Geosciences Environmental Programs at Texas A&M University
Program Design & Assessment
The Environmental Programs offer two interdisciplinary degrees that focus on earth systems and how humans are interacting with those systems. The Environmental Geosciences degree is more scientific and technical in orientation, whereas the Environmental Studies degree is oriented more towards policy and social science.
Strengths of this program
The hallmark of these programs is flexibility. Environmental Geoscience majors take 15 hours in one of five theme areas: climate change, coastal and marine environments, human impact on the environment, or water. Environmental Studies majors balance an education in the geosciences with environmental policy and the social sciences. Both programs allow for internships, research experiences, study abroad, and/or custom course selections.
Types of students servedStudents interested in careers related to environment, or who seek a broad background in science and policy before entering graduate or professional school.
The goals of this program are as follows:
- Students will be able to describe i) the fundamental earth science-based environmental systems, the processes underpinning those systems, the links between them, and the main environmental outcomes, and ii) the fundamental links between environmental science and the public policy arena, and the processes that link public policies and environmental science.
- Students will be able to collect, analyze, and interpret data using appropriate field, laboratory, and/or computational techniques and will be able to communicate their findings and their relevance to environmental issues in written and oral formats to discipline-specific and general audiences.
The learning goals were informed by the following resources:
These were prepared early in the development of the programs by the program director and advisory committee.
How program goals are assessed
Assessment is based on a combination of i) student responses to specific exit survey questions, ii) a consensus report written by the senior class on the merits and deficiencies of the degrees, iii) evaluation of capstone reports prepared by students during their senior year, and iv) evaluation of oral and poster presentations given by students in the program capstone course.
Of course, we also value and apply what feedback we receive from our recent graduates and employers.
Design features that allow goals to be met
Flexibility in the curriculum facilitates tailored course plans that are aligned with student interests and career goals.
2009-19, 2010-35, 2011-70, 2012-77
Careers pursued by our alumni
Graduates typically enter some form of entry level environmental scientist or consulting position upon completion of their degrees. Other students continue their education in law, geosciences, or planning.
Courses and Sequencing
Diagram of course sequencing and requirements