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Environmental Science, Forensic Science Emphasis

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The forensic science track will turn students into sleuths who look at a mysterious environmental situation and work on the issue of who or what did it.

This forensic science track will allow students to earn a BS in Environmental Science with a focus on coursework that will prepare them for careers with environmental forensics components, such as determining or confirming environmental liability in working for government agencies, consulting firms or industry. These students will be the sleuths to look at a mysterious environmental situation and work on the issue of who or what did it.

The goal of this emphasis is to allow students to develop strong analytical skills and an understanding of the legal framework for this type of science. For example, students will take a microscopy course that will allow them to test trace evidence without destroying it. These skills are integral when cases are consistently retried and evidence retested with new methods; traditionally, environmental science classes do not focus on maintaining the integrity of the sample after analysis. A course focused on toxicology provides instruction related to environmental law and regulation, as well as determination of sources and effects of toxic chemicals in the environment.

The ES Forensic Science program will attract students interested in essentially any and all environmental science professions and career tracks, and not just those who plan to work specifically as environmental forensic technicians or scientists. For example, many environmental scientists perform Phase I and Phase II investigations of sites for a variety of reasons, from due diligence for land or facility purchases to determining whether closed or operating sites have environmental challenges that may require remediation. The skills and knowledge learned in the concentration are most helpful in those types of investigations, and students are expected to be competitive for a wide variety of positions working for environmental labs, regulatory agencies, industry, consulting firms, law firms and non-governmental organizations.



Note: The information below provides convenient links to some of the courses required for this degree; however, it should not be used as a course registration guide. Please refer to the official Lander University Academic Catalog for the most accurate and up-to-date program requirements.

A. Core Skills


  ENGL 101 Writing and Inquiry I 3
  ENGL 102 Writing and Inquiry II 3
  MATH 123

Calculus and its Applications
OR MATH 141 Single Variable Calculus I


B. Humanities and Fine Arts
(6 hours selected from 2 different disciplines)

C. Behavioral and Social Perspectives
  ANTH 104 Cultural Anthropology 3
    Behavioral and Social Perspectives elective 3
D. Scientific and Mathematical Reasoning
  MATH 211 Statistical Methods I 3
  PHYS 201 Introductory Physics I
OR PHYS 211 General Physics
E. Founding Documents of the United States
  HIST 111R2

United States History to 1877
HIST 112R2 United States History since 1877
POLS 101R2 American National Government

F. World Cultures
  CHEM 381 Cultural Perspectives of Pollution 3
G. LINK 101 1
University Requirement
  FALS 101 15 FALS-approved events (Temporarily suspended)


Total General Education Requirements 35

1 For approved courses see the General Education section
If you already have credit for HIST 111, do not take HIST 111R; if you already have credit for HIST 112, do not take HIST 112R; if you already have credit for POLS 101, do not take POLS 101R


BIOL 111 Principles of Biology I 4
BIOL 306 Ecology 4
BIOL 415 Limnology 4
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I 4
CHEM 112 General Chemistry II 4
CHEM 221 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM 330 Analytical Chemistry 5
CHEM 420 Environmental Chemistry 3
ES 111 Environmental Sustainability 3
ES 301 Introduction to Environmental Science 1 4
ES 302 Introduction to Environmental Science 2 4
ES 407 Research in Environmental Science
OR ES 490 Internship in Environmental Science
GEOL 111 Physical Geology
OR PSCI 112 Earth and Space Science

PSCI 499

Senior Seminal 3


CHEM 101 Introduction to Criminalistics 3
CHEM 260 Microscopical Methods 3
CHEM 360 Toxicology 3

Choose 3:
BIOL 112BIOL 213, BIOL 303, BIOL 403, BIOL 421, CHEM 222, CHEM 301CHEM 331CHEM 341, CHEM 401CRIM 101, POLS 308, POLS 313POLS 379PUBH 415SOCI 363
Total Major Program Requirements 71-74
Additional Electives 11-14


  • Coursework must include at least 30 hours earned in 300 or above level courses, of which 12 hours must be in the major.
  • See the 4-year major guide for recommended order in which to take courses