Environmental Science

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.

Students in class

Be prepared to do good in the world

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.

First Year

BIOL 113 General Biology 4
 
CHEM 109 Chemistry and Society: General, Organic, and Biochemistry for Public Health 4
OR
CHEM 111 Introduction to Chemistry: Inorganic 4
AND
CHEM 112 Introduction to Chemistry: Organic 4
 
BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science 4

Sophomore Year

MATH 118 Introductory Statistics 4
OR
MATH 227 Intermediate Statistics: Design & Analysis 4
OR
MATH 229 Regression Models 4
 
BIOL 218 Principles of Zoology 4
OR
BIOL 221 Microbiology 4
 
ECON 100 Principles of Microeconomics 4

Junior Year

BIOL 245 Principles of Ecology 4
ENVI 200 Environmental Forum 2

ENVI 200: This course is offered through the Colleges of the Fenway and may be listed as CR-101.

Senior Year

BIOL 322 Evolutionary Biology 4
PHIL 139 Environmental Ethics 4

BIOL 245, BIOL 322: Please note these courses are offered every other year. Take care to plan course sequence accordingly.

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 4
BIOL 333 Marine Biology 4
BIOL 336 Genetics 4
BIOL 340 Plant Biology 4
BIOL 347 Human Development and Genetics 4
CHEM 227 Energy & Global Warming 4
CHEM 342 Mechanistic Toxicology 4
HON 308 Energy & Global Warming 4
Overview of Surveying Technology (Wentworth) – GIS skills
MATH 120 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 Intermediate Statistics: Design & Analysis 4
NUTR 150 International Nutrition Issues 4
PHYS 110 Introductory Physics I 4
PHYS 111 Introductory Physics II 4

Three elective courses from the Arts and Humanities course list:

ART 245 American Art 4
ECON 145 Economics of Sustainability and Resource Use 4
ECON 239 Government Regulation of Industry 4
ECON 247 Environmental Economics 4
HIST 205 Global Environmental History 4
MGMT 224 Socially-Minded Leadership 4
POLS 101 Introduction to American Politics 4
POLS 102 Introduction to International Politics 4
POLS 217 American Public Policy 4
POLS 220 International Organization and Law 4
SOCI 241 Health, Illness & Society 4
SOCI 321 Sociology of Food 4
SOCI 267 Globalization 4

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 355 Independent Study with Thesis and CHEM 390 Chemistry Seminar. 

First Year

BIOL 113 General Biology 4
 
CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry 4
OR
CHEM 111 Introduction to Chemistry: Inorganic 4
 
MATH 120 Calculus I 4
MATH 121 Calculus II 4

Sophomore Year

MATH 118 Introductory Statistics 4
CHEM 224 Organic Chemistry I 4
PHYS 112 Fundamentals of Physics I 4
PHYS 113 Fundamentals of Physics II 4

Junior Year

BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science 4
OR
BIOL 245 Principles of Ecology 4
 
ENVI 201 Environmental Chemistry 4
 
CHEM 227 Energy & Global Warming 4
OR
HON 308 Energy & Global Warming 4
OR
CHEM 331 Thermodynamics & Kinetics 4

Senior Year

PHIL 139 Environmental Ethics 4
CHEM 390 Chemistry Seminar 1

PHIL 139: 2 credits

Electives (8 credits) – choose two:

CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II 4
CHEM 341 Advanced Analytical Chemistry 4
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.

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 biochemistrychemistry management and public health — and Simmons students have many opportunities to further customize with dual majors and complementary minors.

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.

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.

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Our Faculty

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Rich Gurney

  • Professor of Chemistry & Physics and Co-Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics