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Environmental Science Major

Bachelor of Arts — Program Overview

Commit to solving challenges like pollution, habitat destruction and loss of biological diversity. This major fits perfectly with Briar Cliff's Franciscan heritage, which emphasizes a respect for and stewardship of our natural world.

BROADEN YOUR SKILLS: Although this major emphasizes either chemistry or biology, you'll also familiarize yourself with socially relevant disciplines such as economics, political science, geography and philosophy.

EXPLORE THE PRAIRIE: The nation′s largest urban tallgrass prairie sits literally in Briar Cliff's own backyard. What better place to study environmental science than a 150-acre classroom?

SEE THE WORLD: Embark on an annual, week-long trip to South Dakota’s Black Hills, or join department learning trips that have included the West Texas desert, Southern California chaparral, the Kansas prairies, Ozark forests, Hawaiian islands and the Costa Rican jungle. 

GET HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Land an internship with one of the area's many professional environmental organizations, including the Iowa Nature Conservancy, Ponca State Park, Stone State Park and the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.


Our graduates work as park rangers, conservationsists, ecologists, resource managers, lab technicians, teachers — even wildfire fighters! An environmental science degree is also a great stepping stone for graduate school in veterinary medicine or other biology related fields.

Core Courses

BIOL 152 - General Biology II
BIOL 212 - General Botany
BIOL 213 - Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 22IS - Scientific Writing and Research
ECON 210 - Principles of Microeconomics
ESCI 110 - Environmental Science
ESCI 211 - Earth Science I: Introductory Geology
ESCI 212 - Earth Science II: Earth Processes
ESCI 213 - Earth Science III: Weather and Climate
ESCI 237 - General Ecology
ESCI 300 - Entomology
ESCI 339 - Principles of Microbiology
ESCI 401 - Environmental Law and Policy
ESCI 412 - Field Botany
LIBA 200 - Black Hills Experience
PSCI 101 - American Government

Additional Program Requirements

— Environmental science students are expected to complete an environmental internship, field station course or participate in a field experience such as ESCI 280.

— Six one-credit IS courses are also required.

— No more than one D or D+ in any ESCI or BIOL course will count toward the major. A minimum 2.0 GPA is required for graduation.



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