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Western Kentucky University

WKU-O Undergraduate Programs


In this program, you will focus on environment-related issues using scientific, social scientific, and humanistic approaches. This includes the application of biological, chemical, and physical principles to the physical environment, and subjects such as pollution control, the interactions of human beings and nature, and natural resources management. You will learn the basic principles of ecology and environmental science and related subjects such as policy, politics, law, economics, social aspects, planning, pollution control, and natural resources

The Environment and Sustainable Development Track focuses on the skills required in a variety of environmental fields. Students have greater flexibility in this track to focus on a suite of courses that prepares the student for employment in planning, environmental management, government, consulting, and myriad other areas. A minor is required for this degree.

Characteristics associated with success in this major include an interest in our environment and a desire to improve it so that others can live better lives. You should be:

• interested in improving the balance of natural resources between humankind and the environment

• a logical thinker who can collect, organize, analyze, and interpret scientific data

• able to use computers and the Internet

• creative and enjoy experimenting to see how your ideas can be turned into practical use

• interested in ecology and conservation and reclamation of our natural resources.

• have an interest in improving the environment and creating a better society

• have a strong ability in mathematics and natural sciences

• very curious about how things work and how they can be preserved

• capable of logical thinking and problem-solving

• have good computer skills

Abilities needed:

• accept responsibility

• enjoy doing detailed work

• enjoy working with many different kinds of people

• be tactful and persuasive

• work well under emergency conditions

• be concerned for public well-being

• understand science and math

• communicate well with others

Related Occupations:

• Career in recycling area

• Resource management

• Alternative energy development

• Community development

• Environmental health inspector

• Hazardous waste management specialist

• Inspector, water pollution control

• Pesticide control inspector

• Sanitation inspector



   WKU COURSES                                                                  KCTCS EQUIVALENT

 GEOG 100 Introduction to the Physical Environment 

 GEO 130

 GEOG 110 World Regional Geography 

 GEO 152

 ENV 280 Intro to Env. Science (or acceptable substitute)


 GEOG 311 Oceanography or

 GEOL 311 General Oceanography or

 GEOG 360 Geography of North America


 GEOG 316 Fundamentals of GIS (online)


 GEOG 317 Geographic Information Systems (online)


 ENV 375 Intro to Water Resources (online)


 GEOG 391 Geostatistics (Data Analysis)

 STA 220

 GEOG 471 (also correspondence)


 GEOG 474 Environmental Planning (online) 


 GEOG 475 Internship (or acceptable substitute)


 GEOG 480 Urban Geography


 GEOG 487 Environmental Law & Policy (online)


 GEOG 499 Professional Preparation (last semester)


 * A minor is required for this degree.


Because of transferring credits and WKU-O course offerings, the length of time to finish this program differs for each student. It is important to meet with a WKU-O advisor as soon as possible. Bring an unofficial copy of transcripts from all previously attended colleges and/or universities. It is also important to determine your availability to take courses: part-time, full-time, summer term.

WKU-O Academic Requirements:

  • 120 college-level undergraduate semester hours including the following:

- 44 semester hours of General Education

- 42 semester hours of upper-division credit (300-400 level courses)

- 30 hours must be earned in residence (at WKU), at least 16 of which must be completed after the semester in which the student earned a cumulative total of at least 90 hours.

  • Students must earn a minimum of 54 semester hours with WKU to graduate with honors.
  • Students must apply for graduation upon the completion of 90 semester hours.
  • Students are to meet with an advisor each semester.


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 Last Modified 9/25/14