Environmental science

A student with a fishing net, on the river.

Undergraduate degrees: BA or BS

About the major

Work alongside world-class scholars and researchers, develop concrete skills and analytical abilities, and gain real-world experience with the environmental science major. You will learn from an interdisciplinary approach to the natural sciences—including biology, geology, chemistry, physical geography, and data analysis—and gain an understanding of how social sciences, policy, humanities, and design inform our approaches to solving environmental issues.

The environmental science major is flexible, allowing you to tailor coursework to meet your specific educational and career goals. We also prioritize practical learning experiences where you will link theory to practice and build transferable skills through internships, research, and community involvement. This major is designed for students who want to focus on careers in fields such as conservation biology; pollution prevention and abatement; climate and the atmosphere; water resources;  and ecosystem protection, restoration, and management.

A little more info

  • The environmental science major prepares students for diverse careers and/or graduate work through a practical learning experience requirement that gives students direct experience researching and resolving environmental issues. Students get to choose their own experience from hands-on research projects, field station coursework, internships, or Environmental Leadership Program projects.
  • The Environmental Leadership Program matches student teams with non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, or businesses to address local environmental needs. Our students gain leadership, communication, research, and professional skills by engaging directly in applied problem-resolution while providing assistance to our community partners. Current projects fall within four primary tracks: conservation science, environmental education, community engagement, and sustainable practice.
  • Students majoring in environmental studies and environmental science are encouraged to participate in the Environmental Studies Honors Program. Writing a thesis allows you to develop research and writing skills, become an expert on a topic of interest, and gain recognition for outstanding academic work.
  • Our majors are campus leaders in environmental clubs, outdoor pursuits, activism, and volunteering.

Career opportunities

Graduates of this major hold positions in government agencies, non-profits, and private business. Many pursue graduate education in environmental science fields. Examples of positions secured by recent graduates include laboratory assistant, stream surveyor, data analyst, Geographical Information System mapper, environmental educator, park ranger, volunteer coordinator, communications manager, sales manager, event coordinator, science teacher, restoration technician, law clerk, field energy specialist, watershed aid, research associate, and coastal program analyst.   

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