Undergraduate Catalog 2015-2016


Environmental Science and Policy (ESP)

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

8 Semester Plan

120 Credit Hours

CIP Code: 03.0104 (Track 1 of 2)

College of Arts & Sciences


Major Description

The environmental industry is a growing arena for employment for degree holders at all levels. Students completing the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science and Policy have found employment with government agencies (city, county, state, and federal), private industry, and non-profit organizations. Examples of careers include field scientist, research scientist, policy analyst, lobbyist, conservationist, and educator. Some also go on to attend graduate or law school.

This interdisciplinary program spans multiple colleges within the university but is housed in the Department of Geography in the College of Arts and Sciences. All majors in the program must complete the required courses including two introductory courses in environmental science and policy, one semester of calculus, two semesters each of general biology and general chemistry, environmental ethics, environmental politics and policy, statistics and physical science (either geology or physics). In addition, majors take 6-7 courses that allow them to sub-specialize in environmental science or in environmental policy. Students choosing to sub-specialize in environmental science take a second semester of calculus, one semester of organic chemistry and lab, and four electives within designated tracks. Students choosing to sub-specialize in policy take environmental law and environmental economics and four electives within designated categories. Finally, all majors must complete an upper division seminar and an internship or project. The department advisor advises ESP majors.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete the A.A. degree at the Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education Requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university. If students transfer with fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the students must meet the university's entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Students are encouraged to complete the following required supporting major courses prior to entering the university. Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C- is the minimum acceptable grade.

  • BSC X010 and BSC 2010L Biology I and Lab
  • BSC X011 and BSC 2011L Biology II and Lab
  • CHM X045 & CHM 2045L General Chemistry I & Lab
  • CHM X046 & CHM 2046L General Chemistry II & Lab
  • STA X023 Statistics
  • MAC X311 Calculus I

Total Major Hours: 61-77 Hours

Major Core Courses - 43-52 Hours

Core Courses (39-48 credit hours):

Geology or Physics (4 credit hours):

Major Elective Courses - 18-25 Hours

The ESP Undergraduate Program has two tracks (Science and Policy).  Students should choose one of these tracks and follow the course requirements:

Science Track (21-25 credit hours)Policy Track (18-20 credit hours)
  • GEO 4502 Economic Geography
  • POS 3697 Environmental Law
  • Plus four (4) approved policy-related electives.

Research Opportunities

All undergraduate students in any degree program can participate in undergraduate research. There are a number of options to receive academic credit for a mentored research experience and to have the experience show on the official transcript. Students who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 2912 or IDS 4914 courses. These courses will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience. The Office for Undergraduate Research will assist students in understanding the various course options.

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