General Requirements for the Major in Environmental Science

Environmental Science Major and Environmental Studies Major
Westminster College boosts two interdisciplinary programs that provide the knowledge, skills and perspectives needed to understand, address and resolve the environmental challenges of our global society.  The two programs have similar degree requirements but with different emphases.  The Environmental Science major’s core curriculum of natural and earth sciences is rounded out by selected courses in environmental policy, ethics, and economics.  Conversely, the Environmental Studies major emphasizes political, economic and social/cultural aspects of the human impact on the natural environment, while still grounding students in fundamentals of the natural and earth sciences. 

Students in both programs are required to complete two capstone experiences: an Internship (ENV 399) and the Environmental Assessment (ENV 405) course.  Internships, which may be completed on or off-campus, allow students to work alongside resource professionals in fields related to the student’s career interest.  Students gain first-hand experience with environmental issues of the day while developing important professional contacts.  During their Junior or Senior year, students complete the Environmental Assessment course.  In this course, students work collaboratively to research and evaluate a campus, local, or regional environmental issue.  The outcomes of this research are presented to the College community, allowing students to practice their communication skills.  This course gives students in-depth practice in the field of Environmental Studies and allows them to integrate knowledge and skills gained in the classroom and during the internship.

Professors: Amspoker, Langton, Young
Associate Professors: Goldin, Geenen
Assistant Professor: Unger

Contact:  Dr. Alan Goldin, Coordinator
Phone:  (573) 592-5015
Fax:  (573) 592-5206


Required Courses: (17)

ENV 105 Intro to Environmental Science 3 hrs.
        OR ENV/BIO 350 Conservation Biology 3 hrs.
BIO 205 Ecology and Field Biology 4 hrs.
GEO 310 Introductory Soil Science 4 hrs.
ENV 399 Internship 3 hrs.
ENV 405 Environmental Assessment 3 hrs.

Social Sciences: Choose 2 of the following (6)

POL 326 Environmental Politics and Policy  3 hrs.
PHL 246 Environmental Ethics  3 hrs.
ECN 3xx Environmental and Resource Economics  3 hrs.

Choose 1 course from each of the following areas: (13-15) Geology (4)

GEO 108 Introduction to Physical Geology                        4 hrs.
GEO 116 Environmental Geology 4 hrs.

Water/Landscape (3)

ENV/BIO 340 Wetlands                                                   3 hrs.
GEO 325 Geomorphology 3 hrs.
GEO 327 Weather and Climate 3 hrs.
GEO 305 Hydrogeology 3 hrs.

Ecology (3-4)

ENV/BIO 345 Forest Resources and Management 3 hrs.
BIO 208 Functional Plant Morphology 4 hrs.
BIO 308 Taxonomy and Systematics of the Flowering Plants 4 hrs.
BIO 315 Entomology 4 hrs.
BIO 3xx Ornithology 4 hrs.
GEO 320/321 Geology and Environment of National Parks 4 hrs.
BIO 320/321 Biology in Belize 4 hrs.

Other required courses (22-24)

BIO 124/125 Biodiversity                                              4 hrs.
BIO 114/115 Biological Processes 4 hrs.
CHM 114/115 General Chemistry I 4 hrs.
CHM 124/125 General Chemistry II

4 hrs.

MAT 114 Statistics

3 hrs.

MAT 121 Pre-Calculus

3 hrs.

      OR MAT 122 Business Calculus 3 hrs.
      OR MAT 124 Calculus I 3 hrs.

Collateral Courses for the Major in Environmental Science

MAT 114 Elementary Statistics 3 hrs.
MAT 121 Pre-Calculus or 3 hrs.
MAT 124 Calculus I hrs.
CHM 114 General Chemistry I hrs.
CHM 115 General Chemistry Lab hrs.
CHM 124 General Chemistry II hrs.
CHM 125 General Chemistry II Lab hrs.
BIO 110 Biodiversity hrs.
BIO 112 Biological Processes hrs.
BIO 205 Ecology and Field Biology hrs.

Suggested Electives for the Major in Environmental Science

Other ENV/GEO courses as offered:

GEO 330 (4) Applications of Geographic Information Systems
GEO 320/321 (4) Geology and Environment of the National Parks

BIO 320 (4) Biology of Belize
PHY 105 Introduction to Physics
PHY 201 (4) Physics I
AST 211 (3) Astronomy

Note: Since the Environmental Science Program is viewed as a broad curriculum, it is strongly suggested that students take a Minor in a related field, such as Biology, Chemistry, Economics, or Political Science.

Suggested Schedule for the Major in Environmental Science

1st Semester #credits 2nd Semester #credits
WSM 101 3 CHM 124/5 4
ENG 103 4 BIO 114/115 4
MAT 114 or 313 3/5 ENV 105 (or 4th Sem) 3
CHM 114/5 4 GEN ED 3
Total Hours 15/17 Total Hours 17
3rd Semester #credits 4th Semester #credits
GEO 108 4 GEO 110 4
BIO 125/125 4 MAT 121 or MAT 124 3/5
GEN ED 3 GEO 101 (or 2nd Sem) 3
GEN ED 3 Group A Course 3
Total Hours 17 Total Hours 16 or 18
5th Semester #credits 6th Semester #credits
GEO 310 4 ENV 4053 3
GEN ED 3 POL 326 3
Group A Course 3 Group A Course 3
Total Hours 16 Total Hours 15
Junior and Senior years could be reversed.
7th Semester #credits 8th Semester #credits
BIO 205 4 GEO 305 3
GEO 3xx 4 ENV 399 3
Elective 3 Elective 3
Total Hours 16 Total Hours 15
Note: Because some courses are offered every other spring, students may have to switch Junior and Senior years. Generally ENV 399 (Internship) will be taken the summer after Semester 6.
Group A Courses
PHL 246 REL 324
ECN 305 GEO 101
ENG 335