The curriculum for the bachelor of science degree in environmental biology is built around a core of required courses that provides a general education, a background in the principles of biological and physical science, and an orientation to natural resources and other environmental concerns. From this common foundation, the large number of elective credits allows each student to develop a unique plan of study, with the help of an assigned advisor who is expert in the student’s general area of interest. In keeping with the hands-on, field orientation of our curriculum, students also must complete six credit hours of field experience.
With appropriate electives, students who complete the degree program will meet requirements for a wide range of federal, state, municipal and private-sector positions that call for training in biological sciences. (Students interested in federal and state positions should review civil service publications and become familiar with specific course requirements early enough to make timely elective choices.) General subject requirements for graduate study in virtually any area of biology also will be met.
Environmental biology is the broadest of the seven biology majors at ESF, covering topics from molecules to ecosystems to regional landscapes, but nearly all the courses in the specialized areas are also available as electives. Sufficient elective space exists to allow completion of a minor during the four-year program. In choosing electives, some students sample from the widest spectrum of classes in environmental biology; this is common for those wishing to enter graduate school for further, career-oriented education. Other students focus their electives to some extent, depending on their interests and their educational and career goals.
Through a joint degree program with Syracuse University, students pursuing the B.S. in environmental biology can couple a strong program in basic biological sciences with necessary education courses required to qualify for certification as biology teachers in grades 7-12 under New York regulations. See Coordinated Programs with Syracuse University.