1. K-State home
  2. »National Resources and Environmental Sciences
  3. »FAQ

Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions 

Table of Contents



What is the NRES Secondary Major?

The NRES Secondary Major is an array of courses dealing with natural resources and environmental concepts taken by students interested in adding this academic emphasis to their primary major.

Why should I enroll in the NRES Secondary Major program?

All NRES students must meet the entry, capstone, and block electives course requirements shown in this guide.  In addition, a life science course must be completed as part of either the primary major or this secondary major.  Completion of the NRES Secondary Major will be noted on Kansas State University transcripts.

Who can participate in the program?

This secondary major is open to all degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate students in any college.  Courses required for the NRES secondary major can be taken concurrently with your primary major.

Does the NRES Secondary Major add more credit hours?

Many of the NRES classes can be "double-counted" to meet university general education, department, and college-level graduation requirements so, with good advising and class choices, the need to take (and pay) for more credit hours can be minimal.  Increasing government, public, and corporate concerns about environmental affairs are producing career opportunities for individuals capable of dealing with the broad scope of natural resource and environmental problems.  The NRES secondary major provides extra qualifications for employment by enhancing the knowledge base of the primary major.  Participation and completion of the NRES secondary major will be noted on your KSU transcript.

Is a secondary major like a minor?

Minors are typically based within an existing discipline.  Because resource and environmental issues are so broad and complex, they exceed the scope of any one discipline and are best addressed through an interdisciplinary secondary major.

What will I learn in the NRES program?

The NRES program provides an interdisciplinary overlay for relevant primary majors.  Its focus is to broaden students' perspectives, in part through course offerings and in part through interactions with students from other disciplines.  The educational goal of the NRES secondary major is to prepare undergraduate students to apply broadly-based scientific knowledge to the use, management, sustainability, and quality of soil, air, water, mineral, biological, and energy resources.

What are the academic requirements of the NRES Secondary Major?

All NRES students must meet the entry, capstone, and block electives course requirements listed on the Academic Requirements page of this website.  In addition, a life science course must be completed as part of either the primary major or this secondary major.

How do I participate?

Complete the available online enrollment form or make an appointment to meet with the Director, Dr. Shawn Hutchinson (3018 Seaton Hall; 785-532-3414; shutch@k-state.edu) to file application papers.  An academic advisor will be then be assigned to assist students in meeting NRES requirements.

Who provides financial support for the NRES Secondary Major? 

The NRES Secondary Major receives funds from the Office of the Provost, College of Agriculture, and College of Arts & Sciences to support annual operations.  The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering supplies one instructor each semester for the DAS/DEN/GENAG 582 NRES Capstone course.  Administrative support is provided by the Department of Geography.

Can my study abroad classes count towards NRES requirements? 

Maybe, but the NRES Secondary Major is not the approval authority!  In order for classes taken abroad to count towards your NRES Secondary Major, you must identify their specific KSU equivalents and obtain approval from the department(s) in which they are offered.  Those KSU equivalent courses must be an existing required or block elective class listed in the current NRES academic guide.  The Study Abroad Office can provide students with a Study Abroad Academic Approval Form that can be presented to designated department representatives who will approve, or disapprove, how the study abroad classes will be applied to your K-State academic record.  No courses taken abroad may be substituted for the DAS/DEN/GENAG 582 Natural Resources/Environmental Sciences Project class.

Can graduate students pursue to NRES Secondary Major?

Yes, all secondary majors at Kansas State University - including the NRES Secondary Major - are open to degree-seeking undergraduate or graduate students in all colleges. 

Can courses not listed as part of the NRES curriculum be used to meet requirements?

Possibly.  The NRES Governing Board requires that all NRES block elective courses have more than 50% of its content directly related to the quality, management, and sustainability of soil, air, water, mineral, biological, and energy resources.  If there is a course you are interested in taking, and believe it meets this requirement, you may submit a Curriculum Variance request.  Contact the NRES Director to make an appointment to discuss the variance request and obtain the necessary form.