Environment student on a hike with backpack, cougar beanie, and a background of trees and mountains.

Environmental & Ecosystem Sciences Degree Plan

Degree Options

Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences


Environmental and Ecosystem Sciences


  • Earth Sciences
  • Environmental Science
  • Forestry
  • Geospatial Analysis
  • Natural Resources
  • Wildlife Ecology

Admission to the Major Requirements 

Students may be admitted as Environmental and Ecosystems Sciences majors upon declaring their intent to the department.

Suggested Classes for First-year Students

  • BIOL 106: Introductory Biology: Organismal Biology
  • CHEM 101: Introduction to Chemistry
    •    OR CHEM 105: Principles of Chemistry I
  • SOE 110: The Environment, Human Life, and Sustainability
  • MATH 106: College Algebra
  • MATH 108: Trigonometry

Suggested Classes for Transfer Students              

  • SOE 275: Watersheds and Communities
  • SOE 285: Science and Policy of Climate Change
  • SOE 311: Modeling the Environment
  • SOE 315: Water and the Earth
  • SOE 300: Natural Resource Ecology
    •    OR BIOL 372: General Ecology
  • SOE 312: Natural Resources and Society
  • SOE 461: Watershed Management
  • SOILS 368: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Math Requirement        

  • MATH 106: College Algebra
  • MATH 108: Trigonometry
  • STAT 212:  Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • Advanced statistics course

School of the Environment Core Courses             

Ecology, Earth Systems, Water Science, Modeling and Spatial Analysis, Society and Environmental Management, Statistics, Advanced Communications, Integrated Capstone, Experiential Learning Opportunity

Environmental and Ecosystem Sciences Core Courses

The flexible core allows students to choose a large block of advanced professional electives in areas such as Animal Ecology, Climate Change, Biology, Ecosystem Ecology, Landscape Ecology and Management, Plant Ecology, Restoration Ecology, Spatial/Quantitative Ecology, Advanced Conservation Science, Advanced Earth Science, Environmental Management and Sustainability, Advanced Environmental Policy and Social Science, Water Resource Management and Sustainability, Physical and Biological Oceanography, Aquatic Ecosystem and Water Science, Seminars/Special Topics/Minors/Senior Thesis/Study Abroad.

For more information


Program Strengths

  • Benefit from a program that prepares students to address the challenges of global change, environmental and resource conservation, and sustainability
  • Choose from three campuses­— Pullman, Vancouver, and Tri-Cities
  • Acquire hands-on experience from campus ecology laboratories, field camps, internship programs, and study abroad opportunities
  • Work closely with professors who are nationally recognized for:
  • Environmental science
  • Conservation biology and genetics
  • Climate change biology
  • Landscape and restoration ecology
  • Aquatic ecology and water resource management
  • Plant and wildlife ecology and management
  • Earth science
  • Benefit from a flexible interdisciplinary science curriculum that prepares you for numerous careers and graduate school that inspire you to make a difference in the real world
  • Academic and professional advising throughout your time here to support your optimum scholarly, professional and personal growth

Student Clubs

  • Environmental Science Club
  • Geology Club
  • The Wildlife Society
  • Forestry Club

Career Options

  • Conservation biologist or hydrologist
  • Aquatic, stream or wetland ecologist
  • Water resource specialist
  • Landscape or forest ecologist or manager
  • Restoration ecologist
  • Environmental engineer, educator, or consultant
  • Range manager
  • Land, watershed, natural area, park or wildlife refuge manager
  • Resource policy advisor
  • Sustainability program coordinator
  • Federal Farm Program or Conservation District staff
  • Numerous international options

The School of the Environment is affiliated with both the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences.