Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Prepare for your career in environmental technology, monitoring, conservation biology or environmental science research with our B.S. in Environmental Science.

Why earn your B.S. in Environmental Science at Bellarmine?

Our B.S in Environmental Science examines ecological processes, the causes and consequences of human impacts on the natural world, and technologies needed to minimize or mitigate environmental problems. This is a science degree, integrating life and physical sciences to develop a capacity for environmental research and technological problem solving.

Program Highlights

Our program requires mastery of basic knowledge and skills in the life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences necessary to approach environmental studies from a position of interdisciplinary strength. We train our students in the principles of environmental science, global information systems (GIS), professional orientation through internships and hands-on research experiences, and senior-level communication skills.

Career Prospects

Graduates of the Environmental Science degree are best prepared for graduate work and careers in environmental technology, environmental monitoring, conservation biology, ecology, environmental health, and environmental science research.

Terra Learning Community

The Terra Learning Community (TLC), formerly the Rachel Carson Learning Community, at Bellarmine University is a program for 20 first-year residents and commuters majoring in environmental disciplines or demonstrating exceptional interest in sustainability. These students will support each other in the courses they take together, in environmentally conscious living, in service projects benefitting the greater community, and in co-curricular experiences such as hiking and canoeing. TLC students will also take care of the Bellarmine fruit and vegetable garden, and will get a chance to to prepare some of the harvest for their own meals.

Learn more about the Terra Learning Community.

Internships

Internships are an integral part of our curriculum. We have secured agreements for a variety of local internship opportunities with non-profit environmental organizations, government agencies, and environmental businesses. Internships typically take place over a single semester in the junior or senior year.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you below.

On Campus Experiences

Because of the international context of many environmental issues, study abroad is encouraged for environmental studies students. Bellarmine has partnered with over 150 universities in 50 different countries, offering students a wide variety of options for study abroad.

Students unable to study abroad can still enrich their education by participating in a variety of clubs and organizations on campus. The department works closely with the Environmental Committee of Student Government, the Outdoors Club, and with a number of service organizations at Bellarmine.

Facilities

Our program recently received a grant from Louisville Gas and Electric to build and equip a new environmental research laboratory in Newman Hall. Students in our program will have access to this facility to learn technical skills needed for environmental monitoring, and to gain experience in environmental research.

Opportunities for outdoor education at Bellarmine are enhanced by a wildlife refuge within walking distance of the campus. An outstanding system of city parks, the Louisville Zoo, a regional aquarium, botanical gardens, state and national parks, the Hoosier National Forest, and Ohio River access points are all within convenient distance for field trips.

Alumna Story

Tonya Summerlin

“Since graduating from Bellarmine, I’ve been pursuing my master’s degree in natural resources and environment, with a concentration in environmental policy, at the University of Michigan. Recently, I conducted research in Mahé, Seychelles, on international climate change policy for my thesis, which is in conjunction with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. I have also been hired as a Global Climate Resilience Intern at the World Resources Institute in Washington DC. During the academic year, I work as an Environmental Health Program Assistant for the Ecology Center, an environmental non-profit in Ann Arbor. The interdisciplinary approach to natural science studies at Bellarmine prepared me for my subsequent endeavors by equipping me with a strong background that I am able to apply as I work and research at the nexus of science and policy. Bellarmine provides their students with a number of unique and exciting opportunities – take full advantage of all that you are given.”

Tonya Summerlin ‘18

Faculty

Here is a quick snapshot of a few of our faculty members. View our full faculty listing page.

Kate Bulinski, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
kbulinski@bellarmine.edu, 502.272.7972

Martha Carlson Mazur, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
mmazur@bellarmine.edu, 502.272.8998

Rob Kingsolver, Ph.D.
Professor
kingsolver@bellarmine.edu, 502.272.7628

Accreditation

Bellarmine University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctorate degrees.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the job opportunities for someone with a degree in Environmental Science?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that jobs in the environmental sector will continue to grow faster than average in the next ten years. A Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science from Bellarmine provides students with multiple avenues for employment including, but not limited to: environmental health, environmental risk assessment, environmental geology, environmental technology, environmental monitoring, conservation biology, paleontology, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, environmental science research, landscape architecture, environmental engineering, agriculture and food scientists, and water engineers and scientists.

What are the requirements to complete a degree in Environmental Studies? What kind of courses would I take?
Students electing the Environmental Science major take a set of general education courses that prepare them for courses in the discipline, such as Planet Earth, Principles of Biology, American Government, and Introduction to Academic Writing. The core courses in the discipline include our introductory course for majors; a life-science, physical-science, and environmental-policy core, and a set of upper-level requirements that serve to advance and integrate understanding while further developing technical skills. Career preparation is further strengthened with an internship, a field-based course, and a research experience.

Can I earn a minor in Environmental Science?
Yes, we offer a minor that pairs well with many majors. The six courses for the minor include two introductory courses, a field course, and three upper-level courses. See the course catalog for more detail.

Can I do a double-major or a different minor with a major in Environmental Science?
Yes, the Environmental Science degree has sufficient electives for students to take a double-major or a minor. Common double majors with Environmental Science include Economics, Sociology, and Political Science. Minors or tracks that pair well with Environmental Studies include pre-law, anthropology, peace studies, communications, international relations, and criminal justice studies.

What types of extra-curricular activities are available for a student with an interest in the environment?
Students interested in the environment will want to consider being part of the Terra Learning Community in their first year at Bellarmine. Related student organizations include the Sustainability and Environmental Club, Food Recovery Network, Vegan and Vegetarian Outreach, Biology Club, Chemistry Club, Bass Fishing Team, and the Student Government Association’s Environmental Committee

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