NRES Program Curriculum

The NRES Major Curriculum is divided into the following sections:

NRES Requirements

  1. The NRES Core
  2. Quantitative Electives
  3. Directed Electives
  4. Unrestricted Electives

College of Ag Requirements

  1. The Science Core
  2. The Humanities Core


Core Curriculum Classes

The curriculum of every program in the College of Agriculture includes a Core group of classes that are common to most majors in the college. These are broadly divided into Science Courses and Humanities and Social Science Courses. In addition, all majors then specify their own coursework, including electives. Every degree in the College of Agriculture at Purdue requires at least 130 credits.

The NRES Bachelor of Science degree requires 132 credits, an average of 16.5 credits for 8 semesters. All students must take at least 21credits in the Humanities and Social Sciences and International Understanding; for this purpose, AGEC 217 counts as a Humanity even though it is taught in the College of Agriculture. Every student at Purdue is required to have at least 32 credits in junior-level (300+) or above coursework.

Science Courses

Alternative courses are listed in parentheses.

Agriculture 101 (One credit) Introduction to the Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource System - Not required of students entering NRES after their first semester

Biology 110 and 111 (Biology 121/122 and 131/132)
Fundamentals of Biology I and II -Both of these sequences are only offered Fall-Spring. That is, Biology 110 is only offered during the Fall Semester; Biology 111 follows it in the Spring Semester. Four credits/class.

Chemistry 111 and 112 (Chemistry 115 and 116) General Chemistry - Although Chemistry 111, 115 and 116 are all offered both semesters, Chemistry 112 is only offered in the Spring Semester. Chemistry 111 and 112 are each 3 credits, Chemistry 115 and 116 are each 4 credits.

MATH 223 and 224 (MATH 161 and 162, both 5 credits MATH 165 and 166, both 4 credits) Introductory Analysis I and II - Each class is 3 credits, credit for algebra and trigonometry courses is not used in any College of Ag curriculum.

Statistics 301 (STAT 501 or 503) - Introduction to Statistics

Core Courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences and International Understanding

Written & Oral Communications (10 credits)

Communications 114 Fundamentals of Speech Communication, 3 credits - This or an equivalent is required in almost every major at the University.
English 106 and ASL or ENGL (200+) or COM (200+) - Freshman composition, again required in some form just about everywhere. The requirement to complete one of the other courses listed (ASL, ENGL 200+, or COM 200+) applies to students entering Purdue in the Fall 2001 or later.
English 108 and ASL or ENGL (200+) or COM (200+)

Social Science and Humanities (21 credits) - 12 credits must be completed outside of the College of Agriculture. 3 credits of social science or humanities must be at the 300+ level

Economics (3 credits) - AGEC 203/204 or ECON 251

Humanities (6 credits) and Social Sciences (6 credits) - Six credits from both humanities and the social sciences are required, A list of disciplines fulfilling this requirement are provided on page 25 of the College of Agriculture Catalog. Popular courses among NRES students include: Anthropology, History, Languages, and Psychology.

International Understanding (9 Credits) - May also be used to fulfill College Core or Departmental Electives. These come almost exclusively from the list in the College of Agriculture Catalog on Page 26.

Additional Broadening Elective (3 credits) - Additional Social Sciences & Humanities

Multicultural Awareness Elective (3 credits) - May also be used to fulfill School Core or Departmental Electives

The NRES Classes

The second half of the curriculum is less structured and includes NRES Core Courses, 9 credits of Science (Quantitative) Electives, 20-21 credits of Directed Electives, and 24 Unrestricted Elective credits.

The NRES Core (24 credits)

NRES 200, Environmental Science Seminar. (1 credit)
Biology 286 and 287, Ecology (Class and lab are 2 credits each)
NRES 290, Environmental Contamination (3 credits)
FNR 581, Ecological Impact Analysis, Even-numbered years (3 credits)
Chemistry 257 Organic Chemistry (4 credits)
NRES 230 Meteorology (3 credits)
Political Science 223, Environmental Policy (3 credits) or
AGEC 406 Natural Resources & Environmental Economics
NRES 255, Soil Science (3 credits)

Quantitative or Science Electives (9 credits)

The science electives may come from additional approved coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Statistics, and Biochemistry. Many NRES students fulfill this requirement with biochemistry, microbiology, and physics. Others, especially students transferring from the Engineering School, will have calculus credits they can use here. Additional organic and analytical chemistry courses are highly recommended. Genetics and soil organic chemistry from the Agronomy Department are sometimes used.

NRES Directed Electives ((20 Credits)

The Directed Electives are at the heart of the NRES Curriculum, and account in part for the program's longevity. After choosing an area of interest, students and their advisors select coursework that allows them to specialize in a specific area.

Typical specializations include:
Water Quality
Air Quality
Land Resources
Environmental Economic Analysis and Policy
Individualized Plan of Study

The course lists for each specialization is flexible as new courses are added and old ones deleted from the calendar. In general, Directed Electives are upper-level courses with considerable environmental science content.

The Unrestricted Electives (24 Electives)

Twenty-four credits in the program are allowed from any approved University discipline. Students use these credits in a variety of ways including:

Band, ROTC, or another interest
Double majors
Study Abroad
Additional NRES Specialization

Certification courses
Environmental science courses

The presence of these non-designated credits also allow students to transfer or "CODO" (a Purdue term for Change of Degree Objective) into the NRES Program after one, two, or sometimes three years in another major. Credits from the old major which do not fit specifically into the NRES Program may still count towards the degree as unrestricted electives. This often allows CODOs to graduate "on time".