Environmental Science Major

Courses in biology and environmental science acquaint students with the nature of the living world, foster independent and creative thinking and offer a firm foundation in ecology and molecular and structural biology.


  • Research projects on campus during the academic year will prepare you to successfully compete for competitive summer positions at large research institutions.
  • Explore the ecology of Africa, Europe, Central America and South America - all on-location and led by Simpson faculty during our May Term "21-Day Research Expeditions!"
  • Field research station: Long-term research on prairie restoration during the regular semester or through our full-funded summer research program for Simpson students.

Recent Graduate Schools

  • Iowa State University
  • Kansas State University
  • Northwest Missouri State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • University of New Mexico

Recent Jobs & Internships

  • Blank Park Zoo
  • Deere & Company
  • DuPont Pioneer
  • Kemin Industries
  • Monsanto
  • Peace Corps: Peru & Central America
  • Science Center of Iowa
  • Syngenta

Course Requirements:

  • Biol 103 Environmental Issues w/lab
  • Biol 110 Principles of Biology I w/lab
  • Biol 111 Principles of Biology II w/lab
  • Biol 145 Introductory Plant Biology w/lab
  • Biol 253 Principles of Ecology w/lab
Ecological – Organismal Emphasis (Choose at least 2 courses)
  • Biol 245 General Entomology w/lab
  • Biol 251 Microbiology w/lab
  • Biol 275 Behavioral Ecology w/lab
  • Biol 350 Mammalogy w/lab
  • Biol 358 Freshwater Ecology w/lab
  • Biol 390 Special Topics
Social, Ethical, Policy, Historical Environmental Sciences
(Choose at least one) **
  • Biol 240 Conservation Law
  • Econ 210 Environmental Economics*
  • Hist 261 American Environmental History
  • Soc 350 Environmental Sociology
  • PoSc 370 Public Policy Topics
*Prerequisite of Economics 100
**Appropriate May Term courses, Special Topics courses, or new courses offered by other departments in the future may satisfy this requirement as approved by the department.
Chemistry (Choose at least one)
  • Chem 101 Bonds & Structure I w/lab
  • Chem 155 Environmental Chemistry w/lab
 Choose one course from the following for one additional Science Class:
  • Math courses above 130
  • CIS 145
  • Physics 151
  • Physics 191
  • Chemistry 101
  • Chem 155
  • NaSc 102
  • Biol 135
  • Biol 372 Capstone Experience In Environmental Science

I am a senior with an Environmental Science Major. Simpson has helped me immensely in developing my professional and research skills through their courses and the various research internships I’ve been involved with. For example; my freshmen year I was accepted into Simpson’s Ecology Research Program and conducted a project looking at pollinator interactions with native and non-native flower species on an Iowa prairie. Simultaneously, I was working with Dr. Meyer on a Biomathematics Interdisciplinary project looking at ground-dwelling invertebrate diversity on a restored prairie in Nebraska. With these two opportunities, I was then able to present our findings at the Entomological Society of American’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, become a teaching assistant for Intro to Plant Biology and Principles of Biology, and complete an internship at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Simpson Success Story: Grace Williams