Major Concentrations

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Our undergraduates obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences which students can tailor to their interests by selecting one of the following concentrations:

Ecosystem Stewardship and Restoration Ecology

Learn about the ecology, structure, and function of ecosystems, with a particular focus on plant communities and their interactions with the living and non-living parts of ecosystems. It is designed for students interested in the fundamental properties and practices underlying the restoration and management of soil, watershed, wetland, forest, and grassland ecosystems. The concentration includes coursework in the areas of restoration, landscape, and plant ecology, as well as courses focused on specific ecosystems (e.g. streams wetlands, agroecosystems), invasive species, community ecology, and ecosystem science.

See current requirements

Environmental Science and Management

Explore the biological, chemical, and physical features of the environment. It is designed for students interested in the management of soil and water resources and in understanding how to protect and improve environmental quality. The concentration includes coursework in environmental chemistry, environmental microbiology, ecohydrology, and environmental quality, as well as courses focused more specifically on soil and water sciences.

See current requirements

Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology

Emphasizing the ecology, conservation, and sustainable management of fish and wildlife species and communities. It is designed for students interested in understanding interactions among humans, wild animals, and their habitats. The concentration includes coursework in conservation of threatened and endangered species, management of harvested species, aquatic ecosystem conservation, animal behavior, vertebrate natural history, identification of animals and plants, and advanced ecology.

See current requirements

Human Dimensions of the Environment

Studies the social scientific interpretations of human-environment interactions at multiple levels, as well as on applied policy and management implications. This concentration requires advanced coursework in behavior change science, natural resource economics, environmental and conservation psychology, communications, social impact assessment, environmental policy, and environmental law. Students who have completed degrees in this concentration have gone on to careers in natural resource management, environmental policy, law, advocacy, and education.

See current requirements

While these concentrations are unique there are certain required courses for all NRES majors, including field work courses. For more information, contact NRES Student Services at or call 217-244-3219

You can also download a list of degree requirements. Based on your catalog term (usually the semester in which you first enrolled in the University, but check in Self-Service if you are unsure), select the appropriate link below to find your degree requirements in NRES:

Current Catalog year
Archived Catalogs

Sample 8-Semester Plans

This sample plan includes required NRES and Gen Ed courses. You can view the plan online or as a pdf.

Creating a Graduation Plan

We encourage our students to make graduation plans to help track their requirement accomplishments and to facilitate advisor meetings. To learn more, view our instructions for creating a graduation plan.