If you enter the Natural Resources and Environmental Science degree program as a freshman this is what you can expect…

Your freshman year will consist of UK Core classes. This first year you will be in larger classes as you get most of your UK Core requirements completed. There are opportunities for you to meet and network with other NRES students through the Environmental Science Club and various NRES events. While there are no official NRES UK Core classes there are several environmentally themed UK Core classes that your advisor can point out to you.

Looking for a place to live on campus? Consider living in the Greenhouse Living Learning Community. Greenhouse is UK's Environmental & Sustainability community. Two NRES Steering Committee members are co-directors in the Greenhouse. You can watch a video here.


You begin your sophomore year taking NRE 201, Natural Resources and Environmental Science, which introduces you to the NRES curriculum. Here you will meet other NRES students and many of the NRES faculty. The class includes an overnight trip to Mammoth Cave National Park which is always a highlight! You then complete your UK Core and pre-major classes.

If you meet all the prerequisites you can take NRE 320, Summer Camp, the summer following your sophomore year. This is consistently one of the highest rated courses! Here you spend 15 days with 20 other NRES students living in cabins in Robinson Forest (Clayhole, KY) learning various field methods from over a dozen faculty members. Or you can now spend 15 days in Costa Rica!

During your junior year you will find yourself in the middle of NRES major classes. At this time you should decide the focus for your Analytical Systems Development Area(ASDA) and your Environmental Systems Emphasis Area(ESEA) and begin taking those classes. You will also begin thinking about your internship (NRE 399) or research project (NRE 395) because if you haven’t done so already, chances are the summer after your junior year will be spent completing your internship.

Your senior year is full of excitement. You will be completing courses in your Analytical Systems Development Area and your Environmental Systems Emphasis Area as well as finishing up the remainder of your NRES major classes. There is an Internship Forum every October where students present posters from their internships and two are chosen to speak. You complete the year with NRE 471, Senior Capstone Course which brings all of your learning full circle and has you working in teams to complete a real world project in Kentucky.

When you graduate you move forward with direction and focus. You will be able to say that you:

  • Have a degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Science
  • Have a focus in Economic & Policy Analysis (or any of the four other ASDA’s)
  • Have a focus in Water Resources (or any of the eight other ESEA’s)
  • Have real world work experience (through your internship or research project)
  • Have basic field experience (through NRE 320, and various other NRES course work)

You gain this focus and direction even if you start out not knowing exactly what you want to do. The curriculum builds on itself introducing you to the variety of opportunities in Natural Resources and Environmental Science. Additional learning opportunities are added so you will be able to view and judge the future career fields for yourself and follow the path that is right for you. Whether you move on to a job or graduate school, you will be prepared for your future as a natural resource professional after completing your Natural Resources and Environmental Science degree.

For information on visiting UK, the College of AG, or NRES please contact:

NRES Academic Coordinator
Geri Philpott


Wayne Centers
Director of Student Relations
N6 Agricultural Science Bldg. North
(859) 257-3469

NRES is an interdiciplinary program, therefore our courses are located around campus. For a map of the buildings we most commonly use click here.