Environmental Science Major, B.S.

This major is designed for students focusing on such topics as how material and energy are moved and transformed in complex environmental systems, the role of society in perturbing those processes, and scientific techniques that might be used to improve environmental quality. The program provides interdisciplinary preparation for graduate or professional training as well as for jobs in government, consulting, and industry. There are two tracks available. Interested students should contact Dr. Amy Cooke to discuss which track best fits their interests and career goals.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the environmental sciences program (B.S.), students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge in the connections in social and/or natural sciences through an understanding of major concepts, theoretical reasoning, and empirical findings in environmental studies
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a marketable skill (e.g. GIS, communication, statistics) to enhance their ability to apply concepts from the program in the real world
  • Demonstrate mastery of research and problem-solving skills through individual or team-based projects working for a researcher or client in a social or natural science

Requirements

The environmental science program provides two options:

Environmental Science, B.S.

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

Core Requirements
ENEC 201IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F4
ENEC 203IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environmental Science Problem Solving3
or ENEC 415 Environmental Systems Modeling
or MATH 528 Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
or MATH 564 Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences
ENEC 698Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems3
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
One of the following earth system science courses:3-4
IDEAs in Action General Education logo How Cells Function 1, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Biodiversity
Ecology and Evolution
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to the Environmental Sciences
Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 1
Ecological Processes in Environmental Systems 1
Coastal and Estuarine Ecology 1
Environmental Chemistry Processes 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World Laboratory 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World Laboratory
Energy Resources
Two courses from one analytical skills option:6-7
Applied Math:
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H, F
First Course in Differential Equations H
GIS and Remote Sensing:
Anthropological Application of GIS
Landscape Analysis 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Geographic Information 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geovisualizing Change
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment
Introduction to GIS
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Advanced Remote Sensing
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Applied Issues in Geographic Information Systems
Geologic and Oceanographic Applications of Geographical Information Systems 1
Statistics:
Statistics for Environmental Scientists 1
Introduction to Statistical Computing and Data Management
Basic Elements of Probability and Statistical Inference I
Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences
Inverse Theory: Advanced Data Analysis and Geophysical Modeling
Methods of Data Analysis
Time Series Data Analysis
Basic Science:
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Molecular Biology and Genetics H, F
Introduction to Organic Chemistry I 1, H
Informatics
Tools for Information Literacy
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Foundations of Information Science
Information Systems Analysis and Design
Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications
Information Visualization
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Foundations of Decision Sciences
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Decision Analytics
Five courses chosen from one of the following concentrations15-20
Additional Requirements
CHEM 101
101L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I F
4
CHEM 102
102L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H, F
4
COMP 110IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H3
or COMP 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming
MATH 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F4
MATH 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F4
STOR 155IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Models and Inference F3
or BIOS 600 Principles of Statistical Inference
Select one of the following:8
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory
and Ecology and Evolution H, H, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences F
Students are required to earn a minor in an allied science, such as biology, chemistry, computer science, geography, geographic information sciences, geology, information science, marine science, mathematics, physics, or statistics and analytics.15
Enough free electives to accumulate minimum of 120 credit hours. 2varies
Total Hours120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

2

Recommended courses are ECON 101; ENEC 202; one of the following PH courses: COMM 375/ENEC 375, ENEC 325, or ENEC 368/PHIL 368; and one of the following statistics courses: BIOS 511 or ENEC 562 or STOR 455.

Ecology and Natural Resources Concentration

BIOL 201Ecology and Evolution 1, H4
BIOL/ENEC 272Local Flora4
BIOL 277
277L
Vertebrate Field Zoology
and Vertebrate Field Zoology Laboratory
4
BIOL 402Infectious Disease in the Developing World3
BIOL 463Field Ecology4
BIOL 464Global Change Ecology3
BIOL 465Global Biodiversity and Macroecology3
BIOL 469Behavioral Ecology3
BIOL 471
471L
Evolutionary Mechanisms
and Evolutionary Mechanisms Laboratory
4
BIOL 476
476L
Avian Biology
and Avian Biology Laboratory
4
BIOL 561Ecological Plant Geography3
BIOL 565Conservation Biology H3
BIOL 568Disease Ecology and Evolution3
BIOL/ENEC 256Mountain Biodiversity4
BIOL/ENEC 461Fundamentals of Ecology4
BIOL/ENEC 562Statistics for Environmental Scientists 14
BIOL/ENEC 563Statistical Analysis in Ecology and Evolution4
BIOL 657/ENVR 520/MASC 504Biological Oceanography4
BIOL 462/MASC 440Marine Ecology3
ENEC 222Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 14
ENEC 304Restoration Ecology4
ENEC 324
324L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World Laboratory 1
4
ENEC 370Agriculture and the Environment H3
ENEC 462Ecosystem Management3
ENEC 479Landscape Analysis 13
ENEC 485Coastal Resource Economics and Policy3-4
ENEC 489Ecological Processes in Environmental Systems 14
ENEC/GEOG 264Conservation of Biodiversity in Theory and Practice3
ENEC/GEOL/MASC 450Biogeochemical Processes4
ENEC/MASC 352Marine Fisheries Ecology3
ENEC/MASC 433Wetland Hydrology3
ENEC/MASC 441Marine Physiological Ecology3
ENEC/MASC 444Marine Phytoplankton3
ENEC/MASC 448Coastal and Estuarine Ecology 14
ENEC/MASC 471Human Impacts on Estuarine Ecosystems4
GEOG 444Landscape Biogeography3
MASC 443Marine Microbiology3
MASC 445Marine Invertebrate Biology4
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

Environment and Health Concentration

BIOL 402Infectious Disease in the Developing World3
BIOL 568Disease Ecology and Evolution3
CHEM 261Introduction to Organic Chemistry I 1, H3
ENEC 222Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 14
ENEC/ENVR 403Environmental Chemistry Processes 13
ENEC/ENVR 522Environmental Change and Human Health3
ENEC/GEOL 324IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems 13
ENEC/MASC 444Marine Phytoplankton3
ENVR 412Ecological Microbiology3
ENVR 413Limnology3
ENVR 416Aerosol Physics and Chemistry4
ENVR 419Chemical Equilibria in Natural Waters3
ENVR 421Environmental Health Microbiology3
ENVR 430Health Effects of Environmental Agents3
ENVR 431Techniques in Environmental Health Sciences2
ENVR 442Biochemical Toxicology3
ENVR 451Introduction to Environmental Modeling3
ENVR 600Environmental Health3
EPID 600Principles of Epidemiology for Public Health3
MASC 443Marine Microbiology3
PATH 128Biology of Human Disease3
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

Water and Climate Concentration

BIOL 350/ENVR 417/GEOL 403/MASC 401Oceanography3
ENEC 222Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science 14
ENEC/ENVR 403Environmental Chemistry Processes 13
ENEC/GEOG 253Introduction to Atmospheric Processes4
ENEC/GEOL 324IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water in Our World: Introduction to Hydrologic Science and Environmental Problems 13
ENEC/GEOL 417Surface Processes and Landscape Evolution3
ENEC/GEOL/MASC 411Oceanic Processes in Environmental Systems4
ENEC/GEOL/MASC 415Environmental Systems Modeling3
ENEC/GEOL/MASC 450Biogeochemical Processes4
ENVR 413Limnology3
ENVR 416Aerosol Physics and Chemistry4
ENVR 419Chemical Equilibria in Natural Waters3
ENVR 453Groundwater Hydrology3
GEOG 370IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Geographic Information 13
GEOG 412Synoptic Meteorology3
GEOG 414IDEAs in Action General Education logo Climate Change3
GEOG 416IDEAs in Action General Education logo Applied Climatology: The Impacts of Climate and Weather on Environmental and Social Systems3
GEOG 440/GEOL 502Earth Surface Processes3
GEOL 202IDEAs in Action General Education logo Earth Systems History3
GEOL 432Paleoclimatology3
GEOL 435Groundwater3
GEOL 436Geochemistry of Natural Waters3
GEOL/MASC 483Geologic and Oceanographic Applications of Geographical Information Systems 14
GEOL/MASC 503Marine Geology4
GEOL/MASC 506Physical Oceanography4
GEOL 508Global Hydrology3
MASC 312From the Equator to the Poles: Case Studies in Global Environmental Change3
MASC 314IDEAs in Action General Education logo Earth Systems in a Changing World3
MASC 432Major World Rivers and Global Change: From Mountains to the Sea3
MASC 433Wetland Hydrology3
MASC 460Fluid Dynamics of the Environment3
1

This course appears on a core requirement list as well as a concentration requirement list, but can only be counted toward one of the two.

Environmental Science, B.S.–Quantitative Energy Systems Track

In addition to the program requirements, students must

  • earn a minimum final cumulative GPA of 2.000
  • complete a minimum of 45 academic credit hours earned from UNC–Chapel Hill courses
  • take at least half of their major core requirements (courses and credit hours) at UNC–Chapel Hill
  • earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the major core requirements. Some programs may require higher standards for major or specific courses.

For more information, please consult the degree requirements section of the catalog.

This major is designed for students with a strong interest in water, energy, and sustainable natural resources, and interdisciplinary approaches to analytics, informatics, or business.  The degree provides interdisciplinary preparation for graduate or professional training as well as for jobs in government, consulting, and industry.

Core Requirements
ENEC 201IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F4
ENEC 203IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environmental Science Problem Solving3
or ENEC 415 Environmental Systems Modeling
or MATH 528 Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
or MATH 564 Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences
ENEC 698Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems3
or ENEC 694H IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
Two courses each from two of the following quantitative skills (4 courses total)12-19
Informatics
Tools for Information Literacy
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Foundations of Information Science
Information Systems Analysis and Design
Introduction to Database Concepts and Applications
Information Visualization
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Foundations of Decision Sciences
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Decision Analytics
Applied Mathematics
Linear Algebra for Applications
Discrete Mathematics H
First Course in Differential Equations H
Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
Introduction to Probability
Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences
Numerical Techniques for the Sciences I 1
Statistics
Introduction to Statistical Computing and Data Management
Statistics for Environmental Scientists
Statistical Analysis in Ecology and Evolution
Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences
Inverse Theory: Advanced Data Analysis and Geophysical Modeling
Methods of Data Analysis
Introduction to Probability
Time Series Data Analysis
Basic Science
BIOL 101 
1, H
Ecology and Evolution 1, H, H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Plant Biology
Introduction to Organic Chemistry I H
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences 1, F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences F
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta
Modeling
Environmental Systems Modeling
Discrete Mathematics H
GIS and Remote Sensing
Anthropological Application of GIS
Landscape Analysis
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Geographic Information
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geovisualizing Change
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Remote Sensing of the Environment
Introduction to GIS
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Advanced Remote Sensing
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Applied Issues in Geographic Information Systems
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Geographic Information Science Programming
Geologic and Oceanographic Applications of Geographical Information Systems
Four courses from one of the following concentrations12-16
Energy Management
Energy and Material Flows in the Environment and Society
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates 1
Directed Readings
Principles of Energy Conversion
Environmental Life Cycle Assessment
Energy Economics
Energy and the Environment: A Coastal Perspective
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
Environmental Chemistry Processes 1
Energy Resources
Energy: Physical Principles and the Quest for Alternatives to Dwindling Oil and Gas
Renewable Electric Power Systems
Decarbonizing Fuels
Energy, Transportation, and Land Use
Environmental Processes
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to the Environmental Sciences
Estuarine and Coastal Marine Science
Mountain Biodiversity
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates 1
Directed Readings
Ecosystem Management
Ecological Processes in Environmental Systems
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
Environmental Chemistry Processes 1
Major World Rivers and Global Change: From Mountains to the Sea
Wetland Hydrology
Biogeochemical Processes
Fluid Dynamics of the Environment
Groundwater
Geochemistry of Natural Waters
Global Hydrology
Data Analysis in the Earth Sciences
Inverse Theory: Advanced Data Analysis and Geophysical Modeling
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Modeling of Environmental Systems
Synoptic Meteorology
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Climate Change
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Applied Climatology: The Impacts of Climate and Weather on Environmental and Social Systems
Introduction to Watershed Systems
Smart Cities
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Environmental Law and Policy
Coastal Law and Policy
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Water Resource Management and Human Rights H
Environmental Economics
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies for Undergraduates 1
Directed Readings
Community Design and Green Architecture
Environmental Decision Making
Coastal Resource Economics and Policy
Social Science Research Methods
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Research in Environmental Sciences and Studies 1
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
Energy, Transportation, and Land Use
Site Planning and Urban Design
Urban Data Analytics
Applied Environmental Finance: How to Pay for Environmental Services
Watershed Planning
Urban Transportation Planning
Public Transportation
Pedestrian and Bike Transportation
Urban Form and the Design of Cities
Additional Requirements
COMP 110IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science 1, H3
or COMP 116 Introduction to Scientific Programming
or PHYS 331 Numerical Techniques for the Sciences I
CHEM 101
101L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I (PX) 1, F
4
or PHYS 114 IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences
or PHYS 118 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
or BIOL 101
101L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Principles of Biology
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Biology Laboratory
CHEM 102
102L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II (PX) 1, H, F
4
or PHYS 115 IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences
or PHYS 119 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta
or BIOL 201 Ecology and Evolution
MATH 231IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I (QR) H, F4
MATH 232IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II (QI) H, F4
MATH 233IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables (QI) H, F4
STOR 155IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Models and Inference F3
or BIOS 600 Principles of Statistical Inference
Enough General Education courses and free electives to satisfy 120-credit hours. 248-59
Total Hours120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

Following courses are listed under multiple requirements in the major but can only be used to fulfill one requirement per course: ENEC 395, ENEC 415ENEC 396, ENEC 693H, ENEC 694H, ENVR 403/ENEC 403, PHYS 114, PHYS 115, PHYS 118, PHYS 119, PHYS 331.

2

Recommended courses are ENEC 202 (PX), ECON 101 (SS), and one of the following PH courses: ENEC 325, COMM 375/ENEC 375, or PHIL 368/ENEC 368.

Sample Plan of Study

Sample plans can be used as a guide to identify the courses required to complete the major and other requirements needed for degree completion within the expected eight semesters. The actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Students should meet with their academic advisor to create a degree plan that is specific and unique to their interests. The sample plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UNC–Chapel Hill in the fall term. Some courses may not be offered every term.

Suggested Program of Study for B.S. Major

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
First-Year Foundation Courses
IDST 101 IDEAs in Action General Education logo College Thriving 1
ENGL 105
IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric (Interdisciplinary)
3
First-Year Seminar or First-Year Launch F 3
Triple-I and Data Literacy 4
Global Language through level 3 1 3-4
Major Courses
CHEM 101
101L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I F
4
ENEC 201 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F 4
MATH 231 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F 4
MATH 232 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F 4
STOR 155 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Models and Inference F 3
Additional Courses
Lifetime Fitness 1
Hours 34-35
Sophomore Year
CHEM 102
102L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H, F
4
ENEC 203
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environmental Science Problem Solving
or Environmental Systems Modeling
or Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
or Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences
3
One environmental concentration course 3
One earth system science core 3-4
PHYS 114
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics I: For Students of the Life Sciences F
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Mechanics and Relativity
4
PHYS 115
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Physics II: For Students of the Life Sciences F
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introductory Calculus-based Electromagnetism and Quanta
4
COMP 110
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
or Introduction to Scientific Programming
3
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 6
Hours 30-31
Junior Year
Two courses from the analytical skills core 6
Three courses from environmental concentration core 9
Two courses from a minor field 6
Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements 9
Hours 30
Senior Year
ENEC 698
Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
3
Remaining environmental concentration core 3
Remaining minor field courses 9
Remaining Electives or IDEAs in Action Requirements to meet 120 academic hour minimum 11
Hours 26
Total Hours 120-122
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

1

Students may wish to consider completing their GLBL-LANG requirement over the summer, in the second year, or through transfer credit to allow for taking fewer hours per semester in the first year.
 

Suggested Program of Study for the Quantitative Energy Systems Track

Plan of Study Grid
First YearHours
ENEC 201 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environment and Society H, F 4
STOR 155 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Data Models and Inference F 3
CHEM 101
101L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry I
and IDEAs in Action General Education logo Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory I F
4
CHEM 102
102L
IDEAs in Action General Education logo General Descriptive Chemistry II
and Quantitative Chemistry Laboratory II H, F
4
MATH 231 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable I H, F 4
MATH 232 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of One Variable II H, F 4
Language levels 2 and 3 6
Lifetime fitness 1
ENGL 105 IDEAs in Action General Education logo English Composition and Rhetoric 3
Hours 33
Sophomore Year
ENEC 203
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Environmental Science Problem Solving
or Environmental Systems Modeling
or Mathematical Methods for the Physical Sciences I
or Mathematical Modeling in the Life Sciences
3
MATH 233 IDEAs in Action General Education logo Calculus of Functions of Several Variables H, F 4
COMP 110
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
or Introduction to Scientific Programming
or Numerical Techniques for the Sciences I
3
Two courses from quantitative skills 6
Approaches and Connections (4 courses) 12
Free elective course 3
Hours 31
Junior Year
COMP 110
IDEAs in Action General Education logo Introduction to Programming and Data Science H
or Introduction to Scientific Programming
or Numerical Techniques for the Sciences I
3
Two courses from environmental concentration courses 6
Two courses from quantitative skills 6
Approaches and Connections (3 courses) 9
Free elective courses 6
Hours 30
Senior Year
ENEC 698
Capstone: Analysis and Solution of Environmental Problems
or IDEAs in Action General Education logo Honors Project in Environmental Sciences and Studies
3
Remaining environmental concentration courses 6
Remaining General Education courses and free electives to reach at least 120 academic credit hours 17
Hours 26
Total Hours 120
H

Honors version available. An honors course fulfills the same requirements as the nonhonors version of that course. Enrollment and GPA restrictions may apply.

F

FY-Launch class sections may be available. A FY-Launch section fulfills the same requirements as a standard section of that course, but also fulfills the FY-SEMINAR/FY-LAUNCH First-Year Foundations requirement. Students can search for FY-Launch sections in ConnectCarolina using the FY-LAUNCH attribute.

Dual Bachelor’s–Master’s Degree Program

Four dual bachelor’s–master’s programs are offered:

  1. Environmental and science communication is a collaboration between the environment, ecology and energy program (E3P) and the School of Journalism and Media;
  2. Environmental informatics is a collaboration between E3P and the School of Information and Library Science;
  3. Environmental finance and leadership is a collaboration between E3P and the School of Government;
  4. Environmental geography is a collaboration between E3P and the Department of Geography.

Each program is designed for students to earn their bachelor’s degree and complete a master’s degree in a professional school in as few as five years. The dual degree in environmental and science communication is approached through the bachelor of arts degree with a major in environmental studies, and students then complete a master’s degree in journalism with a focus on strategic communication. The dual degree in environmental informatics is approached through the bachelor of science degree with a major in environmental science, and students then complete a master’s in information sciences (M.S.I.S.). The dual degree in environmental finance and leadership is approached through either the bachelor of science in environmental science or the bachelor of arts in environmental studies, and students then complete a master of public administration (M.P.A.). The dual degree in environmental geography is is approached through either the bachelor of science in environmental science or the bachelor of arts in environmental studies, and students then complete a master's in geography.

Students may begin taking courses for the graduate degree while in the undergraduate program. In some programs, up to 12 hours of undergraduate credits can also be counted in the graduate degree. Early advising is essential to success in navigating these dual-degree programs. Advisors are available in both units to help students prepare and select courses appropriately to get the most from their education.

Applying for one of the dual-degree programs is a two-step process. It is highly recommended that interested first- and second-year students speak to an advisor early in their college program. Students must submit a conditional application to most programs no later than their junior year to ensure that they will receive preference in registering for courses. Students must formally apply to the program through The Graduate School in their senior year. The GRE is not required for applications from current UNC–Chapel Hill students for the dual degrees in environmental science and communication, nor for the dual degrees in environmental geography; for other dual degrees students should check with their advisors about GRE requirements. For complete information on the application process and curriculum requirements, please go to the specific website listed above for the dual-degree program of interest.

In addition to the four dual-degree programs specific to collaborations with E3P, there are other dual-degree undergraduate/graduate programs developed by other UNC departments and colleges. Programs of interest include the Department of City and Regional Planning for a Master's in City and Regional Planning (M.C.R.P.), the Department of Public Policy for a Master's in Public Policy (M.P.P.), and the Gillings School of Global Public Health for a range of public health-related master's programs. 

Special Opportunities in Environmental Science and Studies

Honors in Environmental Science or Studies

Students in either the B.S. or B.A. degree program may participate in honors research leading to graduation with honors or highest honors. This distinction is earned by participation in honors research (ENEC 693H) and culminates in ENEC 694H, thesis writing and defense. Students should follow the guidelines established by Honors Carolina and meet with the faculty honors advisor, Dr. Geoff Bell, to ensure that appropriate requirements are fulfilled. (Requirements can be found on the Honors Program website). Honors students can use three credit hours of ENEC 693H (research) or ENEC 694H (thesis), but not both courses, to fulfill a concentration requirement.

Departmental Involvement

The Carolina Environmental Student Alliance (CESA) is an interdisciplinary organization dedicated to uniting the environmental interests of students across campus. Participation is open to all students and community members with an interest in the environment. 

Experiential Education

Possibilities for experiential education include APPLES service-learning courses (ENEC 593), Coral Reef Ecology and Management (ENEC 259), Sierra Nevada Program (ENEC 208), internships (ENEC 393, ENEC 493), research (ENEC 395, ENEC 396, ENEC 698), and honors research (ENEC 693H, ENEC 694H). Additionally, a series of experiential education field sites is available in North Carolina and around the world where students may take coursework and conduct research for a semester. Fall semester field sites are offered in North Carolina at Highlands Biological Station (mountain/ecology), the Institute for Marine Sciences (marine ecology/geology), and the Coastal Studies Institute/Outer Banks (coastal policy and economics). Spring semester field sites are offered on the UNC campus (Sustainable Triangle field site) and in Thailand (energy and pollution). The Thailand field site experience incorporates part of the following summer as well. Summer programs are also offered in the Galapagos via UNC's Center for Galapagos Studies. Contact our advisors about other opportunities. Faculty members often arrange Burch Program summer educational trips to such locations as Australia (conservation, restoration, and natural resource management), Siberia, Russia (ecology and anthropology), the Sierra Nevadas (ecology and physical geography), and northern Europe (energy, sustainability, and communication).

Internships

Students are encouraged to apply for paid or unpaid internships in local, state, national, and international environmental organizations. Internship opportunities can be found through the Ecostudio Internship Incubator website. These internships provide valuable practical experience, and some may be conducted for academic credit. Students interested in academic credit should contact the director of undergraduate studies, Dr. Amy Cooke, or the Ecostudio, to obtain the required application for credit before the term begins.

Study Abroad

Exchange and other study abroad programs are available through the UNC Study Abroad Office. At some locations students may take courses for UNC credit, such as some field sites listed above. Students may take courses at other universities during study abroad and apply for transfer credit as well. We encourage students to participate in study abroad during their career at Carolina.

Undergraduate Awards

Undergraduates may be considered for the Watts and Betsy Carr Awards, Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Awards, and Robert Alonzo Winston Scholarships.

Undergraduate Research

All students are encouraged (but not required) to complete an independent or team research project. Such projects introduce students to the tools needed for graduate study. They also provide an important opportunity for working directly with the world-class environmental faculty members and graduate students at UNC–Chapel Hill, as well as in the many environmental organizations in the Research Triangle. The Triangle area contains one of the largest collections of environmental organizations and expertise in the world, providing unique opportunities for students to conduct research on an immense range of topics from fundamental scientific research to policy applications. Students interested in obtaining course credit for research should speak with either Dr. Geoff Bell (honors advisor) or Dr. Amy Cooke (director of undergraduate studies) to ensure all the requirements and appropriate paperwork has been approved within the first week of classes.

Environment, Ecology, and Energy Program

Visit Program Website

3202 Murray Hall, CB# 3275

(919) 962-1270

Chair

Paul W. Leslie

pwleslie@unc.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Amy E. Cooke

amycooke@unc.edu

Student Services Manager

Violet Anderson

vmanders@email.unc.edu