Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

Environmental Geoscience, Bachelor of Science (BS) - Concentration in Environmental Science - Liberal Studies

Environmental science is the integration of scientific knowledge from many disciplines in order to understand the interrelationships between human activities and the environment. Environmental science majors are exposed to the general principles of biology, chemistry, geology, geography, meteorology, and physics. Thus, it is not a focus on one of these disciplines, but involves all of them and their interaction within environmental systems.

Environmental science majors could enter several general fields:

  • Industry and Consulting, monitoring and investigating the contamination of the air, land and water. Responsibilities could range from working to reduce potential environmental contamination in an industrial setting, to remediating contamination that resulted from past disposal practices.
  • Local, State, or Federal Environmental Agencies, working to monitor, enforce, and develop environmental policy and regulations.
  • Environmental Research, working to understand and solve environmental problems. Students would continue their education in a graduate program focusing on an area of interest to them.

The program is rich in laboratory and field experiences that support our lecture classes. Students gain important practical experience working in the field studying environmental systems and problems. In addition, students are required to complete an approved internship or research project. We train our students not only with a liberal arts education and a broad-based scientific background, but with the skills that will enable them to succeed in a competitive work force. The department encourages undergraduate student research. Opportunities abound for students to work directly with the faculty on independent research projects.

ENVS 450 or ENVS 480 must be completed during the summer after your Junior or Senior year.

Program Learning Outcomes

Environmental Geoscience, BS

  • Outcome 1 (EGEO):  Each graduate shall develop general knowledge and understanding of the composition, history, and structure of the planet, and of the physical, chemical, and biological processes involved in the interactions between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of plate tectonic theory and be able to describe how it operates
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the geologic time scale and the timing of major events in Earth history
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to characterize and identify important rocks and minerals, and to interpret the processes by which they formed
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the history, causes, and effects of global climate change
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of evolutionary theory and its evidence in the fossil record
    • Each graduate will demonstrate an understanding of the internal structure of Earth
    • Each graduate will be able to explain the fundamental principles of the hydrologic cycle

Geology, Geology, and the Environment, Overall

  • Outcome 1:  Each graduate will develop strong written and oral communication skills, demonstrate the ability to work in a collaborative environment, and exhibit professional attitudes and behavior.
    • Each graduate will deliver oral presentations, demonstrating the ability to effectively communicate discipline-specific concepts
    • Each graduate will write scholarly papers using acceptable format and organization with proper citations to appropriate literature.
    • Each graduate will actively participate in collaborative projects and in academic field trips
    • Each graduate will demonstrate professionalism and integrity in his/her academic conduct
    • Each graduate shall develop the ability to respect and integrate diverse worldviews in problem-solving frameworks
  • Outcome 2:  Each graduate shall possess and apply critical thinking and problem solving skills.
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to develop valid research questions and hypotheses
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to apply proper techniques for data acquisition and interpretation in a problem-solving context
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to solve open-ended problems using scientific methodology
    • Each graduate will develop the ability to make informed, scientifically-based decisions regarding environmental issues
  • Outcome 3:  Each graduate shall develop skills in quantitative, qualitative, technological, laboratory, and field procedures.
    • Each graduate will learn and employ accepted laboratory and field techniques, protocols, and safety procedures
    • Each graduate will learn to read, construct, and comprehend thematic maps and derive perspective output from a map
    • Each graduate will demonstrate the ability to apply knowledge, concepts and techniques from complementary disciplines to solve problems

Related Links

Environmental Geoscience - Environmental Science, BS Program Page

Geography, Geology, and the Environment Department Page

Professional Licensure/Certification Page

Curriculum Guide

GPA Requirement

Major GPA: 2.0 or higher
Overall GPA: 2.0 or higher


Liberal Studies Requirements45-46
Other Basic Requirements0-3
Computer Competency0-3
Major Requirements60
Natural Science and Math College-Wide Requirements12

* All undergraduate degree programs require a minimum of 120 credits.  Some courses meet multiple requirements, but are only counted once toward the 120 credit total required to graduate.

Liberal Studies Requirements

See Liberal Studies Guide for Goal and Enrichment choices

Goal Course Requirements
Complete Goal requirements as indicated below
Basic Requirements
ENGL 102Critical Writing3
ENGL 104Critical Reading3
COMM 200Civil Discourse: Theory & Practice3
The Arts
Global Community
Human Institutions/Interpersonal Relationships
Science, Technology & Math
Select from the following recommended courses:9-10
General Chemistry I
General Chemistry I Lab
Calculus I
General Physics I with Lab
Challenges of the Modern Age
Enrichment Course Requirements
Select one course from three of the following Enrichment Areas:9
Total Hours45-46


Basic Math Requirement

Check with your adviser or a current degree audit report to see if you have been exempted from this course. The credit earned in this course will not be counted toward the 120 credit hour minimum needed to earn a degree.

Complete one of the following:0-3
Meet required minimum SAT or ACT math score OR
Beginning Algebra
Total Hours0-3

Computer Competency

Demonstrate "computer competency" by one of the following:0-3
Pass Computer Competency Exam OR
Select one of the following at SRU or another post-secondary institution:
Introduction to Computing for Liberal Arts
Computer Concepts
Introduction to Computing and Programming
Technology for Wellness
Total Hours0-3

Major Requirements

  • 30 major credits must be taken at SRU or PASSHE
  • 30 major credits must be taken at the 300 level or above
Core Major Requirements
EGEO 131Oceanography3
EGEO 201Earth Materials and Processes/Lab 34
EGEO 202Earth History/Lab 34
EGEO 203Quantitative Methods 33
EGEO 272Introduction to Georeports/Lab 31
Environmental Science Core Requirements
EGEO 121Meteorology/Lab 14
EGEO 360Introduction to Hydrology/Lab 33
EGEO 451Geochemistry/Lab 34
BIOL 104Principles of Biology with Lab4
BIOL 401Ecology with Lab 33
CHEM 200Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry3
or CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry I
GES 324Environmental Law and Policy 33
GES 355Earth's Changing Climate3
Electives - Environmental Science
Select at least one course from each category for a total of 18 credits18
Required Internship Course - Must take 1-3 credits
Environmental Science Internship (Required)
Air Pollution Meteorology
Environmental Monitoring and Sampling
Environmental Systems Analysis
Earth's Changing Climate Laboratory
Air Quality Assessment
Structural Geology
Glacial Geology/Lab
Water Quality Assessment
Marine Science Summer course
Wetlands and Aquatic Plants/Lab
Freshwater Biomonitoring/Lab
Environmental Microbiology with Lab
Field Investigations in the Geosciences
Field Investigations in the Geosciences
Cartography I
Introduction to UAS for Remote Sensing and Monitoring
Introduction to Geographic Information Science
Remote Sensing
Environmental Modeling
Biometry with Lab
Women in Science
Economic Geography
Environmental Justice
Population Analysis
Gender and the Environment
Applications in Sustainability
World Environmental Cultures
Total Hours60

Required Related Courses

These courses DO NOT count towards the major
CHEM 108General Chemistry II3
CHEM 112General Chemistry II Lab1
PHYS 213General Physics III/ Lab4

Natural Science and Math College Wide Requirements

CHEM 107General Chemistry I3
CHEM 111General Chemistry I Lab1
MATH 225Calculus I4
PHYS 211General Physics I with Lab4
Total Hours12

Important Curriculum Guide Notes

This Curriculum Guide is provided to help SRU students and prospective students better understand their intended major curriculum. Enrolled SRU students should note that the My Rock Audit may place already-earned and/or in progress courses in different, yet valid, curriculum categories. Enrolled SRU students should use the My Rock Audit Report and materials and information provided by their faculty advisers to ensure accurate progress towards degree completion. The information on this guide is current as of the date listed. Students are responsible for curriculum requirements at the time of enrollment at the University.

PASSHE - Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Institutions

Concentration in Environmental Science (ENSC)
This program is effective as of Fall 2020
Revised 08.19.20
UCC 04.21.20