Student with meter

Preserving natural resources. Improving environmental quality. Making the Earth a safer and healthier place to live for everyone. If those objectives align with your values, then Ball State’s major in natural resources and environmental management (NREM) will help you live them out in your career.

Whether you’re the outdoorsy type who loves exploring nature or you’re drawn to hard sciences and want to apply your knowledge to solve environmental problems, our NREM major will set you on the right course. Our program will teach you how to engage communities on behalf of environmental preservation and apply theoretical ideas in practical ways to the real world.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to immediately jump into a fulfilling environmentally related career in corporations, federal, state, and local government, and nonprofits. Our program is also excellent preparation for further study in graduate school.

What You Will Learn

Top learning outcomes for the NREM program include how to:

  • use the scientific method
  • use public participation projects to collect water and soil samples as well as social data
  • understand the laws and regulations that govern environmental issues
  • think critically, ask the right questions, and search for alternative ways to solve problems
  • present your ideas both orally (e.g., through public presentations) and in writing (e.g., technical lab reports)

What It’s Like to Major in Natural Resources and Environmental Management at Ball State


Our program combines natural and social sciences, and our faculty is passionate about relating these subjects to you as a student.

We offer courses in air resources, soils, water, hazardous materials, and waste management.

As a major in NREM, you’ll gain real-world experience by participating in community-based immersive learning projects or field studies.

You will learn the scientific method and how to collect data, such as water or soil samples and social data through public participation projects. Some of your hands-on experience will take place at Ball State’s Field Station.

Learn About Opportunities

We value civic engagement and want our students to interact with both citizens and alumni.

As you network with alumni and in the community, you will gain unique opportunities to land internships or entry-level jobs.

You will have the opportunity to pursue real-world projects—such as working at the Hults Environmental Learning Center—or earning certifications to make you more marketable, like Hazardous Materials training or our departmental Certificate in Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

Concentrations and Requirements

You will earn either a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in natural resources and environmental management after completing this program.

The Natural Resources and Environmental Management department offers two concentration tracks equipping students with the fundamental knowledge needed by professionals in natural resources or environmental fields.

Natural Resources

Students at Nebraska Mill

This Concentration addresses how humans make decisions about the conservation of natural resources and sustainable systems under their care, such as private lands or organizations that manage large inputs of resources.

Credits

Total to graduate: 120

In order to complete your bachelor’s degree at Ball State, you will need to meet the requirements of the University Core Curriculum for all students. You will take classes in subject areas other than your area most semesters.

The curriculum is designed to enable you to realize your intellectual potential, add breadth and depth to your educational experience, increase your personal wellbeing, and participate actively in your community.

See the Requirements

All NREM majors begin the program with a set of common courses, regardless of the concentration they intend to pursue.

A few of the classes you’ll take include:

  • General Chemistry (and Core Curriculum Math)
  • Water, Soil, Air, and Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Integrated Resource Management

Once you begin taking courses for your concentration in Natural Resources, you’ll follow one of the following paths:

  • 24 credits from two of the following clusters
  • 15 credits from one cluster, plus nine credits of electives
  • 15 credits from one cluster, plus a minor

Clusters

  • Recreation and Interpretation
  • Sustainable Development
  • Soil and Water Conservation

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

Students in greenhouse

This concentration is an excellent fit for you if you like to use analytical skills in laboratory settings. Topics covered include pollution control, the sampling of air, land, and water systems for contamination, and suggestions for remediating the issues.

Credits

Total to graduate: 120

In order to complete your bachelor’s degree at Ball State, you will need to meet the requirements of the University Core Curriculum for all students. You will take classes in subject areas other than your area most semesters.

The curriculum is designed to enable you to realize your intellectual potential, add breadth and depth to your educational experience, increase your personal wellbeing, and participate actively in your community.

See the Requirements

All NREM majors begin the program with a set of common courses, regardless of the concentration they intend to pursue.

A few of the classes you’ll take include:

  • General Chemistry (And Core Curriculum Math)
  • Water, Soil, Air, and Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Integrated Resource Management

Once you begin taking courses for your concentration in Environmental Management, you’ll follow one of the following paths:

  • 24 credits from two of the following clusters
  • 15 credits from one cluster, plus nine credits of electives
  • 15 credits from one cluster, plus a minor

Clusters

  • Environmental Remediation
  • Emergency Response
  • Soil and Water Conservation

For a complete list of all the courses you will take and their descriptions, please see our Course Catalog.

View Catalog

What Can You Do with a Degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management?

Opportunities in the environmental field are very diverse, though competition for some careers may be intense.

As a graduate of the NREM program at Ball State, you can expect to work in the following careers, or move on to graduate programs:

  • Environmental Science
  • Municipal Water-Quality Control
  • Environmental Planning
  • Soil Conservation
  • Recreation Management
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Health, Industrial Water Treatment
  • Air Pollution Control
  • Land Reclamation
  • Environmental Interpretation
  • Environmental Education
  • Wilderness Management

Paying for Your Education

Department Scholarships

On top of the dozens of funding options offered through Ball State’s Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships, our department awards scholarships to our own students. Find a scholarship.

Ready to Apply?

Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all applications on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

Want to Learn More?

The best way to get a true feel for Ball State is to spend some time here, so we encourage you and your family to schedule a campus visit. Take a tour, attend an information session, meet with a professor in our area, and ask plenty of questions. Or, if you’d rather speak to someone directly by phone or email, please feel free to contact us.