Department of Environmental Science and Policy
BA in Environmental Planning and Policy
The Department of Environmental Science and Policy offers a B.A. degree in environmental planning and policy. Capability in these two disciplines is built upon the department's basic environmental science core courses. The degree is designed to prepare students for graduate school and careers in federal, state, and local government; the private sector; nonprofit organizations; and citizen advocacy groups. Many graduates have immediately entered professions in landscape design, regulatory compliance, land-use or community planning, urban renewal, environmental consulting, education, and as environmental technicians.
The faculty seek to educate individuals who make a difference by contributing to solving environmental problems, making public and private institutions more responsive to social and economic needs of communities, and by moving toward a more sustainable society. The curriculum emphasizes application as well as theory by focusing on problems and projects affecting the region. The opportunity to gain practical planning and policy experience is also provided to students through participation in field-based courses and an internship.
The environmental planning aspect of the degree is intended to introduce students to foundations of community and natural resource planning. Through a series of core courses, students examine spatial and non-spatial aspects of environmental problems. The environmental policy aspect trains students on policy development, formulation, and implementation, through an in-depth examination of policy science, assessment, environmental impact analysis, and environmental economics. Students can also explore a particular topic of interest such as pollution, natural resources management, international policy, or water resources.
The Department of Environmental Science and Policy offers an accelerated graduate degree pathway for students in the B.A. program. Students can combine their senior year with the first year of graduate work on a Master's in Policy, Planning, and Management (M.P.P.M.) in USM's Muskie School of Public Service.
Minimum number of credits required for the major is 66, plus the University's Core Curriculum. Some departmental major requirements may overlap with the Core Curriculum, allowing students to double-count and be efficient in course selection. A student must achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average and must earn at least a C- in each course applied toward completion of the major.
Required courses for all majors in the department:
ESP 101 Fundamentals of Environmental Science
ESP 102 Fundamentals of Environmental Science Lab
ESP 125 Introduction to Environmental Ecology
ESP 126 Introduction to Environmental Ecology Lab
ESP 150 Field Immersion
ESP 197 Research Skills Lab
ESP 203 Environmental Communication
ESP 207 Atmosphere: Science, Climate, and Change
ESP 280 Research and Analytical Methods
ESP 340 Environmental Regulations
ESP 400 Internship (between junior and senior year)
ESP 401 Environmental Impact Assessment and Lab (capstone)
One computational tools course; suggested courses include:
ESP 123 Environmental Problem Solving
GEO 108 Introduction to ArcGIS
GEO 308 GIS Applications I
Required courses specific to students in the B.A. in environmental planning and policy:
CHY 1XX Chemistry Lecture
ESP 200 Environmental Planning (other planning courses may be substituted with permission of faculty advisor)
ESP 220 Introduction to Environmental Policy
ESP 305 Community Planning Workshop
ESP 326 Environmental Economics or ESP 327 Natural Resource Economics
ESP 375 Environmental Risk Assessment and Management
ESP 417 Site Planning and Assessment
ESP 421 Natural Resource Policy
MAT 120 Introduction to Statistics
Electives: Two environmental science classes 200-level or higher
For the best overall Financial Aid package, submit your USM application and complete your FAFSA by January 15. However, you can apply at any time. Undergraduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Landscape Design, Regulatory Compliance, Environmental/land-use Planning, Community Planning, Urban Renewal Consultant, Environmental Consulting, Environmental Education, Environmental Technician, Environmental Advocate, Environmental Policy Analyst