Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2021-2022

Environmental Studies

VCU Life Sciences

 
Program description

VCU’s undergraduate Environmental Studies program is interdisciplinary in nature and combines traditional lecture and hands-on experiential approaches to expose students to the key concepts in and critical links between environmental life sciences, earth sciences, and technology.


The program offers considerable flexibility and students are able to individually tailor their course of study by completing multiple electives focused on topics of interest. Areas of emphasis could include, for example, environmental policy, geospatial and quantitative analysis, outdoor leadership,  river studies, and sustainability. Students are strongly encouraged to gain internship experience, actively participate in undergraduate research, and participate in our domestic and/or international field courses as undergraduates in our program.


Graduates of our undergraduate program should be able to demonstrate the following: comprehension of the foundational scientific concepts that underpin understanding of the environment; comprehension of basic environmental policies that govern society's interactions with the environment; comprehension of quantitative and technological skills required in environmental research, policy development and education; and the ability to communicate about environmental issues in a variety of contexts.

Career opportunities

Upon completion of this program, students should have developed the quantitative, technological, and practical skills needed to excel in a variety of entry-level field and research positions in government service, environmental management, and private industry. Because the environmental field is so broad, the career path that our graduates choose to pursue depends heavily upon their individual skills, interests, and experiences.

Change of major requirements

Students must first attend a mandatory advising appointment with an Environmental Studies advisor to discuss major/minor requirements. To schedule a meeting, please email envsadvising@vcu.edu and request a change of major/minor appointment.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • Energy Engineers
  • Environmental Compliance Inspectors
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • Environmental Restoration Planners
  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
  • Fish and Game Wardens
  • Forest and Conservation Workers
  • Foresters
  • Geographic Information Systems Technicians
  • Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Attorney
  • Climate Change Analyst
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Project Manager
  • Environmental Research Manager
  • Hydrologist
  • Industrial Ecologist
  • Policy Advisor
Highest level of math required
  • ENVS 343
  • MATH 151
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0+ cumulative GPA, 2.0+ major GPA
Department name:
Center for Environmental Studies
Building/room location:
Eugene P. and Lois E. Trani Center for Life Sciences 1000 W. Cary Street, Room 105
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 828-7202
Email:
envsadvising@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Complete BIOL/Z 152, CHEM/Z 102, and other math and science courses.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Environmental Studies.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • If considering a graduate degree in Environmental Studies, discuss VCU's Accelerated B.S. to M.Envs program with your academic advisor.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Take PHYS 201 and discuss upper level ENVS elective options with your advisor.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Students in the Accelerated B.S. to M.Envs program should take up to 12 graduate level credits this year, replacing 12 required credits in the B.S. program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2021-2022

Environmental Studies

VCU Life Sciences

Concentration(s):
No concentration
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE GET REAL EXPERIENCE PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
Explore Year 1
Experience Year 2
  • Complete BIOL/Z 152, CHEM/Z 102, and other math and science courses.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor to explore minors, certificates, and plan your required REAL experience.
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide.
  • Talk to professors about your research interests, electives, and strategies for success in your classes.
  • Explore innovation and business/non-profit creation classes with the da Vinci Center.
  • Consider short-term, semester-long, or year-long study abroad opportunities.
  • Make friends with diverse perspectives and join a cultural or identity-related student organization.
  • Explore social issues, develop cultural competency skills, and engage with faculty through iExcel pop-up courses.
  • Investigate globally-focused courses in your major by pursuing language coursework or setting language proficiency goals with advisors and faculty.
  • Apply for the Critical Languages Scholarship.
  • Complete a gap analysis with your career advisor to identify key skills required for your professional field.
  • Seek out practical experience through independent skill-building, internships, shadowing, or part-time work.
  • Explore global career options with a career advisor to set goals for getting your dream job.
  • Organize examples of your academic and professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections in an ePortfolio.
  • Attend career and internship fairs and other professional development events.
  • Pursue a digital badge to highlight the knowledge, skills, and experiences employers and graduate schools value.
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in Environmental Studies.
  • Connect with alumni on VCULink for career advice, industry contacts, and meaningful professional relationships.
  • If considering a graduate degree in Environmental Studies, discuss VCU's Accelerated B.S. to M.Envs program with your academic advisor.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of professional interest.
  • Ask a faculty or staff member to be your academic and professional mentor and to provide future letters of recommendation.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • See your academic and career advisors to discuss graduation progress and career planning.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology, and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • Take PHYS 201 and discuss upper level ENVS elective options with your advisor.
  • Build language proficiency and cultural competence by carrying out your plans for study abroad, internships, and service-learning.
  • Get required REAL experience and effect community change by using iExcel’s Active Citizen’s Toolkit to vote and volunteer.
  • Explore new cultures at one of Richmond’s wide array of festivals.
  • Prepare for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams by showcasing your interpersonal skills on your resume.
  • Take advantage of mock interview opportunities through InterviewStream or meeting with a career advisor.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Make a plan with your academic, career, and faculty advisors for applying to graduate school or land a micro-internship.
  • Study for and complete any standardized exams required for graduate school the summer before senior year. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor the semester before you graduate to ensure that all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Choose REAL electives to diversify your skillset and round out your degree.
  • Students in the Accelerated B.S. to M.Envs program should take up to 12 graduate level credits this year, replacing 12 required credits in the B.S. program.
  • Carry out globally-oriented research projects with multilingual faculty and international partners.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Master your answers to interview questions about your experience working with diverse populations.
  • Plan for how you will grow your cultural agility after graduation.
  • Prepare for graduation by making a plan to complete licensing exams, applications, and self-marketing activities.
  • Single out prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed by Career Services. 
  • Connect with the Office of VCU Alumni Relations at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and the VCULink Industry Network or alumni chapter.