Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

Maintaining a habitable planet Earth is essential for our survival. Alvernia’s Environmental Science program provides students with an interdisciplinary foundation in the natural sciences to understand current environmental challenges and their potential solutions. The curriculum explores terrestrial, aquatic and built environments in the context of a rapidly changing climate and offers students experiential learning opportunities locally and abroad.

Prepared to address challenges threatening the health of Earth’s varied ecosystems, graduates will be qualified for careers in environmental research at academic, private, and government labs and environmental sectors, including risk management, consulting, conservation and restoration. The program’s interdisciplinary nature also benefits students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in environmental science, engineering, policy, or management and sustainability.

Courses are taught in the O’Pake Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility with two floors of laboratory and classroom space, all offering the latest in educational technology.

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Earth Day of Service
Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.

Program Overview

Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Environmental Science majors must complete 90-95 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (3 credits: SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher (3 credits)
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology (3 credits)
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science (Met in related area)
    • Math (Met in related area)
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON 3
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence (6 credits)
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (200-400 level) (3 credits)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level) (3 credits) (PHI 290 recommended)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Environmental Science majors must complete 90-95 credits in the major. 

Required Courses (59 credits)

  • CHE 104: General Chemistry I (co-requisite: CHE 110)
  • CHE 105: General Chemistry II (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 110; co-requisite: CHE 111)
  • CHE 107: Laboratory Safety
  • CHE 110: General Chemistry Lab I (co-requisite: CHE 104)
  • CHE 111: General Chemistry Lab II (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 110; co-requisite: CHE 105)
  • CHE 201: Organic Chemistry I (pre-requisites: CHE, 105, 111; co-requisite: CHE 210)
  • CHE 202: Organic Chemistry II (pre-requisites: CHE 201, 210; co-requisite: CHE 211)
  • CHE 210: Organic Chemistry Lab I (pre-requisites: CHE 105,111; co-requisite: CHE 201)
  • CHE 211: Organic Chemistry Lab II (co-requisites: CHE 201, 210; pre-requisite: CHE 202)
  • CHE 212: Analytical Chemistry (pre-requisites: CHE 104, 105, 110, 111; includes an integrated lab)
  • CHE 221: Instrumental Analysis (pre-requisite: CHE 212; includes an integrated lab)
  • CHE 320: Environmental Toxicology (pre-requisite: CHE 202)
  • CHE 430: Environmental Chemistry (pre-requisites: CHE 221; includes an integrated lab)
  • BIO 103: Principles of Biology I (includes an integrated lab)
  • BIO 104: Principles of Biology II (pre-requisite: BIO 103 or instructor permission; includes an integrated lab)
  • BIO 221: General Microbiology (pre-requisites: BIO 103, 104, 107/117 or instructor permission; includes an integrated lab)
  • BIO 320: Ecology (pre-requisites: BIO 103, 104 or instructor permission; includes an integrated lab)
  • BIO 440: Biodiversity (pre-requisites: BIO 103, 104)
  • SCI 402: Seminar
  • Select one 6-credit option:
    • SCI 480 internship OR
    • SCI:406 Research I and SCI: 407: Research II

Related Requirements (31-36 credits)

  • PHY 103: Earth Science
  • PHY 200: Physics I (pre-requisite: MAT 230; includes an integrated lab)
  • PHY 201: Physics II (pre-requisite: PHY 200; includes an integrated lab)
  • MAT 209: Probability & Statistics (pre-requisite: satisfactory score on math placement test)
  • MAT 230: Calculus I (pre-requisite: MAT 131 or by placement)
  • BIO 203: Biosphere
  • BIO 205: Botany (includes an integrated lab)
  • BIO 230: Sustainability Principle and Practices
  • BIO 325: Environmental Law and Policy

Recommended (5 credits)

  • MAT 131: Pre-Calculus
  • CES 330: Sustainability Field Experience
Experiential Learning Opportunities

Alvernia's Environmental Science curriculum explores terrestrial, aquatic and built environments in the context of a rapidly changing climate and offers students experiential learning opportunities locally and abroad.

Accreditation Statements
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning your Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Traditional laboratory or research setting
  • Environmental restoration planner
  • Environmental coordinator
  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental chemist
  • Environmental biologist
  • Environmental review officer
  • Environmental technician
  • Environmental protection specialist

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers for environmental scientists and specialists are expected to grow by 5 percent between 2021 and 2031. The median annual salary is $76,530.

Opportunities for Majors

Science Association

The object of this club is to afford an opportunity for the students of science to become better acquainted, to secure the intellectual stimulation that arises from professional association, to obtain experiences in preparing and presenting technical material before chemical audiences, to foster a professional spirit among the members, to instill a professional pride in the sciences, and to build an awareness of the responsibilities and challenges facing the modern scientist. Membership of this association is open to students pursuing their study in the area of science and related fields. Contact Rosemarie Chinni (610-568-1492, or Kevin Burns (, 610-790-2865) for more information.

Pre-Health Club

The Pre-Health Professions Club includes, but is not limited to, Pre-Medical, Pre-Dental, Physician Assisting, Occupational Therapy, Nursing, and Pre-Veterinary students. It provides a setting in which students who are working toward future careers in the health professions can get together, share information, learn more about the health professions in general, and develop friendships with students who share some of their interests. Members of this organization are composed of students pursuing study in several areas of science and related health fields.

Environmental Club

The purpose of this student organization is to maintain the temperate deciduous forest, riparian, and freshwater ecosystems about Alvernia University and the community it serves. The organization does this by recruiting new members, educating the public, and holding events that draw attention to the environment. Such events are Eco-Fun Day, trail clean-up days, and hosting public speaker seminars.

Beta Kappa Chi

Beta Kappa Chi is the National Science Honor Society composed of chapters which seek to encourage and advance scientific education through original education, the dissemination of scientific knowledge and the stimulation of high scholarship in pure and applied science.

Epsilon Gamma Chapter of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Honor Society

This is a National Scholastic Honor Society for students, faculty, and alumni of colleges and universities with a Catholic tradition.

The Washington Center Experience

Alvernia students have an opportunity to earn college credit by spending a semester or summer in Washington, D.C. where they serve as interns in a congressional office, government agency, major corporation, newspaper or news network, or agencies devoted to legal affairs, international relations, or business and economics. They also may intern with one of several non-profit groups dealing with the environment, women’s issues, the arts, education, science, or labor relations among others. Participants are customarily juniors or seniors who have achieved grade point averages of 2.5 or better and who have the endorsement of the appropriate academic area. In addition to their internship, students select one seminar dealing with the arts and humanities, communication, public policy, the legal system, business, and government. Interested students should see their academic advisor.

Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Environmental Service program contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to program director Jamie Becker at 610-796-8271 or To see a list of Science lecturers, click here.