Chemistry Major with Environmental Science Concentration - Bachelor of Science (BS)

The chemistry major with an environmental science concentration at UW-La Crosse provides a strong background in chemistry, while providing multi-disciplinary elective options in preparation for fields of study such as climate change, contaminants, renewable energy, geospatial analysis, and ecosystem modeling. Our majors are in demand and are routinely hired into industry, government, and academic positions.

(All colleges, excluding teacher certification programs)

53 credits (74 total credits including MTH and PHY requirements)1

Core curriculum and electives

BIO 105General Biology (prefix change from ESC to GEO)4
or GEO 101 Earth Environments
CHM 103General Chemistry I5
CHM 104General Chemistry II5
CHM 271The Chemical Community1
CHM 301Analytical Chemistry5
CHM 303Organic Chemistry Theory I3
CHM 304Organic Chemistry Theory II3
CHM 305Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHM 309Physical Chemistry Theory I3
CHM 312Atmospheric Chemistry3
CHM 412Aquatic and Soil Chemistry3
CHM 413Environmental Chemistry Laboratory2
CHM 441Instrumental Analysis4
Select 10 credits from only one of the following elective groups:10
Environments group
Quantitative Methods in Ecology
Environmental Toxicology
Standard Methods/Quality Assurance Water Analyses
Aquatic Microbial Ecology
Chemistry of Materials
Field Research Station Experience (Field Research) 2
Research 2
Earth science group
Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Geographic Information Systems and Science I
Geographic Information System and Science II
Geospatial Field Methods
Past Environmental Change
River Systems
Field Research Station Experience (Field Research) 2
Research 2
Math methods group
Mathematical Models in Biology
Linear Algebra
Differential Equations and Dynamical Systems
Probability and Statistics
Statistical Methods
Research 2
Total Credits53

Students in this major are exempt from the College of Science and Health core requirements.


Repeatable up to two credits.

Required prerequisite courses (21 credits)

Select an additional 21 credits to meet prerequisites for required courses including the following:
MTH 207Calculus I5
MTH 208Calculus II4
MTH 310Calculus III: Multivariable Calculus4
PHY 103Fundamental Physics I4
or PHY 203 General Physics I
PHY 104Fundamental Physics II4
or PHY 204 General Physics II
Total Credits21

Exam and survey requirement

During the student's last semester on campus, completion of the following is required in order to graduate:

  1. the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Learning Environment Survey
  2. a standardized exam covering the major subject areas.

All students must complete the general education, college core (waived for chemistry majors with environmental science concentrations), major/minor, and university degree requirements in order to qualify for a degree. The easiest way to track all of these requirements is to refer to the Advisement Report (AR) found in the Student Information System (WINGS) Student Center. All enrolled students have access to the AR.  

Baccalaureate degree requirements

Candidates for the Bachelor of Arts or the Bachelor of Science degrees must accomplish the following:

  1. Fulfill the general education requirements.
  2. Complete at least one ethnic studies (diversity) course.
  3. Complete the courses prescribed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for the degree desired in the respective school or college.
  4. Earn a minimum of 120 semester credits with at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA.1, 2
  5. At least 40 credits must be earned in 300/400 level courses. Transfer courses earned or transferred at the 300/400 level apply to this requirement.
  6. Complete major and minor requirements with at least a 2.00 GPA1, 2 in each major and minor (and concentration or emphasis, if selected).
  7. A minimum of 30 semester credits in residence at UWL is required for graduation. (See undergraduate resident requirement.)
  8. Submit an application for graduation via the "Apply for Graduation" link in the WINGS Student Center as soon as the student has registered for his or her final semester or summer term in residence. December and winter intersession graduates should apply by May 1. May and summer graduates should apply by December 1.

Grade point average requirements for some programs will be considerably higher than 2.00. Re-entering students may be required to earn credits in excess of the 120 needed for graduation in any curriculum in order to replace credits earned in courses in which the content has changed substantially in recent years. Each case will be judged on its own merit.


The grade point average recorded at the time the degree is awarded will not be affected by future enrollment.

No degree will be awarded unless all requirements are fulfilled and recorded within 30 days after the official ending date of each term.

Below is a sample degree plan that can be used as a guide to identify courses required to fulfill the major and other requirements needed for degree completion. A student's actual degree plan may differ depending on the course of study selected (second major, minor, etc.). Also, this sample plan assumes readiness for each course and/or major plan, and some courses may not be offered every term. Review the course descriptions or the class timetable for course offering information.

The sample degree plans represented in this catalog are intended for first-year students entering UWL in the fall term. Students should use the Advisement Report (AR) in WINGS and work closely with their faculty advisor(s) and college dean’s office to ensure declaration and completion of all requirements in a timely manner.

General Education Program
The general education curriculum (Gen Ed) is the common educational experience for all undergraduates at UWL. Sample degree plans include Gen Ed placeholders to ensure completion of the general education requirements. Courses may be rearranged to fit the needs or recommendations of the student’s program of study. Gen Ed courses may be taken during winter term (January between the semesters) and summer to reduce the course load during regular terms (fall and spring). Students should consult with their advisor and/or the college academic services director in their college/school for assistance with course and schedule planning. Refer to the general education requirements for more specific details.

At least 40 credits of the 120 credits required must be earned at the 300/400-level. 

Note: New students and transfer students with 15 or fewer credits earned are required to take FYS 100 First-Year Seminar (3 cr.) during one of their first two semesters at UWL.

This sample degree plan does not establish a contractual agreement. It identifies the minimum requirements a student must successfully complete, to qualify for a degree, in a format intended to assist the student in planning their academic career. Actual degree plans may differ.

 This major is exempt from the CSH College Core requirement. 

Year 1
CHM 103 (Gen Ed Natural Lab Science)5CHM 1045
ENG 110 or 112 (Gen Ed Literacy-Written)3CST 110 (Gen Ed Literacy-Oral)3
Gen Ed Arts2-3MTH 207 (Gen Ed Math)5
MTH 151 (Gen Ed Math)4FYS 100 (Gen Ed First-Year Seminar)3
 14 16
Year 2
CHM 3033CHM 3043
CHM 2711CHM 3052
MTH 208 (Gen Ed Math)4Gen Ed Global Studies3
PHY 103 or 2034MTH 3104
BIO 105 or GEO 101 (Gen Ed Nat Lab Science)4PHY 104 or 2044
 16 16
Year 3
CHM 3093CHMENV Elective Group - see list3-4
CHM 3015CHM 4123
CHM 3123Gen Ed Humanistic Studies3
Gen Ed World History3Gen Ed Health & Well-Being3
 University Elective3
 14 15
Year 4
CHM 4132CHMENV Elective Group - see list3-4
CHM 4414University Elective3
University Elective3University Elective2
CHMENV Elective Group - see list3-4Gen Ed Self & Society3
Gen Ed Arts2-3Gen Ed Minority Cultures3
 Exam and Survey Requirement1 
 14 15
Total Credits: 120

Exam and Survey Requirement - During the student's last semester on campus, completion of the following is required in order to graduate:

  1. the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Learning Environment Survey
  2. a standardized exam covering the major subject areas.