Overview

The B.A. degree in Ecosystem Science and Policy is recommended in preparation for careers in law, government and business, including professional schools and careers in government and private industries concerned with the environment. Students pursuing the B.A. may choose to have the major fulfill either the STEM or People & Society cognate; they will need to complete the other cognate plus the Arts & Humanities cognate.  Students with a second major in another school or college should consult their advisors regarding requirements for that major.  Any course used to fulfill one ECS requirement cannot be used to fulfill another; however, courses other than the ECS core can be used to fulfill requirements for a cognate, minor, or second major.  Students whose primary college is Arts & Sciences are required to complete four courses designated as "Writing Intensive" (also known as "W") courses. Those seeking a B.A. degree in ECS must complete at least two, but as many as four, ECS courses designated as "W". These include ECS 113, ECS 301, ECS 302, ECS 402, and ECS 403  Up to two "W" courses may be selected from other departments. Students whose primary degree is in another school or college should follow its writing requirements. 

Curriculum Requirements

ECS Core Courses
ECS 111Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem3
ECS 112Field Problems in Ecosystem Science and Policy2
or ECS 114 Social research methods for Ecosystem Science and Policy
ECS 113Introduction to Environmental Policy3
ECS 201Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues I1
or ECS 202 Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues II
ECS 232Ecological Principles and Environmental Applications3
ECS 301Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective3
ECS 302Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making3
ECS 401Internship3
or ECS 402 Thesis
ECS 403Interdisciplinary Approaches3
6-CR ECS electives at 300-level or higher6
Science Core Courses
ECS 312Environment Assessment3
or CET 240 Environmental Quality Control
or CET 340 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
6-CR Environmentally related STEM 101-level or higher 16
3-CR Environmentally related STEM 200-level or higher 13
Mathematics Courses
MTH 108Precalculus Mathematics II (or higher)3
Select one of the following Statistics courses:3
Environmental Statistics
Environmental Statistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics for Non-Majors
Social Science Core Courses
GEG 310Geographic Information Systems I3
6-CR Environmentally related social science course from field different than chosen minor at 200-level or higher 26
Complete a People and Society or Arts and Humanities minor 312-18
Additional Required Courses
WRS 105First-Year Writing I3
WRS 106First-Year Writing II3
or WRS 107 First-Year Writing II: STEM
or ENG 106 Writing About Literature and Culture
Arts and Humanities or People and Society Cognate9
Language Courses9
Electives/Additional minor27
Total Credit Hours120
1

BIL, CHM, CSC, MIC, NEU, PHY, GSC, MSC, CAE, or approved

2

APY, ARC, ECO, ECS, GEG, HIS, INS, LAS, MAF, POL, PSY, SOC, EPS, COM, BPH, or approved

3

See list of current relative minors maintained by the program director.

Suggested Plan of Study - with Minor

In this plan, we are showing the case in which study abroad simply counts toward the total required for graduation, 120 credits.  However, study abroad courses generally can be used as courses for ECS, for a minor, or for cognates, in which case there would be additional electives opened up in subsequent semesters.  

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
ECS 111 Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem 3
MTH 108 Precalculus Mathematics II 3
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
Language Course 3
Env. related social science course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 112 Field Problems in Ecosystem Science and Policy 2
ECS 113 Introduction to Environmental Policy 3
WRS 106, 107,
First-Year Writing II
or First-Year Writing II: STEM
or Writing About Literature and Culture
3
Language Course 3
Env. related STEM 101+ 3
Env. related social science course 3
 Credit Hours17
Year Two
Fall
ECS 201 Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues I 1
ECS 232 Ecological Principles and Environmental Applications 3
ENV Related STEM Course 3
Env. related social science 300+ 3
Language Course 3
Minor Course 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring
ECS 301 Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective 3
GEG 310 Geographic Information Systems I 3
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
Minor Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall
Study Abroad 3
Study Abroad 3
Study Abroad 3
Study Abroad 3
 Credit Hours12
Spring
ECS 302 Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
Minor Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall
ECS 401 Internship 3
ENV Related STEM 200+ 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate Course 3
Minor Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 403 Interdisciplinary Approaches 3
ECS 312 Environment Assessment 3
Minor Course 1 3
Minor Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study - with Second Major 

In this plan, we are showing the case in which no courses from the second major (30 credits) are double counted with ECS.  However, some course may double count, in which case electives will be opened up. 

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
ECS 111 Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem 3
MTH 108 Precalculus Mathematics II 3
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
Language Course 3
Second Major Course 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 112 Field Problems in Ecosystem Science and Policy 2
ECS 113 Introduction to Environmental Policy 3
WRS 106 First-Year Writing II 3
Language Course 3
Env. related social science 200+
Second Major Course 3
 Credit Hours14
Year Two
Fall
ECS 201 Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues I 1
ECS 232 Ecological Principles and Environmental Applications 3
Env. related STEM 101+
Env. related social science 200+
Language Course 3
Second Major Course 3
 Credit Hours10
Spring
ECS 302 Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making 3
MSC 204 Environmental Statistics 3
GEG 310 Geographic Information Systems I 3
Env. related STEM 101+
Second Major Course 3
 Credit Hours12
Year Three
Fall
Second Major Course 3
Second Major Course 3
Env. Related STEM 200+ 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 301 Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective 3
Second Major Course 3
ENV Related social science 200+ 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall
ECS 401 Internship 3
Second Major Course 3
Second Major Course 3
Env. related social science 200+ 1 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 403 Interdisciplinary Approaches 3
ECS 312 Environment Assessment 3
Second Major Course 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours108

Mission

The mission of the Ecosystem Science and Policy (ECS) program is to educate the next generation of environmental leaders. Future leaders need to find ways to meet human demands, while protecting and restoring the natural environment that sustains us. As science increasingly demonstrates the complex interconnectedness of all the elements of natural systems, environmental decisions must take into account potential ecosystem-wide effects to be truly effective. Environmental scientists and nonscientist policy-makers, managers, and planners must communicate with each other in new and better ways as development and environmental policy decisions are made. The program offers two degrees, a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts.

Goals

The Bachelor of Arts degree prepares students with knowledge in a broad background of environmental issues from a variety of perspectives, along with in-depth education in a related area of specialization. Students earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in ECS carry out intensive study in social science approaches to environmental issues. 

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Scientific Knowledge: Students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of ecosystem science.
  • Policy Knowledge: Students will demonstrate an ability to evaluate the role of science and technology in society and demonstrate understanding of factors involved in the formulation and implementation of environmental policy.
  • Communication Skills: Students will demonstrate communication skills to convey information, orally and in writing, to both scientific and lay audiences.