3240 Environmental Science

Program Offered:

  • Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Environmental Science

Faculty Coordinator: Rebekah Chapman, rchapman@gsu.edu

The BIS in Environmental Science program provides a foundation in the physical and life sciences, policy, and global and urban sustainability issues. This concentration emphasizes a broad-based course of study, exposing students to the complex social and scientific processes involved in understanding and addressing environmental issues. Students are encouraged to develop specific areas of focus depending on their future goals (e.g., graduate school, government agencies, and environmental consulting firms).

Program Admission

Students may enroll in a concentration upon admission to Georgia State University. Students who wish to change their major to this degree program should select a concentration in consultation with their academic advisor and the faculty coordinator. A 2.0 Georgia State University GPA is required.

Students who enroll in a concentration will be required to submit a course plan checklist to demonstrate their understanding of the degree requirements. It is highly recommended that students develop a course of study with their specific faculty coordinator before taking coursework in the degree program to avoid taking courses that will not count towards graduation.

Academic Advisement for Undergraduate Students

Academic advisement for undergraduate students is provided through the University Advisement Center (freshman through junior status/fewer than 90 hours) and the college’s Office of Academic Assistance (senior status/90 or more hours). See section 3040 for additional information.

Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Arts students should also consult regularly with the faculty program coordinator for the specific program regarding course selection, program plans, experiential learning, and other academic opportunities.

Program Degree Requirements

Please refer to the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies section 3030.30 of this catalog for academic regulations for this program.

Students must complete coursework in at least three disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area G and in at least two disciplines in Area H.  Areas G and H should be constructed so that students take courses in distinct disciplines in each area (with some overlap expected); that is, the same prefix should not predominate in both Area G and H.

In addition to the Program Degree Requirements, students must fulfill the College of Arts and Sciences Degree Requirements (see section 3030) and the University Degree Requirements (see section 1400).

B.I.S. in Environmental Science

Area A: 

  1. Recommended Course: MATH 1113 Precalculus (3) or any higher-level mathematics course. MATH 1113 recommended.

Area C:

  1. Recommended: World language at the 1002 level or higher (3)

Area D: 

  1. Recommended courses: BIOL 1103K Introductory Biology I (4) and BIOL 1104K Introductory Biology II (4)
  2. Recommended course: Any one math not taken in Area A from the following choices: MATH 1070, MATH 1220, MATH 2201, MATH 2202, MATH 2211, MATH 2212 (or any higher level math). For any four credit-hour course, three hours are applied to Area D and one credit hour is applied to Area F.

Area F: Courses Appropriate to the Major (18)

Please discuss Area F selections with program coordinator or your academic advisor, as many of the options below are prerequisites for upper-level courses.

  1. Required courses (if not taken in Areas C or D) (16):
    1. World language at the 1002 level or higher (3)
    2. Select one geosciences lab sequence (8):
    3. Select one biology lab sequence (8):
  2. Select additional courses from the list below to complete 18 hours in Area F. (Please discuss these choices with your academic advisor to be certain you are taking the prerequisites necessary for Areas G and H.)
  • All courses above ending in K are commonly offered as separate lecture and lab (L) courses by GSU’s Perimeter College. The combined (K) courses and separate lecture and lab (L) courses cover the same subject matter and are considered equivalent courses.
  • Any credit hours exceeding 18 earned to complete the Area F requirements will count toward elective hours.

Area G: Area of Concentration — Foundations of Environmental Science and Sustainability (27-34)

Students must complete coursework in at least three disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area G. Some of the Area G courses listed below are also in Area H. They may only count in one place.

  1. Required of all BIS Environmental Science Majors (9)
    1. Geosciences. Select one course:
    2. Public Management and Policy. Select one course:
      • Recommended option:
        • PMAP 3021 Citizenship, The Community, and The Public Sector (3)
      • Additional options:
        • PMAP 3011 Policy and Politics in the American City (3)
        • PMAP 4421 GIS Application to Planning and Policy Analysis (3)
    3. Biology. Select one course:
      • BIOL 3020 Introduction to Marine Biology (3)
      • BIOL 3820 Plant Biology (3) (consult with advisor prior to registration)
      • BIOL 3840 Animal Biology (3) (consult with advisor prior to registration)
  2. CTW Course. Students must take one CTW course appropriate to the program (3-4). CTW courses do not count toward the maximum number of courses within a single discipline.
  3. Research Methods/Spatial Analysis (3-10)
    • Recommended options:
      • BIOL 4045K General Ecology (4)
      • BIOL 4930 Topics in Biology: Experimental Methods in Environmental Science (3-4)
      • GEOG 4532 Geographic Information Systems (4)
      • PMAP 4421 GIS Application Planning and Policy Analysis (3)
    • Additional options:
      • ANTH 4360 Methods and Theories in Biological Anthropology (3)
      • ANTH 4590 Archeological Methods (4)
      • ANTH 4670 Research Methods in Sociocultural Anthropology (3)
      • GEOG 4515 Qualitative Methods in Geography (3)
      • GEOG 4518 Digital Cartography (3)
      • GEOG 4520 Quantitative Spatial Analysis (3)
      • GEOG 4530 Introduction to Remote Sensing (4)
      • PMAP 4041 Policy Data Analysis (3)
      • PMAP 4051 Evaluating Public Policy (3)
      • [PSYCH 3510] Introduction to Research Design and Analysis (4)
      • SOCI 3010 Social Statistics (3)
      • MATH 4547 Intro to Statistical Methods (3)
  4. Elective Courses in Environmental Science (3-10)
  5. Elective Courses at Large (0-8)
    • Additional courses may be taken from areas 1-4 to bring total hours to 27-34.

Area H: Allied Field – Environmental Science in Context (15-21)

Choose one area of concentration from the options below and select the courses that fit your career goals. If courses have been taken to fulfill Area G, they cannot also count in Area H. Students may combine courses to create their own area of focus with the approval of the faculty program coordinator and the college BIS director. Students must complete coursework in at least two disciplines (defined by course prefixes) in Area H.

Courses with multiple prerequisites are indicated with an asterisk (*). Please consult with the faculty program coordinator regarding prerequisite waivers, which may not be possible for many courses.

  1. Sustainability Focus:
    • BIOL 4910 Undergraduate Research in Biology (Ecology/Sustainability) (1-5)
    • BIOL 4915 Collaborative Internships in Biology (Ecology/Sustainability) (2)
    • BIOL 4916 Internships in Biology (focus: Ecology/Sustainability Internships) (2)
    • BIOL 4930 Topics in Biology (Ecology or Sustainability focus) (3)
    • EDCI 4100 Service Learning in Action (3)
    • ENGL 3110 Technical Writing (3)
    • GEOG 4644 Environmental Conservation (3)
    • GEOG 4534 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (4)
    • PMAP 3210 Introduction to Nonprofits (3)
    • PMAP 3211 Career Development in Public and Nonprofit (3)
    • PMAP 3213 Nonprofit Financial Resources (3)
    • PMAP 3231 Nonprofit Leadership and Management (3)
    • SCOM 3040 Communicating Environmental Issues (3)
    • SOCI 3350 Social Change and the Future (3)
  2. Natural and Cultural Resources Management:
    • ANTH 4060 Environmental Anthropology (3)
    • ANTH 4170 Mesoamerican Archeology (4)
    • ANTH 4180 Archeology of the Southeastern US (4)
    • ANTH 4550 Field School in Anthropology (4-8)
    • BIOL 3020 Introduction to Marine Biology (3)
    • BIOL 3820 Plant Biology (3) (consult with advisor prior to registration)
    • BIOL 3840 Animal Biology (3) (consult with advisor prior to registration)
    • BIOL 4045K General Ecology-CTW (4) (consult with advisor prior to registration)
    • BIOL 4451 Aquatic Pollution and Toxicology (4)
    • BIOL 4910 Undergraduate Research in Biology (Ecology/Sustainability) (1-5)
    • BIOL 4915 Collaborative Internships in Biology (focus: Ecology/Sustainability Externship) (2)
    • BIOL 4916 Internships in Biology (focus: Ecology/Sustainability) (2)
    • BIOL 4930 Topics in Biology (topic: Ecology/Sustainability) (3-4)
    • BIOL 4050/GEOG 4050 Natural Environments of Georgia (4)
    • ENGL 3110 Technical Writing (3)
    • GEOG 4518 Digital Cartography (3)
    • GEOG 4534 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (4)
    • GEOG 4550 Field School in the Geosciences (3-6)
    • GEOG 4640 Geomorphology (3)
    • GEOG 4644 Environmental Conservation (3)
    • GEOG 4646 Water Resource Management (3)
    • GEOG 4648 Biogeography (3)
    • GEOG 4650 Applied Hydrology (3)
    • GEOL 4003 Aqueous Geochemistry (3)
    • GEOL 4005 Geology of Georgia (3)
    • GEOL 4007 Hydrogeology (3)
    • HIST 4325 Introduction to Public History and Historic Preservation (3)
    • PMAP 4421 GIS Application of Planning and Policy Analysis (3)
    • POLS 4422 NGOs and World Politics (3)
  3. Urban Ecology/Sustainable Development:
    • ANTH 4200 Urban Anthropology (3)
    • ANTH 4240 Food: History, Ecology & Political Economy (3)
    • BIOL 4910 Undergraduate Research in Biology (Ecology/Sustainability) (1-5)
    • BIOL 4915 Collaborative Internships in Biology (focus: Ecology/Sustainability Externship) (2)
    • BIOL 4916 Internships in Biology (focus: Ecology/Sustainability Internships) (2)
    • BIOL 4930 Topics in Biology (Ecology or Sustainability focus) (3-4)
    • ECON 4220 Environmental Economics and Policy (3)
      o ECON 4300 Economics of Cities (3)
    • ECON 4300 Economics of Cities (3)
    • EDCI 4100 Service Learning in Action (3)
    • ENGL 3110 Technical Writing (3)
    • GEOG 4020 Urban Environments (3)
    • GEOG 4538 Urban Health Geographic Systems (4)
    • GEOG 4642 Advanced Weather and Climate (3)
    • GEOG 4764 Urban Geography-CTW (3)
    • GEOG 4768/HIST 4320/SOCI 4279 Metropolitan Atlanta (3)
    • GEOG 4774 Contemporary Urban Issues (3)
    • GEOG 4784 Global Climate Change (3)
    • PMAP 3111 Urban Political Economy (3)
    • PMAP 3411 Contemporary Planning (3)
    • PMAP 4331 Urban Development and Sustainable Cities (3)
    • PMAP 4421 GIS Application Planning and Policy Analysis (3)
    • SOCI 4226 Urban Sociology (3)
    • ANTH 4240 Food: History, Ecology & Political Economy (3)
    • GEOG 4764 Urban Geography-CTW (3)
    • GEOG 4774 Contemporary Urban Theory and Issues (3)
  4. Global Environmental Issues:
  5. Environmental Health and Toxicology:
  6. Conservation Biology:
  7. Environment and the Media
  8. Sustainable Food Sources/Urban Gardens:
    • ANTH 4240 Food: History, Ecology and Political Economy (3)
    • ANTH 4550 Field School in Anthropology (topic: Growing Local Food: Field School in Sustainable Food Systems and Ethnographic Methods) (4-8)
    • ANTH 4390 Diet, Demography and Disease (4)
    • BIOL 3820 Plant Biology (3)
    • BIOL 4915 Collaborative Internships in Biology (Ecology/Sustainability) (2)
    • BIOL 4916 Internships in Biology (focus: Ecology/Sustainability Externship) (2)
    • BIOL 4916 Ecology Research Internship (2)
    • EDCI 4100 Service Learning in Action (3)
    • GEOG 4648 Biogeography (3)

Area I: Electives

Electives are used to build the hours in Areas G-I to 60 hours, have 39 hours at Georgia State University taken at the 3000-4000 level for residency, and complete 120 hours required for graduation.

Graduation with Distinction in the Major

This program offers undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn the designation of graduation with distinction in the major. Please contact the program director for the specific criteria for this honor.