Prospective Students

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science (BSES) is a joint degree between the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and the College of Arts and Sciences. What does this mean for a BSES student? An integrated, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of environmental science, with premier faculty from two excellent IU schools.

The BSES is a rigorous curriculum that prepares students for a career in the interdisciplinary field of environmental science. BSES graduates are well prepared for advanced study in graduate programs, or to enter the job market in either the public or private sectors. Employment opportunities include environmental consulting firms; federal, state, and local environmental agencies; and non-governmental environmental organizations.

Environmental science is an applied science, and the curriculum reflects this in a number of ways. Many of the courses taken by BSES students include field and laboratory work, providing valuable hands-on experience and demonstrating the applied nature of environmental science. The BSES curriculum also includes a field experience requirement, typically satisfied by attending a field station after the sophomore or junior year. Additional hands-on experience is available by working with faculty on their research projects. BSES students are strongly encouraged to pursue research opportunities during their time at IU.

Sounds challenging? It is. The BSES is a science-focused curriculum that demands the best of its students. It requires comfort with quantitative skills. High school students considering the BSES should expect to take calculus, biology, and chemistry during their first year at IU. So, yes - the BSES is demanding but it is equally rewarding.  Well performing BSES graduates are commonly accepted into the top graduate schools in the nation, or readily find employment in the field of environmental science.  In essence, the BSES provides the knowledge and skills that will open the door to a career in science.

How can I learn more?

After browsing our website, you may still have questions--or want to discuss whether this is a good path for you.

Students currently in high school or who have just begun their college career are welcome to discuss the BSES with staff in the Integrated Program in the Environment (IPE) – email We recommend that high school students schedule a general campus visit, arranged through the Office of Admissions. In most cases, you can schedule an informational session with us at the same time you schedule your campus tour. If visiting us in person is not possible, consider scheduling a phone advising appointment by calling 812-855-8745.

Current IU students are encouraged to seek advising in either SPEA or the College of Arts and Sciences.  See our Advising page.