BS in Environmental Sciences with Emphasis in Water

Degree Program Description

Earth’s environment provides conditions conducive for life: an oxygenated atmosphere; water resources; and soil as a medium for plant growth.  Environmental processes occurring on the planet govern the movement of air, energy, matter, and water.  Through the study of Environmental Sciences, students will learn the science and experience the beauty of the outdoor environment.  This degree program addresses how human activities can adversely alter some environmental processes and environmental quality, techniques to improve environmental quality, and practices that minimize human impacts on the environment.  The Environmental Sciences degree provides a strong science foundation through general science coursework and specialized studies of the atmosphere, land and soil, water, and environmental outreach and education.  The degree combines interests in predicting and understanding weather patterns, monitoring environmental change, conserving and managing soil and biological organisms, assuring healthy streams and adequate water supplies, and improving environmental quality with the shaping of new policies and educating others about the natural environment and environmental issues. Example careers include Atmospheric Scientist, Climatologist, Environmental Specialist, Environmental Technician, Hydrologist, Land Manager, Meteorologist, Soil Scientist, and Water Quality Specialist. Employment may occur in a variety of sectors, including federal, state, county and city government agencies, non-government agencies (NGOs), and private consulting firms.

Major Program Requirements

Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences are required to complete all University general education, University graduation, and degree requirements, including selected foundational courses, which may fulfill some University general education requirements.


MATH 1100College Algebra3-5
or MATH 1160 Precalculus Mathematics
MATH 1400Calculus for Social and Life Sciences I3-5
or MATH 1500 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
CHEM 1320College Chemistry I4
Business Elective (select from ABM, ECONOM, FINPLN)3
AGSC_COM 2220Verbal Communication in Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources3
ABM 2123Quantitative Applications in Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences 3
or STAT 1200 Introductory Statistical Reasoning
ENV_SC 1100Introduction to Environmental Science3
ATM_SC 1050Introductory Meteorology3
NAT_R 2325Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
or GEOG 3040 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems GIS
Additional Computer Course3
ENV_SC 4560Observing the Earth from Space3
or ABM 1200 Applied Computer Applications

Core Emphasis Requirements 

Biological Science15
BIO_SC 1200General Botany with Laboratory5
BIO_SC 1500Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory5
FOREST 4320Forest Ecology5
or BIO_SC 3650 General Ecology
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
GEOL 1100Introduction to the Earth with Laboratory4
or GEOL 1200 Environmental Geology with Laboratory
GEOL 2400Surficial Earth Processes and Products with Laboratory4
NAT_R 4353Natural Resource Policy/Administration3
or ENV_SC 4400W Environmental Law, Policy, and Justice - Writing Intensive
Soil Science5
SOIL 2100Introduction to Soils3
SOIL 2106Soil Science Laboratory2
Additional Emphasis Area Requirements27
ENV_SC 2600Sustainability Foundations: An Introduction to Sustainability 3
ENV_SC 3250Pollutant Fate and Transport3
ENV_SC 3290WSoils and the Environment - Writing Intensive3
ENV_SC 4450Environmental Hydrology3
or FOREST 4390 Watershed Management and Water Quality
ENV_SC 4940Environmental Science Internship3
Students may identify a specific track and select from the following disciplinary elective classes approved by an academic advisor to achieve an additional 15 credit hours at the 3000/4000 levels (must take at least one Atmospheric, Environmental or Soil Science course).
Students not wishing to work in a specific track may select from either list to achieve an additional 15 credit hours at the 3000/4000 levels and at least one course must be in Atmospheric, Environmental, or Soil Science
(Tracks do not appear on transcripts or diplomas)
Hydrology Track
AG_S_TCH 4420Surface Water Management3
ATM_SC 3600Climates of the World3
ATM_SC 4400Micrometeorology3
ATM_SC 4590Radar Meteorology3
BIOL_EN 4150Soil and Water Conservation Engineering3
CV_ENG 3700Fluid Mechanics3
CV_ENG 3702Fundamentals of Water Resources Engineering4
ENV_SC 4305Environmental Soil Physics3
ENV_SC 4306Environmental Soil Physics Laboratory2
ENV_SC 4318Environmental Soil Chemistry3
FOREST 4390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
GEOG 4630River and Stream Dynamics3
GEOL 4100Groundwater Hydrology3
NAT_R 3400Water Quality and Natural Resource Management3
SOIL 4320Genesis of Soil Landscapes4
Water Quality Track
BIOL_EN 4150Soil and Water Conservation Engineering3
ENV_SC 4100Lake Ecology3
ENV_SC 4200Stream Ecology and Hydrology3
ENV_SC 4300Methods in Lake Ecology2
ENV_SC 4305Environmental Soil Physics3
ENV_SC 4306Environmental Soil Physics Laboratory2
ENV_SC 4312Environmental Soil Microbiology3
ENV_SC 4318Environmental Soil Chemistry3
F_W 3900Ecology of Fishes3
FOREST 4390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
GEOL 4300Introduction to Low-Temperature Geochemistry3
NAT_R 3400Water Quality and Natural Resource Management3
PLNT_SCI 4720Aquatic Entomology3
SOIL 4313Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition3
Capstone Experience3
ENV_SC 4320Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
or NAT_R 3400 Water Quality and Natural Resource Management
Electives approved by faculty or professional advisor to complete 120 credits1-7

Back to Top

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
HIST 1100 or POL_SC 11003CHEM 13204 
BIO_SC 12005ENGLSH 10003 
General Elective2MATH 11003 
ENV_SC 11003NAT_R 23253 
ATM_SC 10503  
 16 13  
Second Year
BIO_SC 15005CHEM 13304 
ENV_SC 3290W3GEOL 12004 
ENV_SC 26003SOIL 21003 
AGSC_COM 22203Business Elective3 
 SOIL 21062 
 14 16  
Third Year
BIO_SC 36505NAT_R 34003ENV_SC 49403
GEOL 24004ENV_SC 32503 
STAT 12003Disciplinary Elective3 
Humanities Elective WI3General Elective5 
 15 14 3
Fourth Year
ENV_SC 43053MATH 14003 
ENV_SC 43062Disciplinary Elective6 
ENV_SC 43203Computer Elective3 
Disciplinary Elective6NAT_R 43533 
 14 15  
Total Credits: 120

Back to Top

Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to

Back to Top

Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

Back to Top