School of the Environment

Undergraduate Studies


Prior Degree Programs

Notice, these degrees are no longer being offered. This page is only here as reference for those students who started these programs prior to being phased out.If you have any questions about our prior programs please contact Elaine O'fallon in Webster 1227 or Marlene Guse in Webster 1229..

Environmental Science

Environmental science is the study of natural and modified environments and their interactions with biological (including human) systems. It emphasizes comprehensive understanding of the environmental/ecological context, assessment of beneficial and disruptive impacts, and methodologies to analyze, interrelate and resolve these complex systems. Students acquire the holistic and interdisciplinary perspective and ecological understanding necessary to prepare them for an environmental field of study.

Because of the diversity of these fields, the course of study for each student is flexibly designed in a unique, multi-optional interdisciplinary context.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

This course of study for the bachelor degree in Environmental Science is organized around the requirements necessary for graduation which is provided to the student through their advisor or the WSU Registrars's Office. The program provides a strong foundation for advanced study in many professional and basic research fields.

Requirements for certification into the Bachelor of Science Program in Environmental Science; 1) completion of 30 semester hours of course work with a gpa of 2.00, and 2) completion of the courses listed in the catalog in the freshman year of the environmental science curriculum with a grade of C- or better. (Courses not required to fulfill university requirements for graduation may be waived for certification.) 

Preparation for Graduate Study:

Before applying for admission to the graduate programs, a student should have completed an undergraduate curriculum that included examination of a physical, biological, or social system to serve as background for advanced investigation of one or more of these systems. Applicants are expected to have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate field. Prior work experience in environmental or related fields is considered in evaluating applicants.

If you are thinking about attending Graduate School you should plan your undergraduate course curriculum accordingly. Talk this over with your advisor or contact Elaine O'fallon for specific course guidelines.

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Our program of study is designed to prepare you for a career as a practicing professional geologist or as an educator or scientist in a related field. Both general and advanced training is offered in most specializations in geology. The lower-division courses are designed to provide a strong foundation for those who major in geology as well as a stimulating introduction to earth science for the non-major. The 300-400-level courses provide training for professional geological work as well as preparation for postgraduate study.

Bachelor of Science in Geology

Candidates for a B.S. Degree in Geology follow the curriculum outlined below. A minimum of 120 semester hours of credit is required for graduation, including a minimum of 40 semester hours of credit in 300-400 level course work with a 2.0 minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) overall and in the major.

Preparation for Graduate Study:

The Master of Science is the professional working degree in Geology. Therefore, if you intend to become a practicing professional geologist, you should plan to attend graduate school. Your chances of acceptance into the graduate school at any university will be improved if you have an overall grade point average of 3.0 or above. Good grades in supporting science courses (math, chemistry, and physics) also increase your chances of acceptance. It should be pointed out that a B.S. in Geology is good training for many other careers ranging from education to business to agriculture.

If you are thinking about attending Graduate School you should plan your undergraduate course curriculum accordingly. Talk this over with your advisor or contact Elaine O'fallon for specific course guidelines.

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Natural Resource Sciences

The Natural Resource Major is the most flexible of the majors offered under the B.S. in Natural Resource Sciences.  It is designed to meet two broad objectives:

  • Provide maximum opportunities for students to develop and pursue individualized curricula that include subject matter focus and/or breadth tailored to individual student interests and needs
  • Provide opportunities for students to focus on new, different, and/or emerging fields of natural resource sciences that transcend the traditional disciplinary lines represented by our other three majors.

Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources

At the end of your sophomore year or beginning of your junior year, you select an option that lets you specialize your degree. Each option consists of approximately five to seven core courses and two to five electives. Together with your faculty advisor, you select an option and tailor the courses to fit your interests and career goals.

  • Wetland/Aquatic Resources
    Emphasizes understanding, managing and/or restoring riparian, wetland, stream and lake ecosystems and their component resources and resource values.
  • Natural Resource Policy
    Focuses on the social, economic, and politcal factors that influence how natural resources are viewed, valued, utilized and managed. By choosing certain courses, you can get a minor in sociology or political science.
  • Directed Studies
    Work with your faculty advisor to build a customized program of courses that fit your academic interests and professional goals.

Strengths of the Program

  • Close proximity to the University of Idaho creates exceptional opportunities for cooperation in teaching between WSU’s Department of Natural Resources and UI’s College of Natural Resources.
  • The Wildlife Habitat Nutrition Laboratory determines the food habits of both domestic livestock and wildlife and performs chemical analyses on plants eaten by those animals.
  • The E.H. Steffen Center provides numerous specialized plantings, a critical source for teaching plant identification, and is used extensively for elementary forest and range measurement exercises.
  • WSU’s Bear Program provides information and the understanding necessary to conserve bears around the world. It is the only university facility in the world to house adult grizzlies for research.
  • Student chapters of the Society of American Foresters, Society for Range Management, and Wildlife Society provide opportunities for students to interact with faculty and other professionals.

If you are thinking about attending Graduate School you should plan your undergraduate course curriculum accordingly. Talk this over with your advisor or contact Marlene Guse for specific course guidelines.

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    Wildlife Ecology

    This major provides students with a basic background in the sciences plus additional interdisciplinary courses emphasizing the management aspects of wildlife science.  The core requirements plus the approved electives in wildlife management may allow majors to meet the U.S. Office of Personnel Management requirements for wildlife biologist, wildlife refuge manager, general biologist, and zoologist. Wildlife students can individualize and often enhance their professional development by minoring in other subjects such as communications, computer science, and other natural resource fields (e.g. forestry).

    For Wildlife Society Certification, students should register for 3 additional credits of Communication coursework, and should select at least 3 credits of Physical Science coursework from electives.

    Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology

    Specialize your degree to fit your interests and career goals by choosing one of two options:

    • Directed Studies
      Working with your faculty advisor, you choose 5 to 7 courses that match your interests and enhance your professional development in wildlife ecology. The following focus areas are offered:
      • Aquatic Ecology
      • Habitat Ecology
      • Animal Ecology
      • Conservation Biology
    • Pre-veterinary Studies
      Expert advisors help you fulfill prerequisites and build the skills you need to successfully apply to veterinary school — whether at WSU or elsewhere. Because pre-veterinary requirements include additional science courses, you should begin this option in your freshman year.

    Strengths of the Program

    • WSU animal science and veterinary research ranks first in the nation based on the number of scientists worldwide who recognize and cite the University's research in their own scientific papers.
    • The wildlife ecology major includes a pre-veterinary track that prepares you for study in professional veterinary medicine programs--including the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine D.V.M. program.
    • Benefit from the department’s close relationship with the WSU College of Veterinary Medicine, which has one of the best equipped veterinary teaching hospitals in the world.
    • Learn from nationally recognized experts in habitat restoration/management, reproduction, nutrition, and feeding habits of animals ranging from deer and elk to large carnivores.
    • Opportunities to participate in research at facilities like the Wild Ungulate Facility, Wildlife Habitat Nutrition Lab, Bear Research Program, and Large Carnivore Conservation Lab.

    If you are thinking about attending Graduate School you should plan your undergraduate course curriculum accordingly. Talk this over with your advisor or contact Marlene Guse for specific course guidelines.
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    Douglas Fir Forest

    School of the Environment, PO Box 642812, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-2812, 509-335-3009, Contact Us