Environmental Science

Students in the Environmental Science major receive interdisciplinary training in the relevant natural science disciplines, and a clearly defined specialization in the environmental sciences. Students are exposed to lab work in a variety of courses including geology, geography, biology, physics, and chemistry, as well as field trips and field experiments, computer languages and programming, and math proficiency. Environmental Science majors also take classes in environmental policy. The program is flexible, with elective courses in the junior and senior years, and students can include courses offered through the BU Marine Program, the Tropical Ecology Program in Ecuador, as well as many courses from summer field programs, the School for Field Studies, and other environmental study abroad programs. A number of students double major in related disciplines such as biology, marine science, or geology.

There are many possible career options for students with an environmental science degree. Graduate school in any number of fields is possible, including both traditional fields such as biology, geology, and geography, as well as the growing number of graduate programs in environmental science. An Environmental Science graduate is a strong candidate for a graduate degree in ecosystem ecology; rarely do standard biology majors have time in their schedules to take geology courses as well as courses in GIS and remote sensing. Similarly, a student applying for graduate work in remote sensing has a strong background in ecology and geomorphology, and prospective hydrogeologists will begin with a broad knowledge of biology and water chemistry. Students also can continue in non-science careers where their science degrees are strong assets, such as environmental law and environmental policy. Many students find employment in the expanding field of environmental consulting. Environmental consulting firms across the country are hiring people who are trained broadly in environmental biology, hydrogeology, and chemistry, particularly if they are skilled in the use of computers and are trained in cost-benefit analysis and risk assessment.

Principal Courses (7 courses)

Required Basic Math and Science Courses

  • CH 171 & 172 (or approved equivalent)
  • PY 211, PY 241 OR PY 251
  • MA 123 Calculus and MA 124 Calculus OR MA 127 OR MA 129

Track Electives (4 courses)

Students may also petition to fulfill this requirement through the Boston University Marine Program, the Tropical Ecology Program in Ecuador, or the School for Field Studies. No more than two electives can be “Techniques” courses.

  • Biology
  • Earth Sciences
  • Geography
  • Techniques in Environmental Science