Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2018-2019

Environmental Studies

VCU Life Sciences

 
Program description

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies requires a minimum of 120 credits.

Along with the general education requirements of VCU Life Sciences, this curriculum requires 32-33 credits in core science and mathematics courses and 37-38 credits in environmental studies core courses.

Learning outcomes

Upon completing this program, students will know and know how to do the following:

  • Demonstrate comprehension of basic biological concepts and their integration
  • Demonstrate comprehension of basic earth science concepts and their integration
  • Demonstrate comprehension of basic ecological concepts and their integration
  • Relate the principles of environmental science and policy
  • Use basic environmental skills within the research process

Career opportunities

The environmental studies major prepares students for entry-level field and research positions in government service, nonprofit management, and private industry.  Specifically, many of our graduates go on to work for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.  Those not working in state government pursue a wide variety of career paths, including working for federal or local government agencies, engineering services, consulting services, environmental education, research, and secondary education (earth science teaching certification).  Others specialize in geographic information systems, solar energy, sustainable development, or wildlife rehabilitation.  The environmental field is extremely broad and the career paths that our graduates pursue depend heavily on their individual skills,  interests, and experience.

Change of major requirements

None


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • Energy Engineers
  • Environmental Compliance Inspectors
  • Environmental Engineering Technicians
  • 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
  • Park Naturalists
  • Soil and Water Conservationists
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • STAT 314
Science required
  • 5+ additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • Yes
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.0
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
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete MATH 141 or MATH 151 (depending on placement) and ideally BIOL 151/ BIOZ 151 and CHEM 101/ CHEZ 101 if you are up for a challenge!
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Connect with & support SER at VCU.”
  • Register to vote in Virginia and explore Richmond museums, parks, festivals, and cultural events!
  • Apply to live in the EcoVillage Living & Learning Program.
  • Get involved with VCU Student Government or one of 450 clubs and organizations on campus.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Learn about your study abroad options by visiting a study abroad fair and attending a First Advising Session in the Global Education Office.
  • Review the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs(OMSA) website for programs, events, and resources.
  • Join a living-learning program such as VCU Globe.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers/ job titles in your field of study (go to ‘Biological Sciences’).
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor to identify and arrange pre-professional experiences in support of your post-graduation plans.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility). 

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Continue taking math and science courses.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Take service-learning classes or volunteer to address a social issue (ConnectVA & HandsOnRVA) 
  • Join ENVS related clubs and professional organizations.
  • Explore peer leadership opportunities or apply for I-LEAD Connect, Alternative Spring Break.
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week.
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Create a draft of your resume and go to drop-ins at VCU Career Services to have it reviewed.
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and career events throughout the year. 
  • Join groups on LinkedIn reflecting specific careers or topics of interest in ENVS.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Begin to take physics coursework if you haven’t already and discuss upper level ENVS elective options with your academic advisor.
  • If you are considering a Master of Environmental Science, discuss with your advisor VCU’s “Accelerated BS-M.ENVS Program.”
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Create and complete a science related community-engaged research project.
  • Attend civic meetings, such as school board, neighborhood associations, city council, or state legislative sessions.
  • Attend at least two or three public talks or other events advertised by the department. 
  • Attend a Wellness Resource Center program.  
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Develop exceptional communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary teams.
  • Consider becoming a diversity ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.   
  • Apply for a Fulbright or other post-graduate international fellowship program through VCU’s National Scholarship Office.     
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • For science jobs or training after graduation, seek research opportunities to refine your goals & to learn the rigors & discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Talk to your advisers and faculty about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc.). 

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Students in the accelerated BS-M.ENVS program take up to 12 graduate credits this year, replacing 12 required credits in the BS program.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
  • Serve in a leadership role or as a board member of a local community organization.
  • Consider applying for a year-long service opportunity after graduation through programs like VCU AmeriCorps, Literacy Lab, Peace Corps, Fulbright Student Scholars, Teach for America and City Year.
  • Attend professional conferences that offer student rates or scholarships. Enhance your networking and presenting skills and practice your “elevator speech.”
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in STEM.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations. Schedule a mock interview with VCU Career Services.
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other discipline- specific conference. 
  • Gain practical experience related to your career goal through internships, externships and skill building. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon
2018-2019

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
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor each semester to discuss tutoring, course electives, and degree progression.
  • Complete MATH 141 or MATH 151 (depending on placement) and ideally BIOL 151/ BIOZ 151 and CHEM 101/ CHEZ 101 if you are up for a challenge!
  • Attend all supplemental instruction sessions.
  • Attend Ready, Set, Go – Sophomore Transition Experience.  
  • Explore “What Can I Do With This Major” to learn about employers/ job titles in your field of study (go to ‘Biological Sciences’).
  • Complete your Handshake profile and opt-in to industry email lists to learn about opportunities. 
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor to identify and arrange pre-professional experiences in support of your post-graduation plans.
  • Practice independent living skills (such as money management, self-care, time management, and personal responsibility). 
Experience Year 2
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes in your major, and strategies for success in your degree program.
  • Continue taking math and science courses.
  • Attend Diversity Scholars in Research Week
  • Get to know other VCU students from all over the world at a monthly Global Café
  • Join a cultural organization.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference.
  • Conduct numerous informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Using LinkedIn, connect to at least 10 people. Check out the VCU alumni page in My Network.
  • Consider who you would like to have serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.
Year 3
  • See your advisor each semester to discuss degree progression and plans for elective coursework.
  • Begin to take physics coursework if you haven’t already and discuss upper level ENVS elective options with your academic advisor.
  • If you are considering a Master of Environmental Science, discuss with your advisor VCU’s “Accelerated BS-M.ENVS Program.”
  • For science jobs or training after graduation, seek research opportunities to refine your goals & to learn the rigors & discipline required for success.
  • Apply for summer research funding through UROP
  • Talk to your advisers and faculty about whether graduate school or a job will be the best step for you after graduation.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least one year in advance of application deadlines. Complete admissions exams the summer before your senior year (GRE, MCAT, DAT, etc.). 
Excel Year 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met.
  • Students in the accelerated BS-M.ENVS program take up to 12 graduate credits this year, replacing 12 required credits in the BS program.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in STEM.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations. Schedule a mock interview with VCU Career Services
  • Attend Office of Multicultural Student Affairs I Love Diversity Week.
  • Complete necessary exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for next steps beyond graduation.
  • Research employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
  • Have your personal statement or cover letter reviewed, and do a mock interview at VCU Career Services