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Foundational Knowledge Courses

ESGP foundational knowledge courses are approved by the Graduate Studies Committee.  Any request to substitute core courses or required electives that are part of the specializations should be submitted via email to Kelly Malone (malone.381@osu.edu).  These requests should be in the form of a letter of request from the student, a letter of support from the advisor and a syllabus for the course and should be submitted as soon as you know you are planning to petition and best case scenario, before you take the course.

Note: All ESGP students taking research hours should take them in their advisor's home department.

Note: All course syllabi are SAMPLE SYLLABI, for an updated syllabus, please email the course professor.


Foundational Knowledge Courses in Biological Science

The objective of this area is to ensure that students are familiar with the diversity and functioning of organisms and the interactions among species and between organisms and the environment. Because the environmental sciences focus on the relationships between living organisms and their environment, the basic principles of ecology and a solid understanding of ecosystems structure and function is the focus of the ESGP area. This understanding can be gained through coursework that focuses on a particular taxon or a particular kind of ecosystem, but must be broadly applicable to any environment.

Agricultural Systems Management

  • ASM 5786, Environmental Issues in East Asia, 3 semester hrs

Environment and Natural Resources

  • ENR 5250.01, Wetland Ecology Restoration, 3 semester hrs and ENR 5250.02 Wetland Field Laboratory, 1 semester hr
  • ENR 5263, Biology of Soil Ecosystems, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5270, Soil Fertility, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5560, Rehabilitation/Restoration of Ecosystems, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 7333, Successional Dynamics of Forests, 3 semester hrs


  • ENTMLGY 6410, Insect Ecology and Evolutionary Processes, 3 semester hrs

Environmental Engineering

  • ENVENG 5217*, Applied Mathematical Ecology, 3 semester hrs

Public Health (EHS)

  • PUBHEHS 5315, Principles of Toxicology, 3 semester hrs
  • PUBHEHS 5335, Ecology of Infectious Diseases, 3 semester hrs
  • PUBHEHS 6320, Global Health and Environmental Microbiology, 3 semester hrs 
  • PUBH EHS 7360, Water Contamination: Sources and Health Impact, 3 semester hrs
  • PUBHEHS 7375, Quantitative Microbial Risk Analysis Modeling, 3 semester hrs
  • PUBHEHS 7365, Environmental and Human Health Risk Assessment, 3 semester hrs

Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology

  • EEOB 5420*, Aquatic Ecosystems - Ecology of Inland Waters, 1.5-4 semester hrs
  • EEOB 5470*, Community and Ecosystem Ecology, 3 semester hrs
  • EEOB 6210*, Ecotoxicology, 3 semester hrs


Horticulture and Crop Science

  • HCS 5602*, The Ecology of Agriculture, 3 semester hrs


Foundational Knowledge Courses in Physical Science and Engineering

The objective of this area is to provide an understanding of physical structure and processes in which ecosystems must function. Physical structure includes soil, water, air, geological media, climate, nutrients, and contaminants. Physical science processes include movement of “abiotic” matter and energy through ecosystems.  Foundational knowledge courses must (1) study fundamental physical, hydrological, chemical, or biogeochemical processes and (2) study and emphasize the effects of physical structure and processes on ecosystem biotic components and function and the interactions between the biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem.

Environment and Natural Resources

  • ENR 5310/FABENG 5310, Ecological Engineering and Science,  3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5260, Soil Landscapes: Morphology, Genesis and Classification, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5261, Environmental Soil Physics, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5262, Environmental Soil Chemistry and Remediation, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5268, Soils and Climate Change, 2 semester hrs
  • ENR 5273, Environment Fate and Impact of Contaminants in Soil and Water, 3 semester hrs

Food, Agriculture and Biological Engineering


  •  GEOG 5900, Climatology: Weather, Climate, and Global Warming, 3 semester hrs

Earth Sciences

  • EARTHSCI 5621, Introduction to Geochemistry, 3 semester hrs
  • EARTHSCI 5651, Hydrogeology, 4 semester hrs
  • EARTHSCI 5718, Aquatic Geochemistry, 3 semester hrs

Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • CIVENV 5130*, Applied Hydrology, 3 semester hrs
  • ENVENG 5110*, Environmental Engineering and Bioprocesses, 3 semester hrs
  • ENVENG 5120*, Bioremediation of Groundwater and Soil, 3 semester hrs
  • ENVENG 5140*, Air Quality Engineering, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5310/FABENG 5310, Ecological Engineering and Science, 3 semester hrs
  • PUBHEHS 5395/ENVENG 5195*, Engineering Design for Environmental Health, 3 semester hrs
  • ENVENG 5410*, Hazardous Waste Management and Remediation, 2 semester hrs
  • FABENG 5760*, Design of Urban Stormwater Control Measures, 3 semester hours
  • ENVENG 6100*, Environmental Engineering Analytical Methods, 3 semester hrs
  • ENVENG 6200, Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering, 3 semester hrs (ONLY UNDER THE OLD CURRICULUM)
  • ENVENG 6218, Measurement and Modeling of Climate Change, 3 semester hours
  • ENVENG 6220*, Data Analysis in Environmental Engineering, 3 semester hrs
  • ENVENG 6400, Integrated Environmental Chemical Fate and Transport, 3 semester hrs 
  • ENVENG 5210, Advanced Physical Chemical Treatment Processes, 3 semester hrs  

Public Health (EHS)

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

  • CBE 5771*, Air Pollution, 3 semester hrs


  • CHEM 6550, Atmospheric Chemistry, 3 semester hrs 


Foundational Knowledge Courses in Social Sciences and Policy

The objective of this area is to provide an understanding of concepts related to the study of human society and/or individuals and their relationships to the structure and function of the ecosystem(s) of which they are a part. Methodology includes a range of approaches, both qualitative and quantitative. Foundational Knowledge courses in social science must engage social science in a combined theoretical and/or applied study of a physical, cultural, regulatory, or economic relationship between humans and the natural and physical environment

Environment and Natural Resources

  • ENR 7004/ANTH 7004, Social-Ecological Systems, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5325, Forest and Public Lands Policy, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 5451, Water Policy and Governance, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 7400, Communicating Environmental Risk, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 7520, Environmental Science and Law, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 7380, Climate and Society, 3 semester hrs
  • ENR 8150, Advanced Environment, Risk, and Decision Making, 3 semester hrs 
  • RURLSOC 5530, Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems, 3 semester hrs
  • RURLSOC 7550, Rural Community Development in Theory and Practice, 3 semester hrs
  • RURLSOC 7560, Environmental Sociology, 3 semester hrs


Agricultural, Environmental and Developmental Economics

  • AEDECON 6330, Benefit-Cost Analysis, 3 semester hrs https://aede.osu.edu/courses/aedecon-6330 (credit will still be given if AEDECON 5330 already taken in past)
  • AEDECON 6300, Environmental and Resources Economics, 3 semester hrs

Public Affairs

City and Regional Planning

  • CRPLAN 6300*, Law and Planning I: Land Use, 3 semester hrs
  • CRPLAN 6310*, Law and Planning II: Environment and Society, 3 semester hrs
  • CRPLAN 6400*, Site Planning and Development, 4 semester hrs
  • CRPLAN 6410*, Planning for Sustainable Development, 3 semester hrs
  • CRPLAN 6750, Resolving Social Conflict, 3 semester hrs



  • LAW 8309, Environmental Law, 2-4 semester hrs 
  • LAW 8311, Climate Change Law, 3 semester hrs


Foundational Knowledge Courses in Data Analysis Methods


Environment and Natural Resources

  • ENR 8780, Quantitative Methods for Environment and Natural Resources, 3 semester hrs


  • ENVENG 6220, Data Analysis in Environmental Engineering, 3 semester hrs


  • GEOG 8102, Advanced Spatial Data Analysis, 3 semester hrs 

Horticulture and Crop Science

  • HCS 5887, Introduction to Experimental Design, 3 semester hrs


  • MICRO 5165, Introduction to Computational Genomics, 3 semester hrs
  • MICRO 8161*, Microbiome Informatics, 3 semester hrs

Public Health


  • SOCIOL 6650*, Categorical Data Analysis, 3 semester hrs 


  • STAT 6450, Applied Regression Analysis, 4 semester hrs 


Foundational Knowledge Courses in Grant Writing


Animal Sciences

  • ANIMSCI 6100*, Research Methods and Writing in Animal Sciences, 1 semester hrs


  • ANT 8828, Writing Research Proposals in Anthropology, 3 semester hrs

Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program

  • BSGP 7070, Fundamentals of Grant Writing, 4 semester hrs 


  • CHEM 6790/MICRO 6790, Scientific Writing, 2 semester hrs 

Educational Studies

  • EDUCST 5765, Grant Writing, 3 semester hrs

Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology

  • EEOB 6620/6630, Manuscript Writing/Proposal Writing, 1.5/1.5 semester hrs


  • ENTMLGY 7930, Scientific Writing and Grant Proposal Development, 2 semester hrs 

Public Affairs

Public Health

  • PUBHHBP 8899.02*, Second Year Doctoral Seminar in Health Behavior Health Promotion, 1 semester hrs 


* Course description only