Prospective Majors

Exploring the Major

It is best to explore our major as early as possible because, like any science, a sequence of prerequisite course work is needed to move to advanced work in Environmental Sciences. Exploration can begin by taking one or more of our lower division courses (1000–2000 level) or reviewing our advising materials. One lower division course (non-core) can be counted toward the major if it is taken prior to major declaration. Both the B.A. and the B.S. degree require courses in ‘related sciences’ (other science and mathematics classes). Students who anticipate electing the B.S. option are encouraged to begin their coursework in related sciences during the first year.

Much more information about upcoming courses, advising, and careers can be found in the Major’s Newsletter , which is updated every semester prior to advising week. A listing of all Environmental Sciences courses, as well as course offerings for upcoming semesters, can be found here.  Our faculty are all interested in talking with students, so please consult any of your course instructors or any of our faculty for advice regarding course selection or other academic issues.

Declaring the Major

There are no required prerequisites that need to be taken before declaring the Environmental Sciences major. You may declare the major at any time, and we strongly encourage you to declare the major as soon as possible so that we can assure that you receive appropriate advising guidance from Department faculty.

The first decision a prospective major needs to make is whether to enroll in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree program. Both degrees provide an excellent basis for post-graduate education. The B.A. also serves as a foundation for graduate work in professional programs such as law, planning, or business. The B.S. is more appropriate for students who anticipate a career as a research scientist, or who suspect they might pursue graduate education in disciplinary fields, environmental engineering, or environmental science positions in the private sector.

The main differences between the two degrees involve the number of credit hours for the major and the required hours of related science and math.

  B.A. B.S.
EVSC Credit hours 30 graded credits 40 graded credits
Calculus requirement Math 1190, 1210, or 1310 Math 1310 and 1320 (or 1220)
Related Science Two semesters of biology, chemistry, OR physics with labs One semester each of chemistry, biology AND physics with labs plus two additional math/science courses, one with a lab.
EVSC core courses Atmospheric sciences, ecology, geosciences, and hydrology with labs Atmospheric sciences, ecology, geosciences, and hydrology with labs
Upper-level course with lab None One



  1. Log on to and select “Declaration of Major and Minor Form (Docusign)" on the gray banner on the left.  Fill out the top portion of the form.
  2. Set up a meeting with one of the faculty members listed below by sending them an email. If these times don’t work for you, please contact Robert Davis (

    Robert Davis
    386B New Clark
    924-0579, red3u [at]
    Monday, 2:30–4:00 p.m.

    Charity Nyelele
    212 Clark
    924-0563, hbt3mb [at]
    Tuesday, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

    Matt Reidenbach
    356 Clark
    243-4937, mar5jj [at]
    Wednesday, 10–11 a.m.

    Lauren Miller
    205 Clark
    924-3964, lauren.miller [at]
    Thursday, 2–3 p.m.

3. Be prepared by having a semester-by-semester tentative plan to fulfill the requirements of the major.  In consultation with you, you will be assigned an academic advisor in the Environmental Sciences Department.
Because there is no penalty in the College for changing your major, it is in your best interest to declare our major as early as possible so that can have access to the best possible advising.

Majors Seminar

EVSC 4002 is an undergraduate seminar for current and prospective Environmental Sciences majors. This one-credit seminar introduces the University community to issues, research, and career opportunities in Environmental Sciences. Note that because this is a non-graded course, it does not count toward the major.

Advanced Placement Credit

Three credit hours toward EVSC 1010, Introduction to Environmental Sciences, will be granted for achieving a 4 or 5 on the Environmental Sciences Advanced Placement Course exam.

AP credits may also be applied toward the related math and science requirements. Although the University does not grant laboratory credit for AP courses, the Department waives the lab requirement for courses for which AP credit is granted, based upon review of the syllabus and course materials for the laboratory portion of the course.

Credits from Other Departments or Schools

Please see the separate page on Transfer Credits

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found at