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    Northern Illinois University
   
 
  Sep 21, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Environmental Studies (B.A. or B.S.)


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The student learning outcomes for this degree are located at http://www.niu.edu/assessment/clearinghouse/outcomes/index.shtml.

Check departmental information for any additional requirements.

Requirements outside Environmental Studies (B.A., 9-22; B.S., 15-16)


For the B.A. degree


Fulfillment of foreign language requirement (0-12)
(See “Foreign Language Requirement for the B.A. Degree.”)

Emphasis 1. Biodiversity and Environmental Restoration (34-41)


The diversity of life on earth (Biodiversity) represents a resource of unknown potential for improving human welfare that is increasingly put at risk by human activities. Perhaps the most significant challenge of the 21st century is to resolve how to best utilize this resource while providing effective stewardship such that biodiversity resources are maintained for future generations. Meeting this challenge requires a detailed understanding of the processes that promote, maintain, and diminish biodiversity at all levels of biological organization, from molecules to ecosystems, a theme that unites the many subdisciplines within biology. Organisms are intimately connected to their environments and environments vary on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Hence, utilization and stewardship of biodiversity requires understanding its connection to both natural and human-induced environmental change. This emphasis is offered for the B.S. only.

Requirements outside Environmental Studies (14)


Select one of the following humanities and social sciences courses (3)


Electives (18)


Students must select at least six of the following electives.  At least one course must be selected from each of the following: conceptually-based courses, methods-based courses, and taxonimically-based courses. The remaining three courses must be selected from the courses listed below, if not previously used to fulfill the requirements for those categories.

Emphasis 2. Energy Studies (34)


This emphasis combines courses in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Engineering and Engineering Technology and will introduce students to the world of green technology and energy related issues. The focus of the emphasis includes, but is not limited to, green concepts in power production, processing, manufacturing, ecologically friendly materials, and transportation. Students will also take courses on the humanities and social sciences to better understand the role that energy plays in society. This emphasis is offered for the B.S. only.

Select one of the following humanities and social sciences courses (3)


Select one of the following law/policy courses (3)


Emphasis 3. Nature in Society (33-34)


In this emphasis, students will study environmental issues through time and from diverse perspectives, preparing them to better understand and critically assess contemporary environmental challenges.  The emphasis gives students broad exposure to how the environment is represented and researched in the social sciences and humanities. Throughout the emphasis, students will critically examine the notion of sustainability as a potential principle underlying and guiding human interaction with the environment. Students will investigate local and global manifestations of environmental problems and explore how rural/urban linkages influence sustainability.

Requirements outside Environmental Studies (15)


Select one of the following humanities courses (3)


Select one of the following social sciences courses (3)


Select two of the following communication and writing courses (6)


Electives (15)


Students must select at least five of the following electives from at least four different departments in the social sciences and humanities.

Select at least two of the following social science courses (6)

Select at least two of the following humanities courses (6)

Emphasis 4. Environmental Policy (30-31)


This emphasis is designed to give students an understanding of how American law and policy have responded to environmental problems. This includes how environmental law operates and the goals of specific laws, equipping students to evaluate and better understand environmental legal issues they might encounter in their subsequent studies and professional lives.

Requirements outside Environmental Studies (9)


Select one of the following policy/social science courses (3)


Select one of the following social sciences courses (3)


Select one of the following humanities courses (3)


Electives (21-22)


Select at least two of the following communication and writing courses (6-9)

Select at least two of the following humanities courses (6-9)

Emphasis 5. Water Sciences (37-41)


Whether it is for agriculture, industry, or personal consumption, current use of fresh water by humans is unsustainable. In many parts of the world, access to clean, safe drinking water is lacking. With the human population predicted to expand for the next 40-50 years demand for water will increase dramatically in the coming decades. It is essential that students pursuing environmental studies are well grounded in the economic, legal, physical, and biological facets of water resources. This emphasis is offered for the B.S. only.

Requirements outside Environmental Studies (13)


Select one of the following engineering/technology-based courses (3)


Select one of the following humanities and social sciences courses (3)


Total Hours for a Major in Environmental Studies: 58-81(B.A.); OR 63-75 (B.S.)


Emphasis 6. Educator Licensure - Environmental Science (95)


Students must complete a program of study approved by the director of the Environmental Science licensure program designed to provide a broad background in the discipline and meet the requirements for an undergraduate major in Environmental Sciences at NIU.  Students pursuing secondary science educator licensure in environmental science must have a grade of C or better in all course work specifically required for licensure. This includes all environmental science, biology, chemistry, physics, and math courses, pedagogy, and written communication, oral communication, and psychology general education classes.

Admission and Retention Requirements


Candidates must submit an application in writing to the director of the Environmental Science licensure program.

Undergraduates must have a GPA of 2.50 in all work at NIU. Candidates must also have a minimum combined GPA of 2.70 in NIU courses numbered 200 and above in physical and biological sciences and mathematics.

All potential certification candidates must have a satisfactory review of progress with the departmental licensure adviser each semester after admission to the certification program. The candidate must also:

  • take and pass the ICTS Test of Academic Proficiency prior to applying to the certification    program.
  • take and pass the ICTS Environmental Science Content Test prior to applying to student teaching.
  • take and pass the ICTS Assessment of Professional Teaching test before completion of the program.

Environmental Science Educator Licensure


All retention requirements listed above.

Professional education courses, including (37)


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