Be a part of our academic ecosystem

Camel's Hump in winter
Woman holding digging tool
Morrill Hall
Researchers sampling soils

The Rubenstein School Environmental Sciences Program combines a natural science-based core curriculum with field and lab-based environmental coursework designed to engage students in tackling real-world environmental problems. This blending of a strong science foundation with hands-on instruction, research, internships, and study abroad opportunities provide students with the knowledge and professional skills needed to identify and respond to complex environmental challenges.

Students enrolled in the program will receive a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences and will be prepared to use foundational knowledge from diverse fields, critical thinking, and integrative analyses to sustainably manage social-ecological systems.

Environmental Sciences was historically offered as a cross-college program. Students enrolled Spring 2022 and prior completed or will complete their degree through one of three colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. The Environmental Sciences Program is now exclusively offered through the Rubenstein School. It remains an interdisciplinary degree and students continue to learn from faculty across UVM.

ENSC major requirements in the Rubenstein School:

  • Completion of ENSC foundational coursework (CHEM 031, CHEM 032, BCOR 011, BCOR 012, MATH 019, MATH 020, NR 140, GEOL 055 or PSS 161) - 30 credits
  • Completion of core ENSC courses (ENSC 001, ENSC 009, ENSC 130, ENSC 160, ENSC 201, ENSC 202) - 19 credits
  • 14-17 credits at the 100 level or higher in an ENSC concentration of your choice
  • Completion of the RSENR core curriculum (NR 001, NR 002, NR 006, NR103, NR 104, NR 205, NR 206, NR 207) - 24 credits
  • Completion of additional UVM General Education requirements (ENGS 1, NR 021, D1 or D2 elective) - 8 credits
  • Additional coursework to reach 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Sciences (BS) degree - 25 additional elective credits (can be a minor or study abroad)

Major Requirements and Courses

Concentrations

Because Environmental Sciences is a broad, interdisciplinary field, students are asked to choose a concentration in which to gain additional depth and expertise. Students typically spend the first two years exploring and discovering the environmental issues they are most passionate about. Most students declare a formal concentration by their junior year.

The Environmental Sciences faculty has outlined several concentration options for students to choose from based on pressing environmental issues, student interest, and needs in the job market. All ENSC majors can, in consultation with their academic advisor, create an independently designed concentration if their interests lie outside the current concentration list.

  • Agriculture and the Environment: Impacts of agriculture on the environment and strategies for minimizing environmental degradation.
  • Conservation Biology and Biodiversity: Endangered species and ecosystems, and strategies for conserving the diversity of Earth's life forms.
  • Ecological Design: Use of ecological systems to improve environmental quality.
  • Environmental Analysis and Assessment: Techniques for measuring environmental impacts and managing environmental data. 
  • Environmental Biology: Ecological and molecular analysis of endangered populations, phenomena affecting biological diversity, interrelationship of organisms and their environments, and conservation genetics. 
  • Environmental Geology: Groundwater, earth hazards, historical climate change, and landscape evolution.
  • Environmental Health: Exploration of the link between toxins, pollution, and human health.
  • Global Environmental and Climate Change: Analysis of the controls on Earth's climate and ecosystem responses to change.
  • Water Resources: Global water supply and human impacts on surface waters.
  • Self-design: Are you interested in an environmental topic that is not captured in these focus tracks? No problem, work with your adviser to design your own trajectory!

 Explore courses within each concentration.

Beyond the classroom

Environmental sciences students get their hands dirty with opportunities outside the classroom by studying abroad, conducting undergraduate research with faculty, hands-on classes and impactful internships.

Learn more about student opportunities

Careers

  • Attorney
  • Biologist
  • Educator
  • Energy Consultant
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Environmental Resource Specialist
  • GIS specialist
  • Hydrologic Scientist
  • Policy Advisor

Where alumni work

  • Conservation Planning Scientist, CapeNature
  • Environmental Consultant, ERM
  • Environmental Manager, Wash. State Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Technician, Jorgensen Associates Geotechnical Engineering
  • Environmental Resource Specialist/Project Manager, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Environmental Scientist/GIS Specialist, Bear Creek Environmental, LLC
  • Field Energy Consultant, SolarCity
  • GIS Analyst, Remington & Vernick Engineers
  • Hydrologic Technician, U.S. Forest Service
  • Lead Biologist/Lead Environmental Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Natural Resource Specialist/River Ecologist, Minn. Department of Natural Resources
  • Project Manager, Stantec
  • Research Scientist, Ecovative Design LLC
  • Senior Educator, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
  • Staff Attorney, Maryland Attorney General's Office
  • Sustainability Coordinator, Cosentini Associates
  • Watershed Program Supervisor, City of Oakland

Graduate Schools

  • University of Arizona
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Syracuse University
  • Tufts University
  • Yale University