Environmental Biology Degree Program

Courses in the first year

Normally, the first year includes biology, chemistry, mathematics and general education courses:

Fall term: We recommend 3 or 4 courses and our first year seminar (15-18 credits):

  • Foundations in Biology I with laboratory (BIOL-103/113) or Foundations in Biology II with laboratory (BIOL-104/114)
  • First year seminar (BIOL-101)
  • General Chemistry with laboratory (CHEM-001/009) 
  • Mathematics (which course depends on background and goals) 
  • General education (one course): language, English, History, Philosophy, or Theology

Spring term: 4-5 courses (17-20 credits) is the normal load:

  • Foundations in Biology II with laboratory (BIOL-104/114) or Foundations in Biology I with laboratory (BIOL-103/113)
  • General Chemistry with laboratory (CHEM-002/010) 
  • Mathematics (unless requirement is completed)
  • General Education (one or two courses): language, English, History, Philosophy or Theology

Courses in the upper years

  • Second year, fall term: BIOL-180 Ecology
  • Second year, spring term: BIOL-190 Gateway to Environmental Biology
  • Second year, spring term: BIOL-185 Evolutionary Processes 
  • Third or fourth year, fall term: BIOL-418 Experimental Design and Analysis for Biology

Programs for majors

1. Biology Courses

Required core courses (27 credits):

  • BIOL-101 First-year seminar (1 credit, fall semester).  This course is required for first year students and is recommended for transfer students and those students who enter the program after the first year (contact the department chair or your advisor). 
  • BIOL-103/113 Foundations in Biology I with lab (5 credits)
  • BIOL-104/114 Foundations in Biology II with lab (5 credits)
  • BIOL-180 Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIOL-185 Evolutionary Processes (4 credits)
  • BIOL-190 Gateway to Environmental Biology (4 credits)
  • BIOL-418 Experimental Design and Analysis for Biology (4 credits)

Distribution courses (18 credits minimum) Students must take 9 credits from Groups A and B (including courses in both), and 9 additional credits from amongst Groups A, B, or Other Upper-level Electives. One credit courses may be included in the tally.

Students should note that course offerings change frequently, most courses are offered in only a single semester each year, and not all courses are offered every year. Furthermore, courses offered outside of Biology may have limited enrollments for Environmental Biology majors, and some courses may have prerequisites not listed here or require permission of the instructor. Students should talk with their advisors and also look carefully on the departmental website as well as MyAccess to identify course offerings.  

Group A: Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior (EEB)

BIOL-326 Animal Behavior

BIOL-353 Plants and Society

BIOL-360 Molecular Evolution

BIOL-364 Microbiology

BIOL-365 Conservation Biology

BIOL-366 Marine Biology

BIOL-367 Population Genetics

BIOL-368 Global Climate Change Ecology

BIOL-379 Genomics and Bioinformatics

BIOL-388 Microbial Genomics

BIOL-420 Genetic Conflict

BIOL-422 Modeling Biological Populations

BIOL-423 Networks in Biology

BIOL-427 Biology of Sex

1 credit classes:

BIOL-443 Microbial Community Ecology

BIOL-444 Urban Foraging and Ecology

Group B: Environmental and Earth Sciences (EES)

BIOL-220:  Issues in Environmental Science

BIOL-368 Global Climate Change Ecology

STIA-227/228 Environmental Geosciences with lab

STIA-311 Environmental Geomorphology

STIA-412 Climate Science and Policy

STIA-441 Geographic Information Systems

STIA-454 Remote Sensing

Other Upper-level Electives

BIOL-100 Regents XXX

BIOL-152 Genetics

BIOL-261 Science and Society: Grand Challenges

BIOL-262 Shaping National Science Policy

BIOL-340 Research Tutorial

BIOL-341/-342 RISE (see below for more information)

BIOL-359 Dynamic Processes in Biological Physics

COSC-051 Computer Science I

GOVT-331 Politics of Natural Resources

GOVT-354 Environmental Politics

GOVT-488 Environmental Law

HIST-404 War and Environment in the Modern World

HIST-481 The Environment in Pre-Industrial America

HSCI-332 Health Impacts of the Environment

INTH-320 Ecology of Global Hunger

INTH-440 Health, Environmental Issues, and Development

STIA-330 Green Revolutions

STIA-350 Gender and Sustainability

STIA-352 Journalism in Science, Environment & Health

STIA-355 Environment and Migration

STIA-370 Oceans

STIA-374 Environmental Security

STIA-379 Energy & Environment in China

STIA-408 Environmental Reconstruction and Restoration

STIA-418 Natural Resources and Security

STIA-419 Energy & Environment in Eurasia

STIA-497 Environmental Sustainability and Business Strategy

1 credit classes

BIOL-431 Introduction to Programming

BIOL-432 Data Analysis with R

Total credit requirements: a minimum of 45

2. Additional Science Courses Required

  • CHEM-001/-009 and -002/-010 General Chemistry with laboratory (10 credits total) 
  • MATH-035 Calculus I (4 credits)
  • MATH-040 Probability and Statistics or MATH-140 Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (4 credits total)

3. RISE – Research Intensive Senior Experience

RISE is an optional experience for Environmental Biology majors.

  • BIOL-340 (one semester only in Fall or Spring) RISE Tutorial, generally junior year
  • BIOL-341 (fall) and BIOL-342 (spring) RISE, senior year