Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary degree within the School of Science that is offered in partnership with the Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine and the School of Liberal Arts. The Bachelor of Science of Environmental Science (B.S.E.S.) degree is awarded by Indiana University. This program prepares students for graduate studies and for a variety of careers with emphasis on investigation of the environment by federal and state agencies, industry, and consulting firms. The program allows flexibility to accommodate the needs and interests of all students.

Each student within the program will choose a Program Focus—which determines what type of advanced courses they will experience, including an Earth and Water Resources, Environmental Management, and Environmental Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis.  The BSES degree goes beyond those students interested in improving our environment, but engages students who want a college experience and career that crosses traditional boundaries.

Earth and Water Resources Concentration

Understanding interactions between land, soil, and water is critical to ensuring environmental quality. The Earth and Water Resources concentration provides students with a quantitative background in soils, hydrogeology, and biogeochemistry and an understanding of biological interactions, processes affecting soil and water resources, and advanced analytical techniques related to environmental quality assessments. Students can pursue detailed course work in either the Water or Earth options of this concentration and are prepared for continued advanced study or careers in government, industry, and environmental consulting.

Environmental Management Concentration

The Environmental Management concentration prepares students who wish to focus on the management of pollution in the air, land, and water. Students who complete this concentration have the theoretical foundation and applied skills needed to characterize hazards, track the fate and transport of pollutants, identify health and environmental effects of pollutants, and plan and manage programs to control environmental hazards. The required courses in the concentration focus on identification and solving multimedia problems in solid and hazardous waste, water quality and wastewater treatment, and air quality in the outdoors, inside homes, or in industrial workplaces. The options allow students to focus more specifically on the assessment of pollution, policy and planning, or occupational safety and health. Students are prepared for careers in government, industry, and nonprofit agencies.

Environmental Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis Concentration

Spatial information technologies provide important tools for measurement, analysis, and modeling of environmental systems and their dynamic interaction with human impacts. The Environmental Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis concentration builds theoretical background and advanced knowledge in spatial analytical techniques using remote sensing (satellite and airborne sensors), geographic information system (GIS), and global positioning system (GPS) technologies. The concentration emphasizes integration of these technologies and their applications to problems of environmental modeling and analysis.

Requirements & Course of Study

Details of all undergraduate degree requirements can be found in the IUPUI bulletin.

Student Learning Outcomes for the BSES degree:

  • Solve environmental science problems using the scientific method and critical thinking.
  • Evaluate physical, chemical and biological cycles related to surficial earth processes and how they operate to describe integrated earth systems from a local to global scale.
  • Demonstrate competence in communicating environmental science problems to a broad audience through written, oral, and visual means.
  • Describe the structure and function of major environmental systems.
  • Effectively apply analytical skills, including basic measurement and monitoring skills, and use of appropriate technology.
  • Understand current thinking and research on the nature, causes, and solutions of environmental problems as they affect human health and the environment
  • Develop knowledge in advanced disciplines of environmental sciences and evaluate inter-relationships between disciplines.
  • Specialization leading to an advanced understanding of one of the three component areas that are central to the BSES program:
    • Earth and Water Resources:
      • Understand interactions between land, soil, and water and quantitatively assess processes in soils, hydrogeology, and biogeochemistry.
      • Describe physical, chemical, and biological interactions and processes affecting soil and water resources.
      • Apply advanced analytical techniques related to environmental quality assessments.
    • Environmental Management:
      • Apply skills needed to characterize hazards, track the fate and transport of pollutants.
      • Identify health and environmental effects of pollutants and plan and manage programs to control environmental hazards.
      • Identify and solve problems in solid and hazardous waste, water quality and wastewater treatment, and air quality.
    • Environmental Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis:
      • Develop spatial analytical techniques using remote sensing (satellite and airborne sensors), geographic information system (GIS), and global positioning system (GPS) technologies.

Capstone Experience

Students will apply what they have learned in a capstone experience – through an internship, or a specialized seminar course.

Research

Faculty and students in the Departments of Earth Sciences (Science), Geography (Liberal Arts), and the Department of Public Health in the School of Medicine are actively engaged in basic and applied research. Specific research areas include geochemistry, hydrology, paleoclimatology, biogeochemical cycles, soils, wetland restoration, water resource analysis, environmental remote sensing, land cover dynamics, urban ecosystems, human health and the environment, environmental and water resources planning, environmental health policy, food science, and indoor air quality.

Undergraduate student's typically present their research by giving a oral presentation or a scientific poster at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research, North-Central Geological Society of America meeting, or meetings of Indiana University researchers, profesional geologists, or environmental consultants and regulators.