In the Environmental Studies major, you’ll study the consequences of human actions on the natural landscape.

The interdisciplinary nature of our major will give you the extensive and broad preparation necessary to enter a career with governmental agencies, environmental organizations, the forestry service, or other professions dedicated to preserving our natural resources and protecting our environment.

The department’s expanding study abroad opportunities have offered experiences in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Course Information

All Environmental Studies majors take a specific set of courses: Biological Essentials (our introductory course), General Zoology, General Botany, Environmental Science, Environmental Issues, and Ecology. You’ll also take courses outside of biology and environmental studies including chemistry and statistics. Beyond these, you’re free to choose courses that fit your interests and career goals, and because environmental studies is such a broad discipline, you can fulfill major requirements by selecting courses ranging from business and communications to religion and history.

See Environmental Studies course descriptions below  

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

Because there’s no substitute for learning by doing, we design courses that engage you through lab and field experiences where you’ll put science to work. By using equipment, collecting and analyzing data, and communicating the results yourself, you’ll learn the basics of science firsthand. Then you’ll apply what you’ve learned in research courses where you’ll plan and execute an original research project.

In the classroom, you’ll participate in discussions, group projects and case studies designed to help you apply theories to real-life situations, analyze data, critique others’ work, and hone your critical thinking skills—all of which give you confidence in your abilities as scientists.

Departmental Clubs & Organizations

FSC’s Biology Department sponsors chapters of Beta Beta Beta, a national society for students in the biological sciences, and AMSA/Pre-Professional Society, the national organization for pre-medical and medical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians.

Duke University School of the Environment
3-2 Program

Florida Southern College has a Cooperative College 3-2 Program with Duke University in which students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Environmental Studies can obtain a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in a total of five years.

Learn more  

Internship Sites

FSC’s environmental studies majors have interned with the following:

  • City of Lakeland
  • Florida Aquarium
  • Florida Department of Forestry, Ecology Unit
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Lowry Park Zoo
  • Mote Marine Lab
  • Nature Conservancy of Florida

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Scholarships for biology and environmental studies majors are available. These include:

Graduate & Professional Opportunities

FSC environmental studies majors have been accepted to graduate programs in everything from environmental recreation
to marine biology to ecology at top-tier institutions such as:

  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Fort Hayes University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • University of South Florida

Special Features

Most of your environmental studies courses will have a strong outdoor component—you’ll experience environmental science by getting into the field to observe natural areas and collect data. You’ll also tour local municipal facilities dedicated to maintaining environmental quality.

Each year our majors attend and often present original research at the Association of Southeastern Biologists conference.

You’ll study and collaborate with faculty whose research interests include fire ecology, ecotoxicology, herpetology, science and religion, rose genetics, parasites, and paleoecology.


Program Requirements

Environmental Studies Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 68 hours
BIO 1500 Biological Essentials
BIO/ENV 2200 Environmental Issues
BIO/ENV 2201 Environmental Science
BIO 2230 General Zoology
BIO 2235 General Botany
BIO 2280 Applied Microbiology
BIO 2320 Aquatic Microbial Diversity
BIO 3400 Microbiology
BIO/ENV 3150 Ecology
CHE 1011 Chemical Foundations of the Biological Sciences I and
CHE 1015 Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry and
CHE 1017 Introduction to Chemical Analysis
CHE 1111 Principles of Chemistry I and
CHE 1112 Principles of Chemistry II
MAT 2022 Elementary Statistics
MAT 2032 Biostatistics

28 hours selected from the following (at least 16 hours must be outside of the natural sciences; at least 12 hours must be at the 3000 or 4000 level) or other courses approved by the instructor and advisor:


BIO 1520 Introduction to Marine Biology
BIO 1820 Oceanography
BIO 3100 Plant Taxonomy
BIO/ENV 2214 Disasters, Civilizations and the Environment
BIO/ENV 3316 Tropical Ecology
BIO 3700 Genetics
BIO 4461/4462 Research: Ecology
BIO 4960/4961 Internship
CHE 2221 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 2222 Organic Chemistry II
CHE 2335 Analytical Chemistry
CSC 3335 Database Analysis and Design
CSC 3336 Web Applications
HRT 2100 Introduction to Horticultural Science
HRT 3301 Soil Science
PHY 2010 General Physics I (Algebra Based)
PHY 2110 General Physics I (Calculus Based)
PHY 2020 General Physics II (Algebra Based)
PHY 2120 General Physics II (Calculus Based)

Special Requirements: Due to the similarities in the programs, students majoring in Environmental Studies are not allowed to double major or minor in Biology.

Program Requirements: All Environmental Studies majors must earn a grade of "C" or better in all BIO and ENV courses and courses cross-listed with BIO and ENV.


BUS 2217 Principles of Management
BUS 3311 Legal Environment of Business
COM 2110 Media Writing
COM/SPC 2600 Principles of Advertising and Public Relations
ECO 2205 Principles of Microeconomics
ECO 3345 Economics and the Environment
ENG 3200 Writing for Business
ENG 3217 Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENG 3219 Persuasive Writing
ENG 3263 Rhetoric and Writing
ENG 4209 Special Topics in Nonfiction (with advisor approval)
HIS 3355 History of Florida
PHI 2204 Ethics
POS 1115 Introduction to American Political Science
POS 2290 Current Issues in American Politics
POS 2295 Elementary Public Policy Analysis
POS 3323 International Politics and Organizations
REL/PHI 2219 World Religions and Philosophies
SPC 3200 Persuasion
SPC 3450 Public Relations Writing
SPC 4350 Public Relations Strategies
C. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 20 hours
D. Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 12 hours
E. Electives 0-4 hours
F. Total 124-128 hours

Course Descriptions

Four hours. Same as BIO 2200. A study of public policy; environmental conservation and preservation; and current environmental issues, their origins, their consequences and possible solutions. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, An); NW

Four hours. Same as BIO 2201. Prerequisite:BIO 1500. An introduction to the methods, technology, and equipment used to collect, analyze, and interpret environmental data. Students will apply the techniques they learn to an investigation of an environmental problem.

Four hours. Same as SOC 2214. An analysis of the inter-relationships between human societies and their environment. The course compares case studies of historical civilizations that have degraded their environment. Case material is then applied to current environmental problems. This course does not include a laboratory component. Gen Ed: SW (Aw)

Four hours. Same as BIO 3150. Prerequisites: BIO 2230 and BIO 2235, or permission of the instructor. Relationship of living organisms to their biological, physical, and chemical environments with emphasis on ecosystems.

Four hours. Same as BIO 3316. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. A field course studying the geology, history, vegetation, and ecology of a tropical region.