Environmental Science (B.S.)

Environmental Science investigates the many interconnected systems and processes that formed our world, continuously change it, and, ultimately, sustain life on it. The Environmental Science Program at Wayne State offers an interdisciplinary approach combining a strong foundation from both geological and biological perspectives, and a broad choice of electives. This program focuses on the urban environment and urban impacts on the natural environment. It will prepare students for graduate study, or for careers in various areas of environmental science including environmental impact assessment, air and water quality monitoring, regulatory compliance, and environmental remediation.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for this program are satisfied by the general requirements for undergraduate admission to the University.

Candidates must complete 120 credits in course work including satisfaction of the University General Education Requirements and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Group Requirements, as well as the departmental major  requirements cited below. All course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the University and the College governing undergraduate scholarship and degrees. Students must receive a grade of 'C-minus' or better in all Major and Cognate required courses. An overall grade point average of 2.0 ('C') in all coursework is required for graduation.

Major Requirements

B.S. candidates in Environmental Science must complete the following:

GEL 1010Geology: The Science of the Earth3
GEL 1011Geology: The Science of the Earth Laboratory1
GEL 2130Mineralogy4
GEL 3100Air and Water in Environmental Systems3
GEL 5150Soils and Soil Pollution4
GEL 5510Environmental Fate and Transport of Pollutants4
BIO 1500Basic Life Diversity4
BIO 1510Basic Life Mechanisms4
BIO 4130General Ecology4
BIO 5100Aquatic Ecology4
or BIO 5440 Terrestrial Ecology
Total Credits35

Elective Courses

Students must complete a minimum of 9 approved elective credits for the major, usually 3 classes, one of which must be from the Department of Biology or the Department of Geology. 

Biology Elective Options
BIO 2200Introductory Microbiology5
BIO 3500Ecology and the Environment3
BIO 4420Biogeography3
BIO 5040Biometry4
BIO 5100Aquatic Ecology4
BIO 5180Field Investigations in Biological Sciences12
BIO 5440Terrestrial Ecology4
BIO 5490Population and Community Ecology3
BIO 5540Landscape Ecology3
BIO 6190Advanced Special Topics6
Geology Elective Options
GEL 3160Petrology4
GEL 3300Structural Geology4
GEL 3400Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy4
GEL 3450Principles of Paleontology4
GEL 3650Field Geology1-10
GEL 4200Geomorphology4
GEL 5000Geological Site Assessment4
GEL 5120Environmental Geochemistry4
GEL 5210Environmental and Applied Geophysics4
GEL 5360Hydrology of Natural and Urban Environments4
GEL 5450Hydrogeology4
GEL 5600Special Topics in Geology4
GEL 5650Applied Geological Mapping4
GEL 6400Isotopes: Applications in Geological and Environmental Sciences4
GEL 6500Earth Resources and the Environment3
Chemical Engineering Options
CHE 6610Risk Assessment3
Honors Options
HON 4220Seminar in Life Science3
Civil Engineering Options
CE 3250Applied Fluid Mechanics4
CE 4210Introduction to Environmental Engineering3
CE 5230Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering3
CE 5995Special Topics in Civil Engineering I1-3
CE 6190Groundwater3
CE 6270Sustainability Assessment and Management3
Geography Options
GPH 3600Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
GPH 4600Advanced Geographic Information Systems4

Cognate Requirements

B.S. candidates in Environmental Science must take:

MAT 1800Elementary Functions4
MAT 2010Calculus I4
PHY 2130Physics for the Life Sciences I 14
or PHY 2170 University Physics for Scientists I
PHY 2131Physics for the Life Sciences Laboratory 11
or PHY 2171 University Physics Laboratory
PHY 2140Physics for the Life Sciences II 14
or PHY 2180 University Physics for Scientists II
PHY 2141Physics for the Life Sciences Laboratory 11
or PHY 2181 University Physics Laboratory II
CHM 1220General Chemistry I4
CHM 1230General Chemistry I Laboratory1
CHM 1240Organic Chemistry I4
CHM 1250Organic Chemistry I Laboratory1
Total Credits28

Majors should take the Placement Examination of the Department of Mathematics as soon as possible upon entry into the freshman year, although freshmen students may be placed by ACT/SAT scores (valid for 2 years).

Student's Responsibility: It is each student's responsibility to learn the requirements, policies, and procedures governing the program they are following and to act accordingly. Students should consult the Environmental Science Program Advisor regularly in order to verify that Environmental Science requirements are being met in a timely fashion. Although the advisor will provide assistance, the responsibility for fulfilling degree requirements remains with the student.

Environmental Science Honors

To be recommended for an honors degree from this program, a student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.30 and complete a minimum of twelve honors course credits including two Geology or Biological Science Honors or Honors Option courses (6 credits) and:

GEL 4998Honors Thesis1-3
or BIO 6990 Honors Directed Study in Biology
BIO 6999Honors Undergraduate Research Thesis 2
One 4200-level Honors Seminar3
Total Credits6-8