Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Environmental Science Concentration

About Environmental Science

Develop expertise in a vital, interdisciplinary field to manage our environment.

Pursue a career in environmental science, ecology-related positions or graduate work with the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies at California University of Pennsylvania. This undergraduate degree program in environmental studies offers a broad core of courses in biology and ecology, supplemented with courses in earth sciences, chemistry and mathematics. You'll have the opportunity to specialize in environmental science as your concentration, and to choose from a wide range of electives in order to be well prepared to excel in this sector. 

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to apply knowledge from many disciplines to the study and management of the environment. The curriculum provides a foundation in the biological sciences and complements it with an understanding of the physical sciences, chemistry and physics, and a working knowledge of mathematics and statistics so you can effectively work to seek environmental solutions facing society today.  

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's access to internships and research.

Through various methods such as gathering information and data, considering values, and exploring consequences, students gain the tools necessary to effectively evaluate information about environmental issues and make informed decisions. Almost all courses include a laboratory portion, where students study the practical application of the science and learn about scientific technology, instruments and various organisms. 

The environmental studies curriculum provides essential field opportunities through internships and undergraduate research projects in the environmental sciences. This core content is enhanced by the breadth of the University's general education requirements. Students also have access to Cal U's Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Studies (ICES) and the nearby Student Association Farm.


Concentrations: You'll develop intellectual and analytical skills to understand and solve environmental problems through the curriculum for the bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies. Cal U's challenging and interdisciplinary programs foster your expertise in environmental studies, along with in-depth study of specific interests with one of these five concentrations:

Solid foundation: An interdisciplinary field, environmental studies applies knowledge from many fields to the study and management of the environment. The curriculum focuses on developing an understanding of the physical sciences, chemistry and physics, and a working knowledge of mathematics and statistics. Students study such topics as ecology, ecosystems and human impacts upon them, biodiversity, pollution, energy, and sustainability. You'll be equipped to design, analyze and interpret environmental information and data.

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Student-to-faculty ratio at Cal U.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in environmental studies, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

In the environmental studies degree program, the concentration in environmental science gives you the flexibility to focus on a specific content area in preparation for graduate work or entering the workforce.  The objectives of the environmental science program are to:

  • Develop knowledge of biological processes and structures occurring in the environmental and ecological sciences.
  • Provide laboratory and field experiences that promote scientific inquiry and experimental methods in the environmental sciences and ecology.
  • Create opportunities for student research projects to enhance understanding of environmental and ecological processes.
  • Assist students with course selection that will enhance their chosen career
  • Establish the necessary foundation for continued professional growth in graduate school, if desired.
  • Teach the skills required for entry-level positions with industry, nonprofit and government organizations.
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Graduate Outcomes

Environmental studies graduates are prepared for graduate work in environmental science and related fields, as well as for industrial and government research. The need continues to grow for individuals with environmental and ecological backgrounds to identify, abate or eliminate sources of pollutants or hazards that affect the environment and public health. Opportunities are diverse: Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to growth 11% through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. A steady demand exists for environmental scientists and environmental monitoring technicians. Employers include federal, state and local governments, consulting firms and nonprofit organizations.

Environmental Studies (B.S.) Conservation Ecology Concentration
Cal U professor takes students outside for field work in environmental studies.

Vital Resources

The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences is housed in a building equipped with a computer lab, animal rooms, greenhouse and plant growth facilities, herbarium, and vertebrate teaching museum. Cal U students also benefit from various academic societies and clubs: Beta Beta Beta is the national honor society for biological sciences. The student chapter of the Wildlife Society connects students with the professional community to study, manage and conserve wildlife and their habitats worldwide. Open to all interested students, the Biology Club explores career opportunities, offers behind-the-scenes tours of zoos and museums, and more. The Fisheries Club , a chapter of the American Fisheries Society, offers similar education and professional opportunities.

A student studies plant in environmental studies lab.

Professional Connections

Cal U graduates in environmental studies hold positions at a wide range of employers, including Greene County (Pa.) Soil and Water Conservation District, National Park Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, JRJ Energy Services, Pittsburgh City Parks, Murray American Energy and U.S. Forest Service. Program alumni also are engaged in graduate studies at locations such as the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in California and Ohio University.

The SAI Framhouse is home to ICES.

Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Studies

Cal U's Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Studies (ICES) creates, builds, and facilitates environmental programs that result in synergies in teaching, research and service related to the environment. Through ICES Cal U students are active in a number of community conservation outreach programs. At SAI Farm, not far from the main campus, ICES leads projects such as maintaining a food garden, fruit tree orchard and bee hives; using a well field for studies in geology and water quality; and creating a wetland and nature trail.

B.S. Environmental Studies Courses

Through your curriculum, you'll develop intellectual and analytical skills to help understand and solve environmental problems, while developing expertise in conservation ecology.


Course Credits
Freshman Year  
First Semester 15
BIO 120 General Zoology 4
CHE 101 General Chemistry I 4
ENG 101 English Composition I 3
UNI 100 First-Year Seminar 1
General Education Course 3
Second Semester 14 or 15
BIO 125 General Botany 4
CHE 102 General Chemistry II 4
ENG 102 English Composition II 3
EAS 100 Introduction to Earth Science OR EAS 150 Introduction to Geology 3 or 4
Sophomore Year  
Third Semester 14
BIO 215 Introduction to Cellular and Molecular Biology 4
MAT 273 Applied Calculus OR MAT 281 Calculus I
PHY 121 General Physics I 4
General Education EMA 3
Fourth Semester 17
BIO 248 General Ecology   4
CHE 331 Organic Chemistry I 4
COM 101 Oral Communication 3
MAT 215 Statistics 3
General Education Course 3
Junior Year  
Fifth Semester 13
ENS 435 Law Planning and Policy 3
ENS 495 Design and Analysis 3
GIS 311 Geographic Information Systems 3
Unrestricted Elective 4
Sixth Semester 15
BIO 488 Water Pollution Biology 4
CHE 381 Environmental Chemistry 4
EAS 303 Hydrology 3
Unrestricted Elective 4
Senior Year  
Seventh Semester 15
ENS 475 Wetlands Ecology 
BIO/ENS XXX Biology-related Course 4
General Education Course 3
Unrestricted Elective 4
Eighth Semester 16
ENS 440 Environmental Pollution Control  4
BIO/ENS XXX Biology-related Course 3
General Education Course 3
Unrestricted Electives 6
Total 120

Note: A minimum of 3 General Education credits must be at or above the 300 level for graduation.


B.S., Environmental Studies - Concentrations and Minors

  • Environmental Studies (Minor)

Environmental Studies Faculty

Dr. David G. Argent


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Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson
Associate Professor


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Dr. Carol Bocetti


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Dr. David Boehm


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Dr. Paula Caffrey
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Chadwick Hanna
Associate Professor


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Dr. Sarah Meiss
Associate Professor


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Dr. Louise Nicholson
Associate Professor


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Dr. Brian Paulson


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Dr. Mark Tebbitt
Associate Professor


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Dr. Robert S. Whyte


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Dr. Ed Zuchelkowski


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