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About the Major

The environmental challenges of the 21st century require individuals who understand environmental and scientific complexities and can implement a multi-disciplinary approach to environmental problem-solving at local, regional and global scales.  Led by a dynamic group of faculty whose expertise and research interests span a wide range of critical environmental topics (chemical pollution measurement and impacts, paleoecology, forest ecosystems, sustainable use of natural resources, wetland ecology, avian ecology, conservation biology,  climate change, and alternative energy systems), the Environmental Science major at Ramapo College provides students with a strong foundation in basic sciences, followed by a specially designed set of advanced courses that help students acquire extensive theoretical and practical knowledge in advanced geology, environmental chemistry, field ecology and research, and climate change.  The entire curriculum is heavily experiential in nature, with strong laboratory and field work components in nearly every course, and with ample training in the skills that are essential for launching successful careers in the sciences (research design, statistics, technical writing, critical thinking, computer applications, and oral presentations).

In addition to gaining extensive, hands-on laboratory and field experience through Environmental Science courses, many of which take place in newly renovated laboratories and in the adjacent scenic Highlands region, many students conduct independent research projects with Environmental Science faculty.  Students are also encouraged to participate in Co-op Education  with organizations such as the Ramapo-directed and staffed Meadowlands Environmental Center (NJMEC), the New Jersey Botanical Garden, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission,  the New York–New Jersey Trail Conference, and with environmental consulting firms in the region.

Graduates enter a wide range of careers, including environmental testing, ecological field research, environmental education, alternative energy, environmental planning, and with local, state and federal government agencies.  The major is structured so that students may continue their studies at the graduate level in a variety of environmentally-related areas.  Students who major in Environmental Science and are interested in a career in education can enroll in the college’s Teacher Education program and select relevant course work in consultation with their faculty advisor in preparation for teacher certification.

Outcomes for the Major

Outcome 1: Successful students will demonstrate knowledge about environmental principles and applications.

Outcome 2: Successful students will integrate knowledge and skills from different scientific disciplines.

Outcome 3: Successful students will know how to utilize and apply current technologies for environmental data collection and problem solving.

Outcome 4: Successful students will design and conduct original research, analyze and interpret data using statistical and other quantitative methodologies, and present results in poster, written and/or oral format.

Outcome 5: Successful students will acquire and critically evaluate published research.

Outcome 6: Successful students will communicate effectively in a variety of formats, including oral presentations on scientific topics related to the environment, literature review papers from the 100- to 400-level, field and laboratory reports, and informal communications (e.g. press releases).

Requirements of the Major
  1. Transfer students who have 48 or more credits accepted at the time of transfer are waived from the courses marked with a (W) below.  Waivers only apply to General Education Requirements NOT Major Requirements.
  2. Double counting between General Education and Major may be possible.  Check with your advisor to see if any apply.
  3. Writing Intensive Requirement (six courses):  three writing intensive courses in the general education curriculum are required: First Year Seminar, Critical Reading and Writing, and Readings in the Humanities; the other three courses are taken in the major.
  4. Not all courses are offered each semester.  Please check the current Schedule of Classes for semester course offerings.


Note: A 2.0 GPA in the major is required for graduation.

Requirements of the Minor
  1. At least 1/2 of the courses fulfilling a minor must be distinct from the student’s major. That is, three of the five courses (lecture and lab co-requisites count as one course) required for a minor cannot be used towards fulfillment of major requirements. A school core does not need to be completed for a minor. Minors are open to students regardless of school affiliation.
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