Majors / Human and Environmental Systems

Human and Environmental Systems (B.A., B.S.)

Indiana State University

This major includes concentrations in anthropology, geography, and GIScience. This flexibility enables students to build a program suited to their particular interests and career goals.


The University offers a bachelor of arts (B.A.) and a bachelor of science (B.S.) in human and environmental systems with concentrations in anthropology, geography, and GIScience.

Coursework includes a core of courses and laboratory work in environmental science, world culture and environments, earth science, and conservation and sustainability.

In addition, each student selects a concentration in one (or more) of the following areas.

  • Anthropology: This concentration focuses on the interrelationships of humans and the environment including human adaptation, the emergence of humans, and the influence of humans in the environment. Coursework includes study in physical and cultural anthropology and archaeology, human evolution, human ecology, and electives selected from areas such as prehistory and forensic anthropology. Graduates are prepared for careers in areas such as museum and foundation work, and positions with cultural resource management firms.
  • Geography: This concentration focuses on human and physical geography, including the use of geotechniques. Graduates are prepared for careers in areas such as environmental consulting, emergency management planning, climatology, economic development, global studies, data management, land use planning, and careers in environmental protection. Graduates may obtain the Geographic Information Science Certificate.
  • GIScience: This concentration focuses on the full range of spatial analysis tools, including statistics, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS). Graduates are prepared for careers in areas such as GIS specialist, cartographer, and remote sensing analyst as well as careers in environmental management.

Students benefit from one-on-one guidance from dedicated faculty mentors with diverse expertise. Most hold doctoral degrees—and all engage in research and scholarly publication. Coursework is further enriched with lectures and presentations by visiting scholars from abroad.

Classroom activities and research are enhanced by state-of-the-art laboratories, field camps, and fieldwork as part of faculty research projects around the nation. Internships are available. Other opportunities include the University's Honors Program and study abroad programs, which range from summer programs to a single semester or a full academic year in over 56 countries.

A number of activities and organizations are available that enable students to interact with other students and professionals in the industry. Student organizations include Gamma Theta Upsilon, Kappa Nu Chapter, the Anthropology Club, and the Environmental Club. In addition, the department regularly hosts special events.

Required Courses:

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Our graduates possess the marketable skills, knowledge, and training in field and laboratory techniques necessary for professional positions. The program also provides a sound foundation for graduate study. Career options vary depending on the concentration selected.

  • Anthropology:  Graduates are qualified for a variety of careers, including museum and foundation work, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and positions with cultural resource management firms. Many pursue graduate degrees in areas such as cultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology. Others pursue degrees and careers in law, medicine, social services, primary or secondary education, international studies, and foreign service. One subfield of anthropology, archeology, is rapidly expanding because of federal and state mandates to protect cultural resources. Environmentally trained archeologists are hired by state and federal agencies, universities, museums, and also by companies in the rapidly expanding private sector.
  • Geography:  Graduates are qualified for variety of positions, including cartographer, economic developer, global analyst, forestry technician, GIS specialist, health service planner, land use planner, location analyst , market researcher, park ranger, conservationist, and traffic manager. In addition, geography is an excellent foundation for a career in environmental management. Geographers also are employed by a wide variety of federal agencies in science, health, and intelligence fields, and are frequently employed in state-level environmental quality and natural resource agencies. Graduates may obtain the Geographic Information Science Certificate.
  • GIScience:  Graduates are qualified for a variety of positions, including cartographer, GIS specialist, land use planner, location analyst, and remote sensing analyst.


The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

Students have many sources of financial support for their studies, including financial aid, work-study programs, veterans' benefits, and special scholarships for entering freshmen and transfer students.

In addition, the Department of Earth and Environmental Systems offers a number of scholarships and awards.

Further Information

Prospective students should contact the Office of Admissions for further information and assistance.

Currently enrolled students should contact the following:

Department of Earth and Environmental Systems
Indiana State University

Last updated: June 16, 2014

The Catalog of Indiana State University is the document of authority for all students. The requirements given in the catalog supersede information issued by any academic department, program, college, or school. The University reserves the right to change the requirements at any time.

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For information on academic programs (including advisement), students should contact their academic advisor or visit the academic department or college in which the major is housed:

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For assistance with admission, campus tours, credit transfer, financial aid, housing options, registration, scholarships, and veterans benefits, students should contact:

Office of Admissions
Indiana State University
318 North 6th St. (Welcome Center)
Terre Haute, Indiana 47809