New Environmental Science A.S. Degree

Flexible degree option within the life sciences

Inver Hills Community College is offering a new Environmental Science Associate of Science (A.S.) degree for fall semester 2021. The 60-credit degree offers you a flexible degree option within the life sciences. You will have the opportunity to complete your A.S. degree with courses and credits that transfer to a four-year program in Environmental Science or related majors such as Natural Resources, Fisheries and Wildlife, or Conservation Biology.¹

A career in environmental science may be for you if you’re seeking:

  • An integrated, interdisciplinary understanding of environmental systems and human impacts
  • A science-based approach to address issues that affect human, animal and ecosystem health.
  • To learn real, hands-on methods that can prevent and solve environmental problems

Why Environmental Science at Inver Hills?

Nature needs you.

Housed primarily within the Biology department, our  Environmental Science curriculum is taught by faculty with wide-ranging expertise and experience. In small classes and labs, you will work closely with professors who have expertise not only in the relevant science, but in teaching, learning and student success.  Our 40-acre natural area on campus, which includes an oak savanna and wetland, will be your classroom.

In addition to coursework, we have myriad opportunities for real experiences in the field and in the lab. Our faculty mentor student research projects both on and off campus. We have active studies on our own campus, including environmental monitoring and restoration programs in our natural area.

We partner with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and other organizations to provide students with research and learning opportunities in state parks and other locations. On trips to Malaysia and Puerto Rico, our students work to protect coral reefs and collect data for international university studies.

Students, faculty and staff work together on projects to make Inver Hills a sustainable campus. Our Student & Community Garden showcases soil conservation practices and restorative methods that maximize healthful food production while improving soil health. Inver Hills was the first campus in the state to be designated a Bee Campus USA. A nature trail, with native species and education markers, is in progress.

Environmental science projects at Inver Hills

Inver Hills Community Garden & Orchard Spring 2021

The Inver Hills Community Garden & Orchard is an interdisciplinary, cooperative effort that engages Inver Hills Community College students, staff and faculty along with members of area communities. The Inver Garden encompasses a 1-acre communal garden, 38 individual plots, an apple orchard and a 50-seat outdoor classroom for classes, meetings, visiting speakers and concerts.


Inver Hills Certified as Bee Campus USA

Inver Hills Community College has become the first educational institution in Minnesota and the 83rd in the United States to be certified as an affiliate of the Bee Campus USA program, designed to marshal the strengths of educational campuses for the benefit of pollinators. Inver Hills joins more than 150 other cities and campuses across the country united in improving their landscapes for pollinators.


Inver Hills Unity Trail Project

Japanese Barberry: Mary Nelson

Initiated by Randi Goettl, director of accessibility resources, Michael Birchard, associate vice president of equity and inclusion, and Tim Follett-Dion, sustainability special project assistant, in collaboration with the American Indian Advisory Council at Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College, the Inver Hills Unity Trail Project proposes redesigning, enhancing and expanding an existing nature trail on the west side of the college’s campus in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.


Amphibian Research at Inver Hills

Inver students investigated the impact of an environmental pathogen on our campus. The chytrid fungus called Bd (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been contributing to amphibian declines worldwide and has been found on our campus.

Inver Hills EAB Survey @MVNWR

Working with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service biology students and faculty from Inver Hills conducted a survey to inspect trees for emerald ash borer in the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.


Reef to Rainforest 2019: Citizen Science in Malaysian Borneo

Reef to Rainforest gallery


Environmental Science A.S. Coursework

Environmental Science Curriculum: 31–32 credits

BIOL 1117: Environmental Science: 4 credits
BIOL 1154: Principles of Biology I: 4 credits
BIOL 1155: Principles of Biology II: 5 credits
BIOL 2306: General Ecology: 4 credits
CHEM 1061 Principles of Chemistry I: 5 credits
CHEM 1062 Principles of Chemistry II: 5 credits
Biology elective: choose one of the following: 4–5 credits
BIOL 2303: Genetics: 5 credits
BIOL 2205:  Microbiology: 4 credits
BIOL 2305:  Principles of Microbiology: 5 credits

Liberal Arts Curriculum: 28–29 credits

ENG 1108 Writing and Research Skills: 4 credits
MnTC Goal 4 Elective: 4–5 credits
MATH 1118 College Algebra or higher
Choose one of the following: 3 credits
COMM 1100 Interpersonal Communication (MnTC Goal 1, 7)
COMM 1110 Public Speaking (MnTC Goal 1, 2)
Goal 5 elective: 3 credits
Goal 6 elective: 3 credits

Liberal Arts Electives (MnTC courses): 10–12 credits

Recommended Elective Courses
Should be tailored to specific major track and transfer university:
English Composition (ENG 1111, 1114 or 1130)
Higher level math courses, such as Pre-calculus or Calculus
PHIL 2130 Environmental Philosophy (MnTC Goal 9)
ECON 1106 Principles of Microeconomics (MnTC Goal 5, 8)
POLS 1141 Environmental Politics (MnTC Goal 5, 10)
Organic Chemistry I and II

Learn more about the new Environmental Science A.S. at Inver Hills by contacting:

Admissions Team
College Center

¹ Transfer Partners (pending):
St. Cloud State University
Bemidji State University

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