May 27, 2024  
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog 
2017-2018 CSU East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, Physical Science Option, B.S.

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Environmental Science (B.S.) 180 units

Program Description

Environmental scientists study and analyze the physical and biotic components of the environment; determine the impact of humans on ecosystems; develop strategies and plans to mitigate negative natural and human impacts; protect human and natural environments, and restore natural systems. The Environmental Science program provides interdisciplinary scientific preparation for students wishing to pursue knowledge and employment in the fields of environmental research, consulting, and oversight. Additional objectives of the program include provision of sufficient preparation for graduate studies in environmental sciences and allied fields and partial satisfaction of the Single Subject Matter Preparation Program for a teaching credential in science. The Bachelor of Science degree major in Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary program of study in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences with faculty participation from the Department of Biological Sciences (Undergraduate), Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Undergraduate), and Department of Anthropology, Geography and Environmental Studies (Undergraduate). In contrast to the B.A. degree major in Environmental Studies, the B.S. degree major in Environmental Science requires students to take a structured core of science courses from a variety of physical and life science disciplines, as well as a specialized upper division option in life science, physical science or environmental systems and resource management.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  • apply knowledge of the principles of form, function and organization of organisms at the levels of molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, populations, and communities;
  • apply knowledge of the fundamental principles of chemistry, chemical structure, bonding, equilibrium, dynamics, and reactions, as well as classes of organic compounds and reactions;
  • characterize the nature and distribution of earth materials, the processes by which the materials are formed and altered, and the nature and development of the landscape;
  • synthesize knowledge of the major components of the physical environment, including landforms, climate, vegetation, and soils;
  • critically analyze environmental issues through the evaluation of scientific literature, and present their positions clearly and persuasively in written and oral form.

Career Opportunities

Air Quality Controller

Atmospheric Scientist

Biological Consultant

Bioremediation Consultant

Chemical Consultant

Ecosystem and Habitat Restoration

Environmental Consultant

Environmental Field or Lab Technician

Environmental Health Scientist

Environmental Manager

Environmental Policy Developer

Environmental Protection and Regulation Manager


Hazardous Waste Manager

Industrial Hygienist

Pollution Control Technician

Risk Manager

Soils Scientist

Solid Waste Manager

Technical Writer

Urban Planner

Waste Water Treatment Manager

Water Manager

Wildlife Manager

Advanced Placement

Students who earn a grade of 3 or higher on the College Entrance Examination Board’s Advanced Placement Test in Environmental Science will be given 4 units of credit equivalent to ENSC 2800.

Major Requirements (B.S.) 105-114 units

It is important to consult an advisor in your major program for clarification and interpretation of your major requirements. The B.S. degree requires a total of 180 units.

  • The core major consists of 83-92 units;
    • the Environmental Systems and Resource Management Option consists of 22 units;
    • the Life Science Option consists of 22 units.
    • the Physical Science Option consists of 22 units.
  • GE/USHG/UWS consists of 84 units (some courses may double-count units - see your advisor).
  • Free Electives (if any) will make up the remainder units to reach 180 minimum total units (see your advisor). 
Prerequisites and Other Admission Requirements

Students entering the Environmental Science program as first year students are expected to have the same high school preparatory courses as other science majors. Admission to the degree program is open to all students admitted to Cal State East Bay. Transfer students may have lower division course deficiencies that must be completed after entry to the program. Continuation in the program is contingent on satisfactory progress in the university as described in the catalog. Note: Students must meet with an Environmental Science advisor to discuss prerequisites and updates to course offerings.

Choose one of the following pair:

Note: students choosing the Life Science option must complete the BIOL 1402 and 1403 pair.

Choose one of the following pair:

Option Requirements

A student must declare an option by the time he/she has completed 44 units of the Core courses. Students may elect to change their option with the notification of their advisor. Options are available in Life Science, Physical Science, and Environmental Systems and Resource Management, and are designed to provide in-depth study of a specific field. Each option requires 22 units within the discipline, in a combination of required courses and electives.

Course Descriptions

Use this link to see all Course Descriptions  available throughout this catalog.

Other Undergraduate Degree Requirements

In addition to major requirements, every student must also complete the University requirements for graduation which are described throughout this catalog. These include the General Education-Breadth requirements; the second composition (ENGL 1002 ) requirement; the cultural groups/women requirement; the performing arts/activities requirement; the U.S. history, U.S. Constitution, and California state and local government requirement; the University Writing Skills Requirement; and the residence, unit, and grade point average requirements.

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