Discover Environmental Physical Science

Environmental Physical Science

At Black Hills State University, the environmental physical science program includes the identification, study, and treatment of a variety of environmental problems. The program addresses ground and surface water quality and management, waste treatment, land-use planning, soil testing, containment chemistry and monitoring, hazardous waste disposal, land reclamation and energy management and production.

The School of Natural Sciences at BHSU is committed to quality undergraduate programs in the natural sciences, with an emphasis on involving students in research and internship experiences.

Why earn an environmental physical science degree from BHSU?

  • Experiential Learning: BHSU provides opportunities to work directly with excellent faculty on research projects.
  • Premier Location: BHSU is located 20 miles from the Sanford Underground Research Facility. This close proximity to Sanford Lab combined with a high level of interest among faculty and staff creates opportunities for collaborative projects in the sciences .
  • Employability: Environmental positions exist in the private sector through consulting, chemical, petroleum and other manufacturing corporations. Positions are also available with state and federal government agencies such as the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Geological Survey Water Resource Division, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Forest Service.

Environmental Physical Science Requirements

Required Core

  • GEOL 201 Physical Geology & 201L Lab
  • GEOL 203 Historical Geology & 203L Lab
  • GEOL 340 Mineralogy/Petrology
  • GEOL 490 Seminar
  • MATH 123 Calculus I
  • MATH 125 Calculus II

16 Take two of the following science sequences

  • BIOL 151 General Biology I & 151L Lab
  • BIOL 153 General Biology II & 153L Lab

  • CHEM 112 General Chemistry I & 112L Lab
  • CHEM 114 General Chemistry II & 114L Lab

  • PHYS 211 University Physics I & 211L Lab
  • PHYS 213 University Physics II & 213L Lab

12 Take four courses from the following eight courses:

  • GEOE 322 Structural Geology (at SDSM&T)
  • GEOL 310 Volcanology
  • GEOL 321 Conservation of Natural Resources
  • GEOL 350 Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 360 Environmental Geochemistry
  • GEOL 370 Hydrogeology
  • GEOL 392 Topics
  • GEOL 491 Independent Study
  • RESR 498 Undergraduate Research/Scholarship
  • SCI 388 Global Positioning & Geographical Information Systems
  • SCI 494 Internship

6 Take two courses from the following five courses:

  • You may not choose both BADM 220 and MATH 281
  • BADM 220 Business Statistics
  • ECON 201 Principles of Microeconomics
  • ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics
  • MATH 225 Calculus III
  • MATH 281 Introduction to Statistics
  • MATH 315 Linear Algebra
  • MATH 316 Discrete Mathematics
  • MATH 321 Differential Equations

Gen Ed Requirements - 30 semester hours

  • ENGL 101 Composition I
  • ENGL 201 Composition II
  • SPCM Speech 101, 215, or 222
  • * Gen Ed - Social Science
  • * Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities
  • Gen Ed - Natural Science & Lab

* Global Requirement: depending on your selection, this requirement will satisfy 3 hours of either Social Science or Arts & Humanities requirements. Take 1 course from AIS/HIST 257, ANTH 210, ARTH 211/212/251, ENGL 211/212, GEOG 210, HIST 121/122/153, HUM 100, MCOM 151, POLS 141/250
A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours, of which 36 hours must be 300-400 level courses.

Career Opportunities

Environmental Physical Science majors are able to find careers in a variety of fields:

  • Environmental Quality Analyst
  • Hydrology
  • Soil Conservation
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Waste Management
  • Environmental Consultation
  • Geosciences

BHSU offers excellent undergraduate research opportunities.