A.B. vs B.S. – Nicholas School Undergraduate Programs

A.B. vs B.S.

A.B. in Environmental Science & Policy

The A.B. degree is designed for students interested in the interplay among Social Sciences and the Natural Sciences to study environmental issues from the lenses of human actions to implement solutions or to mitigate and protect the environment through social institutions. The major permits students to combine studies in natural sciences and engineering with courses in social sciences and humanities to develop particular focus areas or themes relevant to students’ individual interests.

Students who receive the A.B. degree in Environmental Sciences and Policy are well positioned for careers where the ability to think across traditional boundaries is valued.

Possible careers include:

  • Environmental advising in local, state, or federal government agencies
  • Environmental consulting
  • Research associates
  • Environmental writing or publishing
  • Environmental education in academic and non-academic settings in governmental and non-profit organizations.

Majors may also choose to enter a professional graduate program in law, business, public health, or public policy.

The A.B. degree stresses a firm foundation in basic natural and social sciences. The A.B. requirements differ from the BS ones by substituting an Econ course for a Math (calculus) course and in having 3 core topical areas from each the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The 3 courses as a focused depth of expertise are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor to address a specific theme, area of interest or career objective. At least two courses must be selected from each of the approved lists in natural sciences/engineering and social sciences/humanities. Because students design their path in the major, the only structured concentration available is the Marine Science and Conservation.

B.S. in Environmental Sciences

The B.S. degree is designed for students interested in the physical and/or biological scientific perspective to solve environmental issues based on sound scientific evidence. Students explore such areas as ecotoxicology, terrestrial and/or marine ecosystems, conservation, hydrology and chemical cycling, or climate change and its impact on natural systems.

Students who receive the B.S. in Environmental Sciences are well-prepared to be part of a research team to address environmental problems and for graduate study in a related field.

Possible careers include:

  • Environmental consulting
  • Research position in local, state, or federal government agencies
  • Research assistant in a university, institute, or other scientific agency
  • Environmental education, including museums or other outreach settings

Majors may also choose to enter a professional graduate program in medicine, law, business, or public health.

The B.S. degree stresses a firm foundation in the physical and life sciences, mathematics and statistics. The pre-requisites provide the basic natural sciences foundation needed to explore the breadth of the environmental sciences through five core requirements and to build a depth in a chosen focused area of study. The core areas include Environmental Health, Ecology/Biodiversity, Physical Sciences, interface between humans and the environment, and tools and/or skills. The remaining courses for a focused area of study courses are selected from the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics in consultation with the student’s advisor to address a specific theme or area of interest related to career goals.

Major requirements comparison A.B. vs B.S  >