Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Environmental Science

Academics

Major

Major requirements

The Environmental Science major provides students with the necessary background in biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics that is required to understand natural processes and to apply the methodology of scientific research to environmental problems. The program is designed to prepare students to work in the environmental field and/or pursue further study in graduate or professional programs in environmental science.

Environmental Science major worksheet

Core courses required for all Environmental Science majors

BIO 111 Evolution and Ecology
BIO 201 Environmental Science
CHEM 153 Chemical Principles
CHEM 232 Aqueous Equilibria
MATH 104 Calculus II
or MATH 141 Introductory Statistics
or MATH 151 Accelerated Statistics
PHYS 160 Geology

Core courses for the Biology Area of Concentration

BIO 112 Cells and Genes
BIO 215 Ecology
CHEM 303 Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry

Four additional courses from the general electives list below, including at least two courses at the 300 level.

Core courses for the Chemistry Area of Concentration

CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 303 Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry

Two of the following courses:
CHEM 321 Chemistry of Natural Waters
CHEM 332 Instrumental Analysis
CHEM 398 Global Biogeochemical Cycles

Three additional courses from the general electives list below, including at least one course at the 300 level.

Core courses for the Geoscience Area of Concentration

CHEM 321 Chemistry of Natural Waters
PHYS 165 Climate Change, Past and Present
PHYS 170 Introductory Physics I
or PHYS 180 Introductory Physics I (Enhanced)
PHYS 171 Introductory Physics II
or PHYS 181 Introductory Physics II (Enhanced)

Two additional courses from the geoscience electives list below and one additional course from the general electives list, including at least two courses at the 300 level.

Capstone

The capstone may be fulfilled by taking an appropriate senior seminar (BIO 401/BIO 402) or by conducting an independent research project which has been approved by the coordinator and supervised by a Wheaton faculty member (499) or conduct research as part of a senior honors thesis (biology, chemistry or physics 500).

Internship

Students must complete an internship or independent research project with an environmental focus. Internships must be approved by the program coordinator in advance. Internships should be completed no later than January of the senior year. Independent research may receive credit, but other internships will not normally be given college credit.
Environmental Science Internship Approval (pdf)

General Electives

BIO 211 Genetics
BIO 215 Ecology (Chem and Geo areas)
BIO 220 Evolution of Invertebrates
BIO 226 Biology 226/Psychology 226.Comparative Animal Behavior
or PSY 226 Comparative Animal Behavior
BIO 231 Marine Biology
BIO 252 Parasitology and Symbiosis
BIO 262 Plant Biology
BIO 290 Biology of Whales (*MSC)
BIO 291 Introduction to Marine Mammals (*MSC)
BIO 303 Evolution
BIO 317 Molecular Ecology and Evolution
BIO 318 Tropical Field Biology
BIO 364 Freshwater and Marine Botany
(Bio area)
BIO 375 Ornithology
BIO 380 Wetlands Ecology, Hydrology, Restoration (*MSC)
BIO 390 Biology of Fishes (*MSC)
CHEM 253 Organic Chemistry I (Bio and Chem areas)
CHEM 254 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 303 Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry (Geo area)
CHEM 321 Chemistry of Natural Waters (Bio and Chem areas)
CHEM 332 Instrumental Analysis
CHEM 398 Global Biogeochemical Cycles (Chem and Geo areas)
COMP 115 Robots, Games and Problem Solving (Geo area)
MATH 151 Accelerated Statistics (Geo area)
MATH 212 Differential Equations (Geo area)
MATH 236 Multivariable Calculus (Geo area)
MATH 251 Methods of Data Analysis (Geo area)
PHYS 165 Climate Change, Past and Present (Bio area)
PHYS 227 Remote Sensing
PHYS 298 Meteorology and Oceanography
PHYS 298 Scientific Computing
PHYS 310 Statistical and Thermal Physics (Geo area)
PHYS 360 Geophysics (Chem and Geo area)

Geoscience Electives

CHEM 303 Current Problems in Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 398 Global Biogeochemical Cycles
PHYS 227 Remote Sensing
PHYS 298 Meteorology and Oceanography
PHYS 298 Scientific Computing
PHYS 360 Geophysics

Courses may also be accepted, pending approval by the program coordinator, from off-campus programs including the Marine Studies Consortium(*MSC), Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program, Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and the Organization for Tropical Studies programs in Costa Rica and South Africa.

Additional information may be obtained about course offerings through these affiliated institutions at the Filene Center for Academic Advising and Career Services and the Biology department web pages.

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