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Bachelor's Degree in Physical Sciences

Concentration: Environmental Science (BS)

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Environmental Science Concentration Overview

If you’re passionate about our environment, Purdue University Northwest’s physical sciences degree with an environmental science concentration can prepare you for a career that makes a difference. This program provides the chemical and biological training needed in essential fields like environmental monitoring and remediation, global policy, meteorology and oceanography.

Department of Chemistry & Physics

The concentration enables you to address today’s complex environmental problems from many angles. Through courses in chemistry, earth science, biology, physics and economics, you’ll gain a broad background that can be applied to environmental problems of all kinds.

The required research experience is a vital step toward launching your career.

Environmental Science Concentration Curriculum

As an environmental science student, you’ll take a balance of general education courses, College of Engineering and Sciences core courses and courses in chemistry, biology and physics.

Our curriculum reflects the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science. Focusing on the physical aspects of the profession, this concentration provides in-depth knowledge of the chemical and geological foundations required for solving problems as diverse as brownfield remediation and climate change.

Build a foundation with environmental science and general education courses.

Environmental Science Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • BIOL 10100 – Introductory Biology
  • BIOL 10200 – Introductory Biology
  • CHM 11600 – General Chemistry

Complete the foundational chemistry and physics courses required to tackle advanced topics.

Environmental Science Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • CHM 26505 – Organic Chemistry
  • CHM 26300 – Organic Chemistry Laboratory
  • CHM 26605 – Organic Chemistry

Expand your knowledge with advanced chemistry and biology courses emphasizing environmental techniques and issues.

Environmental Science Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • BIOL 33300 – Ecology
  • CHM 32100 – Analytical Chemistry I
  • CHM 32400 – Survey of Environmental Chemistry

Complete supporting courses in chemistry, biology and economics, as well as a focused research project.

Environmental Science Course of Study

Sample Courses

  • CHM 42400 – Analytical Chemistry II
  • BIOL 40500 – Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 41300 – Aquatic Ecology

Environmental Science Degree Program Highlights

As an environmental science student, you’ll focus on the field’s chemical, geological, and physical aspects. Your coursework combines a broad mixture of topics with field experiences at Gabis Arboretum and the Indiana Dunes National Park that provide unique, invaluable educational opportunities.

PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building

Environmental Science Degree Program Outcomes

In this program, you will learn to solve complex issues, such as soil remediation, air pollution reduction, household waste reduction and clean water. You’ll determine how chemicals move through the environment and their impact on human health and ecosystems. We emphasize critical thinking, data analysis and communication as the basis for your investigations.

Career Paths

With your specialized expertise, you can pursue a number of careers in the field, including:

  • Water and quality monitor/manager
  • Environmental science advisor

Beyond the Classroom

Environmental Science students have many opportunities to get involved in on-campus activities, including the following organizations:


Many of our graduates work in quality control and monitoring.

Environmental Science Degree Program Scholarships

Environmental Science students are eligible for scholarships at the university and college level, including:

  • Donald Clark Memorial Scholarship
  • Nils Nelson Endowed Scholarship

See Engineering and Sciences Scholarships

I enjoyed my research project studying microplastics and water quality. It gave me the opportunity to work in the lab and in the field. Performing research has prepared me to engage in research at the graduate level

Brandon R. Stieve
Chemistry, 2018, Muncie

My experience in environmental science so far has been incredible and the concentration will definitely help me in my future career. The classes have covered interesting, current topics, while my teachers are very passionate about their classes and helping me succeed.

Autumn Marie Elizabeth Maiden
Physical Sciences, Concentration: Environmental Science, 2022 (expected), Schererville, IN

Meet the Faculty

Kathryn Rowberg

Kathryn L. Rowberg, J.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Kathryn (Kay) Rowberg is an associate professor of chemistry in the chemistry and physics department. Her research ranges from environmental monitoring and art conservation to computational modeling.

Reynaldo Barreto

Reynaldo (Rey) D. Barreto, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Rey is an Associate Professor of chemistry at PNW. He teaches general, analytical and environmental chemistry and has active research in environmental chemistry both at PNW and at Purdue West Lafayette.

Glynn E. Bricker, Ph.D.

Glynn E. Bricker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

I am currently an associate professor of physics on the Westville campus. I teach both algebra and calculus based physics and astronomy courses for a variety of science majors.

Three students stand together wearing white lab coats and blue, plastic gloves. The student in the middle is holding a petri dish in the air.

Earn a Bachelor's Degree in Physical Science with a Concentration in Environmental Science at PNW

Purdue University Northwest’s environmental science concentration provides you with the training needed to work in environmental monitoring and remediation, global policy, meteorology or oceanography.

To see how a bachelor’s degree in physical science with a concentration in environmental science from PNW opens doors, from laboratories to boardrooms, take the next step today!

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