Earth Sciences B.S. – Environmental Earth Sciences Emphasis

College of Natural and Health Sciences

Contact: Timothy Grover, Ph.D., Department Chair

Location: Ross Hall 3235

Telephone: 970.351.2647


Advising Information:

Students must consult with their assigned major advisor each semester prior to registering.

Assigned advisor is available through the Ursa login;; under Student tab Academic Profile channel and is term specific. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Core (LAC) Credits
  2. Required Major Credits
  3. University-Wide Credits

Program Description:

The multidisciplinary Environmental Earth Sciences emphasis is intended for individuals who wish to pursue careers with responsibilities that include environmental monitoring, regulation or management. Students may prepare for entry-level positions in the environmental industry or governmental agencies, or for graduate education in such fields as resource management, environmental public policy and environmental law. The program also is well suited for anyone with a serious interest in the scientific aspect of environmental issues.

Program Admission Requirements:

Academic Good Standing

Program Requirements:

  • The course of study for this major, including both required and elective courses, must total at least 60 credits and must be developed in consultation with and be approved by the student's academic advisor.
  • Science and mathematics courses approved for the Liberal Arts Core that are taken as part of this major may also be used to satisfy Liberal Arts Core requirements.
  • A 2.0 grade point average in the courses taken as part of this major is required for graduation. (Secondary Teaching Emphasis: a 2.5 GPA is required in all major courses.)
  • In accordance with University Policies, coursework earned more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation to UNC may not be used to satisfy any major or minor requirements.  Any exception to this policy is at the discretion of the academic program.

Degree Requirements — 120 Credits

Degree Requirements

1. Required Specified LAC — 31 credits

LAC area 1a Elementary Composition

ENG 122College Composition


LAC area 1b. Intermediate Composition

SCI 291Scientific Writing


LAC area 2. Mathematics

MATH 131Calculus I


STAT 150Introduction to Statistical Analysis


LAC area 6. Physical and Life Sciences

CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry I


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I Laboratory


ESCI 200Introduction to Environmental Earth Science


MET 205General Meteorology


PHYS 220Introductory Physics I


Remaining LAC — 21 credits

See “Liberal Arts Core”.

NOTE: Students need to select a course from Area 7 or 8 that also counts in Areas 3 or 4.

2. Required Major - 58 credits

Take all of the following courses:

ESCI 474Principles of Hydrology


GEOL 201Physical Geology


GEOL 410Groundwater Geology


GEOL 460Geomorphology


GEOL 483Soils


CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


GEOG 210Introduction to GIS an GPS


MET 452Paleoclimatology


OCN 301Physical and Chemical Oceanography


Choose a minimum of 3 credits of the following:

MATH 132Calculus II


STAT 260Statistical Inference Top


Choose 3 credits of the following:

ESCI 491Geoscience Field Issues


ESCI 492Earth Science Internship


ESCI 496Earth Science Study Abroad


GEOG 391Western Colorado Rivers


GEOL 390Colorado Geology


Choose a minimum of 20-21 credits from courses selected in consultation with an academic advisor to explore an area of interest in greater depth. A minimum 12 credits must be chosen with prefix GEOL, MET, ESCI, or OCN above the 199 level.
The remainder of the credits must come from courses with prefix GEOL, MET, ESCI, OCN, PHYS, CHEM, BIOL, MATH, ENST, GEOG, ECON, STAT, SCI that are numbered 300 or higher. Other courses may satisfy requirements with approval of the ad

No more than 6 credits of ESCI 491 or ESCI 492 may count toward the degree.

3. University-Wide Credits — 10 credits

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for this degree at UNC; for this degree, that will typically be 10 credits.