The environmental biology major accommodates a wide variety of student interests and career goals. It may lead directly to employment in an environmental career, but also serves as an excellent preparation for advanced study. A core sequence of basic science and mathematics courses is followed by a series of required courses. Electives include advanced work in a number of environmental areas and students select these according to their interests. It can be quite helpful to develop expertise with a taxonomic group such as birds or fish. The program culminates in an original research project producing an undergraduate thesis. In some cases an internship with an environmentally related governmental agency or business may be substituted for the thesis. Such a substitution must be approved by the environmental studies committee, which is convened by the biology department chair.
This major is suited for those who desire to enter such areas as aquatic biology, water quality management, fisheries biology, wildlife ecology, environmental toxicology, environmental planning and conservation biology.