University of Dubuque


Environmental Science - Curriculum

Environmental Science is by nature an interdisciplinary area of study concerned with the biological, hydrological, and geochemical processes and interactions that shape our natural environment. The increasing impact of human beings upon the natural world has resulted in a broad range of problems involving our natural resources and environmental quality. The solutions to these problems often require interdisciplinary understanding and problem solving abilities. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the Environmental Science academic program is broader than most other science programs and is designed to provide a unique integration of chemistry, geology and biology. The Environmental Science program will offer coursework that leads to a Bachelor of Science degree or a minor in Environmental Science.

Students Oliver deSilva and Mariah Husheena at Backbone State Park.


Goals and Objectives of Program
The goal of the Environmental Science program is to provide students with a broad-based, contemporary program of study which will provide them with the necessary technical and intellectual skills needed to work as an environmental professional or pursue graduate studies. Individual programs of study within the department can be structured to meet any of the following objectives:

  1. Preparation for further graduate study within the sciences;
  2. Development of a rigorous science background from which to pursue a career as an environmental science professional, or to prepare for graduate level training in a professional program such as law, planning, medicine, business, education, or environmental engineering;
  3. To provide a thorough grounding in a basic discipline as the principal component of a liberal arts education.

Program of Study
The Environmental Science major will consist of a minimum of 65 credit hours, which will include 20 credits of core requirements to be taken by all Environmental Science majors, a minimum of 21 credits to be selected from approved electives and 24 credit hours of supporting course work.The minor in Environmental Science will consist of 20 to 24 credit hours of Environmental Science coursework in a program chosen by the student and approved by the Faculty. The program must include EVS105 Introduction to Environmental Science and at least two core courses with laboratories and one advanced non-core course at the 300 or greater level.

Required core courses for the environmental science major will include: 

Introduction to Environmental Science

Applied Statistics and Research Methods


Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Geology and Hydrology

Senior Seminar

Total 20 Hours

The Environmental Science program requires related work in math and science. The required related work includes "one semester of calculus, basic physical geology with laboratory and two semesters of college level chemistry and biology with laboratories." The courses needed to fulfill this requirement include the following plus 21 credits of electives:

Physical Geology

General Zoology

General Botany

General Chemistry 1

General Chemistry 2

Calculus 1

Students meet with their departmental adviser and design the remainder of their program of study. This allows the student to develop an individualized area of study, a specialization, which will reflect their interests and career goals. For those students considering graduate school, a senior research project in their area of specialization is strongly recommended.