Initial Publication Date: February 17, 2014

A Geoscience-rich Environmental Science Major, Metropolitan State University

Information for this profile was provided by Julie Maxson, Metropolitan State University. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Metropolitan State has a relatively young science program. We have developed BA and BS degrees in Biology and Chemistry, a BS in Life Science Teaching, and a minor in Physics. We are currently in the process of developing courses and majors in Environmental Science and in Earth and Space Science Teaching. We have no immediate plans to develop a Geology major, as it is unlikely that we could attract sufficient student interest* or sufficient resources (funds, equipment, faculty lines, space) to do so in the near term.

*We find that adult students are less likely to pursue topics and majors that don't have directly visible and local career outcomes: Environmental Science and Earth Science Teaching majors are more employable in the Twin Cities, which makes these programs more attractive to our urban adults.

By design, our Environmental Science Major will have a strong geoscience core, in part because of the interests and qualifications of the involved faculty, and partly in parallel with the independent majors in environmental sciences that our students have historically created. Physical geology, groundwater and surface water hydrology, geomorphology, and soil science will be emphasized along with ecosystems, conservation biology, limnology, and environmental chemistry.
Students will be required to take environmentally-themed courses in the humanities and social sciences, which include Environmental Justice, Environmental History, Environmental Policy, and Environmental Economics. Additionally, many of the case studies used in science classes, as well as local community-based research projects, will include an environmental justice component.

Strengths of this program

Types of students served

Program Goals

The goals of this program are as follows:

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

How program goals are assessed

Design features that allow goals to be met:

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

Careers pursued by our alumni

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

Entry into the degree

Core Courses

Elective courses and Requirements


Supporting Science and Math Courses

Other key features of this program:

Supporting Materials