectives. Environmental Science students study ecology, soil and water sciences, and natural resource management as well as environmental ethics, economics, policy, and law.

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 environmental science degree approaches complex environmental issues with reliable knowledge and interdisciplinary perspectives, and provides the full range of knowledge relevant to complex environmental problems. This includes biological and physical sciences, ethics, economics, policy and law.

The degree prepares graduates for jobs in environmental consulting companies, government environmental offices or land and water management agencies, or non-government organizations. About one-third of environmental science students advance to graduate or professional degree programs. The combination of the school's broad undergraduate degree with a subsequent degree is highly marketable.

The school also offers a combination-degree program offering a bachelor's degree in environmental science and a Master of Science in interdisciplinary ecology.

Core Requirements for Both Degrees

Students take a core of courses, including a general course in environmental science and courses in ethics, ecology, chemistry, earth science, global science, hydrologic systems, and policy and natural resource management.

The core provides 31-32 credits of coursework in physical, biological and social sciences. The B.S. and B.A. tracks are similar. The B.S. includes one course in policy and one in organic chemistry; the B.A. includes two policy courses and no organic chemistry.

Beyond the core requirement, each student selects 21-27 additional credits from electives for the major. During the fourth year, all students take a capstone course where critical thinking skills are developed.

The freshmen and sophomore years lay a foundation of coursework for building later expertise. Students need to know the natural sciences of physics, chemistry and biology, with laboratory experience in each area. Study of microeconomics and macroeconomics are required to understand the human economy. Introductory statistics empowers students to independently evaluate sets of numbers. College algebra and an introduction to calculus enable students to work with rates of change, the heart of ecological science.

Coursework in the core of the major provides a base of common knowledge and experience in subjects essential to environmental science. Then students diverge into electives chosen according to individual interest. Senior-year students return to a common course that develops 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.

The preprofessional courses for the Bachelor of Science prepare students for a more science-oriented major. The requirements for the Bachelor of Arts include less chemistry, physics and mathematics, in preparation for a major that is more focused on the sociopolitical aspects of environmental science.

Required Foundation Course
EVS 3000
3000L
Environmental Science
and Environmental Science Laboratory
4
Environmental Ethics
Select one:3
Agricultural and Natural Resource Ethics (Gen Ed Humanities or Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Ethics and Ecology (Gen Ed Humanities)
Environmental Ethics and Politics
Environmental Ethics (Gen Ed Humanities)
Religion Ethics and Nature (Gen Ed Humanities)
Ecology
Select one:3-4
Agricultural Ecology
Forest Ecology (Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
Plant Ecology
General Ecology (Gen Ed Biological Sciences)
Organic Chemistry
Select one for the B.S.; B.A. select none:0-4
Elementary Organic and Biological Chemistry
Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry
Phase Partitioning in the Environment
Organic Chemistry 1
Earth and Soil Science
Select one:3-4
Physical Geography
and Physical Geography Laboratory (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Physical Geology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences, B.S. only)
Environmental and Engineering Geology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Historical Geology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences; B.S. only)
Introduction to Soils in the Environment
and Introduction to Soils in the Environment Laboratory (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Soil, Water and Land Use (Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1
Global Systems
Select one:3
Extreme Weather
Climatology (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
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
Wetlands
Water Resource Sustainability
Environmental Policy
Select one for the B.S.; B.A. select two:3-6
Agricultural and Natural Resource Law
International Development Policy (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences)
Natural Resource Policy and Economics
Politics of the World Economy
International Institutions (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences and International)
Natural Resource Management
Select one:3
Environment, Food and Society
Agricultural and Environmental Quality
Energy and Environment (Gen Ed Physical Sciences; B.A. only)
Introduction to Fishery Science
Forests, Conservation and People
Foundations of Natural Resources and Conservation
Forest Economics and Management (Gen Ed Physical Sciences)
Park Management
Principles of Plant Science
Soil, Water and Land Use (Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1
Special Topics in Soil and Water Science (Forest and Soil Ecosystem Services)
Required Capstone Course
EVS 4021Critical Thinking in Environmental Science3
Total Credits28-38

Preprofessional Requirements for Both Degrees

Each student must fulfill preprofessional requirements that differ slightly for the B.S. and B.A. degrees. These consist of courses in chemistry, physics, biology, calculus, statistics and economics, totaling 39-46 (typically 43) credits for the B.S. and 31-39 (typically 34) credits for the B.A.

In addition to the preprofessional requirements, all students are responsible for completing the university's general education and the writing requirement.

Certain preprofessional requirements simultaneously satisfy 18-21 credits (depending on courses selected) of the general education mathematics, physics, biology, and social and behavioral science. Remaining general education requirements include 15-18 credits (depending on preprofessional courses taken) in composition, humanities and social and behavioral sciences.

The 12 credits of writing requirements include 3-12 credits taken for general education and preprofessional requirements, depending on selections. The six credits of math requirements are satisfied by preprofessional requirements.

For efficiency, freshmen should seek to maximize overlap of preprofessional requirements with general education and the writing requirement, as outlined below:

  • Science preprofessional requirements satisfy up to 12 credits of physical and biological sciences (the basic nine-credit requirement plus the variable three credits from a category). Students should allocate the variable three credits to physical and biological sciences to reduce the humanities requirement from nine to six credits.
  • Economics preprofessional requirements satisfy up to eight of the nine-credit social and behavioral sciences requirement (eight if satisfied with ECO 2013 and ECO 2023; four if satisfied with AEB 3103).
  • Policy preprofessional requirement (POS 2041) for B.A. students satisfies the remaining social and behavioral sciences requirement. B.S. students can satisfy the remaining social and behavioral sciences requirement with certain core courses, under ethics (AEB 4126) and policy.
  • Satisfying the preceding requirements leaves 18 credits: six for humanities, three for composition and nine for writing.
  • Students should take humanities, composition and writing courses that also satisfy the three-credit international studies requirement, such as LIT 2110 or LIT 2120, and the three-credit diversity requirement with a REL 2388 or WST 2611 overlap.

Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental science focuses on the social sciences that connect the natural sciences and engineering to society.

Electives in the areas of policy, law, public administration and resource economics make this the preferred specialization for students interested in advancing to law school or to the policy aspects of environmental consulting and public agency work.

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, excluding labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 3

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses, excluding labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 4

  • Complete 2 additional critical-tracking courses, excluding labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 5

  • Complete all 9 critical-tracking courses, including labs
  • 2.0 GPA required for all critical-tracking courses
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

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

Semester 7

  • Complete at least 2 core classes
  • 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) 3
BSC 2005
2005L
Biological Sciences
and Laboratory in Biological Sciences (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Biological and Physical Sciences)
4
MAC 1147 Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Mathematics) 1 4
Gen Ed Composition (according to placement) 3
 Credits14
Semester Two
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
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
State Core Gen Ed Humanities with Diversity or International 3
Elective 3
 Credits16
Semester Three
Quest 2 (Gen Ed International or Diversity) 3
CHM 2045
2045L
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences) 2
4
ECO 2023 Principles of Microeconomics (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 4
Select one: 3
Introduction to Principles of Physics (Critical Tracking) 3  
Applied Physics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 3  
 Credits14
Semester Four
CHM 2046
2046L
General Chemistry 2
and General Chemistry 2 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Biological Sciences and Physical Sciences)
4
EVS 3000
3000L
Environmental Science
and Environmental Science Laboratory
4
POS 2041 American Federal Government (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3
Elective 3-4
 Credits14-15
Semester Five
Earth and soil science elective 4 3-4
Ecology elective 4 3-4
Environmental ethics elective 4 3
Environmental policy elective 4 3-4
Elective 3
 Credits15-18
Semester Six
Environmental law elective 4 3-4
Environmental policy elective 4 3-4
Global systems elective 4 3
Hydrologic systems elective 4 3-4
Natural resource management elective 4 3
 Credits15-18
Semester Seven
Environmental policy/public administration elective 4 3-4
Environmental policy/public administration elective 4 3
Resource economics elective 4 3-4
Electives for the major 4 6
 Credits15-17
Semester Eight
EVS 4021 Critical Thinking in Environmental Science (Critical Tracking) 3
Electives for the major 4 9
Electives 5
 Credits17
 Total Credits120

9 courses | 27 credits

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.

Environmental Law
Select one:
AEB 4085Agricultural Risk Management and the Law3
AEB 4123Agricultural and Natural Resource Law3
BUL 4310The Legal Environment of Business4
Environmental Policy/Public Administration
Select two:
AEB 4283International Development Policy 13
PAD 3003Introduction to Public Administration3
POS 4931Special Topics (Environmental Politics in the Global South)3
PUP 4224Florida Environmental Politics3
Resource Economics
AEB 3450Introduction to Natural Resource and Environmental Economics 13
ECP 3302Environmental Economics and Resource Policy4
Other Electives
Select five:
ACG 2021Introduction to Financial Accounting4
AEB 3133Principles of Agribusiness Management3
AEB 3300Agricultural and Food Marketing3
AEB 4085Agricultural Risk Management and the Law3
AEB 4123Agricultural and Natural Resource Law3
AEB 4242International Trade Policy in Agriculture3
AEB 4283International Development Policy (Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 13
AEB 4343International Agribusiness Marketing3
AEC 3030CEffective Oral Communication3
AEC 3033CResearch and Business Writing in Agricultural and Life Sciences (Writing Requirement)3
AEC 3073Intercultural Communication3
AEC 3414Leadership Development3
AEC 4052Communication Campaign Strategies in Agricultural and Life Sciences3
AEC 4500Program Development and Evaluation3
ALS 3133Agricultural and Environmental Quality3
AMH 4930History Research Seminar: US (Florida Environmental History)3
ANT 3141Development of World Civilization3
ANT 3514CIntroduction to Biological Anthropology4
ANT 4403Environment and Cultural Behavior3
BOT 2011CPlant Diversity4
BOT 3151CLocal Flora of North Florida3
DEP 3053Developmental Psychology3
ECO 3101Intermediate Microeconomics4
ECO 3203Intermediate Macroeconomics4
ECO 3532Public Choice4
EDF 3110Human Growth and Development3
EDF 4430Measurement and Evaluation in Education3
EES 4316Industrial Ecology3
ENC 3250Professional Communication3
ENC 3310Advanced Exposition3
ENC 3312Advanced Argumentative Writing3
EVR 3323Introduction to Ecosystem Restoration4
EVS 4949Environmental Science Internship1-3
FIN 3403Business Finance4
FNR 3131CDendrology/Forest Plants3
FNR 4070CEnvironmental Education Program Development3
FNR 4343CForest Water Resources3
FNR 4623CIntegrated Natural Resource Management3
FNR 4660Natural Resource Policy and Economics3
FOR 3202Society and Natural Resources3
FOR 3214Fire Ecology and Management2
FOR 3214LFire Ecology and Management Laboratory1
FOR 4664Sustainable Ecotourism Development3
FOS 4731Government Regulations and the Food Industry2
FYC 3401Introduction to Social and Economic Perspectives on the Community3
GEO 3315Geography of Crop Plants3
GEO 3352The Human Footprint on Landscape3
GEO 3427Plants, Health and Spirituality3
GEO 3502Economic Geography3
GIS 3043Foundations of Geographic Information Systems4
INR 4035Rich and Poor Nations in the International System3
INR 4350International Environmental Relations3
JOU 3101Reporting3
JOU 4308Magazine and Feature Writing3
LEI 3120Introduction to Outdoor Recreation and Parks3
LEI 4321Ecotourism3
MAN 3025Principles of Management4
MMC 2100Writing for Mass Communication3
POS 2112American State and Local Government3
POS 4674Political Change and Legal Development3
POT 3503Environmental Ethics and Politics3
SWS 4245Water Resource Sustainability 13
SWS 4550Soils, Water and Public Health3
SWS 4932Special Topics in Soil and Water Science (Forest and Soil Ecosystem Services)3
SYA 4930Special Study (Social Institutions and Environment)3
SYD 3410Urban Sociology3
SYD 4020Population3
SYD 4021U.S. Population Issues3
SYO 4530Social Inequality3
URP 4000Preview of Urban and Regional Planning3
URP 4273Survey of Planning Information Systems3
WIS 4523Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Conservation3
ZOO 4205CInvertebrate Biodiversity4
ZOO 4307CVertebrate Biodiversity4
ZOO 4403CMarine Biology (counts as one or two courses)4
ZOO 4472CAvian Biology4

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)

Content

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

Critical Thinking

  1. Apply the scientific method to develop reasoned solutions to environmental problems.

Communication

  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
EVS 3000 and EVS 3000L I I I I
EVS 4021 A A A A
Earth and Soil Sciences R
Ecology R R R
Environmental Ethics R R R
Environmental Policy R R R
Global Systems R
Hydrologic Systems R
Human Dimensions R R R
Natural Resource Management R R R

Assessment Types

  • Oral presentation or written essay