Environmental Science | AUM

Environmental Science

Program Description

If you want to spend your time wading through swamps studying the impact of encroaching human populations on endangered species, monitoring pollution levels in lakes and rivers, or advising industry on how to clean up the environment, then Environmental Science is right up your alley. With AUM’s Environmental Science major, you can take a job with a government agency such as the United States Geological Survey or the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, or work in the private sector.

Students majoring in Environmental Science must choose one of these concentrations:

  • Environmental Biology Concentration 
    In the environmental biology concentration, students can prepare themselves for employment with private industry or government or for application to graduate degree programs in other universities. Potential job titles include: Water Quality Technician, Air Quality Technician, Wildlife Biologist, Environmental Consultant, Park Ranger, Environmental Planner, Environmental Educator, Outdoor Educator, Environmental Scientist, or Park Interpretive Specialist. We also offer the Environmental Biology and GIS double major program for students to earn two degrees in Environmental Biology and GIS by taking 1-2 additional semesters.

  • Environmental Chemistry Concentration
    Environmental Chemistry is the study of the presence and movement of chemicals in the air, soil, and water. Environmental chemists study how these chemicals, usually contaminants, affect the health of people, wildlife, and ecosystems. This concentration prepares students for future studies in the field or for positions in state or federal agencies as well as private enterprise. This degree is perfectly aligned with a Chemistry degree and students can easily earn a dual degree in Environmental Science and Chemistry for the same number of hours. 

  • Environmental Geographic Information Systems Concentration
    Geographic Information System is a very important skill for many Environmental Scientists.  This concentration gives students an extensive skill set in GIS that they can use in the job market or as an entry point into graduate school. We also offer the Environmental GIS and GIS double major program for students to earn two degrees in Environmental GIS and GIS by taking 1 additional semester.

  • Environmental Health and Toxicology Concentration
    The health and toxicology concentration prepares students to look at their environment critically and assess how changes to their environment can affect their health and the health of their environment. This is a great choice for students interested in getting a job or going on to graduate school.

Points of Pride

  • Students participate in research with a faculty member and many publish papers and travel to conferences.
  • Faculty have grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Department of Education.
  • AUM has a relationship with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab that allows students to take marine biology courses at the Sea Lab on the Gulf of Mexico.

Put Your Degree to Work

Note: While salaries vary depending on several factors including your level of experience, education and training, and geography and industry, here is a sampling of the future job growth and salaries in this area.

A degree in Environmental Science prepares you for a variety of public and private sector jobs. Job growth in all the life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to be 7 percent from 2014 to 2014, about average for all occupations. The most recent median annual wage for the life, physical and social science occupations was $61,450 — higher than the median annual wage for all occupations.

U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics sample


Median Pay

Job Growth through 2024

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

$66,250 per year

11% (10,200 more jobs)

Agricultural and Food Scientists

$60,690 per year

5% (1,900 more jobs)

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

$60,360 per year

7% (2,700 more jobs)

For More Information

Biology Department
Auburn University at Montgomery
Goodwyn Hall 301

Soaring Warhawks

  • Joseph Massey works at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management.
  • Melanie Pelham works at the Department of Environmental Services, Montgomery Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board.
  • Marshall Williams works for the United States Geological Survey, Idaho Water Science Center.

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail, please see our official online catalog AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the core curriculum courses required for all majors and may not include some program-specific information, such as admissions, retention and termination standards.

Course sampling specific to the Environmental Science program includes:

Course #

Course Name

Course Description

ENSC 1000

Intro to Environmental Science

Introduction to the principles of environmental science, including the scientific method, ecology, energy, environmental policy, and an examination of current environmental issues. Emphasis will be placed on examining human activities and understanding their impacts on ecological systems.

ENSC 2952

Seminar in Environmental Science

Students meet weekly to discuss assigned readings. Readings will vary from term to term. Students may be asked to write summaries, make presentations, or otherwise demonstrate mastery of the material. May be repeated up to 4 hours of credit, but only 1 hour will apply to major requirements.

CHEM 1100

General Chemistry I

A detailed study of atomic theory, chemical bonding, states of matter, solutions and acid-base theory. With CHEM 1101 lab.

CHEM 1200

General Chemistry II

A detailed study of kinetics, equilibria and thermodynamics. Introductions to organic chemistry and nuclear chemistry included. With CHEM 1201 lab.

CHEM 3100

Organic Chemistry I

A systematic study of the physical and chemical natures of organic compounds. Includes hydrocarbon chemistry, simple functional groups and spectroscopy. With CHEM 3101 lab.

GEOG 3950

Intro to GIS with Lab

Geographic Information Systems history and theory, spatial concepts, research design, computer cartography, data collection and entry, information, storage, relational database design, digitizing, raster/vector operations, GPS and GIS, remote sensing analysis, overlay operations, spatial statistics and predictive modeling, spatial queries, and GIS output.

PSCI 1300

Introduction to Earth Science

An interview of the geology and meteorology of the earth. Topics include the earth's interior, the sea floor, mountain building, geologic structures and time scales, rocks and minerals and atmospheric phenomena. With PSCI 1301 lab.

BIOL 2200


This course introduces students to statistical techniques commonly used in research and includes estimation and hypothesis testing. ANOVA, linear and non-linear regression, and non-parametric statistics. Extensive use of computer exercises allows students to fulfill their requirement for computer literacy.

BIOL 4200


The dynamics of the environment, accenting the description of the physical, chemical, and biological properties of local ecosystems, giving special attention to integrative and homeostatic processes, energy flow, nutrient cycles, and disruptive phenomena.

BIOL 4230

Environmental Pollution and Control

Introduction to environmental science focusing on detection, sources and treatment methods for water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, solid waste and hazardous waste. Legal and regulatory background will also be presented.

ENSC 4952

Environmental Science Capstone (writing intensive)

A writing-intensive exit course required of all graduating seniors. Students may be asked to write term papers, make presentations, or prepare individual or group projects.