Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science Degree

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Offered By: College of Science, Engineering, & Technology

What Is a Bachelor of Environmental Science Degree?

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at GCU prepares students to explore environmental issues, environmental health and remediation. Graduates learn to engage in humanitarianism and the principles of social and ecological responsibility with natural resources.

Students who earn an environmental science degree use critical thinking to apply their learning in practical ways. Coursework includes both lectures and lab courses to ensure students develop a deep understanding of scientific theory and know how to apply it in real-world settings.

The College of Science, Engineering and Technology designed this Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program to produce well-rounded scientists who are comfortable with inquiry, research, and practical methodology. To ensure these outcomes, the college defined the following coursework domains:

  • Science Foundations
    Explain and apply biological, chemical and physical principles and concepts
  • Scientific Communication
    Access and think critically about current research to demonstrate scientific inquiry skills
  • Professionalism and Ethics
    Research and put into practice the historical, social, professional, ethical and legal aspects of environmental science
  • Data Mining and Statistical Modeling
    Retrieve data and translate it into useful information, within in a given context
  • Environmental and Human Health Regulations
    Examine and select the appropriate regulations for environmental and human health protection
  • Environmental Science
    Apply laboratory and field techniques to the practices of environmental assessment and remediation
  • Environmental Health
    Perform risk assessment of various contaminants to determine environmental and human health impact

To demonstrate the necessary skills needed to matriculate into an environmental science career, graduates complete a capstone project. The project includes an extensive written scientific report or proposal based on your personal research and/or industry experiences. Course content and scientific practice knowledge are integrated into the project.

Study Sustainability and Environmental Management

This Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree from GCU gives graduates strong foundations of science, communication, statistics and research, and environmental and human health. In addition, the program stresses important workplace skills, such as the ability to work as a team, strong work ethic, analytic skills, adaptability and thoughtful communication.

The program includes courses in the areas of:

  • Chemistry, including environmental, organic and analytical chemistry
  • Biology, including microbiology
  • Microbiology
  • Physics
  • Ecology
  • Environmental law, management and sustainability
  • Environmental geology
  • Pre-calculus
  • Probability and statistics
  • Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment
  • Chemical Investigation and Remediation Strategies

What Can You Do With a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science Degree?

This Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program can lead to a number of potential career choices. Some students may begin an environmental science-related position right away while others may opt to further their academic studies with graduate coursework and specialize further in a certain environmental area.

Graduates may find work as:

  • Environmental engineering techs
  • Environmental scientists
  • Geoscientists or specialists
  • Environmental science and protection techs
  • Environmental science postsecondary teachers
  • Occupational health and safety specialists

They may also work as a scientist, consultant, analyst, manager, instructor or researcher.

If you have a passion for the environment and want to use your love of science to help make a difference, environmental science might be the right career path for you. Join other globally-focused scientists in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree program at GCU.

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TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks [More Info]

TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
TUITION RATE:
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]

Course List

General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
Major:
76 credits
Open Elective Credits:
4-10 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Requirements

Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4

Requirements

Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function, particularly at the molecular and cellular levels of organization. Cell components and their duties are investigated, as well as the locations of cellular functions within the cell. The importance of the membrane is studied, particularly its roles in controlling movement of ions and molecules and in energy production. The effect of genetic information on the cell is followed through the pathway from DNA to RNA to protein. Co-requisite: BIO-181L.

Course Description

This lab course is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-181 through experiments and activities which complement and enhance understanding of macromolecules, cell membrane properties, cellular components, and their contribution to cell structure and function. Assignments are designed to relate cellular processes such as metabolism, cell division, and the flow of genetic information to cell structure. Co-requisite: BIO-181.

Course Description

This course is a study of biological concepts emphasizing the interplay of structure and function at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization. Relationships of different life forms are studied, noting characteristics and general lifecycles of the different types of organisms, including bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. Plant structure, function, and reproduction are studied, as well as photosynthesis and plant nutrition. Ecological principles are discussed, including organism interactions at the various ecological levels. Principles of conservation are introduced. Prerequisite: BIO-181. Co-Requisite: BIO-182L.

Course Description

This lab is designed to reinforce principles learned in BIO-182. Organisms are examined to recognize similarities and differences among different types. Plant structure and processes, including photosynthesis and water transport, are investigated through observation and activities. Concepts of ecology are explored through study of species interactions projects and other activities. Co-requisite: BIO-182.

Course Description

This course is an exploration into the science that directly affects us all on a daily basis, and that will likely increase in its significance to us with time. Students will gain an awareness of the importance of Earth’s systems in sustaining our daily lives, plus the scientific foundation and tools needed to apply critical thought to contemporary environmental issues.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the principles and applications of microbiology, including the study of microorganisms and their relationships. Students develop an understanding of microbial cell structure and function, microbial genetics, pathologies, and other selected applied areas. Co-Requisite: BIO-195L.

Course Description

The laboratory accompanying Fundamental Microbiology supports further learning surrounding principles gained in the lecture course. Students develop fundamental knowledge of microbiological laboratory techniques and application to real-world situations. Co-Requisite: BIO-195.

Course Description

This is the first course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. The course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry and begins with basic concepts. Topics include an introduction to the scientific method, dimensional analysis, atomic structure, nomenclature, stoichiometry and chemical reactions, the gas laws, thermodynamics, chemical bonding, and properties of solutions. Co-Requisite: CHM-113L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-113 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of density, classification of chemical reactions, the gas laws, determination of enthalpy change using calorimetry, and determination of empirical formula. Co-Requisite: CHM-113.

Course Description

This course is a study of basic concepts of physics, including motion; forces; energy; the properties of solids, liquids, and gases; and heat and thermodynamics. The mathematics used includes algebra, trigonometry, and vector analysis. A primary course goal is to build a functional knowledge that allows students to more fully understand the physical world and to apply that understanding to other areas of the natural and mathematical sciences. Conceptual, visual, graphical, and mathematical models of physical phenomena are stressed. Students build critical thinking skills by engaging in individual and group problem-solving sessions. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111L.

Course Description

This course utilizes lab experimentation to practice concepts of physical principles introduced in the PHY-111 lecture course. Learners are able to perform the proper analysis and calculations to arrive at the correct quantifiable result when confronted with equations involving gravity, sound, energy, and motion. Prerequisite: MAT-154, MAT-250, MAT-261 or College Algebra. Co-Requisite: PHY-111.

Course Description

A study of plants and animals as individuals and in communities in relation to their physical and biological environment. Prerequisite: BIO-181. Co-Requisite: BIO-320L.

Course Description

A laboratory course designed to complement and support the principles being learned in Biology (BIO-320). Co-requisite: BIO-320.

Course Description

This is the second course of a two-semester introduction to chemistry intended for undergraduates pursuing careers in the health professions and others desiring a firm foundation in chemistry. Upon successful completion of this course, students demonstrate knowledge and/or skill in solving problems involving the principles of chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and thermodynamics; understanding chemical reactions using kinetics, equilibrium, and thermodynamics; comparing and contrasting the principal theories of acids and bases; solving equilibrium involving acids, bases, and buffers; describing solubility equilibrium; describing terms associated with electrochemistry and solving problems associated with electrochemistry; and describing fundamentals and applications of nuclear chemistry and organic chemistry. Prerequisites: CHM-113 and MAT-154 or higher. Co-Requisite: CHM-115L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of CHM-115 reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Experiments include determination of rate law, examples of Le Châtelier’s principle, the use of pH indicators, buffer preparation, experimental determination of thermodynamic quantities, the use of electrochemical cells, and qualitative and quantitative analysis. Prerequisites: CHM-113L and MAT-154 or higher. Co-Requisite: CHM-115.

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to the study of basic probability, descriptive and inferential statistics, and decision making. Emphasis is placed on measures of central tendency and dispersion, correlation, regression, discrete and continuous probability distributions, quality control population parameter estimation, and hypothesis testing. Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in MAT-134, MAT-144 or MAT-154.

Course Description

This course will introduce students to environmental management practices and sustainability practices. Prerequisite: ENV-301.

Course Description

Conservation biology systematically and scientifically studies biological diversity and the events and processes that affect the maintenance, loss, and recovery of biological diversity. This courses delves into the concepts and theories behind biological diversity and environmental conservation. As an interdisciplinary field, students will also consider perspectives from ecology, economics, psychology, sociology, and financing. Prerequisites: BIO-320 and BIO-320L.

Course Description

This courses introduces students to biological change at multiple levels of life, including molecular, cellular, organismal, and population. Students will gain an understanding of the mechanisms of change and how they work, as well as the patterns that result by examining molecular and organismal data, geological time, fossil evidence, and the history of Earth and man. Prerequisites: BIO-181 and BIO-181L.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the concepts, data sources, and methodologies used in the field of human risk assessment, including environmental hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, risk characterization, and risk communication. Prerequisite: ENV-301.

Course Description

This course examines the complexities of animal behaviors and how we study them. Specifically, students will develop an understanding of how animals learn and communicate with each other, as well as other behaviors to help them survive and thrive in their natural habitats, by integrating concepts, theories, and models of the discipline with behavioral analyses and an historical perspective. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-328L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of Animal Behavior reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-328.

Course Description

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of environmental protection laws in the United States, including environmental law in the areas of case law, common law and administrative law. Topics include air and water quality, toxic and hazardous substances, endangered species and wetlands, and coastal management issues.

Course Description

This course is a study of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. By integrating their history, morphology, physiology, ecology, and behavioral adaptations, students will develop a greater understanding of vertebrates and how they survive effectively in their natural habitats. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-415L.

Course Description

The laboratory section of Vertebrate Zoology reinforces and expands learning of principles introduced in the lecture course. Prerequisites: BIO-182 and BIO-182L. Co-Requisite: BIO-415.

Course Description

This courses immerses students in a variety of topics related to field work, including hypothesis and methods development, principles and procedures of field methodology, data collection, analysis, and communication, and problems encountered in field research. Prerequisites: BIO-320 and BIO-320L.

Course Description

A study of the interaction between people and the geologic environment. Emphasis will be placed on catastrophic geologic processes, earth resources, pollution, and regional planning. Principles of Geographic Information System (GIS) will also be included.

Course Description

This writing intensive capstone course requires students to integrate and apply what they have learned in the Biological Sciences program. To do this, students will engage in projects and assignments that will demonstrate the knowledge and research skills gained in the program, including literature review, developing a research project, data collection and analysis, and written and oral communication of findings. Prerequisite: Senior Status.

Locations

GCU Campus Student


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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