Environmental Sciences and Sustainability

Environmental Sciences and Sustainability Major

Major in Environmental Sciences and Sustainability 

When you pursue your bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in environmental sciences and sustainability (ESS), you will explore the impact that human activity has on the natural systems of the planet, and you’ll learn to rethink, redesign and re-create the way humans use natural resources.

What You’ll Learn

  • You’ll examine how scientific, cultural, economic and political ideas shape our behavior toward the natural environment.
  • You’ll investigate how the natural environment affects society and how natural systems function.
  • You’ll explore human connections to the natural world, ethics and values, and technological and economic relationships to sustainability,
  • You’ll develop strategies to motivate environmentally sustainable behavior and integrate them into society. 

Hands-On Learning

The ESS curriculum encourages experiential learning, where you learn by doing and connect your coursework to the larger world. In fact, 100% of students concentrating in ESS participate in at least one internship, co-op, fieldwork or practicum.

Junior Year
Community internship opportunities are available your junior year and take place in a wide array of public and private organizations focused on environmental policy, business, research, regulation, enforcement, ethics and education. 

Senior Year
During your senior year, you will also complete a two-semester capstone sustainability project while working with a team of students, faculty and community partners.

There are also opportunities for independent research, service and international study.

Career Options

Majoring in environmental studies and sustainability can lead to widespread career opportunities in environmental justice, climate studies, conservation, environmental policy, environmental law, landscape architecture, environmental health, land use and planning, and environmental communications. Positions in this field may include environmental inspector, biological monitor, watershed coordinator, water quality technician, natural scientist and green design professional.

Some of our recent graduates have been hired at the following institutions:

Our graduates have matriculated to a number of graduate programs, including: 

Two Degree Options 

 (The following details are subject to change. Always check with your advisor to clarify your course requirements.)

Degree B.A. B.S.
Minimum credits 40 credits 44 credits
(*this doesn’t include three cognate courses)
  • Environmental Business and Policy
  • Science and Society
  • Social Sustainability
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Environmental and Natural Systems 
  • Environmental Operations
Additional studies Second related major/minor recommended *Three cognate courses (12 credits) required as pre-requisites to science courses
Open Electives Eight credits of the major are open to you to either deepen your understanding of a particular area of sustainability or to broaden your thinking. Space is available to earn a minor in biology, chemistry or math. 


Learn More About the Differences Between the Degrees

Courses You’ll Take for the B.A. in ESS

(Select Your Concentration Below)

Courses You’ll Take for the B.S. in ESS

(Select Your Concentration Below)