Environmental Science

The Environmental Science (ESCI) major emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to the natural sciences, including biology, geology, chemistry, physical geography and data analysis. It 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. The curriculum is thoroughly interdisciplinary. In addition to providing a strong foundation in the sciences, ESCI majors gain an understanding of how social sciences, policy, humanities and design inform our approaches to solving environmental issues.
Top Five
Reasons to Study
This Major
  1. Gain a better understanding of the world around you.

  2. Take advantage of hands-on learning experiences.

  3. Develop expertise in issues of global importance.

  4. Prepare yourself for meaningful work in a growing job sector.

  5. Learn how to make positive changes for the environment and for society.

College of Arts and Sciences
Where Can I Go?

A degree in Environmental Science can take you in multiple directions. Students in Environmental Science may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS), a Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS), or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). Environmental Science provides students with a foundation for employment in:

Federal, state, and local government

Farm bureaus and agricultural firms

Environmental research laboratories

Environmental consultant firms

Public works departments

Geological surveys

Land trust organizations

Nonprofit organizations

Museums, zoos, and nature centers

Political action committees
Alumni Jobs

Laboratory assistant/Research associate

Stream surveyor

Data analyst

Geographical Information System mapper

Environmental consultant

Science teacher/Environmental educator

Restoration technician/Watershed aide

Energy specialist

Peace Corps/Americorps

Park ranger
Courses You
May Need

1st Year
Introductory ENVS courses; beginning MATH sequence; lower division Science sequence

2nd Year
Continuing MATH; continuing lower-division Science sequence (see advisor about sequences)

3rd Year
Upper-division AREA 3A Natural Science courses; AREA 3B or 4 courses

4th Year
Continuing upper-division AREA 3A courses; AREA 3B; AREA 5

Major Credits
Required 32 credits
Electives 80 credits

Total 112 credits

Core Education Requirements

BS or BA Degree Minimum = 180 credits.

Core Education is approximately 71—83 credits depending on transfer credits and placement scores and requires courses in:


Math and/or CS (BS) or Language (BA)

US: Difference, Inequality, Agency

Global Perspectives

Areas of Inquiry in:

Arts and Letters

Social Science / Science
What Will I Learn?

Environmental leadership

Land use

Natural resource management

Risk assessment and quality control

Sustainable infrastructure

Science policy


Political action

Environmental education

Public and environmental health
Experiential learning opportunities

Environmental Connect

Environmental Leadership Program (ELP)

Research (lab/fieldwork)


Career-oriented courses

Student publications

Student clubs
Specialized Courses

Introduction to Food Studies (ENVS 225)

Allocating Scarce Environmental Resources (ENVS 335)

Environmental Leadership Program (ENVS 429)

Environmental Education Theory and Practice (ENVS 425)

Political Ecology (ENVS 450)

Wetland Ecology and Management (ENVS 465)

Sustainable Agriculture (ENVS 467)

Soil Science (ENVS 477)
Add A Minor Or Certificate



Business Administration


Earth Sciences


Food Studies


Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM)


Contact Us

Tykeson College and Career Advising

An equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This publication will be made available in accessible formats upon request. © 2020 University of Oregon. Revised: 8/25/2020