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.

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Major Program Requirements

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

Core Emphasis Requirements 

Biological Science15
BIO_SC 1200General Botany with Laboratory5
BIO_SC 1500Introduction to Biological Systems with Laboratory5
BIO_SC 3650General Ecology5
Recommended Elective
F_W 2700Ichthyology4
CHEM 1330College Chemistry II4
GEOL 1100Principles of Geology with Laboratory4
or GEOL 1200 Environmental Geology with Laboratory
NAT_R 4353Natural Resource Policy/Administration3
or CV_ENG 4250 Environmental Regulatory Compliance
or RU_SOC 3310 Society, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Soil Science5
SOIL 2100Introduction to Soils3
SOIL 2106Soil Science Laboratory2
Additional Emphasis Area Requirements27
ENV_SC 3250Pollutant Fate and Transport3
ENV_SC 3290WSoils and the Environment - Writing Intensive3
NAT_R 3400Water Quality and Natural Resource Management3
ENV_SC 4940Environmental Science Internship1-99
Students may identify a specific track and select from the following classes or courses 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)
Hyrdology Track
AG_S_M 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 3702Hydrology4
ENV_SC 4305Environmental Soil Physics3
ENV_SC 4306Environmental Soil Physics Laboratory2
ENV_SC 4318Environmental Soil Chemistry3
FOREST 4390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
NAT_R 3400Water Quality and Natural Resource Management3
GEOL 4100Groundwater Hydrology3
Water Quality Track
AG_S_M 4420Surface Water Management3
BIOL_EN 4150Soil and Water Conservation Engineering3
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
F_W 4800Environmental Toxicology3
FOREST 4390Watershed Management and Water Quality3
GEOL 4300Introduction to Low-Temperature Geochemistry3
NAT_R 3400Water Quality and Natural Resource Management3
PLNT_S 4720Aquatic Entomology3
SOIL 4313Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition3
Capstone Experience3
ENV_SC 4320Hydrologic and Water Quality Modeling3
Electives approved by faculty or professional advisor to complete 125 credits6-11

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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 
MATH 11003ENGLSH 10003 
BIO_SC 12005SOIL 21003 
General Elective1SOIL 21062 
ENV_SC 11003Humanities Elective3 
 15 15  
Second Year
ATM_SC 10503ABM 20703 
BIO_SC 15005CHEM 13304 
RU_SOC 10003ENV_SC 35003 
MATH 14003SOIL 21003 
ENV_SC 3290W3SOIL 21062 
 17 15  
Third Year
BIO_SC 12005NAT_R 23253ENV_SC 49403
BIO_SC 36505NAT_R 34003 
STAT 12003NAT_R 43533 
Humanities Elective3ENV_SC 33303 
 Humanities Elective3 
 16 15 3
Fourth Year
ENV_SC 43053GEOL 41003 
ENV_SC 43062F_W 48003 
ENV_SC 43203ENV_SC 43183 
FOREST 43903COMMUN 12003 
GEOL 43003F_W 39003 
 14 15  
Total Credits: 125

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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

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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 would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center in the lower level of the Student Success 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.

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