Bachelor of Science

Why declare a B.S. Major in EES?

If you're intention is a scientific or technical career in geology, ecology, or environmental science, our B.S. degree in EES is for you. While still quite flexible, this degree will provide you with the in-depth training required for graduate school and professional careers.

Our B.S. degree reflects what we feel is an important strength of the EES Department, which is the way our expertise in ecology, geology, and environmental science wraps around the integrated whole that is the natural world. We're convinced that this is the way all these fields will evolve, and so we've built the B.S. degree around a core of Earth-system science and collateral-science courses. You're free to tailor the details of the full degree to ecology, geology, and other disciplines represented within EES, but you'll do so having gained both solid fundamentals and a broad perspective.


The B.S. involves a total of 49 credits in EES, and 21 credits of collateral science and math. After completing all other University and College requirements, you would still have 25 credits to spend exploring other areas, studying in related fields, or pursuing a minor. Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Meet the basic University and College requirements (at least 25 credits):
    • College Seminar (3 credits)
    • English Composition: 2 courses (6 credits)
    • Distribution requirements: at least two humanities courses for at least 8 credits and at least two social-science courses for at least 8 credits (16 credits).
  2. Fulfill the junior writing requirement, preferably within EES. EES 200 can usually serve in this regard, but check with the department to verify this or see what other EES courses might be designated writing intensive.
  3. Meet the B.S.'s math and collateral-science requirements (at least 22 credits):
    • Two courses in Math (Math 12 or above), one of which must be Calculus
    • Chemistry 30(4) or Chemistry 40(4)
    • Physics 10 or 11, and Physics 12
    • Two or more additional courses (minimum of 6 credits) chosen from Biology (BIOS 41 or above), Chemistry (CHM 31 or above), Mathematics (MATH 012 or above), Computer Science and Engineering (CSE 001 or above), or Physics (PHY 13 or above) to meet the 22-credit overall requirement minimum.
    • Note: Consider your interests and career goals as you choose collateral sciences: consult with your advisor if you have questions. Keep in mind that some courses in other departments may have additional prerequisites that you will need to fill.
  4. Take the EES core sequence:
    • EES 80 (Earth-System Science)
    • EES 115 (Surficial Processes)
    • EES 131 (Introduction to Rocks and Minerals)
    • EES 152 (Ecology)
    • EES 200 (Earth History)
    • EES 380 (Senior Seminar in EES).
  5. Take seven major electives in EES at the 200-level or above, for at least 28 credits:
    • Four of these major electives must be at the 300 level
    • Up to 8 credits of EES internship (EES 293) and EES research (EES 393) may be used as major electives (no more than four of which can be EES 293).
  6. Meet the field-experience requirement (0 to 6 credits), using either a designated EES course, or an experience approved by your advisor:
    • EES courses taken to meet this requirement can also serve as major electives
    • EES 341 (Field Geology) - counts as one four-credit course towards major electives, although all 6 credits count towards graduation requirements.
    • Internships or work experience, approved by your advisor: the experience must include substantial work in the field involving research and/or technical work.


To make planning for your B.S. degree easy, download and complete our handy checklist with your advisor.