Program & Curriculum Approval: Executive Summary



Program Title: Environmental Science BA

NOTE: The sample plan below may not include all possible course options. Check the program requirements for additional courses that can work with your four-year plan.

Approval Status

Proposal Not Submitted

Program Last Saved

Sep 4, 2008 4:07:49 PM


Carol Ford

General Information



University of Minnesota, Morris



Program type:


Program title (short):

Environmental Science BA

Program title (long):

Environmental Science BA

Additional terms:

This program is 8 semesters (4 years) long.
This program does not need any summer terms.

Stakeholder college(s):

UMM-Science & Math, Div of

Degree-granting college(s):

UMM-Science & Math, Div of

Approver college(s):

UMM-Science & Math, Div of

Administrative college(s):

UMM-Science & Math, Div of

Budgetary college(s):

UMM-Science & Math, Div of : 100%


Division of Science & Mathematics - Adm

First term admitting students:

Fall 2009

Effective date:

Fall 2009


Bachelor of Arts

Catalog description:

This major is for students interested in an interdisciplinary science education that prepares them to deal with environmental challenges. The basic natural resources of land, air, and water are studied in the context of protecting and sustaining the environment. Students become knowledgeable about environmental issues and applied environmental science. The environmental science curriculum draws courses predominantly from the disciplines of the Division of Science and Mathematics.

By the beginning of their Junior year students should submit a clearly articulated educational plan and a list of selected electives, to be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Science Advisory Group.

Students are encouraged to fulfill distribution requirements with courses that will complement the Environmental Science major  (e.g. Econ 1111 – Microeconomics and Econ 3006 - Environmental and Natural Resource Management).


1. 2. 3.

Field of Study:


Program contact's U of M Internet ID:


Program contact's full name:

James Cotter

Program contact's campus mail address:

UMM Div of Science and Math, Room 2550 Sci, M242A, 600 E 4th St, Morris, MN 56267

Program contact's email address:

Program contact's phone number:


Narrative Materials


Brief summary or overview of reason for proposed new program or rationale for changes:

There are three coincident influential factors that underscore the need for an interdisciplinary environmental science major: 1) UMM's commitment to environmental issues. 2) the need for majors in STEM fields and 3) a stated commitment by federal funding agencies toward interdisciplinary studies.

Site(s) beyond the home campus where this program will be delivered:


External accrediting agency for this program:


Academic Exchange or Articulation Agreement:


Mission, Priorities and Interrelatedness:

The Environmental Science major complements UMM’s liberal arts mission and supports the 2007 UMM Strategic Plan that calls for a broad integration of liberal learning outcomes and integration of green initiatives into the curriculum. Based on this mission, the Environmental Science major prioritizes a science based interdisciplinary acquisition of knowledge and practice. A 2007 NSF STEP Grant supports creation of an Environmental Science major.

Need and Demand:

UMM has placed increasing emphasis on “re-inventing a 'green' learning environment." As a result, many of the high school students considering UMM have an interest in environmental issues. For those students who self identify as having an interest in both sciences and the environment, the Environmental Science major will both validate those interests and facilitate an interdisciplinary program to achieve their academic goals. The Environmental Science major will also add a STEM curriculum that will complement UMM’s institutional curricular direction.

Comparative Advantage:

UMM is well positioned to offer an interdisciplinary science major taking advantage of our strong science programs and our liberal arts tradition. UMM has placed in the 98th percentile among all higher education institutions in the percentage of Bachelor of Arts Degrees awarded in science and mathematics. Additionally, UMM students are recognized for their “activist nature” and their commitment to green initiatives. Up to forty percent of the incoming freshmen have identified themselves as Science or Math majors. Thus the Environmental Science major will serve those students who self-select a career aspiration in both the sciences and environmental fields. Additionally, the UMM campus with its wind turbine, new biomass facility, and sustainability initiatives provides a model of “campus as classroom” learning.

Efficiency, Effectiveness, and use of Resources:

Much science faculty expertise and interest in environmental fields already exists at UMM. Faculty members whose teaching and research interests are focused on the environment include all four of the current members of Geology, five in Biology and additional faculty from Physics and Chemistry. UMM has recently obtained a grant from the NSF Science Talent Enhancement Program (STEP) to support the establishment of the Environmental Science major. Most of the courses in this major serve other major programs.

Program Quality and Assessment:

Objective: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the physical environment and how human activities impact the physical environment. Assessment: exams and papers from EnSt 2101, Geol 1101 and electives. Objective: students will demonstrate ability to identify, analyze, and solve environmental problems. Assessment: assignments, discussion and presentations for ESci 3196, ESci 4901 and ESci 4902

Program Development:

The Environmental Science major will require no new resources. It will draw predominantly on existing UMM courses. Other courses in the major will include a two-credit capstone experience (senior seminar), a field course offered by other institutions and new interdisciplinary science courses to be developed with funding from a grant from the NSF STEP program. These courses will be added to the curriculum as they become available.

Admission Requirements


Preferred freshman writing course(s):


Enter the minimum courses or credits to be completed before admission, if applicable:

No Courses or Credits

Indicate students that are usually admitted to pre-major status before admission to this major:

No students

Enter the preferred minimum G.P.A. above 2.0 for students already admitted to the degree-granting college(s) and now seeking entry to the major, if applicable:

No G.P.A. Requirement above 2.0.

Enter the preferred minimum G.P.A. above 2.0 for students transferring from another U of M college (I.U.T.s), if applicable:

No G.P.A. Requirement above 2.0.

Enter the preferred minimum G.P.A. above 2.0 for students transferring from outside the University, if applicable:

No G.P.A. Requirement above 2.0.

Required course(s):


Program Requirements


Program length in credits:

120 to 120 credits

Major length in credits:

67 to 72 credits

How many semesters of a second language are required?

2 semester(s)

Specific language(s) required

Any Second Language

Other requirements, if applicable:

Selection of electives must be done in consultation with an Environmental Science adviser. By the beginning of their junior year students should submit a clearly articulated educational plan and a list of selected electives, to be reviewed and approved by the Environmental Science Advisory Group. Courses in the Division of Science and Math other than those listed below may be used to fulfill the “Elective Science Courses" with the prior approval of the Environmental Science Advisory Group.

Required courses may not be taken S-N unless offered S-N only.

Up to 4 credits of coursework with a grade of D or D+ may be used to meet the major requirements. A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required in the major to graduate. The GPA includes all, and only, University of Minnesota coursework. Grades of 'F' are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.


Required course(s):

Required Courses
  Basic Sciences
    CHEM 1101 - General Chemistry I, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    CHEM 1102 - General Chemistry II, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    STAT 2601 - Statistical Methods, M/SR (4.0 cr)
   MATH 1101 - Calculus I, M/SR (5.0 cr)
      or MATH 1021 - Survey of Calculus, M/SR (4.0 cr)
   PHYS 1101 - General Physics I, SCI-L (5.0 cr)
      or PHYS 1091 - Principles of Physics I, SCI-L (5.0 cr)
  Applied Sciences
    BIOL 3131 - Ecology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    GEOL 1101 - Physical Geology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    GEOL 2161 - GIS and Remote Sensing, SCI (4.0 cr)
    GEOL 3501 - Hydrology, SCI (4.0 cr)
    ENST 1101 - Environmental Problems and Policy, ENVT (4.0 cr)
    ESCI 4901 {Approval Pending}
    ESCI 4902 {Approval Pending}
   ENST 2101 - Environmental Biology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    or BIOL 1111 - Fundamentals of Genetics, Evolution, and Development, SCI (3.0 cr)
        BIOL 2101 - Evolution of Biodiversity, SCI-L (4.0 cr)

Required Practicum
Completion of an applied educational experience in Environmental Science.  An approved educational experience in a work, research, and/or field setting that provides practical complement to the student's classroom learning experiences.  Educational experiences are approved by the Environmental Science Advisory Group. A wide variety of experiences are possible, ESci 3196 - Environmental Science Field Camp is one example.

Elective Science Courses
Courses from at least 2 disciplines must be included. No more than 8 credits from 2xxx level courses may be used to meet this requirement. If a second major is sought in the Division Science and Mathematics, at least 12 elective credits for the Environmental Science major must come from a discipline outside the second major (e.g. a geology major cannot apply more than 8 Geol elective credits toward the Environmental Science major).
  Take 20 or more credit(s) from the following:
    · BIOL 4121 - Herpetology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · BIOL 4131 - Vertebrate Natural History, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · BIOL 4151 - Entomology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · BIOL 4172 {Approval Pending}
    · BIOL 4191 - Freshwater Biology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · BIOL 4331 - Global Change Ecology, SCI (4.0 cr)
    · BIOL 4351 - Conservation Biology , SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · CHEM 2301 - Organic Chemistry I, SCI (4.0 cr)
    · CHEM 2302 - Organic Chemistry II, SCI (4.0 cr)
    · CHEM 3101 - Analytical Chemistry, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · CHEM 3501 - Physical Chemistry I, SCI (4.0 cr)
    · ESCI 3196 {Approval Pending}
    · GEOL 2001 - Advanced Environmental Geology, ENVT (4.0 cr)
    · GEOL 2121 - Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
    · GEOL 2131 - Geomorphology, SCI (4.0 cr)
    · GEOL 2141 - Glacial and Quaternary Geology, SCI (4.0 cr)
    · PHYS 2301 {Approval Pending}
    · STAT 4601 - Biostatistics, M/SR (4.0 cr)



Sub-plan requirement for this program: