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
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
ECS electives at the 300 level or higher6
In addition, students must take the following courses, which may fulfill cognate or second major requirements:
Science Core Courses
A science course at the 110 level or above with lab (BIL, GSC, MSC, PHY)4
CAE 240Environmental Pollution3
or CAE 340 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CHM 121
CHM 113
Principles of Chemistry
and Chemistry Laboratory I
5
Complete a STEM minor12-18
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
Select one of the following Economics/Political Science courses for BS:3
Topics in Environmental Economics and Development
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Global Economics
Poverty and the Environment
Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
Introduction to American National Government
Introduction to Comparative Politics
Introduction to International Relations
Choose one social science skills course3
Geographic Information Systems I (Choose one social science skills course)
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Additional Required Courses
ENG 105English Composition I3
ENG 106English Composition II3
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
Language Courses9
Electives/Additional minor25
Total Credit Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study - with STEM Minor

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
ECS 111 Introduction to the Earth's Ecosystem 3
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
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
ENG 106 English Composition II 3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
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
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
Elective or STEM minor course 3
Language course #2 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
CAE 240 Environmental Pollution 3
Elective or STEM minor course 3
ECO or POL Course 3
ECS 204 Environmental Statistics 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
ECO or POL course 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
Elective or 2nd minor 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 Hours122

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
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
Second major course + lab 4
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
 Credit Hours14
Spring
ECS 112 Field Problems in Ecosystem Science and Policy 2
ECS 113 Introduction to Environmental Policy 3
ENG 106 English Composition 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
Second Major Course + Lab 4
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
Language course #1 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring
CAE 240 Environmental Pollution 3
ECS 204 Environmental Statistics 3
Language course #2 3
Second Major Course 3
ECO or POL course 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall
ECS 302 Perspectives on Environmental Decision Making 3
GEG 310 Geographic Information Systems I 3
Second Major Course + Lab 4
Language Course #3 3
 Credit Hours13
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 + Lab 4
Second Major Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate #2 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours16
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.