Bachelor of Science, Major in Environmental Science (Pollution Abatement)

Environmental Science Degree

CoordinatorRoss Guida   (936) 294-1233

Website: Department of Environmental and Geosciences

Environmental scientists seek to protect both environmental and human health by assessing problems and seeking to find solutions through field, lab, and/or computer-based work. Working in environmental science-related jobs can involve collecting and analyzing soil, water, or air samples, mapping wetlands and disasters, or modeling how pollution is moving through rivers, aquifers, and the air. Environmental Scientists may even find themselves informing the general public about hazards or testifying in court cases.

Environmental Scientists:

  • Work in the private sector, government, or non-governmental positions
  • Work in environmental consulting and for environmental engineering firms
  • Work on enforcing or improving environmental regulations, laws, and policies
  • Advise government officials responsible for developing policies
  • Assess possible environmental and health impacts of development projects
  • Serve as community advocates to ensure clean water and air for vulnerable populations.

No matter the sector they work in, environmental scientists are typically broadly trained across multiple disciplines. Course work for environment science is hands-on and lab-science heavy, including Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, and Soil Science. In addition to being well versed in analyzing data using mathematical and statistical methods, environmental scientists must also have strong writing and oral communication skills. Further, it is important that environmental scientists understand societal impacts and the context of their physical science work through additional perspectives drawn from human geography, sociology, and political science.

Academic Programs

The Environmental Science degree has a choice of and three tracks/concentrations and is designed to fit the particular academic interests of our students and better prepare them for life beyond SHSU, particularly in terms of employment opportunities or graduate study. Students majoring in Environmental Science focus their studies within one of three concentrations; 1) Sustainability; 2) Pollution Abatement; or 3) Water Resources. All three concentrations require several core lab science courses in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and Geology to provide an interdisciplinary foundation for upper-level coursework. Sustainability allows for more elective courses for those that want a broad Environmental Science background and more social science courses. Pollution Abatement is designed for students that want to focus on Biology and Chemistry-related Environmental Science work. Water Resources provides students with a strong foundation to assess water-related issues and includes courses in Aquatic Biology, Surface Water, Groundwater, and Water Quality-related applications. Across the Environmental Science concentrations, students gain experience in labs and the field. Students are also encouraged to pursue internship opportunities that can be counted toward prescribed major elective hours.

Highlights

Combining the strengths of SHSU’s Biology, Chemistry, Geography, and Geology programs, Environmental Science is a great choice for students that want to help communities and solve problems. It’s also a great choice for students that like science but have a hard time picking just one area of scientific interest. Students get diverse perspectives from different physical scientists and take some social science courses to understand how Environmental Science fits in a broad societal context. While the home of the program is located on the third floor of the Lee Drain Building, where the Geographic Information System (GIS) lab, remote sensing lab, Geology labs, and GPS units are located, students in Environmental Science have access to Chemistry labs and the state-of-the-art Biological Lab Sciences building. Multiple trips to SHSU’s Field Station are also included through multiple courses. Students in Environmental Science have access to the College of Science and Engineering Technologies’ two 12-passenge vans for field trips and equipment across multiple contributing physical science departments.  In order to enhance learning, all of our rooms are outfitted with video-projection systems, and our lecture rooms have sound systems and dedicated computers with Internet access that are used by the instructors for teaching purposes. A number of our students obtain internships with Houston-area firms and organizations, and work with faculty members on a range of research projects. While there are some online elective course options, Environmental Science includes multiple hands-on, lab-oriented courses. The degree also regularly offers a number of field opportunities for students to learn outside the classroom.  Some of these field courses involve travel and/or international experiences and have included trips to Central TX, the Texas coast, Hawaii, Central America, Europe, and Africa.

Career Opportunities

Because of the breadth of Environmental Science, there is a wide variety of career opportunities for graduates. These opportunities include careers in the following:

  • Environmental Consulting
  • Environmental Planning
  • Environmental Policy and Politics
  • Environmental compliance (inc. for Construction and Oil and Gas companies)
  • Waste remediation and management
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Sustainability officer
  • Conservation
  • Environmental Protection
  • Environmental Law
  • Emergency Management
  • Lab analyst (Air, soil, water, contamination, etc.)
  • Public Health
  • Dept. of Transportation
  • City, county, state, and federal government
  • Education
  • Military

Environmental Scientists’ broad backgrounds allow them to solve problems that require multiple disciplinary perspectives. Environmental scientists often work in the field, lab, or both. Many also write up reports that relate to development and current regulations and policies.

Suggested Minors

  • NO MINOR IS REQUIRED WITH AN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJOR
  • If students choose to do a minor, it may add time to their degree plan.
Bachelor of Science, Major in Environmental Science (Pollution Abatement)
Core Curriculum
Component Area I (Communication)6
Component Area II (Mathematics) 13
Component Area III (Life and Physical Science)8
Component Area IV (Language, Philosophy, and Culture) 23
Component Area V (Creative Arts)3
Component Area VI (U.S. History)6
Component Area VII (Political Science/Government)6
Component Area VIII (Social and Behavioral Sciences) 33
Component Area IX (Component Area Option) 44
Degree Specific Requirements
BIOL 1411General Botany4
or BIOL 1406 General Biology I
BIOL 1413General Zoology4
or BIOL 1407 General Biology II
CHEM 1411General Chemistry I4
CHEM 1412General Chemistry II4
MATH 1342Elementary Statistics3
or STAT 3379 Statistical Methds in Practice
or MATH 3379 Statistical Mthods in Practice
MATH 1420Calculus I4
Major Requirements
BIOL 1401Environmental Science4
BIOL 3320Sustainability and Environment3
or GEOG 3320 Sustainability & Environment
BIOL 3409General Ecology4
BIOL 4330Aquatic Biology3
BIOL 4374Biostatistics3
CHEM 2323
CHEM 2123
Organic Chemistry I: Lecture
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
4
CHEM 2401Quantitative Analysis4
GEOG 1401Weather and Climate 54
CHEM 3368Environmental Chemistry3
GEOL 1403Physical Geology 54
GEOL 3326Environmental Geology3
GEOL 4426Hydrogeology4
GEOL 4304Geochemistry3
GEOG 4331Conservation of Natural Res3
POLS 3395Environmental Policy3
PLSC 3440Soil Science4
Major: Prescribed Electives
Select 11 hours from the following;11
Soil & Water Conservation Engr
Intro Applied Microbiology
Wildlife Biology
General Microbiology
Environmental Toxicology
Organic Chemistry II: Lab
Organic Chemistry II: Lecture
Air Quality
Energy & Environmental Econ
Intro to Technical Writing
Environ Sci Field Exp
Environmental Geography
Sustainable Development
Hydrology and Water Resources
Geomorphology
Field Studies
Economic Geography
Geographic Information Systems for Public Health
Remote Sensing
Oceanography
Economic Geology
Environmental Health
Soil Fertility Mgt Fertilizers
Forage Crops & Pasture Mgmt
Integrated Pest Management
Environment And Society
Principles of Wildlife Mgmt
Habitat & Pond Management
Minor: Not Required 7
Total Hours120
1

MATH 1420 suggested if eligible; otherwise, take MATH 1314. MATH 1420 satisfies 3 semester credit hours of the Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area II (Mathematics) and 1 semester credit hour for Core Curriculum Component Area IX.

2

SOCI 2319 needed as prerequisite for SOCI 3336.

3

ECON 2301 need as prerequisite for ECON 3352.

4

GEOG 2355 or GEOG 2356 suggested, plus 1 additional credit from this Component Area if did not take MATH 1420 or MATH 1410.

5

Satisfies Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area III (Life and Physical Science).

6

Satisfies 3 semester credit hours of the Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area II (Mathematics) and 1 semester credit hour for Core Curriculum Component Area IX.

7

A minor is not required for this degree program; however, a student has the option to add a minor, but to do so additional semester credits hours will be needed above the degree program’s stated total semester credit hours.

Notes

Students must earn a 2.0 minimum overall GPA in all coursework. 

Students must meet a 2.0 minimum overall major GPA in all major coursework.

Students must earn a 2.0 minimum SHSU GPA in all coursework.

Students must meet a 2.0 minimum SHSU major GPA in all major coursework.

First Year
FallHoursSpringHours
Component Area IV13Component Area IX53
CHEM 14114CHEM 14124
ENGL 130123ENGL 130223
HIST 130133HIST 130233
MATH 1420 ( If eligible)44BIOL 14014
 17 17
Second Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 1406 or 14114BIOL 1413 or 14074
CHEM 23233CHEM 24014
CHEM 21231GEOG 140164
GEOL 140364POLS 230673
POLS 230573 
 15 15
Third Year
FallHoursSpringHours
Component Area VIII83BIOL 34094
Component Area V3GEOL 33263
CHEM 33683MATH 1342, 3379, or STAT 33793
GEOG 3320 or BIOL 33203POLS 33953
PLSC 34404 
 16 13
Fourth Year
FallHoursSpringHours
BIOL 43303GEOG 43313
BIOL 43743Major: Prescribed Electives93
GEOL 43043Major: Prescribed Electives98
GEOL 44264 
 13 14
Total Hours: 120
1

SOCI 2319 needed to as prerequisite for SOCI 3336.

2

Satisfies Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area I (Communication).

3

Satisfies Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area VI (U.S. History).

4

Satisfies 3 semester credit hours of the Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area II (Mathematics) and 1 semester credit hour for Core Curriculum Component Area IX.

5

GEOG 2355 or GEOG 2356 suggested, plus one additional credit in this Component Area if did not take MATH 1420 or MATH 1410.

6

Satisfies Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area III (Life and Physical Science).

7

Satisfies Core Curriculum requirement for Component Area VII (Political Science/Government).

8

ECON 2301 or ECON 2302.  ECON 2301 needed as prerequisite for ECON 3352.

9

 See, Advance Electives (Environmental Science) list below. 

Major: Prescribed Electives (At least nine hours must be advanced) 9
AGET 3383Soil & Water Conservation Engr3
BIOL 2420Intro Applied Microbiology4
BIOL 3461Wildlife Biology4
BIOL 3470General Microbiology4
BIOL 4320Environmental Toxicology3
CHEM 2125Organic Chemistry II: Lab1
CHEM 2325Organic Chemistry II: Lecture3
CHEM 4442Air Quality4
ECON 3352Energy & Environmental Econ3
ENGL 3330Intro to Technical Writing3
ENVR 4361Environ Sci Field Exp3
GEOG 3301Environmental Geography3
GEOG 3310Sustainable Development3
GEOG 4330Hydrology and Water Resources3
GEOG 4432Geomorphology4
GEOG 4333Field Studies3
GEOG 4351Economic Geography3
GEOG 4361Geographic Information Systems for Public Health3
GEOG 4468Remote Sensing4
GEOL 3330Oceanography3
GEOL 4312Economic Geology3
HLTH 4390Environmental Health3
PLSC 4330Soil Fertility Mgt Fertilizers3
PLSC 4370Forage Crops & Pasture Mgmt3
PLSC 4397Integrated Pest Management3
SOCI 4337Environment And Society3
WMGT 2301Principles of Wildlife Mgmt3
WMGT 3382Habitat & Pond Management3

Notes

Students must earn a 2.0 minimum overall GPA in all coursework. 

Students must meet a 2.0 minimum overall major GPA in all major coursework.

Students must earn a 2.0 minimum SHSU GPA in all coursework.

Students must meet a 2.0 minimum SHSU major GPA in all major coursework.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) marketable skills initiative is part of the state’s 60x30TX plan and was designed to help students articulate their skills to employers.  Marketable skills are those skills valued by employers and/or graduate programs that can be applied in a variety of work or education settings and may include interpersonal, cognitive, and applied skill areas.

The BS in Environmental Science (Pollution Abatement) is designed to provide graduates with the following marketable skills:

  • Use the scientific method to address environmental problems.
  • Think critically and problem solve.
  • Use statistics to evaluate hypotheses.
  • Chemically analyze soil, water, and air samples.
  • Apply knowledge of ecosystems and the environment to address environmental issues.