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Environmental Science at Florida State University

Information for this profile was provided by Lynn Dudley, Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Florida State University. Information is also available on the program website. Students in this program are pursuing a bachelors degree.

Program Design & Assessment


Environmental science at Florida State University is based in the physical sciences integrating geology, oceanography, and meteorology. Students may choose the Environmental Science BS degree or the Environmental Science and Policy BA degree. The difference in the degrees is clearly expressed in the capstone course for the two degree. The capstone for the BS degree is based in field data collection and analysis. The capstone course for the policy degree requires research and analysis of environmental law and regulation.

Strengths of this program

The strength of our program is in the rigorous physical science base of the degrees. Within the Environmental Science BS degree students have the flexibility to design a curriculum suitable to their career or continuing education goals.

Types of students served

The environmental science degrees have been in place for three year. A full cohort will graduate this year. We initiated exit interviews this year, but the data base is insufficient to provide specific examples. The student with the highest entering GPA and SAT course selected the BA option with a goal of attending law school. Many of the BA students are interested in attending law school. Some come from political science and intend to pursue careers in policy. Biology is one of the most popular majors at FSU. We recruit strongly from biology when they discover other options.

Program Goals

The goals of these programs are as follows:

Environmental Science Bachelor of Science

Environmental Science and Policy Bachelor of Arts

The learning goals were informed by the following resources:

Learning outcomes were developed from sources like AGI reports, and discussions with professionals in the area. Florida State University is located in the state capitol. We have unique access to the higher levels of the Florida Geologic Survey, Department of Environmental Protection, and Department of Health. We are able to consult with these agencies on the skills that our graduates need to be successful in their areas of environmental science. Discussions with peers outside FSU also informed our objectives.

How program goals are assessed

Specific measures are assigned to each learning goal. An annual review of the measures is used to identify weakness in the program and prescribe corrective measures.

Design features that allow goals to be met

The annual assessment of measures is a key. Exit interviews with students now required by the Florida higher education board should also help us assess the degree to which we meet our goals.

Alumni Careers

Graduation rate

The degrees have only existed for three years. We have yet to graduate a full cohort. There are about 350 students enrolled in the major. We expect to see a substantial increase in graduation rate spring semester 2013. Those numbers are not yet available.

Environmental Science BS

F10-Sum 11 = 0

F11-Sum 12 = 14

F12 = 5

Environmental Science and Policy BA

F10-Sum 11 = 2

F11-Sum 12 = 14

F12 = 3

Careers pursued by our alumni

Feedback from our students is limited because our program is in the third year.

Courses and Sequencing

Diagram of course sequencing and requirements

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