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Undergraduate | In-Person

Environmental Science, BS

Address the complexities of environmental issues through a hands-on and interdisciplinary approach.

Why Major in Environmental Science

In Environmental Science, we get our feet wet and our hands dirty as we learn about our human connection to the environment.

Today's environmental issues demand active and integrated approaches to learning, discovery and investigation in order to arrive at realistic solutions. Since environmental issues encompass a variety of topics in the sciences and social sciences, the structure of the Environmental Science program provides students with a broad set of knowledge and skills.

We establish personal relationships with our students to help advise them about graduate school and future career options. Our professors teach all classes and labs, and Belmont does not use graduate or teaching assistants.

Each student in the program is required to complete an internship and an independent research project. We offer environmental science specific study abroad courses including those in Costa Rica, the Galapagos and the Pacific Northwest.

What You'll Learn 

  • inline-environmental.jpgAnalytical skills. Environmental scientists often use scientific methods and data analysis in their research. They base their conclusions on careful analysis of scientific data. They must consider all possible methods, interactions and solutions in their analyses.
  • Critical-thinking skills. Environmental scientists must draw logical conclusions from observations, laboratory experiments and other methods of research. They base their findings on sound observation and careful evaluation of data.
  • Interpersonal skills. Environmental scientists typically work on teams with scientists, engineers and technicians. Team members must be able to work together effectively to achieve their goals.
  • Problem-solving skills. Environmental scientists try to find the best possible solution to problems that affect environment and cultures. They must be able to identify and anticipate problems to prevent losses for their employers, safeguard workers’ health and mitigate environmental and cultural impacts.
  • Speaking skills. Environmental scientists must be able to explain their findings to clients, professionals or community members who do not have expertise in their area. They often give presentations to colleagues, managers, policymakers and the general public.
  • Writing skills. Environmental scientists write technical papers, reports and articles that explain their methods, findings and recommendations.


A rooftop wildflower garden looking out over the Nashville skyline.

Career Possibilities

In a lab or in a field, environmental science makes a difference for our planet. Vast possibilities for a career include:

• Environmental consultant

• Horticultural therapist

• Conservation scientist

• Zoologist

• Environmental health practitioner

• Land Acquisition Manager

Program Details


The environmental science major leads to a bachelor of science. It requires 128 hours of coursework:

  • BELL core requirements: 53 hours
  • Major core requirements: 25 hours
  • Major electives (both lab and non lab): 25 hours
  • Minor: Not required
  • General electives: 24 hours

See All Program Requirements

Courses you'll take:

NV 2730 Methods in Environmental Science: This course provides students with an overview of the methodologies, tools and techniques utilized in environmental science. Course includes three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory/field experience each week.

ENV 4700 Environmental Research: A laboratory or field research project completed within the area of environmental science. The student must complete the project within the semester under the supervision of a faculty member of the Environmental Science program or other approved supervisor. A presentation of the student’s work must be given at the Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (SURS) or the Belmont Undergraduate Research Symposium (BURS).

BIO 1160 Principles of Biology II and BIO 1165 Lab: This course introduces students to evolution, diversity of organisms, plant and animal structure and function and ecological relationships.

BIO 3030 General Ecology: A study of the basic principles of ecology at the individual, population, community and ecosystem levels. A study of the interrelationships of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments will include lab and field techniques used in the science of ecology.

MTH 1160 Data Analysis Lab for the Sciences: Students will collect data from actual biological experiments or surveys and will analyze the data using techniques being studied. Appropriate use of computers and software will be integrated into the laboratory and data analysis experience.

BIO 2400 Zoology: A study of the classification, anatomy, physiology, phylogeny and ecology of the Kingdom Animalia and the animal-like protists.

BIO 2500 Botany: A taxonomic study of the anatomy, morphology, physiology, phylogeny and ecology of the Plantae and the plant-like Protista.

• Interdisciplinary Courses: A core set of science courses, supplemented with social sciences courses, provides students with a broad theoretical base.

• Hands-on, in-the-field experiences: Labs & field trips infuse discovery and experimentation into the courses.

• Research and internship: Completion of both a research project and internship provide opportunities for students to investigate real world environmental issues.

• Networking: Connections with local environmental organizations, conservation groups, and legislative bodies enables students to network with professionals in the field to prepare for graduate studies or careers in an environmental area.

• Senior Capstone course: Students analyze multiple aspects of a local environmental problem to integrate and apply their environmental science knowledge in a real-world context.

Kelsey Palk

Student Testimonial

“My professors in the program have given me tools to excel. Through hands-on learning and encouragement, I have been able to step from the classroom into the professional workforce. Belmont’s unique internship program has allowed me the opportunity to work and learn alongside the talented people of the Tennessee Department of Environmental Conservation, gaining invaluable experience.”

Kelsey Palk, Class of 2024

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(615) 460.6489
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