Undergraduate Programs

Our programs in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences emphasize a deep understanding of regional, national and global environmental issues.

We offer five unique tracks, eight minors and a GIS certificate option to help you explore your areas of interest while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences Tracks

Click the arrow for more information

Archaeology

Our archaeology program focuses on the study of human culture through the analysis of material remains. We emphasize the diversity of human cultures. We study the relationship between humans and the natural environment. And we explore the methods archaeologists use to reconstruct the past in order to understand our cultural heritage.

Course Credit Hours
Total Curriculum Requirements 120

University Studies Requirement

  • Social and Self-Awareness and Responsibility Citizenship
  • ANT 14-: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
6

Required Courses

  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ARC 300: Archaeological Method and Theory
  • ARC 304: Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ARC 320: Human Ecology
  • ARC 330: North American Archaeology
  • ARC 390: Geoarchaeology
  • EES 100T: Transitions
  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • EES 301: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology

44

Five Credit Hours from the following:

  • ARC 302: Archaeological Field Work I
  • ARC 402: Archaeological Field Work II
  • ARC 510: Advanced Archaeological Field Work
5

Required Limited Electives
Choose from the following approved electives:

  • ANT 311: Anthropology of Complex Societies
  • ANT 325: Biological Anthropology
  • ANT 329: North American Indians
  • ARC 314: Sediments and Soils
  • ARC 315: Special Topics in Archaeology
  • ARC 321: Ancient Civilizations
  • ARC 335: Forensic Archaeology
  • ARC 340: Archaeology of Africa
  • ARC 345: Archaeology of Ancient Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean
  • ARC 350: Public Archaeology
  • ARC 355: Pottery and People
  • ARC 357: Lithic Analysis
  • ARC 360: Historical Archaeology
  • ARC 370: Archaeology of the Eastern Woodlands
  • ARC 385: Archaeology of Eastern Asia
  • ARC 389: Archaeology and Political Ecology of Empires
  • ARC 395: Archaeology of Religion
  • ARC 402: Archaeological Field Work II
  • ARC 425: Advanced Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ARC 488: Cooperative Education/Internship
  • ARC 489: Cooperative Education/Internship
  • ARC 500: Directed Studies
  • ARC 510: Advanced Archaeological Field Work
  • ARC 556: Geophysical Surveying
  • CET 280: Plane Surveying
  • EES 305: Introduction to Cartography
  • EES 306: Landscapes of the National Parks
  • EES 310: Rock and Mineral Resources
  • EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
  • EES 388: International Experience in the Geosciences
  • EES 521: Geographic Information Systems
14

Collateral Requirements

  • MAT 150 (or above) or STA 135 (or above)
  • CSC 101 or CSC 199

7-8

Unrestricted Electives

11-17

Interested students should contact for more information:

Earth science secondary certification (grades 8–12)

Educators are our future. With a secondary certification in earth science, you’ll graduate prepared to lead your own classroom. Teach earth and environmental sciences, geology, physical science and more.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum 120

University Studies Requirements

  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology
  • CSC 101: Introduction to Problem Solving Using Computers
  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 102: Earth through Time
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • MAT 150: Algebra and Trigonometry
44

Required Courses

  • ARC 320: Human Ecology
  • AST 115: Introductory Astronomy
  • AST 116: Introductory Astronomy Laboratory
  • EES 100T: Transitions
  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • EES 301: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 303: Introduction to Water Science
  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology
  • EES 339: Field Geography OR EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
 33

Required Limited Electives
Select 300-level or above courses from list of approved electives under the geology track (PDF).

  • BIO 101: Biological Concepts
  • BIO 221: Zoology: Animal Form and Function
  • BIO 222: Botany: Plant Form and Function
  • CHE 101: Consumer Chemistry
  • CHE 105: Introductory Chemistry
  • CHE 201: General College Chemistry
  • CHE 202: General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis
  • PHY 235: Mechanics, Heat and Wave Motion AND PHY 236: Mechanics, Heat and Wave Motion Laboratory
  • PHY 255: Electricity, Magnetism and Light AND PHY 256: Electricity, Magnetism and Light Laboratory
12

Required for Secondary Certification

  • EDU 180: Exploring the Teaching Profession
  • EDU 280: Educating for Human Development
  • EDU 380: Inclusive Teaching of Diverse Learners
  • EDU 480: Effective Pedagogy
  • SEC 420: Practicum in Secondary Schools
  • SEC 421: Student Teaching in the Secondary School
  • SEC 422: Extended Practicum

 

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A teaching specialization in earth science is also available to accompany certification in another science content area (i.e., biology, chemistry or physics). All secondary certification course requirements of the College of Education and Human Services must be met.

Note: Even though this program exceeds Murray State’s requirements for an earth science minor, in order for a minor in earth science to appear on a transcript, the student must declare it as a minor and meet all residential and graduation requirements.

Required Course

  • AST 115: Introductory Astronomy
  • AST 116: Introductory Astronomy Laboratory
  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 102: Earth through Time
  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • EES 303: Introduction to Water Science
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology
  • EES 339: Field Geology OR EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
30

Interested students should contact for more information:

 

Environmental science

Take courses in a variety of fields to make environmental connections. You’ll learn how the life and physical sciences help us understand the root causes of environmental issues at local, national and global levels.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

120

Required Courses

  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ARC 320: Human Ecology
  • BIO 103: Saving Planet Earth
  • CHE 105: Introductory Chemistry
  • ECO 231: Principles of Microeconomics
  • EES 100T: Transitions
  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • EES 210: Hydrology
  • EES 301: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology
  • EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
  • EES 424: Conservation and Environmental Geosciences

52

Required Limited Electives
Choose from the following approved electives:

  • BIO 101: Biological Concepts
  • CHE 201: General College Chemistry
  • ECO 345: Environmental Economics
  • EES 200: Introduction to Oceanography
  • EES 303: Introduction to Water Science
  • EES 314: Sediments and Soils
  • EES 426: Applied Meteorology
  • EES 489: Cooperative Education/Internship
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning
  • EES 536: Soils and Geomorphology
  • EES 542: Watershed Ecology
  • EES 562: Hydrogeology
  • EES 565: Biogeochemistry
  • EES 578: Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
  • EES 579: Remote Sensing of Vegetation
  • EES 591: Special Problems
  • EES 593: Special Problems
  • ENG 371: Literature and the Environment
  • ENT 286: Introduction to Environmental Engineering Technology
  • PHI 376: Environmental Ethics

6

Collateral Requirements

  • MAT 150 (or above) OR STA 135 (or above)
  • CSC 101 OR CSC 199

7-8

Unrestricted Electives

11-17

Interested students should contact for more information:

Geography and GIS

Where and how will 10 billion people live? How are we changing the physical environment of the Earth? How might we observe, analyze and visualize a changing world? Geography matters more than ever. You’ll have plenty of time in the computer lab for hands-on learning. Plus, with faculty-sponsored research and internship opportunities, you’ll graduate prepared to enter one of the “high-growth” industries identified by the U.S. Department of Labor and to make a difference in Earth’s environmental future.

Course Credit Hours
Total Curriculum Requirements 120

Required Courses

  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ARC 320: Human Ecology
  • EES 100T: Transitions
  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • EES 301: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 305: Introduction to Cartography
  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 330: Economic Geography
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology
  • EES 512: Remote Sensing
  • EES 521: Geographic Information Systems
44

Required Limited Electives
Choose from the following approved electives:

  • EES 210: Hydrology
  • EES 303: Introduction to Water Science
  • EES 306: Landscapes of the National Parks
  • EES 310: Rock and Mineral Resources
  • EES 314: Sediments and Soils
  • EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
  • EES 390: Geoarchaeology
  • EES 424: Conservation and Environmental Geosciences
  • EES 488: Cooperative Education/Internship
  • EES 489: Cooperative Education/Internship
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning
  • EES 522: Advanced Cartography
  • EES 562: Hydrogeology
  • EES 578: Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
  • EES 579: Remote Sensing of Vegetation
  • EES 591: Special Problems
  • EES 592: Special Problems
  • EES 593: Special Problems

14

Collateral Requirements

  • MAT 150 (or above) OR STA 135 (or above)
  • CSC 101 OR CSC 199

7-8

Unrestricted Electives  11-17

Interested students should contact for more information:

Geology

Use your knowledge and skills to understand earth surface processes. By studying geology at Murray State, you’ll learn to understand and solve environmental problems and make a difference in our planet’s future.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

120

Required Courses

  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ARC 320: Human Ecology
  • CHE 105: Introductory Chemistry
  • EES 100T: Transitions
  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 102: Earth through Time
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Sciences
  • EES 210: Hydrology
  • EES 301: Understanding Scientific Communication
  • EES 310: Rock and Mineral Resources
  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 314: Sediments and Soils
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology
  • EES 562: Hydrogeology

46

Required Limited Electives
Choose from the following approved electives:

  • ARC 300: Archaeology Method and Theory
  • ARC 302: Archaeological Field Work I
  • ARC 304: Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ARC 390: Geoarchaeology
  • BIO 101: Biological Concepts
  • CHE 201: General College Chemistry
  • CHE 202: General Chemistry and Qualitative Analysis
  • CET 280: Plane Surveying
  • EES 200: Introduction to Oceanography
  • EES 303: Introduction to Water Science
  • EES 305: Introduction to Cartography
  • EES 306: Landscapes of the National Parks
  • EES 330: Economic Geography
  • EES 339: Field Geology
  • EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
  • EES 338: International Experience in the Geosciences
  • EES 424: Conservation and Environmental Geosciences
  • EES 433: Structural Geology
  • EES 489: Cooperative Education/Internship
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning
  • EES 512: Remote Sensing
  • EES 521: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 522: Advanced Cartography
  • EES 533: Paleoecology
  • EES 534: Invertebrate Paleontology
  • EES 536: Soils and Geomorphology
  • EES 542: Watershed Ecology
  • EES 587: Terrestrial Ecosystem Modeling
  • EES 579: Remote Sensing Vegetation
  • EES 591: Special Problems
  • EES 592: Special Problems
  • EES 593: Special Problems
  • PHY 130: General Physics I
  • PHY 131: General Physics I Laboratory

12

Collateral Requirements

  • MAT 150 (or above) OR STA 135 (or above)
  • CSC 101 or CSC 199

7-8

Unrestricted Electives 11-17

Interested students should contact for more information:

Minors

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Anthropology

Are you interested in studying humankind in all times and places? Our anthropology minor is a great place to start. This minor focuses on the study of human cultural diversity and the relationships between culture, the environment and human biological evolution.  

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

21

Required Courses

  • ANT 140: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT 325: Biological Anthropology
  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology

9

Electives
Choose from the following approved electives:

  • ANT 300-level or above
  • ARC 321: Ancient Civilizations
  • ARC 325: Hunter-Gatherer Ethnoarchaeology
  • ARC 330: North American Archaeology
  • ARC 335: Forensic Archaeology
  • ARC 340: Archaeology of Africa
  • ARC 385: Archaeology of Eastern Asia
  • ARC 389: Archaeology and Political Ecology of Empires
  • ARC 395: Archaeology of Religion

12

Elective Substitutions
You may substitute up to six hours from the following as approved by an advisor:

  • HIS 309: Survey of World Religions
  • HIS 316: Women and Gender in World History
  • HIS 354: Ancient Near East
  • HIS 370: History of Africa
  • HIS 451: Africa, Slavery and the Diaspora
  • SOC 300: Social Theory
  • SOC 325: Sociology of Food
  • SOC 337: Social Inequality
  • SOC 465: Globalization

 

Interested students should contact for more information:

Archaeology

Our archaeology minor focuses on the study of human culture through the analysis of material remains. We place an emphasis on the diversity of human cultures and use theoretical approaches to the study of culture, the relationship between humans and the natural environment and the methods archaeologists use to reconstruct the past to understand our cultural heritage.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

21

Required Courses

  • ARC 150: Introduction to Archaeology
  • ARC 300: Archaeological Method and Theory
  • ARC 302: Archaeological Field Work I
  • ARC 304: Archaeological Laboratory Methods
  • ARC 350: Public Archaeology

15

Electives
Six hours must be 300-level or above courses.

  • ARC 300-level or above

6

Interested students should contact for more information:

Earth science

Study earth systems through scientific inquiry, including the building blocks and history of earth, weather and climate, hydrology and water science, earth surface processes and geospatial technologies.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

21

Required Courses

  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 102: Earth through Time
  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 339: Field Geology OR EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences

15

Electives
Six hours must be 300-level or above courses.

  • AST 115: Introductory Astronomy
  • AST 116: Introductory Astronomy Laboratory
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • EES 210: Hydrology
  • EES 303: Introduction to Water Science
  • EES 310: Rock and Mineral Resources
  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 336: Principles of Geomorphology
  • EES 591: Special Problems
  • EES 592: Special Problems
  • EES 593: Special Problems

6

Interested students should contact for more information:

Environmental geology

There are several areas of study when it comes to earth science: astronomy, geology, hydrology, physics and so much more. By pursuing this minor, you’ll gain a broad understanding of different aspects of earth systems and become an environmental game changer.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

21

Required Courses

  • EES 101: The Earth and the Environment
  • EES 102: Earth through Time
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Science

12

Electives
Six hours must be 300-level or above courses. Chosen with the advice and consent of student's advisor.

9

Interested students should contact for more information:

Geographic information science (GIS)

Where and how will 10 billion people live? How are we changing the physical environment of the Earth? How might we observe, analyze and visualize a changing world? Geography matters more than ever. You’ll have plenty of time in the computer lab for hands-on learning. Plus, with faculty-sponsored research and internship opportunities, you’ll graduate prepared to enter one of the “high-growth” industries identified by the U.S. Department of Labor and to make a difference in Earth’s environmental future.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements

21

Required Courses

  • EES 110: World Geography
  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • EES 305: Introduction to Cartography

14

Electives
Select from the following:

  • EES 312: Introduction to Remote Sensing
  • EES 350: Field Techniques in Geosciences
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning
  • EES 512: Remote Sensing
  • EES 521: Geographic Information Systems
  • EES 522: Advanced Cartography
  • EES 591: Special Problems
  • EES 592: Special Problems
  • EES 593: Special Problems

7

Interested students should contact for more information:

Globalization and Development

 Students gain knowledge and skills in understanding places and cultures, cultural diversity, and the interrelationship of natural and cultural landscapes. Global development is dynamic and evolving, in sometimes unpredictable ways and requires critical approaches that rely on social and environmental responsibility. The Minor complements many Majors and give students an interdisciplinary advantage in workplace contexts valuing knowledge of global economic trends, cultural and natural landscape diversity, resource management, and the ways they intersect in development strategies.

Course Credit Hours
Total Curriculum Requirements 21
Required Courses
  • ANT 140: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT 390: Anthropology of Development
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • EES 330: Economic Geography
12
One ANT/ARC course

Select from the following:

  • ANT/ ARC 320: Human Ecology
  • ARC 302 (when offered abroad): Archaeological Field Work I
  • ARC 345: Archaeology of Ancient Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean
  • ARC 360: Historical Archaeology
  • ARC 389: Archaeology and Political Ecology of Empires

3

One EES course

Select from the following:

  • EES 125: Weather and Climate
  • EES 202: Introduction to Geographic Information Science
  • EES 388: International Experience in Geosciences
  • EES 424: Conservation and Environmental Geosciences
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning

3

One elective

Select from the following:

  • ECO 310: Issues in the Global Economy
  • HIS 120: Exploring Chinese Cities: Heritage and Modern Life
  • HIS 331
  • NLS 104: Rural Tourism
  • POL 250: Introduction to International Relations
  • SOC 465: Globalization
  • SPA 325: Spanish American Culture

3

Interested students should contact for more information:

Social science

Educators are our future. With a social science minor from Murray State, you’ll graduate prepared to lead your own classroom with training in either earth and environmental sciences, history, economics or political science.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements
Requirements for certification for teaching secondary school social studies (grades 8-12) through the College of Education and Human Services must also be met.

24

Required Courses

  • ECO 231: Principles of Microeconomics
  • EES 110: World Geography
  • HIS 221: American Experience to 1865
  • HIS 222: American Experience Since 1865
  • POL 140: American National Government
  • SOC 133: Introduction to Sociology

18

Electives
Six hours must be 300-level or above courses. Chosen with the advice and consent of student's advisor.

6

Interested students should contact for more information:

Sustainability Studies

The Sustainability Studies minor is an interdisciplinary exploration of sustainability issues focusing on the environment and/or sustainable development. Integrating knowledge and experiences from the sciences, engineering, agriculture, business, humanities, and arts, the minor is designed to complement any major area of study by focusing on ecological health, sustainable agriculture, and economic sustainability.

Course Credit Hours
Total Curriculum Requirements 22-24 hours
Required Courses
  • BIO 103: Saving Planet Earth
  • ENG 371: Literature and the Environment
  • IDC 150: Issues in Sustainability Studies
  • PHI 376: Environmental Ethics
12 Hours
Two of the following:
  • AGR 353: World Food, Agriculture and Society
  • CMA 284: Sustainable Design and Construction
  • REC 450

6 hours

6-8 hours from the following

With program coordinator approval:

  • AGR 345: Soil Science
  • AGR 378: Agricultural Environmental Management Systems
  • AGR 455: Soil Management
  • ANT 320: Human Ecology
  • ARC 314: Sediments and Soils
  • BIO 112
  • BIO 330: Principles of Ecology
  • BIO 506: Advanced Field Biology
  • BIO 578: Conservation Biology
  • CHE 502
  • CHE 513: Environmental Chemistry
  • ECO 345: Environmental Economics
  • ECO 410: Economic Development
  • ENT 286: Introduction to Environmental Engineering Technology
  • EES 424: Conservation and Environmental Geosciences
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning
  • PSY 373: Psychology of Consumer Behavior
  • SOC 325: Sociology of Food
  • SOC 380: Society and Technology
  • SOC 455: Environmental Sociology

Six hours must be upper-level courses.

6-8 hours

Interested students should contact for more information:

Certification

Click the arrow for more information

GIS certificate (undergraduate)

The certificate in GIScience program is designed to provide fundamental knowledge of geographic information science (GIS) necessary for today’s diverse array of fields and disciplines. You’ll gain experience in data collection, data management methods and techniques, data visualization, data analysis and interpretation and the principles and techniques behind remote sensing. Plus, you’ll find hands-on experience using industry standard tools to develop a variety of projects and explore GIScience applications.

Learn how to receive certificate upon completing requirements by reading this PDF.

Course

Credit Hours

Total Curriculum Requirements
A grade of C or better must be earned in all courses.

15

Required Courses

  • EES 202: Introduction to geographic Information Science
  • EES 512: Remote Sensing
  • EES 521: Geographic Information Systems

12

Electives
Choose one from the following approved electives:

  • AGR 471: Applications in Precision Agriculture
  • BIO 240: Biological Applications of GIS
  • CIS 307: Decision Support Technologies
  • CIS 317: Principles of Information Systems Analysis and Design
  • CSC 145: Introduction to Programming
  • CSC 232: Introduction to Programming in C
  • CSC 310: Database Administration
  • CSC 345: Data Structures
  • EES 305: Introduction to Cartography
  • EES 507: Land Use Planning
  • EES 522: Advanced Cartography
  • EES 570: Computer Applications in Geosciences
  • MKT 585: Integrated Business GIS

3

Interested students should contact for more information: