Environmental Science and Policy Major

The Environmental Science and Policy major prepares students for environmental problem solving by linking an understanding of natural science with socioeconomic factors and public policy. The curriculum combines quantitative elements of environmental science, chemistry, and biology with law, policy, and economics to provide a foundation for careers in environmental policy, resource management, education, environmental law, urban and environmental design, and other related fields.

Students will gain a solid foundation to recognize the impacts of human activities on the environment and of environmental change on society, and to thoroughly understand the complex mechanisms by which key institutions, policies, and regulations impact ecosystems and the physical environment.

Once the core course work is complete, students are encouraged to focus on a particular area within environmental science and policy and to choose electives that build a coherent core of knowledge. Focus areas include, but are not limited, to urban planning, public policy, sociology, economics, climatology, water resources, water quality, agriculture, air pollution, resource management, and atmospheric sciences.

Program Highlights

  • The Environmental Science and Policy major is an interdisciplinary program that integrates theories, analytical tools, and experiences from social and natural sciences to investigate the causes, prevalence, and consequences of environmental challenges and to develop approaches for addressing them.
  • Students will have research opportunities with faculty members specifically interested in the growing field of coupled human-environment interactions.
  • Gain real-world experience through the Field Study, with an emphasis on environmental placement.
  • With a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science and Policy degree, graduates can pursue a range of public and private sector positions, including environmental management, resource management, environmental law, environmental consulting, work with nonprofit organizations and non-governmental agencies, and related areas. Find out more on the ENSP Careers page.

ENSP Major requirements


Photo: University of California, Irvine