Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Curricula & Programs > Curriculum Design > Curriculum Profiles > BA or BS in Earth and Environmental Science, Virginia Wesleyan College

BA or BS in Earth and Environmental Science, Virginia Wesleyan College

Information for this profile was provided by Elizabeth Malcolm in 2009. Information is also available on the program website

Virginia Wesleyan College is a private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the Virginia Wesleyan College Earth and Environmental Science curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by Elizabeth Malcolm. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Earth and Environmental Sciences program at Virginia Wesleyan College takes a "systems approach," in which all parts – lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere – are viewed as an integrated system. The curriculum also explores the many ways that humans have impacted this system.

The B.A. program is designed to provide a broad background in the fundamentals of Earth Science for students who intend to have careers in secondary education, business, law, other areas, or double major. The B.S. program is intended for students who plan to pursue a graduate degree in earth or environmental sciences and has additional mathematics requirements.
These are the only two majors available in the Earth and Environmental Science Department.

Program Design

The earth and environmental sciences curriculum is designed to provide a solid foundation in both earth science and environmental science as well as supporting coursework in chemistry, biology and physics. The BA prepares students for certification and a career in secondary education for earth science or a wide range of careers in the earth and environmental fields. The BS was recently created to better prepare students for graduate school.

Goals and Assessment

A primary goal is to provide students with hands-on skills, preparing them for their career or graduate school, including field methods, laboratory techniques, GIS and research.

We track the success of graduates through formal college-wide surveys and informal conversations.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

  • Physical Geology with lab
  • Environmental Geology with lab
(Both are required)

Core courses

  • Oceanography or Meteorology
  • Environmental Chemistry or Analytical Chemistry
  • Geology of Mountain Belts
  • Energy and the Environment
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Ecology
  • Watershed Hydrology
  • Global Environmental Cycles

Electives

Students are required to take at least 2 courses (6-8 credits) of electives, chosen from the following list:
  • Internship in the Natural Sciences
  • Research in the Natural Sciences
  • Climatology (Prerequisite: Oceanography or Meteorology)
  • Limnology
  • Marine Biology
  • Microbiology (Prerequisite: Genetics)
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry

Other required courses

  • Principles of Biology I or Environmental Biology
  • College Chemistry I
  • College Chemistry II
  • Physics

Additional requirements for the BS

  • Calculus II
  • Introduction to Statistical Modeling

Additional Materials




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