Environmental <br>Science

Courses & Curriculum

The Environmental Science major provides both theoretical and applied knowledge for students interested in professional careers in the environmental sciences, e.g., environmental consulting, environmental regulation and monitoring, environmental conservation, environmental health sciences (toxicology, occupational health, health physics, industrial hygiene, water quality industry) and the ecological sciences. In addition, the curriculum facilitates entry into graduate programs in the ecological, environmental health (health physics, microbiology, occupational health, toxicology) and environmental sciences.1

The Environmental Science program is designed to have an interdisciplinary focus with required and recommended courses coming from biology, chemistry, geology, philosophy and social sciences. In addition, it is designed to provide needed job experiences through the completion of two required internships. For students interested in graduate study in the environmental sciences, one internship may be replaced with independent research in the environmental sciences.

Qualifications for the major 

Students must maintain an overall 2.0 G.P.A. in their major and support courses to graduate with a degree in environmental science. 


All Environmental Science majors are assigned advisors within the program. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their internships. The advisor may be changed at the student’s request.

Environmental Science Curriculum

1. Core Curriculum Requirements: 
View the Core Curriculum requirements. All students complete these requirements as part of their overall Canisius education.

2.  Major course requirements       (21 courses)

BIO 111/111L Introductory Biology I and Laboratory 4 credits
BIO 112/112L Introductory Biology II and Laboratory 4 credits
BIO 211/211L  Biochemistry and Cellular Biology I and Laboratory 4 credits
BIO 212/212L  Biochemistry and Cellular Biology II and Laboratory 4 credits
CHM 111-112 General Chemistry 8 credits
CHM 227/227L Organic Chemistry and lab 4 credits
PSY 201 Basic Statistics for Behavioral Science 4/3 credits
MAT 141 Inferential Statistics and Computers  
MAT 111 Calculus or substitute with MAT 109-110 Calculus with Review 4/8 credits
Advanced Statistics  
BIO 320 Field Ecology 4 credits
BIO 360 Environmental Health 3/4 credits
CHM 232 Environmental Analytical Chemistry 4 credits
ENV 100 Introduction to Environmental Science Seminar 1 credits 
ENV 200 Introduction to Environmental Hydrology (lab required) 4 credits
ENV 352 Environmental Science Seminar II 1 credits
ENV 499 Environmental Science Internship (2 at 3 credits each) 6 credits
GEOL 120  Introductory Geology (lab required) 4 credits
B.  Major Electives (2 Courses)
Of the upper level biology classes (300 and 400 level), three of the five must include laboratories (BIO 320 is one of the three laboratories).
BIO 322 Conservation Biology 3 credits
BIO 335 Plant Biology 3/4 credits
BIO 343 Entomology 4 credits
BIO 360 Environmental Health 3 credits
BIO 365 Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology 4 credits
BIO 366 Ornithology 4 credits
BIO 370 Plant Morphology 4 credits
BIO 371 Behavioral Ecology 3 credits
BIO 375 Community Ecology 4 credits
BIO 377 Freshwater Biology 4 credits
BIO 378 Wetlands  
CHM 301 Classical Physical Chemistry 5 credits
SCI 360 Scientific Modeling 3 credits
Total 11-12 credits

3.  Free electives:
Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach a minimum of 120 credit hours for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours. Those considering graduate school are strongly encouraged to take CHM 228 and PHY 201-202 as electives in the junior year. Environmental Ethics (PHI 348) is highly recommended.

Course Descriptions

ENV 100 Introduction to Environmental Science Seminar    1 credits
Introduction to the field. Career information included. Required in freshman or sophomore year.  Spring of odd years only

GEOL 120 Introduction to Geology   4 credits
Basic concepts, including uniformitarianism, the rock cycle, the hydrologic cycle, tectonics and surface processes. Also covers how humans affect and are affected by their environment. Lab required.  Prerequisite: Students may not receive credit for both GEOL 120 and PHY 130.  Fall of odd years only

ENV 200 Introduction to Hydrology   4 credits
Introduction to hydrologic processes, methods for quantifying hydrologic parameters and processes, and practical exposure to conducting and reporting hydrological studies. Lab required. Prerequisites: GEOL 120 and lab. Spring of even years only
ENV 352 Environmental Science Junior Seminar   1 credit
Students attend scientific talks, write a resume or curriculum vita, learn interviewing skills, learn skills related to scientific writing,  and present information relevant to their internship experiences. Career preparations also included. Offered every spring

ENV 401 Independent Research    3 credits
Independent laboratory research in environmental science conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Arrangements made prior to registration. Prerequisite: Written permission of faculty member.  Offered every semester

ENV 498-499 Environmental Science Internship   3 credits
Practical experiences in the environmental sciences. Students must complete two internships in different areas of environmental sciences.  Prerequisites: Junior with a G.P.A. of at least 2.0 in the major, a positive recommendation from a faculty member and a completed and approved internship application (applications are available from the program coordinator and must meet the deadlines in the advisement guide).  Offered every semester.