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Tackle global problems at national and local scales

Environmental Science and Sustainability Major B.S.

  • Opportunities for undergraduate research, internships, fieldwork and study abroad
  • Courses from across the university with a broad choice of individual focus
  • Preparation for careers in environmental resource management, governmental and non-governmental agencies, companies pursuing social responsibility, with a wide variety of roles from science to public policy
  • Flexibility in exploring sustainable initiatives in business and entrepreneurship
  • Preparation for graduate work such as environmental law or the Master of Science in Environmental Studies at Ohio University

Faculty Contact: Dr. Sarah Wyatt

Admissions Information

Degree Requirements & Sample 4-Year Program

Program Code: BS2109

Program Overview

Environmental Science and Sustainability is a multi-disciplinary program that provides scientific knowledge of the natural world, the living organisms that inhabit it, and social sciences at the core of sustainability. Students learn the scientific principles that underlie environmental issues, the effects of human actions, and the public policies and regulations that influence those actions.

The program is unique in its multi-disciplinary approach, drawing major requirements and electives from courses and expertise in 10 departments and programs across the College of Arts & Sciences, the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, and the College of Business. Students complete a core curriculum from a range of disciplines to provide a broad foundation in environmental science and sustainability issues and choose major electives from a variety of departments to tailor the program to their interests. Courses examine:

  • Biological and ecological systems
  • Global warming and effects of climate change
  • Land use and water management
  • Sustainability from different perspectives, from local issues in Appalachia to problems at the global level

Students who pursue this degree will be prepared for careers in environmental resource management, governmental and non-governmental agencies, companies pursuing social responsibility, with a wide variety of roles from science to public policy.

Careers & Graduate School

Students who pursue this degree will be prepared for careers in environmental resource management, governmental and non-governmental agencies, companies committed to being socially responsible, and a wide range of roles in science as well as public policy. Besides providing core science skills, the multi-disciplinary focus of the program offers flexibility in exploring sustainable initiatives in business and entrepreneurship. And it prepares students for graduate studies, particularly in areas related to environmental law or the Master of Science in Environmental Studies at Ohio University.

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Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Change of Program Policy: No selective or limited admission requirements.

External Transfer Admission: No requirements beyond University admission requirements.

Degree Requirements

  • Major code BS2109

University-wide Graduation Requirements

To complete this program, students must meet all University-wide graduation requirements.

College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences

View the College-Level Requirements for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Required Courses

Complete the following courses for a total of 43 credits:

  • PBIO 1000 - Plants and their Global Environment plus lab Credit Hours: 3+1
  • CAS 1415 - Introduction to Sustainability Credit Hours: 3
  • PBIO 1140 - Foundations of Plant Biology
    or BIOS 1700 and BIOS 1705 - Biological Science I and Biological Sciences plus lab Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOG 1100 - Physical Geography Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOL 2150 and GEOL 2020 - Environmental Geology and Introductory Geology Laboratory Credit Hours: 3+1
  • MATH 1350 - Survey of Calculus Credit Hours: 4
  • SOC 1000 - Introduction to Sociology Credit Hours: 3
  • CHEM 1210 or 1510- General Chemistry I Credit Hours: 4
  • CHEM 1220 or 1520 - General Chemistry II Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOG 2400 - Environmental Geography  Credit Hours: 3
  • PBIO 2090 - Plant Ecology Credit Hours: 3
  • ECON 1030 - Principles of Microeconomics Credit Hours: 3

Ethics Requirement

Complete the following course:

  • PHIL 3350 - Environmental Ethics Credit Hours: 3

Statistics Requirement

Choice one of the following courses:

  • PBIO 3150 - Statistical Methods in Plant Biology Credit Hours: 4
  • GEOG 2170 - Introduction to Statistics in Geography Credit Hours: 3
  • MATH 2500 - Introduction to Statistics Credit Hours: 3

Environmental Economics Requirement

Choice one of the following courses:

  • ECON 3130 - Economics of the Environment Credit Hours: 3
  • ECON 3010C - Economy of Altruism Credit Hours: 2
  • ECON 3350 - Energy Economics Credit Hours: 3
  • ECON 3510 - Agricultural Development Credit Hours: 3
  • MKT 4100 - Sustainability Marketing Credit Hours: 3

Social Equity/Justice Requirement

Choice one of the following courses:

  • GEOG 3410 - Geography of Hunger and Food Security Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4560 - The Just & Sustainable City Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 2300 - Social Inequalities and Social Change Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 4810 - Environmental Sociology Credit Hours: 3

Environmental Policy and Planning Requirement

Choice one of the following courses:

  • POLS 4840 - Politics of Sustainability Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 3620 - Environmental Science and Public Policy Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4710 - Bioenergy: Science, Policy and Business Credit Hours: 3
  • POLS 4250 - Environmental and Natural Resource Politics and Policy Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4520 - Environmental and Sustainability Planning Credit Hours: 3

Experiential Learning Requirement

Choice one of the following courses:

  • PBIO 4940 - Undergraduate Research Credit Hours: 2
  • GEOG 4942 - Research Experience in Environmental Geography Credit Hours: 2
  • PBIO or GEOG 4910 – Internship Credit Hours: 2
  • ES 4832 - Sustainability Implementation Practicum Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4910 - Environmental Studies Leadership Experience Credit Hours: 2

Major Electives

Choose four courses from at least two departments, with a minimum of two courses at the 3000 or 4000 level, totaling 14-17 credits:

  • BIOS 2200 - Conservation & Biodiversity Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 2680 - Introduction to GIS & Mapping Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 2710 - Water Resource & Sustainability Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 2310 - Water and Pollution Credit Hours: 3
  • PBIO 2060 - Sustainable Agriculture Credit Hours: 3
  • BIOS or GEOG 3160 - Biogeography Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3020 - Climatology Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3150 Landforms and Landscapes Credit Hours: 3
    or GEOL 3300 - Geomorphology Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3300 - Geography of Europe Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3310 - Geography of Africa Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3330 - Appalachia: Land and People Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3350 - Geography of Latin America Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3430 - Global Issues in Environment Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3440 - Agricultural Ecosystems Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3450 - Access to Water in a Changing World Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 3580 - Environmental Hazards Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 3060 - Geodata Analysis for Geological Sciences Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 3700 - Groundwater Fundamentals and Practices Credit Hours: 3
  • PBIO 3220 - Tropical Ecology Credit Hours: 3
  • PBIO 3260 - Plant Ecophysiology Credit Hours: 4
  • PBIO 3330 - Restoration Ecology Credit Hours: 3
  • REC 3550 - Principles of Ecotourism Credit Hours: 3
  • SOC 3090 - Sociology of Appalachia Credit Hours: 3
  • PBIO 4380 - Soil Properties and Ecosystems Processes Credit Hours: 4
  • BIOS 4310 - Aquatic Biology Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4250  - Watershed Management Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4300 - Field Methods in ES Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4610 - Resilience Theory and Practice Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4720 - Energy Systems and Policy Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4730 - Environmental Entrepreneurship Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4170 - Landscape Ecology Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4660 - Remote Sensing Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4450 - Gender, Environment and Development Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOG 4470 - Natural Resource Conservation Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 4270 - Water Geochemistry Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 4750 - Watershed and Stream Hydrology Credit Hours: 3
  • GEOL 4800 - Hydrogeology Credit Hours: 3

Capstone Requirement

Choice one of the following courses:

  • T3 4850 - Sustainability Citizenship Credit Hours: 3
  • T3 4080 - Environmentalism in America Credit Hours: 3
  • T3 4010 - Climate Change and Public Health Credit Hours: 3
  • ES 4500 - Environmental Studies Capstone Credit Hours: 3

Advanced Writing Recommendation

Suggested course to meet J course requirement or Advanced Writing requirement, depending on applicable General Education requirements for the student:

  • ENG 3100J - Environment and Sustainability Writing Credit Hours: 3