At UWM, students with a passion for nature and the environment can obtain a solid education in the natural sciences that are central to environmental science - biology, geosciences, and chemistry - and the social sciences of geography, economics, and politics which guide the application of conservation and environmental science in the real world.

Students at UWM can focus their conservation and environmental science work around land resources, water resources, biological resources/biodiversity, or environmental analysis. Internships and field work complement classroom learning. These opportunities can be found locally at UWM's own Field Station, on Lake Michigan aboard UWM's R/V Neeskay vessel, and at local agencies, or abroad in places as far flung as Iceland, Africa, Romania and the Caribbean.

An active Conservation Club is another student advantage at UWM. Activities range from on-campus sustainability projects to professional networking and more.

It is recommended that students obtain at least one semester of practical work or internship experience, either as an employee or as a volunteer, with state or federal resource management agencies, consulting firms, conservation or environmental organizations, or with nature centers or local parks.


The Conservation and Environmental Science minor requires completion of a minimum of 25 credits distributed among CES courses and approved electives, with at least 12 credits in upper-level (numbered 300 and above) courses. Students must complete at least 9 upper-level credits for the minor in residence at UWM and must attain a 2.0 GPA on all UWM credits attempted for the minor. In addition, the College requires that students attain a 2.0 GPA on all minor credits attempted, including transfer work.

Introductory Core Requirements 1
CES 210Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Science3
GEO SCI 100Introduction to the Earth3
or GEOG 120 Our Physical Environment
Select one of the following:4-5
Chemical Science
General Chemistry
General Chemistry for Engineering
BIO SCI 102Elements of Biology3
or BIO SCI 150 Foundations of Biological Sciences I
Upper-Level Requirements
CES 471Practicum in Natural Resources Management3-4
or GEOG 350 Conservation of Natural Resources
Select at least 9 upper-level (numbered 300 or above) credits 29
Total Credits25-27

Students pursuing BS degrees and those interested in taking upper-level natural science classes such as BIO SCI 310 should take CHEM 102 and BIO SCI 150 as part of their introductory core requirements.


Selected from the list of approved elective courses for the CES major, found here or here. At least 6 of these must be taken outside the student’s major program and at least 3 must be from the natural sciences.

Letters & Science Minor Advising

Advising for the minor takes place within the department by a faculty member or staff member. Follow the steps using the "Declare a Minor" button on the department’s website which may include instructions on how to select a faculty advisor if there is more than one to choose from.

Students who already have an L&S college advisor because their degree plan is in L&S can discuss the minor with them as well since they will be familiar with any minor in L&S. Students who are working on a degree from a UWM college other than the College of Letters & Science will not need an L&S college advisor for just a minor and one will not be assigned. These students should work with the faculty or staff advisor they receive as part of the minor declaration process or contact the department directly for assistance.

Applicants who have not started classes at UWM yet who wish to declare a minor should wait until they are registered for their first UWM classes and then can declare the minor using the “Declare a Minor” button on the program’s website. If you have questions about the minor before then, contact