Environmental Science Major and Minor Curriculum
The BSES is a joint degree between the College of Arts and Sciences and SPEA and it is administered by the Integrated Program in the Environment. Students must choose one school through which they complete the degree (see FAQ page for considerations related to which school to choose).
Both SPEA and the College maintain a Bulletin entry for the Environmental Science major and minor requirements. You can access both the College and SPEA Bulletins for any academic year here. If you have trouble finding what you need, email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
The minor is intended for students majoring in the natural sciences or related disciplines. It is recommended that students pursuing this minor have a background in mathematics equivalent to MATH-M119 or higher, and a background in chemistry equivalent to CHEM-C117 or higher. Selection of elective courses should be done in consultation with an environmental science faculty member, or the program directors of the BS in Environmental Science (BSES).
Students in the BSES can pursue an Honors degree by meeting the requirements described below for their academic unit, and by successfully completing an Honors thesis.
College of Arts and Sciences: Students eligible for the honors program must maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.300 and a 3.500 grade point average in their environmental science coursework. Honors students are encouraged to enroll in departmental courses and sections intended for honors students. Honors students must also complete a thesis as described below. Further information regarding this program may be obtained from the College of Arts and Sciences academic advisor (see Advising page).
SPEA: To be invited to participate in the SPEA Honors Program students must be admitted to SPEA and have completed a minimum of 26 credit hours. Students must maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.500 and a 3.500 grade point average in their environmental science coursework. Other requirements are to complete three SPEA courses in your major at an honors level and complete a thesis as described below. Further information regarding this program may be obtained from a SPEA academic advisor (see Advising page).
BSES Honors Thesis (College and SPEA)
The Honors thesis for the BSES provides students with the experience of conducting independent research in the field of environmental science. The process begins by identifying a research topic and a faculty member to serve as the thesis advisor. This should occur before the end of the student's junior year. The student should work closely with the faculty advisor to design and conduct the research project. The student will also produce a written thesis describing the research project. The length, style, and format are determined by the faculty advisor, but it is expected that the thesis will be a technical document, comparable in style to a peer-reviewed journal article. Lastly, the student will deliver an oral presentation of the thesis work at the IU Undergraduate Research Symposium held each spring. The student should work their faculty advisor in developing their presentation. Details about the symposium will be announced early each spring.
It is expected that the Honors thesis activities will, at a minimum, be equivalent in effort to a 3-credit hour, upper level science course.
Students should enroll in at least 3 credits of research in the department of their faculty advisor. Typically, this will be one of the following courses:
- BIOL-L490 Individual Study
- CHEM-C409 Chemical Research
- GEOG-G450 Undergraduate Research in Geography
- GEOL-G410 Undergraduate Research in Geology
- SPEA-E491 Directed Research in Env Sci-Honors