Environmental Science

Let's face it—our planet needs scientists who know how to reduce air pollution, restore wetlands, protect national parks, address climate change … the list goes on and on. Some day that person could be you, especially if you're passionate about the environment, you're excited about using science and math to solve complicated problems, and you want a job that lets you travel the world and explore the great outdoors.

What will I learn?

As an environmental science major, you'll learn how to use chemistry, calculus, statistics and other disciplines to understand and improve the environment. Typical courses and labs cover ecology, environmental engineering, wildlife management, plant biology, geographic information systems (GIS) and related topics. As you learn how to collect, analyze, interpret and share environmental data, you'll gain confidence in the tools and techniques you’ll need throughout your career.

Environmental Sustainability vs. Environmental Studies vs. Environmental Science
  • Environmental Sustainability: The bachelor of arts degree (BA) is designed to incorporate a strong foundation in the social sciences and humanities with a good foundation in the natural sciences.
  • Environmental Studies: The bachelor of science degree (BS) is designed to incorporate a strong foundation in the natural sciences with a good foundation in the social sciences and humanities.
  • Environmental Science: The bachelor of science degree (BS) is designed to incorporate a strong foundation in biological, physical, chemical, mathematics, statistics and geospatial techniques.

What can I do outside of class?

Ready for hands-on experience and networking opportunities? Here's what you can do at UB.

  • Internships. The environmental internships offered through our department are focused in four areas: environmental resources, policy, education and sustainability. We currently coordinate with more than 70 organizations for student placement. More than one-third of these organizations have hired our students for either part-time or full-time positions.
  • Study abroad. Explore rainforests, glaciers, coral reefs and other environments around the world, and see firsthand how scientists are protecting our planet.
  • Research. With close access to professors in your department and throughout UB, you may have opportunities to work on projects related to ecology, climate, sustainability and other highly relevant issues.
  • Student groups and clubs. You’ll find a variety of groups committed to the environment, sustainability and the outdoors.
  • Letchworth Teaching Forest. Yes, there is a 34-acre forest right on campus, where you can see classroom concepts at work in nature.
Study Abroad
Student Clubs

What can I do with an environmental science degree?

Students graduating from this program generally seek professional positions in the areas of environmental engineering, geographic information systems, pollution control, remediation and ecological restoration, and find these opportunities in a wide range of governmental, non-profit and private organizations. This program highlights experimental learning through field-based coursework and ecology expeditions (national and international), which prepares our graduates for work as environmental consultants, government regulation enforcement, health and safety, pollution cleanup, mapping/cartography/remote sense and so much more.

Who will I learn from?

Many of your classes will be taught by nationally and internationally recognized faculty members from the environment and sustainability department, including experts in climate change, environmental policy, ecology and other key topics. And because your program covers such a wide range of topics—and because UB has world-class experts in dozens of areas—you can also take courses from professors in:

  • Anthropology.
  • Biological sciences.
  • Chemistry.
  • Communication.
  • English.
  • Geography.
  • Geology.
  • Global gender and sexuality studies.
  • Indigenous studies.
  • Media studies.
  • Psychology.

Of course, having teachers from throughout UB also gives you more opportunities to find a mentor, conduct research and make connections in the industry. Regardless of which department they're from, all of your teachers share a common mission: to help you achieve your goals.