Majors and Minors

Environmental Science

Environmental scientists study the effects of pollutants and toxins on ecosystems and implement ways to restore polluted environments to their natural state. They identify and quantify pollutants, as well as develop procedures for reducing them. The processes of degradation, conservation, recycling, and replenishment are central to an environmental scientist's study and work. They also study various industrial, transportation, and energy production processes in order to design effective strategies for minimizing pollution (preventative management). In addition, environmental scientists work with local communities, using their skills and knowledge to design and monitor waste disposal sites, safeguard water supplies, and recover contaminated land and water to comply with Federal environmental regulations. Environmental Science majors at Cleveland State learn concepts and facts pertaining to the scientific study of the environment, and are trained in current laboratory skills.


Bachelor graduates in Environmental Science can work in a variety of jobs, moving from entry-level positions to more challenging positions by attaining work experience and/or graduate education. Environmental jobs entail both field and office/laboratory work. Government regulations written in the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Historic Preservation Act, and other legislation have created a demand for environmental scientists working in positions to assure or assess compliance. Positions for bachelor graduates are numerous, including: environmental regulation and compliance; ecological risk assessment; remediation and reclamation of contaminated lands; wetland delineation and permitting; air and water quality monitoring; analysis of soil and sediment samples; endangered species management; wildlife and plant surveying; environmental planning for transportation and development projects; mapping vegetation and natural resources; environmental laboratory chemist; wastewater and solid waste management; evaluating public health risks; emissions monitoring; mold remediation; asbestos project manager; lead monitoring; storm water management; Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments at industrial, commercial, community, and residential sites; subsurface site characterization, including drilling, soil classification, coring and well installations; power facility environmental manager; pesticides monitoring in farming, hazardous and chemical waste disposal and management; brownfield projects; noise evaluation; GIS specialist, environmental research assistant; and more.

Bachelor graduates also pursue advanced degrees in environmental or related sciences. A master's degree is preferred/required for higher-level, specialization, research, client consultation, and technical positions. Doctoral (Ph.D.) graduates assume university faculty positions, teaching and directing research; direct research in government and other organizations; and work in technical leadership and management positions.


Click here to see the current academic year's Undergraduate Catalog requirements for the Environmental Science major .

NOTE: For official requirements, determine your catalog rights, and go to the undergraduate catalog that matches those rights. (The following requirements are ONLY for students whose FIRST semester at CSU is Fall 2011 or Spring 2012. For students who started BEFORE the 2011-2012 school year AND who have been enrolled during at least one of the past three semesters, including summer, please see your undergraduate catalog).

There are five tracks, although students can design their own course of study in consultation with a faculty advisor.
Environmental Biology Track
Environmental Geology Track
Environmental Chemistry Track
Environmental Technology Track
Environmental Planning Track

Engaged learning experiences include outdoor laboratories studying streams and watersheds, independent study and research with nationally recognized CSU faculty, and co-op and internship opportunities. CSU is a Research Experience for Undergraduates site funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), giving students in-depth research experience in environmental science. Most courses are taught by doctoral faculty. An environmental science minor is available, Students can also become involved in the Biology, Geology, and Environmental Science Student Association. All students receive individual advising.

General Education Requirements: All degree-seeking students are required to meet general education requirements. Students are responsible for ensuring that courses chosen satisfy these requirements and are encouraged to consult with their academic advisor. A comprehensive description of the requirements is found at

*Recommendation: Although not required, students are urged to take MTH 181 Calculus I and MTH 182 Calculus II for all tracks.

For more information, contact:
Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
Cleveland State University
2121 Euclid Avenue, SI 219
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Phone: 216.687.2440

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