Undergraduate Catalog 2021-2022

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

Website: www.unco.edu/nhs/earth-atmospheric-sciences/

Advising Information:

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

To find your advisor, log into ursa.unco.edu; go to 'Student' tab and click 'View Student Information' link. If no advisor is listed, contact the major program for advisor information.

The program consists of three parts:

  1. Liberal Arts Curriculum (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:

  • Science and mathematics courses approved for the Liberal Arts Curriculum that are taken as part of this major may also be used to satisfy Liberal Arts Curriculum 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

1. Liberal Arts Curriculum — 31 credits

To complete the degree in 120 credits as outlined, the program recommends the below LAC courses that also count toward the 86 required major credits.

Any additional coursework completed outside of the recommended list below may extend the length of the program of study.

Written Communication — 6 credits

ENG 122 (3) and SCI 291 (3) are recommended to fulfill the Written Communication requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements. No additional courses in this category are needed.

See Written Communication courses

Mathematics — 3 credits

MATH 131 (4) is recommended to fulfill Mathematics requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements. No additional courses in this category are needed.

See Mathematics courses

Arts & Humanities, History, Social & Behavioral Sciences, U.S. Multicultural Studies, and International Studies — 15 credits

To complete the LAC in the minimum number of credits, be sure to choose at least one course with an IS designation and one course with an MS designation.

Select any courses to fulfill this requirement from the currently approved LAC course list.

See Arts & Humanities, History, and Social & Behavioral Sciences courses

Natural & Physical Sciences — 7 credits

CHEM 111 (4), CHEM 111L (1), ESCI 200 (4), MET 205 (4) or PHYS 220 (5)  are recommended to fulfill Natural & Physical Sciences requirement and will fulfill both LAC and major requirements. No additional courses in this category are needed.

See Natural & Physical Sciences courses

See Liberal Arts Curriculum

2. Required Major — 86 credits

Take all of the following courses:

CHEM 111Principles of Chemistry ILAS1


CHEM 111LPrinciples of Chemistry I LaboratoryLAS1LASL


CHEM 112Principles of Chemistry II


CHEM 112LPrinciples of Chemistry II Laboratory


ENG 122College CompositionLAW1


ESCI 200Introduction to Environmental Earth ScienceLAS1LASL


ESCI 320Earth Materials


ESCI 330Earth Science Statistical Analysis


ESCI 349Earth Science Professional Seminar


ESCI 420Chemistry of the Earth System


ESCI 474Principles of Surface and Groundwater Hydrology


GEOL 201Physical Geology


GEOG 210Introduction to GIS and GPS


GEOL 460Geomorphology


GEOL 483Soils


MATH 131Calculus ILAX1


MET 205General MeteorologyLAS1LASL


MET 452Paleoclimatology


OCN 302Geological and Biological Oceanography


PHYS 220Introductory Physics ILAS1LASL


SCI 291Scientific WritingLAW2


Choose 1 course from the following

Choose either GEOL 202 or BIO 111 in preparation for upper-division electives of your choice. GEOL 202 allows students to take sedimentary geology and paleontology courses (GEOL 202 is prerequisite for GEOL 340 Paleontology, GEOL 445 Vertebrate Paleontology, and GEOL 450 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy); BIO 111 allows students to take ecology courses (BIO 111 is prerequisite for BIO 329 Field Botany, BIO 335 Survey of Fishes, Amphibians and Reptiles, BIO 338 Marine Biology, BIO 360 Ecology and others that students may wish to take to fulfill their upper-division electives).

GEOL 202Historical Geology


BIO 111Biology: Organisms to EcosystemsLAS1LASL


Choose 3 credits of the following:

ESCI 491Geoscience Field Issues

1- 6

ESCI 492Earth Science Internship


ESCI 496Earth Science Study Abroad

1- 6

GEOG 391Western Colorado Rivers


GEOL 390Colorado Geology


Choose 9 credits of Upper Division Electives

Choose a minimum of 9 credits from courses selected in consultation with an academic advisor to explore an area of interest in greater depth with prefix GEOL, MET, ESCI, OCN, PHYS, CHEM, BIO, MATH, ENST, GEOG, ECON, STAT, SCI that are numbered 300 or higher. Other courses may satisfy requirements with approval of the advisor. At least 3 credits must be with prefix GEOL, MET, ESCI, or OCN.

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

3. University-Wide Credits — 3 credits*

Complete additional credits to achieve the minimum credits needed for any degree at UNC; for this program, that will typically be 3 credits.

*Note: Students who apply the recommended courses to both the liberal arts curriculum and the major requirements will have an increased number of university wide electives to apply to this degree. See your advisor for details.