Be prepared to do good in the world.

Environmental science teaches students to address growing concerns about environmental problems in the contemporary world. You'll explore this interdisciplinary field, working to understand the interactions among physical, chemical, biological, and human factors. It takes a comprehensive understanding of the how the environment functions to think of creative solutions to improve conservation, increase sustainable use and restore natural resources.

Concerns of environmental degradation are ever more pressing in the 21st century and have led to a growing demand for specialists in this field as well as programs to train these specialists. Our flexible program lets students study a broad range of sub-fields. You'll learn how to approach the world's problems from many angles and find green solutions.

Program Requirements

There are two tracks within the Environmental Science major:

1) the Environmental Biology Track which emphasizes both laboratory and field component as well as broad interdisciplinary alternatives

2) the Environmental Chemistry Track which emphasizes an analytical laboratory approach to environmental problems.

Biology Track

First Year

  • BIOL 113 General Biology (M4)
  • CHEM 109 General, Organic, and
  • Biochemistry for Public Health or CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry and CHEM 112 Organic Chemistry
  • BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science

Sophomore Year

  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics (or MATH 227 or MATH 229)
  • BIOL 218 Principles of Zoology or BIOL 221 Microbiology
  • ECON 100 Principles of Microeconomics

Junior Year

  • BIOL 245 Ecology*
  • ENVI 200 Environmental Forum (2 credits)**

Senior Year

  • BIOL 322 Evolution*
  • PHIL 139 Environmental Ethics

*Please note these courses are offered every other year. Take care to plan course sequence accordingly.

**This course is offered through the Colleges of the Fenway and may be listed as CR-101.

Electives:

In consultation with and with approval of the Environmental Biology concentration advisor, the student selects a total of five electives in addition to the core courses. With approval of the concentration advisor courses not included in this list can be selected as electives if consistent with the student’s subfield concentration.

Two electives courses from the Science list (at least one at the 300-level):

  • BIOL 222 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 333 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 336 Genetics
  • BIOL 340 Plant Biology or BIOL 107 Plants and Society
  • BIOL 345 Tropical Marine Biology (Field study travel)
  • BIOL 347 Human Development and Genetics
  • CHEM 216 Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 227 Energy and Global Warming
  • CHEM 342 Mechanistic Toxicology
  • HON 308 Sustainability and Global Warming
  • SURV 150 Overview of Surveying Technology (Wentworth) – GIS skills
  • MATH 120 Calculus I
  • MATH 227 Biostatistical Design and Analysis
  • NUTR 150 International Nutrition Issues
  • PHYS 110 Introduction to Physics I
  • PHYS 111 Introduction to Physics II
Three elective courses from the Arts and Humanities course list:
  • ART 245 American Art
  • ECON 145 Economics of Sustainability and Resource Use
  • ECON 239 Government Regulation of Industry
  • ECON 247 Environmental Economics
  • HIST 205 Global Environmental History
  • BUS 224 Socially-Minded Leadership
  • POLS 101 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS 102 Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 217 American Public Policy
  • POLS 220 International Organization and Law
  • SOCI 241 Health Illness and Society
  • SOCI 321 Sociology of Food
  • SOCI 267 Globalization

Independent Learning

This all-College independent learning requirement (eight semester hours) is usually met in the senior year in either the biology department through BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research, BIOL 355 Thesis or BIOL 370 Internship or in the chemistry department through CHEM 350 Independent Study in Chemistry.

Chemistry Track

First Year

  • BIOL 113 General Biology
  • CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry or CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic
  • CHEM 216 Qualitative Analysis
  • MATH 120 Calculus I
  • Math 121 Calculus II

Sophomore Year

  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
  • CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I
  • PHYS 112 Fundamentals of Physics I
  • PHYS 113 Fundamentals of Physics II

Junior Year

  • BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science or BIOL 245 Ecology
  • ENVI 201 Environmental Forum
  • CHEM 227 Energy and Global Warming or HON 308 Sustainability and Global Warming or CHEM 331 Thermodynamics

Senior Year

  • PHIL 139 Environmental Ethics (2 credits)
  • CHEM 390 Chemistry Seminar (1 credit)

Electives (8 credits) – choose two:

  • CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 341 Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 242 Mechanistic Toxicology

Independent Learning

The independent learning requirement (eight semester hours) is usually met in the senior year in either the biology department through BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research, BIOL 355 Thesis or BIOL 370 Internship or in the chemistry department through CHEM 350 Independent Study in Chemistry.

Customize Your Program

You'll work with a faculty advisor to tailor your program to your interests and career goals. The Departments of Chemistry and Biology offer many closely-related programs — such as biochemistry, chemistry management and public health — and Simmons students have many opportunities to further customize with dual majors and complementary minors.

Internships and Research

Our students put theory into practice through on-site research, off-site research, and internships.

On-site research: Faculty members mentor students in our own laboratories. You'll work with faculty members whose research piques your interest.

Off-site research: Students also explore clinical, applied, or basic research at one of the many laboratories available in the Simmons neighborhood.

Internships: Supervised learning experiences provide opportunities for career exploration within a context of critical thinking. Boston is at the forefront of green innovation, and your internship will help you develop skills, build your resume, and establish contacts in the field.

Faculty
    Rich Gurney
    • Rich Gurney
    • Professor of Chemistry
    • Phone: 617-521-2729
    • Office: S441
    Michael Berger
    • Michael Berger
    • Professor, Chemistry & Physics
    • Phone: 617-521-2722
    • Office: S442
    Maria Abate
    • Maria Abate
    • Assistant Professor of Biology
    • Phone: 617-521-2657
    • Office: S258
    Anna Aguilera
    • Anna Aguilera
    • Assistant Professor of Biology
    • Phone: 617-521-2666
    • Office: S210
How to Apply

So you know that Simmons is a great place to be, you've learned about our programs, maybe even come for a visit...now you're ready to apply! Let's get started.

Samantha Pelletier

Our Students

Learn what it's like to be an environmental science major