Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences – Nicholas School Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

*Students who matriculated prior to Fall 2015, use these requirements >

Major Worksheet >

BS Degree Requirements*:

  • Chemistry (CHEM 101L plus CHEM 201 or 210)
  • Calculus (MATH 111 and 112 OR MATH 122)
  • Biology (BIO 201L or 202L)
  • Statistics (STAT 101, or 102, or 111, or 130, or BIO 204, or SOC 333)
  • Environmental Science (ENVIRON 102 (Intro to Environmental Science and Policy))
  • Physics (PHYS 141L or 161L)
  • One Gateway Course: ENVIRON 201 (Integrating Environmental Science and Policy)
  • Core Courses: 6 courses, at least one from each category
    • Environmental Health
      ENVIRON 274 (People, Plants and Pollution) (F)
      ENVIRON 321A (Coastal Watershed Science and Policy) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 360 (Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 501 (Environmental Toxicology) (F)
      ENVIRON 537 (Environmental Health) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 627 (Molecular Ecology) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 637S (Population and Environmental Dynamics Affecting Health) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 642 (Air Pollution) (Sp)
    • Ecology
      ENVIRON 210D (Conserving the Variety of Life) (F)
      ENVIRON 217 (Restoration Ecology) (F, occasional)
      ENVIRON 270A (Marine Conservation Biology and Policy)
      ENVIRON 273LA (Marine Ecology) (F, Sp)
      ENVIRON 375LA (Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 376A (Marine Mammals) (F)
      ENVIRON 384A (Marine Conservation Biology)
      ENVIRON 503 (Forest Ecosystems) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 517 (Tropical Ecology) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 571A (Urban Tropical Ecology) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 627 (Molecular Ecology) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 646 (Urban Ecology) (occasional)
    • Environmental Physical Sciences
      ENVIRON 239 (Our Changing Atmosphere) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 280LA (Sound in the Sea: Intro to Bioacoustics) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 362S (Changing Oceans) (F)
      ENVIRON 370A (Physical Oceanography) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 445A (Climate Change in the Marine Environment) (occasional)
      ENVIRON 542L (Environmental Aquatic Chemistry) (F)
      EOS 202 (Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics) (F)
      EOS 323 (Landscape Hydrology) (Sp)
      EOS 355 (Global Warming)
      EOS 404S (Geology of the Tropical Marine Environment) (Sp)
    • Environmental Social Sciences:
      ENVIRON 212 (US Environmental Policy) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 214S (Environmental Ethics) (occasional)
      ENVIRON 265 (Environmental Law and Policy) (F, occasional)
      ENVIRON 270A (Marine Conservation Biology and Policy)
      ENVIRON 275SA (Global Fisheries Conflicts)
      ENVIRON 286A (Marine Policy) (F)
      ENVIRON 305SA (Social Impact Analysis)
      ENVIRON 345 (Environmental Politics in the US)
      ENVIRON 346A (Marine Conservation Policy)
      ENVIRON 363 (Environmental Economics and Policy) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 374SA (Community-Based Marine Conservation) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 520/521(Resource and Environmental Economics) (F)
      ENVIRON 528SA (Community-based Marine Conservation in the Gulf of California) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 533A (Marine Fisheries Policy) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 551DA (Conservation and Development) (Sp)
    • Environmental Tools/Skills
      ENVIRON 226S or 226SK (Field Methods) (F)
      ENVIRON 322 (Hydro and Environmental Data Analysis) (F)
      ENVIRON 335LA (Unoccupied Aircraft Systems in Scientific Research)
      ENVIRON 359 (GIS) (Sp)
      ENVIRON 361LS (Terrestrial Field Ecology) (F)
      ENVIRON 369LA (Biological Oceanography) (F, Sp)
      CEE 160L (Intro to Environmental Engineering) (F)
      BIOLOGY 362LS (Aquatic Field Ecology) (F)
  • Focused Depth of expertise:
    Students will focus on one area for depth of expertise in consultation with their major advisor. At least 3 courses (with NS/EGR codes) must contribute to this focus, with 1 being at the 500 level or above. Courses listed as Core can be used to fulfill this requirement as long as they are not used to fulfill Core requirements. Students are encouraged to pursue a Research Independent Study as part of the focus requirement (Only one unit of independent Research Study will count towards the focused area).Students start the conversation with their advisor at their first meeting about their interest in a particular area. They work on a draft essay afterwards to continue the discussion. The essay should prepare an argument that ties together courses taken previously that relate to the area, the 3 chosen courses to be taken to further their depth, and any relevant experience. Students will submit the final version of their essay no later than by registration period during Spring of their junior year. A worksheet showing the selected course should accompany the essay. The essay is approved by the advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies.


Focused Area Worksheet >
Master List of Approved Focused Study Courses >

  • Capstone Experience (1 of the following):
    ENVIRON 490: Project-based course that examines current environmental issues from both the NS, SS, and Humanities. Students in the BS and AB majors will work together to further their knowledge and skills in solving environmental problems.
    GWD: one semester of Independent Research required, 2 recommended
  • Field Experience or Internship: could include semester at Marine Lab, Study Abroad that includes field work/field courses, Duke Engage, Summer REU programs relevant to student’s major or research independent study not used elsewhere in the major.

*Approval of substitute courses taken at other universities must be obtained from the Director of Undergraduate Studies in the department offering the course. Please note that some of these courses are prerequisite to some upper-level courses in this major.