Environmental Science Undergraduate Programs

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers major and minor programs in Geology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, and an additional minor in Earth Science Education. BA and BS degrees are available in all the majors except Environmental Studies (BA only). Students planning to major in the School will be assigned an adviser with whom they should consult frequently.


Major in the Environment

SEES offers two undergraduate majors that provide a broad and complementary set of opportunities for all students interested in professions relating to the environment.  Students majoring in Environmental Science (BA or BS) or Environmental Studies (BA) have career opportunities including government service, NGO employment, private sector opportunities in environmental consulting services, and graduate education in a wide variety of environmentally related fields. Minor fields of study are available in both Environmental Science and Environmental Studies.

 

Environmental Science Major (BA or BS)

The Environmental Science major at Queens College is intended for students planning on careers as professional environmental scientists, planners, or consultants. The major is intended to meet the needs of students who are interested in the technical professions that address environmental quality and sustainability. The Environmental Science major provides the breadth and rigor to allow students to immediately enter to workforce after graduation or pursue an advanced academic (MA, MS or PhD) or professional degree in other related fields such as law, government, or urban planning. Central to the goals of the Environmental Science curriculum is a balance between breadth and a clear focus on a particular area of study within the biological, chemical, and physical sciences.

The Environmental Sciences major emphasizes basic science in a rigorous curriculum drawn from a variety of disciplines and departments including biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, geology and environmental sciences. The major is structured around a hands-on introductory course (Environmental Science 100: Challenges to Humanity in the 21st Century), a series of core (200 level) courses, advanced elective courses (300 level), and a senior year capstone course (Environmental Science 373: Environmental Problem Solving). To earn a BS environmental science degree, students must satisfy the requirements for the BA and complete additional core and advanced courses, as well as additional supporting sciences.

 

Environmental Studies Major (BA)

The Environmental Studies major is designed for students interested in addressing today’s critical environmental issues. The Environmental Studies major offers students the opportunity to obtain an integrated understanding of contemporary environmental problems, policy issues, and solutions from local, national, and global perspectives. The major has an interdisciplinary foundation that includes natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities emphasizing both the School of Earth and Environmental Science‘s orientation toward environmental science and the Urban Studies Department’s emphasis on social justice and public policy. Graduates with a BA in Environmental Studies can pursue careers in the public or private sectors developing and implementing environmental practices and policies. While the program emphasizes social science theory and methods, students also take courses in the natural sciences. Environmental Studies graduates will be able to address environmental issues systemically from a perspective that considers the social and economic context of these problems, especially as they affect urban areas, as well as the long-range impacts of potential solutions.


Minor in the Environment

SEES offers two minors degree programs in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies for students looking to supplement their existing major in a different or related  field.

 
Environmental Science Minor

Given the growing demand for environmental literacy and its scientific foundation, the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences now offers a minor degree program in Environmental Science for undergraduates at Queens College. The recently updated and expanded course offering available in SEES allows students a wide variety of courses to build a strong subject cluster to supplement their major with a minor in Environmental Science. This minor would be complementary for several diverse QC majors including economics, pre-law, pre­-medicine, biology, chemistry, and urban studies. Advisement for students wishing to complete a minor in Environmental Science will be provided by SEES faculty to ensure that each minor has a specific area of focus and contributes to each student's academic goals.

The minor provides the necessary fundamental concepts of the discipline in its two introductory courses of EnSci 100 and 200. EnSci 100 includes a hands-on lab and covers several current environmental problems. EnSci 200 provides the basics of on Earth Systems Science with particular emphasis on today's environmental challenges. Following the foundational courses, students then select at least two courses that would supply a more in-depth look of a particular aspect of environmental sciences such as climate science, marine ecology or environmental microbiology.

The minor requires the completion of 4 courses offered regularly within SEES. The total number of credits required for the minor is 18. Thirteen credits are required within SEES and 5 additional credits are required for Chemistry 113, which is a co-requisite for EnSci 200. Upper level Geology and Environmental Science prerequisites may require other perquisites depending on the topic. These complementary courses, such as Geology 101, are offered frequently.

Required courses:

  • EnSci 100: Challenges to Humanity in the 21st Century, An Introduction to the Environment. (lecture + lab, 4 credits)
  • EnSci 200: Our Changing Planet, Earth Systems Science (lecture, 3 credits)
  • Prereq. EnSci 100 and Chem 113
  • Two additional courses numbered above EnSci 200 or above Geology 101.

 

Environmental Studies Minor

Given the growing demand for environmental literacy and its scientific foundation, the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Urban Studies has recently updated the Environmental Studies minor for undergraduates at Queens College. This minor may be a useful complement for several Queens College majors including economics, pre-law, pre-medicine, biology, chemistry, and urban studies. Advisement for students wishing to complete a minor in Environmental Studies will be provided by SEES and Urban Studies faculty to ensure that each minor has a specific area of focus and contributes to each student's academic goals.

The minor provides the necessary fundamental concepts of the discipline in its three introductory courses of EnSci 100, EnSci 112, and Urban Studies 252. EnSci 100 includes a hands-on lab and covers several current environmental problems. EnSci 112 provides the basics of Earth Science with particular emphasis on Climate Change. The third required course is URBST 252: The Changing Urban Environment. Following these 3 foundational courses, students then select three additional courses that would supply a more in-depth look of a particular aspect of environmental studies.

The minor requires the completion of 6 courses offered regularly within SEES, Urban Studies, and related departments. The total number of credits required for the minor is 16.

Required courses:

  • EnSci 100: Challenges to Humanity in the 21st Century, An Introduction to the Environment (lecture + lab, 4 credits)
  • EnSci 112: Our Changing Planet (lecture only, 3 credits)
  • URBST 252: The Changing Urban Environment (lecture only, 3 credits)
  • Three additional elective courses that are part of the Environmental Studies major course list.

For more information please contact:

Dr. Jeffrey Bird: Jeffrey.Bird@qc.cuny.edu
Advisor for Environmental Science and Environmental Studies

Dr. Melissa Checker: Melissa.Checker@qc.cuny.edu
Co-Advisor for Environmental Studies

The Queens College Academic Advising Center (AAC) located in Kiely Hall 217 for general undergraduate advising services

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