Sep 25, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, BS

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College Arts and Sciences
Academic Award Bachelor of Science
Credits Required 125 semester credits
Faculty Lead Eric Steinkamp
CIP Code 3.0104

The major in Environmental Science aims at developing graduates who, through scientific study and the development of skill in applying technology, will actively engage in environmental stewardship to build a sustainable future for the earth and its people. The major provides broad and comprehensive education in the areas of biology, chemistry, math, physics, and the social sciences. This area of study focuses on the relationship between humans and the natural world, focusing intently where human interactions, both small and large, impact biological and physical environments, and seeking creative remedies for environmental problems. The curriculum involves field study, academic research, and career preparation, all presented with the biblical understanding that the Christian is called to be a steward of the earth.

Purpose and Philosophy

Stewardship, knowledge and servant hood are essential to the Northwest University Environmental Science major. We firmly believe the Earth and all its creatures embody the majesty of God’s ingenious powers. We believe that humanity, by God’s ordaining power, is placed here to serve as stewards. Stewardship includes living sustainably and caring for our neighbors at home and abroad. The scientific laws and principles that govern this natural world represent God’s continued and sustaining presence and therefore these laws can and should be discovered and understood by students and faculty. This knowledge enhances human understanding of the Creator and provides us with the tools to carry out our stewardship responsibilities. We strive to provide a unique approach to a major in Environmental Science through the integration of science and theology. The interplay between scientific experiment and theory is balanced with growth in understanding and human imagination. We emphasize the joining of faculty and students in studying the wonders of nature in order to develop an inquisitive mind combined with rigorous reasoning and hands-on field experiences. Stewardship and servant hood displace materialism and human power as the primary goals of graduates committed to making our world environmentally sustainable.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum foundation provides a broad exposure to knowledge and experience in the ecological sciences. The elective component allows individual students and their advisors to target the specific applicational focus.


Graduates with a degree in Environmental Science will be able to:

  1. Conduct an empirical research project using the scientific method in the Environmental Sciences.
  2. Create a scientific proposal for research in Environmental Science.
  3. Apply scientific tools to solve problems.
  4. Articulate their bioethical world views in relation to their Christian faith.
  5. Evaluate scientific practices across cultures.

Course Sequence

The sequential nature of many of the required science courses mandates that students pay close attention to course numbering and course prerequisites, and to work closely with a science department advisor. Many requirements are foundational and often prerequisite or corequisite to other courses. Additionally, some of the courses are offered in alternating years. The student is strongly encouraged to confer with the science advisor in the choice of elective courses that can strengthen the educational experience.

Core Curriculum Requirements: 43

Humanities: 3

  • 3 credits in this area must be from Writing Practice courses* (see Course Descriptions  for applicability)
  • 3 additional credits selected from the following 3 credits
    Art (ARTE), Bible (BIBL), Drama (DRAM), English (ENGL), History (HIST), Language (LANG), Music (MUSI), or Theology (THEO)

Social Sciences: 6

  • 6 credits in this area must be from Writing Practice courses* (see Course Descriptions  for applicability)
  • Select a minimum of two disciplines from the following:

Business Administration (BUSM), Communication (except COMM 1213), Economics, Education (EDUC), Geography (GEOG), Health & Fitness (PEDU), Information Technology (INTC), Management (BMGT), Marketing (BMKT), Philosophy (PHIL), Political Science (PSCI), Psychology (PSYC), Sociology/Anthropology (SOCI), or User Experience Design (UXDE)

Formation and Calling: 6

Core Electives: 7

Any college-level courses

Environmental Science Major Requirements: 73

Phase II Major Tracks: 21

(Choose one of the following tracks)

Natural Science Track: 21

Select 21 credits from the following in consultation with the academic advisor:

Environmental Education Track: 21

Select 21 credits from the following in consultation with the academic advisor:

Five-Year MIT

In addition, students majoring in Environmental Science with an Environmental Education Track may achive a fifth year Masters in Teaching with careful planning early in the student’s educaiton in conjunction with the College of Education.

Environmental Policy Track: 21

Select 21 credits from the following in consultation with the academic advisor:

Five Year MA-ICD

In addition, 12 credits of the MAICD program are required during the junior and senior years. 9 of these credits will count towards the Natural Science or Environmental Policy Track, completing the 21 credits in the track. The remaining 3 MAICD credits will count toward general electives.

  • GLST 5153 Research for Social Change 3 credits for SCIE 4923 Research Topics
  • GLST 5313 Community Development 3 credits for SOCI 1113 Survey of Sociology
  • GLST 5503 Culture Studies in a Global Context 3 credits for PHIL 2753 Introduction to Philosophy
  • GLST 6343 Social Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking 3 credits for an Undergraduate Elective

Phase III: Integration and Application: 4

General Electives: 9

Any college-level courses

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