Overview

The B.S. degree in Ecosystem Science and Policy is recommended for students intending to attend graduate or professional schools in pursuit of research or academic careers (including secondary or higher education).  It is also suitable for those preparing for technical careers in government and private industries concerned with the environment. Students pursuing the B.S. 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 and school or college.  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.S. 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
or BIL 330 Ecology
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 credits of ECS electives (300-level or higher)6
Science Core Courses
ECS 312Environment Assessment3
or CET 240 Environmental Quality Control
or CET 340 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
A science course at the 110 level or above with lab (BIL, GSC, MSC, PHY) 14
Mathematics Courses
Select one of the following:8-9
Calculus I for Engineers
and Calculus II
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Calculus I
and Calculus II
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
Geographic Information Systems I (Choose one social science skills course)
3-CR Environmentally related social science course at 101-level or higher 23
6-CR Environmentally related social science course at 300-level or higher 26
Complete a STEM 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 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 STEM Minor

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
ECS 111 Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem 3
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
Language course #1 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring
ECS 112 Field Problems in Ecosystem Science and Policy 2
ECS 113 Introduction to Environmental Policy 3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
WRS 106, 107,
First-Year Writing II
or First-Year Writing II: STEM
or Writing About Literature and Culture
3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Two
Fall
ECS 201 Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues I 1
ECS 232 Ecological Principles and Environmental Applications 3
Env. related social science 101+ 3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
Language course #2 3
 Credit Hours13
Spring
ECS 312 Environment Assessment 3
ECS 204 Environmental Statistics 3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
Language course #3 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall
ECS 302 Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making 3
GEG 310 Geographic Information Systems I 3
Env. related social science course 300+ 3
Language Course #3 3
Elective or 2nd minor 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 301 Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective 3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
ECS elective 300-level 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate #1 3
Env. related social science course 300+ 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall
ECS 401 Internship 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate #2 3
Elective or 2nd minor 3
Elective or 2nd minor 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 403 Interdisciplinary Approaches 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate #3 3
Science course + lab 4
Elective or 2nd minor 3
Elective or 2nd minor 3
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study - with Second STEM Major

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
ECS 111 Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem 3
WRS 105 First-Year Writing I 3
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
Second major course + lab 4
 Credit Hours14
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
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
Second Major Course + Lab 4
 Credit Hours16
Year Two
Fall
ECS 201 Seminar Series in Contemporary Environmental Issues I 1
ECS 232 Ecological Principles and Environmental Applications 3
Science course and lab for ECS science core 4
Env. related social science 101+ 3
Language course #1 3
 Credit Hours14
Spring
ECS 312 Environment Assessment 3
ECS 204 Environmental Statistics 3
Language course #2 3
Second Major Course 3
Env. related social science course 300+ 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall
ECS 302 Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making 3
GEG 310 Geographic Information Systems I 3
Env. related social science 300+ 3
Second Major Course + Lab 4
Language Course #3 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring
ECS 301 Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective 3
Second Major Course 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate #1 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall
ECS 401 Internship 3
Second Major Course 3
Second Major Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate #2 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
ECS 403 Interdisciplinary Approaches 3
Second Major Course 3
Second Major Course 3
ECS Elective 300 level or higher 3
Arts & Humanities cognate #3 3
 Credit Hours15
 Total Credit Hours120

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 Science degree prepares students with knowledge in a broad background of environmental issues from a variety of perspectives, along with in-depth education in an additional field. Students earning a Bachelor of Science degree in ECS are also required to complete a minor in a STEM field (e.g., ATM, BIL, BPH, CHM, GSC, PHY or other approved department). Joint programs with engineering are also available. 

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.