Natural Resources and Environmental Science (NRES)


NRES is a unique and exciting major for students who want to contribute to environmental change in the world. It’s an applied, science-based program that focuses on environmental management, policy and science.

NRES students take core courses in soil science, atmospheric science, environmental impact analysis, ecology, and environmental policy. Many then add courses in conservation, environmental engineering, sustainability, and economics to broaden their technical background.

One-on-one advising is key to success in NRES. With guidance from your advisor, you will design a plan of study in one of six interdisciplinary concentrations.

Climate and energy solutions

Evaluation of climate impacts, adaptation and mitigation and alternative energy solutions.

Environmental quality and restoration

Evaluation, remediation, restoration and preservation of air, water and soil resources.

Environmental policy and analysis

Focus on policy, management and economics to address environmental challenges through regulations, compliance and sustainability.

Sustainability science

Approaches to minimize the depletion of natural resources in agriculture, industry and other sectors in order to balance environmental, social and economic considerations.

Watershed management

Engage and educate stakeholders to implement land use and water management practices to protect and improve water quality and natural resources within a watershed in a holistic manner.

Emerging environmental challenges

Flexible option to customize your major to address a new interdisciplinary environmental issue that is not addressed by existing majors on campus.



The NRES degree

The Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Science requires 120 credits. This is an average of 15 credits for eight semesters. Students majoring in NRES must meet university and College of Agriculture core requirements as well as NRES requirements. 

College of Agriculture requirements

Core classes that are common to most majors in the college. They are broadly divided into math and science courses, written and oral communication, and humanities and social science courses. Every student in the college is required to complete an approved capstone course or experience.

NRES requirements

  1. The NRES core (28-29 credits)

    The NRES core lays a foundation for further study by including courses on wide-ranging topics such as organic chemistry, ecology, soil science, meteorology, environmental economics, and environmental policy, to name just a few.
  2. Quantitative or science selectives (9 credits)

    You meet requirements for science selectives with additional approved coursework in a variety of scientific fields.
  3. Your NRES concentration (19-22 credits)

    You choose one of the five concentrations at the heart of the NRES curriculum, and work with an academic advisor to add the upper-level courses that fit your area of specialization after your first two years of study. To give you an idea, here are sample courses students take for each concentration. Keep in mind, these are only examples; NRES majors have many choices!
  4. Unrestricted electives (12-17 credits)

    The unrestricted electives allow you to add a second major or minor, take more courses in your NRES concentration, or complete certification courses or additional environmental science courses. They also give you the flexibility to participate in activities like Band or ROTC or in study abroad.


Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1284 USA, (765) 494-4786

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