Current Students:

See the Recommended Academic Plans for Environmental Field Studies and Environmental Lab Science for detailed course recommendations for each option and refer to the University Bulletin for course descriptions and more degree requirements. Or find other resources on the Current Students page.

Environmental Science Options

The Environmental Science major offers two options:  The Environmental Field Science option adds a concentration in field biology, geographic information systems, and environmental geoscience, while the Environmental Lab Science option emphasizes analytical chemistry and geochemistry. Further specialization is possible by adding a minor in a related area such as biology, chemistry, statistics, or sustainability leadership.

Prospective Students:

Below is a typical course sequence for the bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science program. 

Semester 1

  • First-Year Seminar (1 credit)
  • Biology: Basic Concepts and Biodiversity (4 credits)
  • Chemical Principles I (3 credits)
  • Experimental Chemistry I (1 credit)
  • Leadership in Sustainability (3 credits)
  • English Composition (3 credits)

Total Credits: 15

Semester 2

  • Biology: Populations and Community (4 credits)
  • Chemical Principles II (3 credits)
  • Experimental Chemistry II (1 credit)
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry I (4 credits)
  • Humanities Course (3 credits)

Total Credits: 15

Semester 3

  • Statistics (4 credits)
  • Calculus with Analytic Geometry II (4 credits)
  • Mapping Our Changing World (3 credits)
  • Applied Geographic Information Systems (1 credit)
  • The Earth System and Global Change (3 credits)
  • Health and Physical Activity (1.5 credits)

Total Credits: 16.5

Semester 4

  • Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry (3 credits)
  • Geographic Information Systems (3 credits)
  • Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)
  • Effective Speech (3 credits)
  • Elective (3 credits)

Total Credits: 15

Semesters 5, 6, 7, and 8

A range of Penn State Behrend courses is available to you in your third and fourth years. Your schedule will depend on your areas of focus and your interests.

  • Upper-Division Required Courses
    Biological Experimental Design; Effective Writing: Technical Writing; Case Studies in Environmental Analysis and Problem-Solving
  • Upper-Division Supporting Courses
    Introductory Physics I; General Physics: Mechanics; General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism; Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy; Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy; Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems; Economic Geography; Introduction to Environmental Geology; Hydrogeology; Ecology of Lakes and Streams; Environmental Chemistry and Analysis; Energy and the Environment; Energy Conservation for Environmental Protection; Energy and Modern Society; Natural Resources: Origins, Economics and Environmental Impact; Geology of Oil and Gas; Water Resources Geochemistry; Soil Environmental Chemistry; Introductory Microbiology; Quantitative Analysis; Environmental Chemistry and Analysis; Water Resources Geochemistry; The Organic Geochemistry of Natural Waters and Sediments; Natural Resources: Origins, Economics and Environmental Impact; Hydrogeology

This represents a typical course sequence; your schedule will vary depending on your interests. It is recommended that you consult your academic adviser before scheduling any courses. See for detailed degree requirements and course descriptions.