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Are you interested in using science to study pressing environmental issues? The Environmental Sciences major at UVM 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, problem-based instruction and internship, research, and study abroad opportunities prepares our students with the knowledge and professional skill set needed to identify and respond to complex environmental challenges.

Environmental Sciences is a cross-college program, meaning students may choose to enroll and study within one of three colleges at UVM: 

B.S. in Environmental Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides a degree in which students are engaged in the application and understanding of the environment within the context of sustainable food systems and agricultural literacy.

ENSC major requirements in College of Agriculture & Life Sciences:

  • Completion of ENSC foundational coursework (CHEM 031, CHEM 032, BCOR 011, BCOR 012, MATH 019, MATH 020, STAT 141 or 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 CALS ENSC distribution requirements (CDAE 2, CDAE 208, PSS 10 or 21, MMG 101 or PSS 106, BCOR 102). - 17 credits
  • Completion of CALS Core Curriculum and UVM General Education requirements - 21 credits
  • Additional coursework to reach 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Sciences (BS) degree - 19 additional elective credits (can be a minor or study abroad)

Major Requirements and Courses

B.S. in Environmental Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences values transdisciplinarity, exploration, and academic breadth, providing a strong foundation for the rigor and depth of the environmental science major. This backdrop provides a well rounded liberal arts education and makes makes our graduates well positioned to move within the ever-changing employment landscape.

ENSC major requirements in College of Arts & Sciences:

  • 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,  and one 100 level “bridge class” to be chosen from BCOR 102 or CHEM 142 or GEOL 110) - 15 credits
  • 14-17 credits at the 100 level or higher in an ENSC concentration of your choice
  • Completion of the CAS distribution requirements (6 credits in each: Social Sciences, Humanities, Foreign Language, Fine Arts or Literature) - 24 credits
  • Completion of additional UVM General Education requirements (ENGS 1, D1 or D2 elective) - 9 credits Note: courses used to complete the CAS distribution requirements may also count towards completion of General Education requirements
  • Additional coursework to reach 120 credit hours for a Bachelor of Sciences (BS) degree - 28 additional elective credits (can be a minor or study abroad)

Major Requirements and Courses

B.S. in Environmental Sciences, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources provides a degree with an applied focus, ensuring that students are prepared to use foundational knowledge from diverse fields, critical thinking, and integrative analyses to sustainably manage social-ecological systems and address complex environmental problems.

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 concentrations are open to all ENSC majors, regardless of college/school. 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