SEES Undergraduate Programs

Majors and Minors

Environmental Science (BA, BS)

Environmental Studies (BA)

Geology (BA, BS)

SEES Undergraduate Programs

At the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, our mission is to provide you with an understanding of how Earth processes affect our lives and how our actions affect the environment in which we live.

Environmental Science Major (BA or BS)
The Environmental Science majors are intended for students planning on careers as professional environmental scientists, planners, or consultants. The Environmental Science major provides the breadth and rigor to allow students to immediately enter the work force after graduation or pursue an advanced academic (MA, MS or PhD) or professional degree in other related fields such as law, government, or urban planning. The Environmental Sciences major emphasizes basic science in a rigorous curriculum drawn from a variety of disciplines and departments in the School of Math and Natural Sciences. The major is structured around a hands-on introductory course (Ensci 100, Challenges to Humanity in the 21st Century), a series of core cores (200 level), elective advanced courses (300 level) and a senior year capstone course (Ensci 373W, Environmental Problem Solving). To earn a BS Environmental Science degree, student must satisfy the requirements for the BA and complete additional core and advanced courses, as well as additional supporting sciences.

Minor in Environmental Science
The minor in Environmental Science is meant to complement a major in a related field in either Natural or Social Sciences. The minor requires students to take 3 courses at the 100 level (Ensci 100, Chem 113, Physics 121) and then Ensci 200 (Earth Systems Science) and 2 electives in Ensci or Geo from the core (200 level) or advanced (300 level) courses.

Environmental Studies Major (BA)
The Environmental Studies major offers students the opportunity to obtain an integrated understanding of contemporary environmental problems, policy issues, and solutions from local, national, and global perspectives. The major has an interdisciplinary foundation that includes natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, emphasizing both the School of Earth and Environmental Science‘s orientation toward environmental science and the Urban Studies Department’s emphasis on social justice and public policy. Graduates with a BA in Environmental Studies can pursue careers in the public or private sectors developing and implementing environmental practices and policies from a perspective that considers their social and economic context of these problems. The major requires foundational courses in both Environmental Science (100 and 112) and Urban Studies (252) as well as 6 electives from both Natural and Social Sciences, and a field experience in addition to the capstone course. 

Minor in Environmental Studies
The minor in Environmental Studies is meant to complement a major in related fields and provide a perspective on how current environmental issues affect populations and society. Students must take Ensci 100 and Ensci 112, as well as Urbst 252, and three electives from the same list as provided for the major.

Major in Geology
The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) majors for students seeking rewarding careers as scientists studying Earth processes; identifying and solving environmental problems; K-12 and higher teaching; and a surprisingly large number of areas in which geoscientists are needed (for example, law, mineral resource exploration, production, and finance; environmental insurance); and a wide range of City, State, and Federal agencies. Salaries are excellent, job openings are plentiful, and a grant from the National Science Foundation will help you complete your degree and move on to geoscience employment or graduate school.

Bachelor of Science in Geology
The Geology BS is designed for students seeking careers in the technical aspects of the geosciences such as geological and environmental consulting, mineral and energy resource exploration and production, or a career in academic, industrial, or museum based research. BS majors have an extensive background in geologic and associated sciences and are encouraged to become involved in research throughout their undergraduate careers by serving as research assistants to faculty or independent researchers under faculty mentoring. The BS major meets educational requirements for the new NY State professional geology licence and has helped alumni enter the most prestigious graduate programs in the nation as well as exciting jobs throughout the world.

Bachelor of Arts in Geology
The Geology BA major is designed for students considering a non-technical career in the geosciences including teaching, environmental law, insurance, finance, journalism, etc. Required courses provide a broad background in the geosciences from the deep Earth to the oceans and atmosphere, and emphasize not only what we have learned about our planet but also how we have learned it. Our majors learn in the laboratory as well as the classroom, but most importantly, in the field where we apply that classroom learning to answering questions about how Earth has evolved over its 4.6 billion year history.

Minor in Geology
Excited about aspects of Geology such as fossils, gemstones, moving continents, or natural disasters but are attracted to a different major? Consider a minor in Geology to increase your knowledge and interest in your favorite topics while becoming a doctor, accountant, or lawyer. Requirements for the Geology minor include Geology 101, Geology 102 and three additional elective courses from the same list as provided for the major. At least two of three advanced courses above Geology 102 must be taken at Queens College.

SEES Academic Standards
A student may not have a course with a grade below C– credited toward his/her major requirements. A minimum grade of C– is required in any prerequisite
courses for the major.
A student may not repeat a course more than twice, and credit toward the degree will be given only once. A minimum average of C is required in courses numbered above 200, and in courses in other departments that are counted toward the major.

The School of Earth and Environmental Sciences confers the Environmental Science Award and the Environmental Studies Award to the graduating students with the highest GPA in their respective majors. For Geology majors, the student graduating with the highest major GPA is awarded the Lt. George C. Gierak Memorial Award in memory of a former president of the Geology Club who gave his life for his country. In addition, the SEES Club of Queens College Award is given by the club to one undergraduate SEES major who has demonstrated academic excellence in earth and environmental sciences. All graduating SEES majors with a major GPA above 3.5 are awarded departmental honors.

Transfers into SEES
A maximum of 16 credits in Environmental Science or Geology will be accepted as transfer credits for the Geology or Environmental Science majors.