Undergraduate Studies

Undergraduate student sampling planktonUndergraduate students interested in Ecology have a number of different majors at Clemson from which to choose depending on their specific career goals:

  • BS or BA in Biological Sciences,
  • BS in Environmental and Natural Resources (ENR) with a concentration in
    • Conservation Biology,
    • Natural Resources Management, or
    • Natural Resource and Economic Policy
  • BS in Forest Resource Management
  • BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology
Coursework in Ecology is offered under various rubrics (e.g., BIOSC, ENT, FOR, W F B). A listing of these courses and the tentative schedule for their offerings can be found here.

Guide to undergraduate degrees

Majors in Biological Sciences follow a curriculum examining all aspects of life from the structure and function of the whole organism down to the subcellular levels and up through the interactions of organisms to the integrated existence of life on the entire planet. Descriptive, structural, functional, and evolutionary questions are explored through the hierarchy of the organization of life. Students receive classroom, laboratory, and field training in biology with an emphasis on chemistry, mathematics, and physics as necessary tools.

Both the BA and BS in Biological Sciences prepare students for graduate study in any of the life science areas, including ecology. Emphasis areas in Entomology, Environmental Toxicology, and Quantitative Biology are available through the BS degree. The BA is ideal for students desiring a liberal education emphasizing an interdisciplinary approach to a thorough understanding of the life sciences. Students interested in pursuing Ecology through a degree in Biological Sciences are encouraged to contact Dr. Saara DeWalt (saarad@clemson.edu).

The major in Environmental and Natural Resources has three concentrations relevant to ecology: Conservation Biology, Natural Resources Management, and Natural Resource and Economic Policy

The BS in ENR with a Conservation Biology concentration provides flexibility to choose from a number of pre-approved ecology, biology, and applied ecology courses. Conservation biology seeks to develop the technical and scientific knowledge necessary to protect the ecological processes that give rise to a diverse, resilient planet. Global, spatially-oriented perspective is emphasized, as is an understanding of the human context. Study abroad, policy and issues courses, field courses, and other “real world” experiences give students the opportunity to synthesize. ENR Conservation Biology prepares students for graduate study in conservation biology, applied ecology, ecology, wildlife biology, and natural resource fields. Students interested in the Conservation Biology concentration in ENR are encouraged to contact Dr. Rob Baldwin (balwi6@clemson.edu).

The BS in ENR with a Natural Resources Management concentration provides a policy and management-focused approach to solving environmental problems. The curriculum emphasizes enough science to understand the ecological context, and provides courses and experiences to strengthen students’ ability to participate in real-world decision-making. Students interested in pursuing Ecology through the Natural Resources Management concentration in ENR are encouraged to contact Dr. Ron Johnson (ronj@clemson.edu).

The BS in ENR with a Natural Resource and Economic Policy concentration provides more in-depth study in economics and policy applications. Students interested in pursuing Ecology through the Natural Resource and Economic Policy concentration in ENR are encouraged to contact Dr. Molly Espey (mespey@clemson.edu).

The BS in Forest Resource Management provides the necessary foundation for the scientific management of forest resources, products and services. The curriculum, accredited by the society of American Foresters, combines a broad education in the arts and sciences with applied forest sciences. In addition to provide a strong program in the basic knowledge and skills required of a professional forester, the Forest Resources Management curriculum also prepares students for graduate study in applied forest ecology or any subject related to forest ecosystems. Students interested in pursuing Ecology through Forest Resource Management are encouraged to contact Dr. Geoff Wang (gwang@clemson.edu).

The BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology (WFB) provides students with an applied ecology education relevant to wildlife and fisheries management. The program emphasizes learning biological principles of wildlife management, the policy context for wildlife management, and hands-on wildlife research and management skills. Three credit hours are available for field training with appropriate natural resource agencies. Students may satisfy coursework requirements for professional certification by the Wildlife Society and/or the American Fisheries Society. A combined BS/MS degree program is also offered in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. Students interested in pursuing Ecology through the WFB major are encouraged to contact Dr. Greg Yarrow (gyarrow@clemson.edu).