Environmental Studies

Are you worried about the future of our planet? Do you enjoy biology, chemistry and other natural science classes? Would you like to study how society interacts with the natural environment? If you answered "yes," then environmental studies should be at the top of your list. This program is for anyone who wants to use science to reduce the harmful impact of humans around the globe—and help solve some of the most critical problems we’ve ever faced.

What will I learn?

This program highlights experimental learning through field-based coursework, ecology expeditions (national and international) and environmental internships. In any given semester, you might learn how researchers are addressing climate change, how to improve recycling through economics, or how to promote sustainable fishing on the nearby Niagara River and Great Lakes. Of course, you'll also be able to take electives based on your specific interests, and consider specialty tracks that can help set you apart.

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 studies degree?

Students graduating from this program generally seek professional positions in the areas of environmental analysis, natural resources management and environmental education, and find these opportunities in a wide range of governmental, non-profit and private organizations. This program prepares our graduates for work as environmental consultants, wildlife and fisheries ecologists/managers, conservation educators and so much more.

UB alumni in this field have worked for many leading organizations, including:

  • AmeriCorps.
  • Applied Ecological Services.
  • Buffalo/Erie County/Western New York:
    • Audubon Society.
    • Botanical Gardens.
    • Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper.
    • Clean Air Coalition.
    • Dept. of Environment and Planning.
    • Land Conservancy.
    • Zoo.
  • Environmental Consultants, INC.
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute.
  • NASA.
  • New York Public Interest Research Group.
  • New York State:
    • Attorney General.
    • Dept. of Agriculture and Markets.
    • Dept. of Environmental Conservation.
    • Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
  • Severn Trent Laboratories.
  • SPCA.
  • United States:
    • Army Corps of Engineers.
    • Attorney General.
    • Environmental Protection Agency.
    • Fish and Wildlife Service.
    • National Park Service.

Some students also choose to get an advanced degree in biology or other environmental-related subjects.

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.