Minors & Certificates

Add another dimension to your degree with an O’Neill minor or certificate

The O’Neill School's minors and certificates address environmental, health, policy, and management issues from a variety of perspectives, and may be an ideal complement to your major.

To apply

Check with your degree-granting unit at Indiana University to make sure you are eligible for the O’Neill minor (or minors) you choose. Some degree-granting units at IU may allow only one or only certain O’Neill minors. 

Contact O’Neill Undergraduate Advising

Explore the benefits of adding a minor

Description of the video:

It feels like it's very achievable to get a minor from O'Neill, and I know that it is. It has been completely seamless. All I had to do was get in contact with my counselor in the O'Neill School and we got everything squared away very very easily. I think that having the minor of Law and Public Policy is going to be incredibly beneficial. Just having that foundational knowledge of what goes into policy making, who makes policy, you know, what does that look like is going to be incredibly helpful for me. My favorite O'Neill course definitely has to be comparative and international policy with Professor Karaagac. Just because that class really introduced me to a more global view of policy and really sparked the passion for like international studies in me. That has been the class that I learned the most in, hands down. O'Neill provides opportunities that I would not have found elsewhere. I think that they make it a very very big priority to set you up to be successful after you leave O'Neill. I mean there's Career Fairs, let's get you an internship. Your success is what matters the most to O'Neill. The opportunities that O'Neill provides for its students is second to none.

Minor requirements

Each minor requires 15 hours of specified courses with a 2.000 grade point average. (Note: Some degree-granting units at IU may require a specific grade in minor courses. Check with your school for any specific rules.)

If you’re an O’Neill student, you may double count up to 6 credit hours of minor courses with any other O’Neill academic program. Each O’Neill minor must have at least 9 hours that do not count toward any other O’Neill academic program. If you’re a non-O’Neill student, you cannot double count courses between O’Neill minors or certificates.

Water Resources Science, Policy, and Management

Competency 1: Students can explain the role of water in the function of natural and human-impacted systems, including describing ecosystem services derived from the natural hydrologic cycle.

  1. Students can detail the natural water cycle and explain feedbacks and couplings between different elements of the system.
  2. Students can locate, interpret, and analyze data related to water resources and the hydrologic cycle
  3. Students can detail how water is extracted from the natural hydrologic cycle, used by humans, and returned to the natural system in urban and rural settings.
  4. Students can identify and analyze the fundamental features and dynamics of regional hydrologic systems, especially in the context of climate change 

Competency 2: Students can explain the role of water in ecosystem health and water quality.

  1. Students can describe at least three ecosystem functions related to the natural hydrologic cycle.
  2. Students can explain common point- and nonpoint sources of water quality impairment.
  3. Students can locate, interpret, and analyze data related to surface water and/or wetland ecosystem quality/
  4. Students can evaluate how extractions and/or discharges of water and/or pollutants may impact natural ecosystem function.

Competency 3: Students can explain relationships between human activities and water resources including significant legal, economic, public health, and governance issues.

  1. Students can detail at least one case study emphasizing feedbacks between human and natural systems.
  2. Students can evaluate the impacts of a proposed action (e.g., policy, infrastructure construction) on water resources, anticipate the cascading impacts on both human and natural systems, and justify the selection of a design or plan.
  3. Students can identify food-water and energy-water couplings resulting from human use of water resources.
  4. Students can locate, interpret, and analyze data related to human water use (personal, industrial, agricultural) and water management infrastructure.
  5. Students can define sustainability and security with respect to water resources

Competency 4: Students can explain how their chosen major relates to the sustainable management of water resources.

  1. Students can critically evaluate their own interactions with water resources and the impacts of their decisions on water quality and quantity.
  2. Students can explain how water resources should be considered as part of a sustainable resource management plan.
  3. Students can explain at least one case study of water resource management in the U.S. and one internationally, synthesizing the role of individuals, institutions, and natural systems.


Take one of the following core courses:

  • EAS-E 118 Sustainability: Water Resources (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 259 or GEOG G-347 Water Security and Sustainability (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 260 Introduction to Water Resources (3 cr.)

Take at least 3 credits from each of the categories below:

Category 1: Physical hydrology & the water cycle (at least 3 credits)

  • EAS-A 340/GEOG-G 304 Physical Meterology and Climatology (3 cr.)
  • EAS-A 466 Hydrometeorology (3 cr.)
  • EAS-E 451 Principles of Hydrogeology (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 451 Physical Hydrology (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 467 Ecohydrology (3 cr.)
  • EAS-X 429 Field Geology in the Rocky Mountains (6 cr.)

Category 2: Water and ecosystems (at least 3 credits)

  • SPEA-E 355 Introduction to Limnology* (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 440 Wetland Ecology and Management (4 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 443 Habitat Analysis – Aquatic (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 455 Limnology* (4 cr.) (P: BIOL-L 111 (or equivalent) and CHEM-C 117 (or equivalent), or permission of the instructor)

* students can only get credit for one of SPEA-E 355 or SPEA-E 455 toward the minor

Category 3: Water and human systems (at least 3 credits)

  • GEOG-G 341 Ecological Restoration: Science, Politics, and Ethics (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 368 Water in the Midwest (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 453 Water and Society (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 461 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 456 Lake and Watershed Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 305 Integrated Resource Management (3 cr.)

Complete three additional credits (to meet the total requirement of 15 credit hours, 3 additional credit hours are required. These 3 credits can be satisfied by taking any of the courses from the core or Categories 1-3 above. Additionally, the following courses that may be used toward the total credit requirement to provide breadth or depth of understanding in the area of Water Resources Science, Policy, and Management):

  • EAS-A 476 Climate Change Science (3 cr.)
  • EAS-E 415 Principles of Geomorphology (3 cr.)
  • EAS-X 329 Field Environmental Science (3 cr.)
  • BUS-L 302 Sustainability Law & Policy (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 336 Environmental Remote Sensing (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 350 Field Methods in Physical Geography (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 439 GIS and Environmental Analysis (3 cr.)
  • GEOG-G 444 Climate Change Impacts (3 cr.)
  • PHYS-P 310 Environmental Physics (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 340 Environmental Economics and Finance (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 363 Environmental Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 375 Techniques of Environmental Science (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 402 Water Quality Modeling (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 412 Risk Communication (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 431 Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment (3 cr.) (P: SPEA-E 272)
  • SPEA-E 460 Fisheries and Wildlife Management (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 470 Elements of Fluid Mechanics (3 cr.)
  • SPEA-E 476 Environmental Law and Regulation (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 244 Natural History (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 310 Ecosystem Management (3 cr.)
  • SPH-O 343/CLLC-L 300 Fundamentals of Sustainable Agriculture (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 214 Environmental Regulations and Code Compliance (3 cr.)
  • SPH-V 443 Environmental Sampling and Analysis (3 cr.)

Additional requirements:

  • At least 9 credit hours in the minor must be completed at the 300–400 level.
  • At least 9 credit hours must be completed on the Bloomington campus.
  • Any course in which the student earns a grade below C– may not be used to fulfill a minor requirement.
  • The grade point average of all courses taken in the minor must be equal or greater to 2.000.
  • Substitutions for core and category 1-3 courses for extenuating circumstances may be made with approval of the program director