Environmental Science Requirements for a Minor in Environmental Science
Requirements for the B.S. degree with a major in Environmental Science
Pass/No Credit Option
Administration and Counseling
Courses of Instruction


Available as a major for the B.S. degree.

This interdisciplinary program is administered by the Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies. Faculty associated with the program are:

Lilliana Abarca, Adjunct Professor, ITCR, Costa Rica
John Breyer, Professor of Geology
Tony Burgess, Professor of Professional Practice
Art Busbey, Associated Professor of Geology
R. Nowell Donovan, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Charles B. Moncrief Professor
Ray W. Drenner, Professor, and Chair of Biology
Gary W. Ferguson, Professor of Biology
Jack Hill, Associated Professor of Religion
John Horner, Professor of Biology
John Janovec, Adjunct Professor, Botanical Research Institute of Texas
Peter D. McKone, Adjunct Professor, Wetland Ecology
Mike Misamore, Assistant Professor of Biology
Glenn C. Kroh, Associate Professor of Biology
Ranjan S. Muttiah, Assistant Professor of Geology
Ken Morgan, Director, Center for Remote Sensing and Associate Dean of the College of Science and Engineering
Leo Newland, Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
Rebecca Richards, Professor of Professional Practice
Michael Slattery, Associate Professor and Chair of Environmental Science

Requirements for a Minor in Environmental Science

A minimum of 18 semester hours of Biology, Geology, or Environmental Science courses including a minimum of three upper division (30000 or above) courses.

Requirements for the B.S. degree with a major in Environmental Science

A. Required Courses (49 semester hours)

THE CORE (22 semester hours)

BIOL 10003 Contemporary Issues in Biology
BIOL 30613 Natural History of North America
BIOL 10504 Principles of Life Sciences
BIOL 10514 Principles of Life Sciences

GEOL 10113 Understanding the Earth
ENSC 10143 Principles of Environmental Science
BIOL 30403 Ecology
GEOL 40393 Soils in the Environment
ENSC 40193 Environmental Stewardship Seminar
ENSC 40503 Environmental Field Methods
ENSC 40001 Scientific Presentations

ELECTIVES (24 semester hours)

Students must select a 24 hours coursework with a minimum of 6 hours of Biology, 6 hours of Geology, and 6 hours Environmental Science designation.

Associated Requirements (19 hours)

CHEM 10113 Freshman Chemistry
CHEM 10125 Freshman Chemistry
PHYS 10154 General Physics I
MATH 10524 Calculus I or equivalent
STATS course as approved by Director.

The total required for the B.S. degree with a major in Environmental Science is 132 semester hours.

Pass/No Credit Option

Courses in the major (or minor) must be taken for letter grade.

Administration and Counseling

Each student prepares an individual Program of Study (POS) designed specifically for the student's particular background and goals. The POS is prepared in consultation with the Director of the program, Dr. Michael Slattery, Room 244 Sid W. Richardson Physical Sciences Bulding.

Courses of Instruction

ENSC 10143 Principles of Environmental Science. Two hours lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. This course introduces students to the major environmental/resource problems that confront humanity in the 21st century. The course seeks to both develop a fundamental scientific knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles that underlie current environmental problems, as well as to engage in critical and reflective thinking about our resources, the environment and our place within it. Field trip required.

ENSC 10433 A Sense of Place: TCU's Environment. This first-year seminar offers an introduction to field observation, personal journaling, and the domain of Environmental Studies, which includes earth sciences, ecology, environmental history, and environmental literature. Assignments are designed to promote awareness about how an environment is shaped by interaction among cultural and natural processes. The course is centered upon five all-day field trips in the vicinity of Fort Worth. Trips include presentations and exercises conducted by various experts, designed both to showcase individual enthusiasms and to explore how disciplinary knowledge can be integrated into a richer understanding of the local environment. Whenever possible, people with differing expertise, and readings from both scientific and literary sources are used to interpret the same landscape. Students practice describing environments in different modes, in order to cultivate the breadth of perspective required for environmental literacy. Each trip is preceded by a 2-hour evening session to discuss assigned readings, insights from the previous trip, and relevant concepts for the next trip.

ENSC 30003 Junior Honors Seminar in Environmental Science. Prerequisite: Permission of Instructor.

ENSC 30313 Environmental Issues in Costa Rica. In this course, students spend three weeks in Costa Rica examining environmental issues and the case for environmental stewardship, defined as the need to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to the planet. Costa Rica provides a unique biological learning environment. It is one of the smallest countries in the Americas, yet has the most diverse selection of flora and fauna in the hemisphere. This diversity is now under threat from widespread habitat destruction, primarily through deforestation. At the same time, the country has one of the most enlightened and dedicated approaches to conservation in the world. Students get to experience first-hand the difficulties involved in working toward a balance between humans and nature, or development and the preservation of environmental quality. It is also a unique opportunity for students to engage in critical and reflective thinking about our resources, the environment, and our place within it.

ENSC 40193 Environmental Stewardship Seminar. Three hours of lecture per week. This course examines the case environmental stewardship, defined as the need to make informed and responsible decisions with regard to the planet. Students meet in a seminar-type format and cover broad, integrating themes that then serve as a foundation for topics that address more specific environmental problems, such as global warming, deforestation, sustainable development, and energy depletion. The course exposes students to the foundations necessary to enable them to develop their own environmental ethic.

ENSC 40503 Environmental Methods and Statistics. Environmental Methods and Statistics is a laboratory- and field-based course that presents essential general science and specific environmental methods, techniques, and theory. Students are exposed to the basic tools of environmental science - observation and notation, data gathering, using statistics, sampling, lab and field techniques, surveying, and safety. Specific environmental methodologies relating to soil, water, and ecological systems are explained. The course presents a wide cross-disciplinary range of techniques and information with a unique environmental perspective.

ENSC 40970 Special Problems. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Field and laboratory problems for advanced undergraduate students. Fifty clock hours of laboratory and field work for each semester hour credit. 1-6 semester hours.

ENSC 50246 Biodiversity. Prerequisites: Two semesters of college-level biology courses. This course introduces skills to describe and study the diversity of life. It is immersion, field-intensive instruction. General concepts include patterns of global biodiversity, biogeography of the Southern Plains, conservation biology, pressures on biodiversity, and national/international biodiversity protection efforts and policies. Field skill instruction starts with context description, emphasizing vegetation structure, followed by plant community description. Subsequent modules focus on inventorying animal communities, starting with insects and continuing with freshwater invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. The field skill component of the course concludes with a week-long exercise in habitats outside of north-central Texas. Biodiversity information management is learned by developing a relational database coupled with a local Geographic Information System.

Texas Christian University