Environmental Sciences (BS)

To see more about what you will learn in this program, visit the Learning Outcomes website!

This area of study uses interdisciplinary approaches that link natural science and social science disciplines, and a knowledge of environmental systems and earth processes​.  Such interdisciplinary approaches are essential for understanding changes in a rapidly changing world, and for understanding our past, present, and future.  Environmental scientists will help ensure human prospects by improving both socio-economic development and environmental quality through innovation in new technologies and policies.

Public interest about environmental issues is increasing.  Protecting and improving the environment involves knowledge and systematic problem-solving skills that are essential for environmental sciences.  North Carolina State University's environmental sciences degree program provides sound, individualized academic programs for students who can develop a wide range of careers. For information on entrance requirements, contact the program coordinator:

Erin Champion
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, NCSU
Box 8008
Raleigh, NC 27695-8008
Phone: (919) 513-2520
E-mail: eachampi@ncsu.edu

Plan Requirements

Environmental Sciences: 120 Total Units

English & Communication
ENG 101Academic Writing and Research 14
Communication Skills 6
Mathematical Science and Physics
MA 131Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A3
or MA 141 Calculus I
MA 231Calculus for Life and Management Sciences B3
or MA 241 Calculus II
Select one of the following:4
Physics for Engineers and Scientists I
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists I Laboratory
College Physics I
Select one of the following:4
Physics for Engineers and Scientists II
and Physics for Engineers and Scientists II Laboratory
College Physics II
Natural Sciences
CH 101Chemistry - A Molecular Science3
CH 102General Chemistry Laboratory1
CH 220
CH 222
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
BIO 181Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity4
BIO 183Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology4
SSC 200
SSC 201
Soil Science
and Soil Science Laboratory
Departmental Requirements
ENV 100Student Success in Environmental First Year1
ENV 101Exploring the Environment2
ES 100Introduction to Environmental Sciences 13
ES 111Applications of Environmental Sciences 11
ES 200Climate Change and Sustainability 13
ES 300Energy and Environment 13
ES 400Analysis of Environmental Issues 13
ST 311Introduction to Statistics3
ST 312Introduction to Statistics II3
Economics Electives3
PS 320U.S. Environmental Law and Politics3
or PS 336 Global Environmental Politics
External Learning Experience3
Focal Area
ES Focal Area (See Advisor) 215
Advised Electives (See Advisor) 29
General Education Program (GEP) Courses
GEP Humanities6
GEP Health and Exercise Studies2
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts)3
GEP U.S. Diversity (Verify Requirements)
GEP Global Knowledge (Verify Requirements)
Foreign Language Proficiency GEP Global Knowledge (Verify Requirements)
Free Electives
Free Electives (12 Hr S/U Lmt) 310
Total Hours120

Communication Skills Electives

Communication Skills
AFS 248Survey of African-American Literature3
AFS 349African Literature in English3
AFS 375African American Cinema3
AFS 448African-American Literature3
AFS 548African-American Literature3
COM 321Survey of Rhetorical Theory3
COM 364History of Film to 19403
COM 374History of Film From 19403
COM 395Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media3
COM 411Rhetorical Criticism3
COM 506Verbal Data Analysis3
COM 514History Of Rhetoric3
COM 516Rhetorical Criticism: Theory and Practice3
COM 554Contemporary Rhetorical Theory3
COM 581Visual Rhetoric: Theory and Criticism3
ECI 405Literature for Adolescents3
ENG 202Disciplinary Perspectives in Writing3
ENG 206Studies In Drama3
ENG 207Studies in Poetry3
ENG 208Studies In Fiction3
ENG 209Introduction to Shakespeare3
ENG 210Introduction to Language and Linguistics3
ENG 214Introduction to Editing3
ENG 216Technologies for Texts3
ENG 219Studies in Great Works of Non-Western Literature3
ENG 220Studies in Great Works of Western Literature3
ENG 221Literature of the Western World I3
ENG 222Literature of the Western World II3
ENG 223Contemporary World Literature I3
ENG 224Contemporary World Literature II3
ENG 232Literature and Medicine3
ENG 246Literature of the Holocaust3
ENG 248Survey of African-American Literature3
ENG 249Native American Literature3
ENG 251Major British Writers3
ENG 252Major American Writers3
ENG 255Beyond Britain: Literature from Colonies of the British Empire3
ENG 260Reading Literature and Exploring Textuality3
ENG 261English Literature I3
ENG 262English Literature II3
ENG 265American Literature I3
ENG 266American Literature II3
ENG 267LGBTQI Literature in the U.S.3
ENG 275Literature and War3
ENG 281Introduction to Creative Nonfiction3
ENG 282Introduction to Film3
ENG 287Explorations in Creative Writing3
ENG 288Fiction Writing3
ENG 289Poetry Writing3
ENG 292Writing About Film3
ENG 298Special Projects in English1-3
ENG 305Women and Literature3
ENG 308Contemporary Issues in Ecofeminism3
ENG 314Technical Document Design and Editing3
ENG 315Phonetics3
ENG 316Introduction to News and Article Writing3
ENG 317Designing Networked Communications3
ENG 321Survey of Rhetorical Theory3
ENG 323Writing in the Rhetorical Tradition3
ENG 324Modern English Syntax3
ENG 325Spoken and Written Traditions of American English Dialects3
ENG 326History of the English Language3
ENG 327Language and Gender3
ENG 328Language and Writing3
ENG 329Language in Globalization 3
ENG 330Screenwriting3
ENG 331Communication for Engineering and Technology3
ENG 332Communication for Business and Management3
ENG 333Communication for Science and Research3
ENG 335Language Development3
ENG 338Speech Science
ENG 339Literature and Technology3
ENG 340Literature, Art, and Society3
ENG 341Literature and Science3
ENG 342Literature of Space and Place3
ENG 349African Literature in English3
ENG 350Professional Internships3
ENG 359Topics in Film Studies3
ENG 361Studies in British Poetry3
ENG 362Studies in the British Novel 3
ENG 364History of Film to 19403
ENG 369The American Novel of the 19th Century3
ENG 370American Fiction, Twentieth Century and Beyond3
ENG 372American Poetry, Twentieth Century and Beyond3
ENG 374History of Film From 19403
ENG 375African American Cinema3
ENG 376Science Fiction3
ENG 377Fantasy3
ENG 378Women & Film3
ENG 380Modern Drama3
ENG 381Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop3
ENG 382Film and Literature3
ENG 384Introduction to Film Theory3
ENG 385Biblical Backgrounds of English Literature3
ENG 388Intermediate Fiction Writing Workshop3
ENG 389Intermediate Poetry Writing Workshop3
ENG 390Classical Backgrounds of English Literature3
ENG 391Special Topics in Modern Drama3
ENG 392Major World Author3
ENG 393Studies in Literary Genre3
ENG 394Studies in World Literature3
ENG 395Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media3
ENG 399Contemporary Literature 3
ENG 400Applied Criticism3
ENG 405Literature for Adolescents3
ENG 406Modernism3
ENG 407Postmodernism3
ENG 410Studies in Gender and Genre3
ENG 411Rhetorical Criticism3
ENG 416Advanced News and Article Writing3
ENG 417Editorial and Opinion Writing3
ENG 420Major American Author3
ENG 421Computer Documentation Design3
ENG 422Writing Theory and the Writing Process3
ENG 425Analysis of Scientific and Technical Writing3
ENG 426Analyzing Style3
ENG 430Advanced Screenwriting3
ENG 439Studies in English Renaissance Literature 3
ENG 448African-American Literature3
ENG 451Chaucer3
ENG 452Medieval British Literature3
ENG 453Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature3
ENG 455Literacy in the U.S.3
ENG 460Major British Author3
ENG 46218th-Century English Literature3
ENG 463The Victorian Period3
ENG 464British Literature and the Founding of Empire 3
ENG 465British Literature and the Dissolution of Empire3
ENG 466Transatlantic Literatures3
ENG 467American Colonial Literature3
ENG 468Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature3
ENG 470American Literature, Twentieth Century and Beyond3
ENG 476Southern Literature3
ENG 480Modern Drama3
ENG 481History of the Book3
ENG 482Reading in the Digital Age3
ENG 483Literature and Media3
ENG 486Shakespeare, The Earlier Plays3
ENG 487Shakespeare, The Later Plays3
ENG 488Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop3
ENG 489Advanced Poetry Writing Workshop3
ENG 490Studies in Medieval Literature3
ENG 491Honors in English3
ENG 492Special Topics in Film Styles and Genres3
ENG 494Special Topics in Linguistics3
ENG 495Studies in Literature3
ENG 496Seminar in Literary Criticism3
ENG 498Special Topics in English1-6
ENG 499Special Topics in Creative Writing3
ENG 505Writing Program Administration: Theory, Practice, and Research3
ENG 506Verbal Data Analysis3
ENG 507Writing for Health and Environmental Sciences3
ENG 508Usability Studies for Technical Communication3
ENG 509Old English Literature3
ENG 510Middle English Literature3
ENG 511Theory and Research In Composition3
ENG 512Theory and Research In Professional Writing3
ENG 513Empirical Research In Composition3
ENG 514History Of Rhetoric3
ENG 515Rhetoric Of Science and Technology3
ENG 516Rhetorical Criticism: Theory and Practice3
ENG 517Advanced Technical Writing, Editing and Document Design3
ENG 518Publication Management for Technical Communicators3
ENG 519Online Information Design and Evaluation3
ENG 520Science Writing for the Media3
ENG 522Writing in Nonacademic Settings3
ENG 523Language Variation Research Seminar3
ENG 524Introduction to Linguistics3
ENG 525Variety In Language3
ENG 527Discourse Analysis3
ENG 528Sociophonetics3
ENG 52916th-Century Non-Dramatic English Literature3
ENG 53017th-Century English Literature3
ENG 531American Colonial Literature3
ENG 532Narrative Analysis3
ENG 533Bilingualism and Language Contact3
ENG 534Quantitative Analysis in Sociolinguistics3
ENG 536Research Methods in Phonology3
ENG 539Seminar In World Literature3
ENG 540History Of Literary Criticism3
ENG 541Literary and Cultural Theory3
ENG 543Introduction to Digital Humanities3
ENG 548African-American Literature3
ENG 549Modern African Literature3
ENG 550British Romantic Period3
ENG 551Chaucer3
ENG 554Contemporary Rhetorical Theory3
ENG 555American Romantic Period3
ENG 558Studies In Shakespeare3
ENG 560British Victorian Period3
ENG 561Milton3
ENG 56218TH-Century English Literature3
ENG 56318TH-Century English Novel3
ENG 564Victorian Novel3
ENG 565American Realism and Naturalism3
ENG 57020TH-Century British Prose3
ENG 57120TH-Century British Poetry3
ENG 572Modern British Drama3
ENG 573Modern American Drama3
ENG 575Southern Writers3
ENG 57620TH-Century American Poetry3
ENG 57720th-Century American Prose3
ENG 578English Drama To 16423
ENG 579Restoration and 18th-Century Drama3
ENG 580Literary Postmodernism3
ENG 581Visual Rhetoric: Theory and Criticism3
ENG 582Studies in Literature3
ENG 583Studies In Rhetoric and Writing3
ENG 584Studies In Linguistics3
ENG 585Studies In Film3
ENG 586Studies In Theory3
ENG 587Interdisciplinary Studies in English3
ENG 588Fiction Writing Workshop3
ENG 589Poetry Writing Workshop3
ENG 590Studies In Creative Writing3
ENG 591Studies in National Cinemas3
ENG 592Special Topics in Film Styles and Genres1-6
ENG 722Linguistics and Literacy3
ENG 727Discourse Analysis3
FL 219Studies in Great Works of Non-Western Literature3
FL 220Studies in Great Works of Western Literature3
FL 221Literature of the Western World I3
FL 222Literature of the Western World II3
FL 223Contemporary World Literature I3
FL 224Contemporary World Literature II3
FL 246Literature of the Holocaust3
FL 275Literature and War3
FL 392Major World Author3
FL 393Studies in Literary Genre3
FL 394Studies in World Literature3
FL 406Modernism3
FL 407Postmodernism3
FL 539Seminar In World Literature3
FL 541Literary and Cultural Theory3
WGS 305Women and Literature3
WGS 308Contemporary Issues in Ecofeminism3
WGS 327Language and Gender3
WGS 410Studies in Gender and Genre3
Maximum of 3 credits
COM 110Public Speaking3
COM 112Interpersonal Communication3
COM 200Communication Media in a Changing World3
COM 201Introduction to Persuasion Theory3
COM 202Small Group Communication3
COM 211Argumentation and Advocacy3
COM 226Introduction to Public Relations3
COM 230Introduction to Communication Theory3
COM 240Communication Inquiry3
COM 250Communication and Technology3
COM 257Media History and Theory3
COM 267Electronic Media Writing: Theory and Practice3
COM 289Science Communication and Public Engagement3
COM 292Language, Communication, and Culture3
COM 296Communication Internship-Non-Local1
COM 298Special Projects in Communication1-3
COM 301Presentational Speaking3
COM 307Digital Audio Production3
COM 316Public Relations Writing3
COM 317Television Production3
COM 321Survey of Rhetorical Theory3
COM 322Nonverbal Communication3
COM 327Critical Analysis of Communication Media3
COM 332Relational Communication3
COM 336Newsletter Writing and Production3
COM 342Qualitative Research Methods in Communication3
COM 346Case Studies in Public Relations3
COM 357Digital Video Production3
COM 362Communication and Gender3
COM 364History of Film to 19403
COM 367Multimedia Production and Digital Culture3
COM 374History of Film From 19403
COM 386Quantitative Communication Research Methods3
COM 392International and Crosscultural Communication3
COM 395Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media3
COM 402Advanced Group Communication3
COM 407Advanced Digital Audio3
COM 411Rhetorical Criticism3
COM 417Communication & Race3
COM 421Communication Law3
COM 427Game Studies3
COM 431Communication in Political Campaigns3
COM 436Environmental Communication3
COM 437Advanced Digital Video3
COM 441Ethical Issues in Communication3
COM 442Communication and Conflict Management3
COM 444Film Production3
COM 447Communication and Globalization3
COM 451Visual Rhetoric3
COM 456Organizational Communication3
COM 457Media and the Family3
COM 466Nonprofit Leadership & Development3
COM 467Advanced Topics in Gender and Communication3
COM 476Public Relations Campaigns3
COM 477Mobile Communication3
COM 479Climate Change Communication3
COM 484Advanced Television Production3
COM 487Internet and Society3
COM 493Advanced Topics in Public Relations3
COM 496Communication Internship3
COM 497Advanced Topics in Media Studies3
COM 498Advanced Topic in Communication1-3
COM 499Advanced Independent Research1-3
COM 506Verbal Data Analysis3
COM 508Emerging Technologies and Society3
COM 514History Of Rhetoric3
COM 516Rhetorical Criticism: Theory and Practice3
COM 521Communication and Globalization3
COM 522Critical Approaches to Organizational Communication3
COM 523International and Intercultural Communication3
COM 525Group/Team Communication3
COM 526Media Economics3
COM 527Seminar in Organizational Conflict Management3
COM 528Communication Culture and Technology3
COM 529Communication Campaigns3
COM 530Interpersonal Communication in Science and Technology Organizations3
COM 532Communication Consulting3
COM 536Seminar in Environmental Communication3
COM 537Gaming and Social Networks3
COM 538Risk Communication3
COM 539Fund Development3
COM 540Critical and Interpretive Inquiry in Communication3
COM 541Quantitative Research Methods in Applied Communication3
COM 542Qualitative Research Methods in Applied Communication3
COM 543Visual Content Analysis3
COM 546Nonprofit Marketing and Public Relations3
COM 547Mobile Media and Communication3
COM 554Contemporary Rhetorical Theory3
COM 556Seminar In Organizational Communication3
COM 561Human Communication Theory3
COM 562Communication and Social Change3
COM 563Public Relations Theory3
COM 566Seminar In Crisis Communication3
COM 579Climate Change Communication3
COM 581Visual Rhetoric: Theory and Criticism3
COM 585Teaching College Communication3
COM 587Internet & Society3
COM 598Special Topics In Communication1-6
ENG 320Anatomy and Physiology of Speech3
ENG 321Survey of Rhetorical Theory3
ENG 338Speech Science3
ENG 364History of Film to 19403
ENG 374History of Film From 19403
ENG 395Studies in Rhetoric and Digital Media3
ENG 411Rhetorical Criticism3
ENG 506Verbal Data Analysis3
ENG 514History Of Rhetoric3
ENG 516Rhetorical Criticism: Theory and Practice3
ENG 554Contemporary Rhetorical Theory3
ENG 581Visual Rhetoric: Theory and Criticism3
GES 508Emerging Technologies and Society3
HSS 392International and Crosscultural Communication3
PA 539Fund Development3
THE 103Introduction to the Theater3
THE 203Theory and Practice of Acting3
THE 223Stagecraft3
THE 293Theater Practicum1-6
THE 303Stage Directing3
THE 334Advanced Acting3
THE 340African American Theatre3
WGS 362Communication and Gender3

Economics Electives

ARE 201Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics3
ARE 201AIntroduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics3
EC 201Principles of Microeconomics3
EC 205Fundamentals of Economics3

External Learning Experience Electives

ES 496Environmental Science Internship1-3
ES 497Professional Development in Environmental Science1-3
ES 498Research in Environmental Science1-3
ES 499Thesis in Environmental Science3

Semester Sequence

This is a sample.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterHours
ENG 101 Academic Writing and Research 1 4
ENV 100 Student Success in Environmental First Year 1
ENV 101 Exploring the Environment 2
BIO 181 Introductory Biology: Ecology, Evolution, and Biodiversity 4
MA 131 Calculus for Life and Management Sciences A 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
Spring Semester
CH 101 Chemistry - A Molecular Science 3
CH 102 General Chemistry Laboratory 1
ES 111 Applications of Environmental Sciences 1 1
MA 231 Calculus for Life and Management Sciences B 3
ES 100 Introduction to Environmental Sciences 1 3
GEP Humanities 3
Second Year
Fall Semester
PY 211 College Physics I 4
CH 220
CH 222
Introductory Organic Chemistry
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
Communications Requirement 3
Free Elective 3
GEP Health and Exercise Studies 1
Spring Semester
PY 212 College Physics II 4
ES 200 Climate Change and Sustainability 1 3
ST 311 Introduction to Statistics 3
BIO 183 Introductory Biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology 4
Free Elective 3
Third Year
Fall Semester
ES 300 Energy and Environment 1 3
ARE 201 Introduction to Agricultural & Resource Economics 3
Advised Elective I 3 3
Communications Requirement 3
Focal Area I 2 3
Spring Semester
Focal Area II 2 3
Advised Elective II 3 3
SSC 200
SSC 201
Soil Science
and Soil Science Laboratory
GEP Additional Breadth (Humanities/Social Sciences/Visual and Performing Arts) 3
Free Elective 3
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
PS 320 U.S. Environmental Law and Politics 3
External Learning Experience 3
Focal Area III 2 3
Advised Elective III 3 3
GEP Humanities 3
Spring Semester
ES 400 Analysis of Environmental Issues 1 3
Analytical Skills Requirement 3
Focal Area IV 2 3
Focal Area V 2 3
Free Elective 2 1
 Total Hours120

Career Opportunities

The Environmental Sciences program provides opportunities for students to rigorously explore complex, interdisciplinary environmental issues by combining courses from a number of NC State colleges to create a thorough interdisciplinary grounding. All degree options encourage students to pursue original research and gain field experience tackling real-world challenges — leaving them well prepared to take advantage of career opportunities once they graduate.​  ​Some graduates find jobs in the environmental industry, including careers as environmental consultants, working in large corporations, or starting their own businesses. Others find careers working in federal, state, and local agencies with environmental mandates. Still others continue their educations in professional and graduate schools.​