Environmental Sciences in a Nutshell
If you love the outdoors, science and creating solutions, we hope you'll consider pursuing a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences at UVM. If you've considered an education where classroom encounters with world-renowned environmental scientists are heightened by hands-on field and service-learning opportunities, then this major may offer your perfect college experience.
Which college should I apply to?
A common concern of students who are considering the environmental sciences major is that of knowing whether to pursue the program through the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (RSENR) or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS). Indeed, the distinctions between the major offered through these three schools is subtle, and a student can usually shift between the three with little difficulty. In an attempt to demystify the differences between the programs, consider these principles:
- The Rubenstein school provides a degree with an environmental focus, so an environmental sciences major is balanced with a broad-based understanding of the environment. Learn more about the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.
- The College of Arts and Sciences provides a degree with a traditional liberal arts orientation, so the major in environmental sciences is pursued within the context of a liberal arts education. Learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences.
- The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides a degree in which the student pursuing the environmental sciences major is engaged in the application and understanding of the environment within the context of agricultural literacy. Learn more about the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Common core coursework
Students can elect to pursue the environmental sciences major through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Arts and Sciences, or The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. A common set of foundation courses (biology, chemistry, mathematics, and geology or plant and soil science) and core environmental sciences (ENSC) courses is a uniting experience between environmental sciences students in the three schools. Students then choose to concentrate in one of nine focus areas; this is where studies begin to branch out and differ.
Nine focus areas of environmental sciences
Environmental sciences students choose to concentrate in one of these nine focus areas (clicking on the focus area will take you to its course requirements, as offered in the "Resources" section of this site):
- Agriculture and the Environment: Impacts of agriculture on the environment and strategies for minimizing environmental degradation
- Conservation Biology and Biodiversity: Endangered species and ecosystems,and strategies for conserving the diversity of Earth's life forms
- Ecological Design: Use of ecological systems to improve environmental quality
- Environmental Analysis and Assessment: Techniques for measuring environmental impacts and managing environmental data
- Environmental Biology: Ecological and molecular analysis of endangered populations, phenomena affecting biological diversity, the interrelationship of organisms and their environments, and conservation genetics
- Environmental Chemistry: Analytical methods for measuring and monitoring air, ground, and water pollutants
- Environmental Geology: Earth science, geomorphology, and the analysis of ground water
- Environmental Resources: Environmental processes in air, soil, and water
- Water Resources: Global water supply and human impacts on surface waters
Our advising commitment to you
Advising is an important part of the environmental sciences program. We are wholly committed to assisting students with their plans for education and after. Majors are assigned a faculty advisor within the school of enrollment, and the relationships grow from there. From orientation events, picnics and meetings, students and advisors take the journey together.
Last modified February 18 2015 08:29 PM