Jun 23, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Environmental Science and Society, Interdisciplinary Program [BS]

If you are concerned about the natural environment and its significance for built environments and human well-being, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Society will give you broad, interdisciplinary knowledge for understanding and critically assessing the interactions between humans and the environment.


Students develop an understanding of major environmental issues and their potential solutions by appreciating the importance of scientific methods, ethical values and principles, diverse worldviews, and social and political constraints relevant to addressing these issues. Students learn about the complex connections between natural and built environments and between these environments and our social and cultural institutions. Many disciplinary perspectives and tools are employed to understand and analyze these connections, including those offered by the natural and social sciences and the humanities. The Environmental Science and Society program can be the basis for further study in graduate school in atmospheric and climate science, environmental chemistry, environmental law, environmental management, environmental policy, ecology, hydrogeology, landscape architecture, and sustainability studies.

Environment and Society concentration - The Environment and Society concentration provides students with an understanding of the importance of ethical values and principles for framing laws, policies, and economic approaches to address environmental issues. Students in this concentration can also focus on nonprofit organizations and their relevance for addressing environmental concerns. No other minor is needed to complete graduation requirements.

Environmental Science concentrations - Students in the Environmental Science concentration choose an emphasis in Atmosphere and Climate, Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Geoscience, or Environmental Hydrology. The environmental science concentrations offer students an understanding of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, climate variability, hydrologic forecasting, land-use dynamics, environmental chemistry and geochemistry, and biogeochemical cycles. No other minor is needed to complete graduation requirements.


Students in the Environmental Science and Society program are active members of environmental student groups and maintain active social relationships through various events and activities (continually updated through our website).

Many upper-level course projects are completed outdoors at EMU’s Fish Lake Environmental Education Center, local nature preserves, and fossil dig sites. They are often done in coordination with local environmental organizations. The Environmental Science and Society program also has capstone requirements that provide real-world experience and help students apply their coursework in professional internships and research projects.

A degree in Environmental Science and Society can have you working in Governmental Agencies; Nature/Science Centers; Consulting firms; Universities and Colleges; Nonprofit organizations; Animal Rehabilitation/Rescue Organizations; Parks, Forests, and other natural areas; and Environmental Conservation/restoration organizations.

The Environmental Science and Society degree prepares students for pursuing several possible careers, such as being an environmental or wildlife advocate, environmental educator, environmental lobbyist, or park ranger. The Environmental Science concentrations prepare students to pursue such diverse careers as environmental consultants, environmental health and safety officers, environmental regulatory compliance officers, environmental technicians, hydrologists, resource managers, restoration ecologists, water quality chemists, and wildlife biologists, or wildlife refuge specialist.

This is a designated STEM program (see OPT Extension).

Program Information

Environmental Science and Society, Interdisciplinary Program 301V Science Complex, 734.487.6723, program email

James Egge, PhD, Program Administrator 

Advisor Information

General Advising | Katherine Greenwald, PhD, Professor, 401N Mark Jefferson Science Complex, 734.487.3266

Atmosphere and Climate concentration | Thomas Kovacs, PhDProfessor, 140H Strong Hall, 734.487.8591

Environmental Biology concentration | Katherine Greenwald, PhDProfessor, 401N Mark Jefferson Science Complex,  734.487.3266

Environmental Chemistry concentration | Gavin Edwards, PhDAssociate Professor, 501K Mark Jefferson Science Complex, 734.487.0297

Environmental Geoscience concentration | Eric Portenga, PhD, Assistant Professor, 140V Strong Hall, 734.487.0926

Environmental Hydrology concentration | Christopher Gellasch, PhDAssociate Professor, 140U Strong Hall, 734.487.8523

Environment and Society concentration | Michael Scoville, PhD, Associate Professor, 701 Pray-Harrold, 734.487.1018

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Major Requirements: 63-92 hours

Concentration: 44-73 hours

Select one of the following concentrations.

Atmosphere and Climate: 60-63 hours

Environmental Biology: 63-66 hours

Environmental Chemistry: 64-73 hours

Environmental Geoscience: 65-69 hours

Environmental Hydrology: 64-67 hours

Environment and Society: 44-45 hours

Minor Requirement:

This major does not require a minor.

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 120 credits at the 100-level or above.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University

Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
    • Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
    • At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required. 
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.