The AP Environmental course is designed to be the equivalent of one semester, introductory college course in Environmental Science. This course unlike any other introductory science course is offered from a variety of Departments, including Geology, Biology, Environmental studies, Environmental Science, Chemistry and Geography.  Depending on the Department offering the course, different emphases are placed on various topics. Some of these courses are rigorous science courses that stress scientific principles and analysis and often include a laboratory component, other courses emphasize on the study of environmental issues from a sociological or political perspective rather than a scientific one. The AP Environmental Science course has been developed to be most like the former; as such, it is intended to enable students to undertake, as first-year college students, a more advanced study of topics in environmental science or, alternatively, fulfill a basic requirement for a laboratory science and thus free time for taking other courses