Environmental Studies students and faculty in the field

Environmental Science (B.S.)

Environmental Science majors focus on a study of the natural world. This involves taking courses in science, geography, history, sociology, politics, and philosophy - in order to understand the many ways in which factors like human activity, industrial growth, government policies, and social trends affect the environment. A concentration in Secondary Education leading to Massachusetts state teacher licensure is available to interested students.

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Environmental Science majors focus on a study of the natural world. This involves taking courses in science, geography, history, sociology, politics, and philosophy - in order to understand the many ways in which factors like human activity, industrial growth, government policies, and social trends affect the environment. Faculty members who are passionate about appreciating and preserving our natural resources infuse their courses with excitement and purpose, guiding students through critical research projects and training them to utilize state-of-the-art laboratory and field equipment. Through the Environmental Science program, students are encouraged to use their own research and experiences to create practical solutions to the environmental problems facing the globe today.

Listen to Dr. Mari Butler, Associate Professor of Arts and Sciences, discuss the courses she teaches in oceanography and in the environmental sciences, as well as the baby seal found on a Gloucester beach, in an interview on MSO Northshore web radio.

The dynamic and diverse ecosystems found right on campus - including ocean, marsh, stream, and forest systems - provide students with a living context for coursework and research. Environmental Science majors are able to translate their own observations into a working understanding of the environmental challenges that affect all of society from pollution and global warming to energy conservation and resource management.

Environmental Science with Secondary Education Teacher Licensure concentration: Students electing to become middle or high school teachers can select the concentration in Secondary Education with Teacher Licensure.

Curriculum Requirements - Total Credits Required: 127 -129


Freshman - Credits: 32

  • Individual and Society General Education Requirement    (Cr: 3)
BIO 130/130L - Principles of Ecology and Lab (Cr: 4)
Satisfies Science and Technology General Education Requirement
BIO 210 - Biostatistics (Cr: )
CHE 105/105L - General Chemistry I and Lab (Cr: 4)
CHE 106/106L - General Chemistry II and Lab (Cr: 4)
ENG 101 - College Writing Seminar (Cr: 3)
Satisfies Writing Designated Requirement
ENV 140 - Environmental Biology and Field Studies (Cr: 3)
INT 100 - Internship I (Cr: 2)
LST 100 - Seminar in Academic Inquiry (Cr: 3)
MTH 135 - Calculus I (Cr: 3)
Satisfies Quantitative Reasoning General Education Requirement

Sophomore - Credits: 34-35

  • Aesthetic Awareness and Creative Expression General Education Requirement   (Cr: 3)
  • Global Issues General Education Requirement   (Cr: 3)
  • Literary Perspectives General Education Requirement  (Cr: 3)
  • Values and Ethical Reasoning General Education Requirement  (Cr: 3)
  • Environmental Science Elective     (Cr: 3-4)
  • Elective    (Cr: 3)
ENV 212 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Cr: 3)
ENV 215/215L - Oceanography and Lab (Cr: 4)
ENV 220/220L - Environmental Science and Lab (Cr: 4)
ENV 313 - Modern Conservation: Principles and Practices (Cr: 3)
INT 200 - Internship II (Cr: 2)

Junior - Credits: 31-33

  • World Cultures General Education Requirement  (Cr: 3)
  • Environmental Science Electives  (Cr: 6-8)
  • General Education Elective (Cr: 3)
  • Electives  (Cr: 6)
CHE 306 - Chemical Analysis and Instrumentation (Cr: 3)
ENV 312 - Environmental Health (Cr: 3)
ENV 375 - Environmental Economics (Cr: 3)
ENV 379 - Semester Internship Strategies (Cr: 1)
POL 384 - Environmental Law (Cr: 3)

Senior - Credits: 30

  • General Education Electives    (Cr: 9)
    (two must be above the 100 level)
ENV 338 - Energy, Sustainability, and the Environment (Cr: 3)
ENV 480 - Semester Internship (Cr: 12)
ENV 489 - Senior Thesis I (Cr: 3)
ENV 490 - Senior Thesis II (Cr: 3)

Environmental Science Electives

Students choose three courses from the following list:

BIO 205 - Plant Biology (Cr: 3)
BIO 226 - Marine Biology and Biotechnology (Cr: 3)
BIO 242 - World Disease (Cr: 3)
BIO 292/292L - Microbiology and Lab (Cr: 4)
BIO 320/320L - Cell and Molecular Biology and Lab (Cr: 4)
BUS 365 - Business, The Environment, and Sustainability (Cr: 3)
CHE 207/207L - Organic Chemistry I and Lab (Cr: 4)
CHE 209/209L - Biochemistry and Lab (Cr: 4)
ENV 122/122L - Geology and Lab (Cr: 4)
ENV 216 - Natural Disasters and Catastrophes (Cr: 3)
HST 380 - Environmental History (Cr: 3)
ID 340 - Sustainability and Design (Cr: 3)
IST 325 - World Geography (Cr: 3)
LST 203 - Power of Place (Cr: 3)
PHL 310 - Bioethics (Cr: 3)
PHY 107/107L - Physics I and Lab (Cr: 4)
PHY 201/201L - Physics with Calculus I and Lab (Cr: 4)
POL 380 - Environmental Politics (Cr: 3)


Get Out There!

Examples of Recent Environmental Studies Major Internships:

Hawaii Wildlife Fund
NE MA Mosquito Control
The Nature Conservatory
Doyle Conservation Center
NOAA Fisheries
Long Point: The Trustees of the Reservations
Sierra Club
New England Aquarium
Seacoast Science Center


Field and Laboratory Research
Pollution/Water Quality Control Testing
Policy and Management
Environmental Law
Energy Sector
National and State Parks
Museums and Aquariums
Environmental Engineering
Environmental Protection
Natural Resource Management

Download Environmental Science Career Sheet for more options and information.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the environmental sciences, and the roles they play in the world today.
  2. Demonstrate learning and understanding of interdisciplinary study within the environmental sciences.
  3. Engage in methods of scientific inquiry.
  4. Apply learning through fieldwork, laboratory and internship experiences.
  5. Capitalize on the location and physical/natural aspects of the campus and the North Shore of Boston.
  6. Demonstrate relevant writing, communication and mathematics competencies and skills.
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Life Science Building
Dr. Christopher Tripler
Dr. Christopher Tripler sees students as valuable team members - in the classroom, in the field, and in his various research endeavors. Whether he's planting seedlings beside his students at a local organic farm or planning an Earth Day Fair with the members of the Endicott Environmental Society, Dr. Tripler draws students into activities that require them to consider the very real changes their local actions can make to the global ecology. In the summer of 2008, two Environmental Science majors worked with Dr. Tripler to study the effects of global warming on urban forests. This work and other ventures into which he invites students create educational experiences that have scientific value, global impact, and great personal significance.
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