BS in Environmental Science

The Environmental Science Program offers students an interdisciplinary degree plan in which the student selects a concentration area in Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Geosciences or Environmental Hydrosciences.

Employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicate an overall 4.9% increase in geoscience jobs between 2019 and 2029, from 460,242 jobs in 2019 to 482,726 jobs in 2029. For comparison, the projected growth of the U.S. workforce over the same timeframe is expected to be 3.7%. Growth rates for individual geoscience occupations range between 0% and 8.4% for all but geoscience engineering managers (-1%).

Marketable Skills

Students will develop:

  • Communication: Reach mutual understanding through effective exchange of information, ideas, and feelings
  • Critical thinking: Analyze and evaluate issues in order to solve problems and develop informed opinions
  • Problem-solving: Find solutions to difficult or complex issues
  • Research: Be able to search, investigate and critically analyze information in response to a specific research question
  • Teamwork: Participate as an effective, efficient member of a group in order to meet a common goal
  • Writing: Communicate using text in a clear and concise manner

Additionally, students will learn about 3-D spatial thinking, the ability to interpret geological maps, mapping skills, sample collection, and organization skills. 

All students will fulfill the University Foundation courses and the Environmental Science Core, a sequence of environmental science classes. In addition, students take courses in their selected concentration area. Each concentration area is different and contains unique course requirements.

The Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Environmental Science can be used to obtain a concentration in Secondary Teacher Certification 7-12.

Courses required of all students in the program:

Fast Track

The Fast-Track Program enables outstanding undergraduate UTEP students to receive both undergraduate and graduate credit for up to 15 hours of UTEP course work as determined by participating Master's and Doctoral programs.  Not all undergraduate programs have elected to participate in the Fast Track option, so students should see their departmental graduate advisor for information about requirements and guidelines. A list of courses that have been approved for possible use at the graduate level is found here

Degree Plan

BS in Environmental Science Core for all concentrations 

Required Credits: 120

Designated Core (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses: 1
CHEM 1105Laboratory for CHEM 13051
CHEM 1106Laboratory for CHEM 13061
CHEM 1305General Chemistry3
CHEM 1306General Chemistry3
MATH 1411Calculus I4
Environmental Science Core
ESCI 1101Environmental Sci. Lab1
ESCI 1301Intro to Environmental Sci3
ESCI 1310Field Methods in Env Science3
ESCI 3105Research Exp in Envi Science 21
ESCI 3192Prof. Development in ESCI1
ESCI 3201Environmental Policy & Law2
ESCI 3204Research Exp in Envi Science 12
ESCI 4301Senior Project3
ESCI 4320Monitoring Regional Sust3
ESCI 4398Environmental Sci. Internship (Note: Not required for ESCI Secondary Education Minor)3
STAT 2480Elementary Statistical Methods4
University Core Curriculum
Complete the University Core Curriculum requirements.
An applied internship that promotes learning, hands-on experience, and industrial practice by applying international manufacturing management and engineering fundamentals is offered in a local manufacturing plant. 42
Concentration
Select one of the concentrations below:40
Upper Division Requirement
Select a total of thirty-seven hours of upper division course work 1
Total Hours120

Concentrations

Environmental Biology

Environmental Biology Concentration
Required Courses:
BIOL 1107Topics in Study of Life I1
BIOL 1108Organismal Biology Laboratory1
BIOL 1305General Biology3
BIOL 1306Organismal Biology3
BIOL 3117Ecology Laboratory1
BIOL 3316Ecology3
BIOL 4428Environmnt Stressor in Ecosyst4
Select eight hours of the following:8
General Botany
Gen Microbiology Laboratory
General Microbiology
Vertebrate Zoology
Invertebrate Zoology
Select 14 hours of the following:14
Genetics
Evolution
Plants and People
Quantitative Methods Ecology
Plant Ecology
Field Biology
Genetic, Env & Evol - Anim Beh
Animal Ecology
Special Problems
Ecosystem Ecology
Plant Diversity & Systematics
Fish, Amphibians, and Reptiles
Birds and Mammals
Total Hours38

Environmental Chemistry

Concentration in Environmental Chemistry
Required Courses:
CHEM 2221Organic Chemistry I Lab2
CHEM 2321Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2322Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 3110Lab for Chemistry 33101
CHEM 3151Lab for Chemistry 33511
CHEM 3310Analytical Chemistry3
CHEM 3330Biochem I:Struc & Function3
CHEM 3351Physical Chemistry I3
CHEM 4211Instrumental Meths Analyt Chem2
CHEM 4212Lab for Chemistry 42112
MATH 1312Calculus II3
MATH 2313Calculus III3
PHYS 2420Introductory Mechanics4
PHYS 2421Introductory Electromagnetism4
Total Hours37

Environmental Geoscience

Environmental Geoscience Concentration
Required Courses:
GEOL 1313
GEOL 1103
Intro to Physical Geology
and Lab for GEOL 1313
3-4
or GEOL 1211
GEOL 1111
Principles of Earth Sciences
and Principles of Earth Sci - Lab
GEOL 1314
GEOL 1104
Intro to Historical Geol
and Lab for GEOL 1314
3-4
or GEOL 1212
GEOL 1112
Principles of Earth Science
and Laboratory for Geology 1212
PHYS 2230Thermal and Fluid Physics2
PHYS 2420Introductory Mechanics4
PHYS 2421Introductory Electromagnetism4
GEOL 2309
GEOL 2109
Mineralogy & Petrology
and Mineralogy & Petrology Lab
4
GEOL 3312
GEOL 3112
Geoscience Processes
and Geoscience Processes Lab
4
GEOL 3323
GEOL 3123
Structural Geology
and Structural Geology Lab
4
GEOL 3326
GEOL 3126
Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
and Lab for Sedim & Stratigraphy
4
GEOL 4375
GEOL 4376
Field Geology I
and Field Geology II
6
MATH 1312Calculus II3
Select one of the following:3
Introduction to GIS
Intro. to Remote Sensing
Or any upper-division Environmental Ethics or Environmental Policy Course
Upper-Division Electives:
Select four hours of upper-division electives4
Total Hours48-50

Environmental Hydroscience

Environmental Hydroscience Concentration
Required Courses:
ESCI 3306
ESCI 3106
Principles of Hydology
and Principles of Hydrology Lab
4
GEOL 1313Intro to Physical Geology3
GEOL 1314Intro to Historical Geol3
GEOL 3312
GEOL 3112
Geoscience Processes
and Geoscience Processes Lab
4
GEOL 4335Soil Properties & Genesis3
or GEOL 4373 Grndwater Contam and Reclam
GEOL 4383General Hydrogeology3
GEOP 3320AIntroduction to Geophysics3
GEOP 4350Field Geophysics3
or GEOL 4375 Field Geology I
MATH 1312Calculus II3
MATH 2326Differential Equations3
PHYS 2230Thermal and Fluid Physics2
PHYS 2420Introductory Mechanics4
PHYS 2421Introductory Electromagnetism4
Ethics or Policy:
Select eleven upper division hours from any courses in CE, CHEM, ESCI, GEOG,GEOL, GEOP 11
GEOL 4385 is strongly recommended
Total Hours53

You cannot choose this concentration until you meet three criteria: your UTEP overall GPA must be at least 2.75, your UTEP majors GPA must be at least 2.75, and your must pass the UTEP Qualifying Exam in Science with a score of at least 80%.

7-12 Science

Background Check Required
A complete background check is required of all students who wish to receive teacher certification in the State of Texas. Students will be required to pass a background check before certification will be conferred by the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC).
Designated Core (All courses require a grade of C or better)
Required Courses: 1
BIOL 1107Topics in Study of Life I1
BIOL 1108Organismal Biology Laboratory1
BIOL 1305General Biology3
BIOL 1306Organismal Biology3
BIOL 3314
BIOL 3115
Molecular Cell Biology
and Molecular Cell Biol Laboratory
4
BIOL 4225Field Biology2
GEOL 1211
GEOL 1111
Principles of Earth Sciences
and Principles of Earth Sci - Lab
3
GEOG 3306Weather and Climate3
MATH 1312Calculus II3
PHYS 2420Introductory Mechanics4
PHYS 2421Introductory Electromagnetism4
Complete the University Core Curriculum requirements. 42
Environmental Science Major
Select three hours from the following3
Geoscience Processes Lab
Geoscience Processes
Environmental Health
Vertebrate Physiology Methods
Secondary Education Minor
Required Courses:
EDPC 3300Developmental Variations3
RED 3342Content Area Literacy3
SCED 3311Curriculum Plan-Secondary Schl3
SCED 3317Multicultural Ed in Sec School3
SCED 4368Teaching Science in Sec School3
SCED 4691Student Teaching in Sec School6
Upper Division Requirement
Select a total of thirty-seven hours of upper division course work 237
Total Hours134

University Core Curriculum

NOTE: The department may make specific suggestions for courses which are most applicable towards your major.

Psychology and Criminal Justice majors and minors are required to take MATH 1320 Math for Social Sciences I or a higher level Calculus course.

Business majors are required to take MATH 1320 Math for Social Sciences I or a higher level Calculus course.

NOTE: All courses require a C or better

Communication (six hours)

The objective of the communication component is to enable the student to communicate effectively in clear and correct prose or orally in a style appropriate to the subject, occasion, and audience.
Select six hours of the following: 6
For students whose secondary education was in English:
Written and Oral Communication
Writing About Literature
Rhetoric & Composition I
Rhetoric & Composition 2
Rhetoric, Composition & Comm
For students whose secondary education was not in English:
ESOL 1311Expos Engl Compos-Spkr Esl3
ESOL 1312Res & Crit Writng Spkr Esl3
Total Hours12

American History (six hours)

The objectives of the history component are to expand students’ knowledge of the origin and history of the U.S., their comprehension of the past and current role of the U.S. in the world, and their ability to critically evaluate and analyze historical evidence. U.S. history courses (three hours must be Texas history) include:
HIST 1301History of U.S. to 18653
HIST 1302History of U.S. Since 18653
Total Hours6

Language, Philosophy & Culture  (three hours)

The objective of the humanities component is to expand students' knowledge of the human condition and human cultures, especially in relation to behaviors, ideas, and values expressed in works of human imagination and thought. Through study in disciplines such as literature and philosophy, students engage in critical analysis and develop an appreciation of the humanities as fundamental to the health and survival of any society.
Select one of the following:3
Latina/o Presence in the U.S.
English Literature
English Literature
Intro to American Fiction
Intro to American Drama
Intro to American Poetry
Making of the "Other" Americas
World History to 1500
World History Since 1500
Introduction to Philosophy
Ethics
Introduct to Religious Studies
Seeing & Naming: Conversations
Introduction to Womens Studies
Global Feminisms
Total Hours3

Mathematics  (three hours)

The objective of the mathematics component is to develop a quantitatively literate college graduate. Every college graduate should be able to apply basic mathematical tools in the solution of real-world problems.
Select one of the following:3
College Algebra
Trigonometry and Conics
Math in the Modern World
Math for Social Sciences I
Calculus I
Precalculus 1,2
Math for Social Sciences II
Statistical Literacy
Elementary Statistical Methods
1 A higher-level course in the calculus sequence can be substituted.
2 TCCN MATH 1314 will also satisfy this requirement.
Total Hours3

Life & Physical Sciences  (six hours)

The objective of the study of the natural sciences is to enable the student to understand, construct, and evaluate relationships in the natural sciences, and to enable the student to understand the bases for building and testing theories. The courses listed are for non-majors; the major courses in the discipline can be substituted for the non-major sequence. A minimum of two semesters of lecture and one semester of laboratory associated with one of the courses, or two semesters of combined (3 credit) lecture-laboratory courses (Only six hours apply toward the required 42.):
Select one of the following:1-4
Astronomy Lab I
Elem Astronomy-Solar System
Elem Astr Stars & Galaxies
Introductory Biology Lab
Human Biology Laboratory
Topics in Study of Life I
Organismal Biology Laboratory
Introductory Biology
Human Biology
General Biology
Organismal Biology
Human Anat/Physio Lab I
Human Anat/Physio Lab II
Human Anat/Physiology I
Human Anat/Physiology II
Laboratory for CHEM 1305
Laboratory for CHEM 1306
Intro General Chemistry Lab
Intro Organic & Biochem Lab
General Chemistry
General Chemistry
Intro to General Chemistry
Intro Organic & Biochemistry
Environmental Sci. Lab
Non-major Lab for ESCI 1301
Intro to Environment Science 2
Intro to Environmental Sci
Laboratory for GEOG 1306
Physical Geography
Lab for GEOL 1313
Lab for GEOL 1314
Principles of Earth Sci - Lab
Laboratory for Geology 1212
Principles of Earth Sciences
Principles of Earth Science
The Blue Planet
Natural Hazards
Intro to Physical Geology
Intro to Historical Geol
Fundamentals of Nutrition
Wellness Dynamics
Microorganisms and Disease
General Physics I
General Physics II
Introductory Mechanics
Introductory Electromagnetism
Total Hours1-4

Political Science  (six hours)

The objectives of the political science component are to expand students’ knowledge of the origin and evolution of the U.S. and Texas political systems, focusing on the growth of political institutions, and on the constitutions of Texas and the United States; and to enhance their understanding of federalism, states rights, and individual civil liberties, rights, and responsibilities.
Required Courses:
POLS 2310Introduction to Politics3
POLS 2311American Gover & Politics3
Total Hours6

Social and Behavioral Sciences  (three hours)

The objective of the social and behavioral science component is to increase students' knowledge of how social and behavioral scientists discover, describe, and explain the behaviors and interactions among individuals, groups, institutions, events, and ideas. Such knowledge will better equip students to understand themselves and the roles they play in addressing the issues facing humanity.
Select one of the following:3
Intro-Phys Anth/Archeolog
Intro-Cultural Anthropology
Cultural Geography
Intro to Linguistics
Econ for Engrs & Scientists
Interpersonal Communication
Mass Media and Society
Principles of Economics
Principles of Economics
Introduction to Ed Psychology
Action Research in Classrooms
Introduction to Linguistics
Cultural Geography
An Intro. to Linguistics
Lang. Inside & Out: Sel Topics
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Cultural Geography
Total Hours3

 Creative Arts (three hours)

The objective of the visual and performing arts component is to expand students' knowledge and appreciation of the human imagination as expressed through works of visual art, dance, music, theatre and film. Through study in these disciplines, students will form aesthetic judgments and develop an appreciation of the arts as fundamental to the health and survival of any society.
Select one of the following:3
Art Appreciation
History of Art I
History of Art II
Dance Appreciation
Intro-Art of Motion Pict.
Music Appreciation
Jazz to Rock
Music, Culture, and Society
Introduction to Theatre
Total Hours3

Component Area Option (six hours)

The objective of the institutionally designated option component is to develop the critical thinking skills and academic tools required to be an effective learner. Special emphasis is placed on the use of technology in problem-solving, communications, and knowledge acquisition.
Select two of the following:6
Intro to Global Business
Public Speaking
Business/Profession Comm
Intro-Computational Thinking
Computer Programming Sci/Engr
Eng Innovation and Leadership
Inquiry in Math & Science
Seminar/Critical Inquiry
Total Hours6