B.S. in Environmental Sciences

Environmental issues are some of the greatest challenges we face as human society. There is increasing demand for environmental scientists to confront these challenges. We invite you to learn more about our major and opportunities in environmental science.

What Students Are Saying

"There are so many things I value from my time studying Environmental Science at UAlbany, but what stands out most for me is how much the professors in the department dedicate their time to their students. My professors encouraged me and supported me as I pursued what I was passionate about, and they helped me mold the Environmental Science curriculum in a way that was very beneficial to my future career. College can be overwhelming, but the Environmental Science professors made college a little easier by investing so much time in their students both inside and outside the classroom. Many of my professors in the Environmental Science program were more than just teachers, they were mentors.”

-Elizabeth Moran, Class of 2013

What Students Are Saying

“The environmental science program is excellent in fostering genuine curiosity and passion for environmental issues and in encouraging students to become global citizens. The program equipped me with skills in GIS and statistical programming that put me ahead of my peers when I went on to earn my Master’s degree at Duke University.”

-Michelle B. Tran, Class of 2013

What Students Are Saying

"There are so many things I value from my time studying Environmental Science at UAlbany, but what stands out most for me is how much the professors in the department dedicate their time to their students. My professors encouraged me and supported me as I pursued what I was passionate about, and they helped me mold the Environmental Science curriculum in a way that was very beneficial to my future career. College can be overwhelming, but the Environmental Science professors made college a little easier by investing so much time in their students both inside and outside the classroom. Many of my professors in the Environmental Science program were more than just teachers, they were mentors.”

-Elizabeth Moran, Class of 2013

What Students Are Saying

“The environmental science program is excellent in fostering genuine curiosity and passion for environmental issues and in encouraging students to become global citizens. The program equipped me with skills in GIS and statistical programming that put me ahead of my peers when I went on to earn my Master’s degree at Duke University.”

-Michelle B. Tran, Class of 2013

What topics do I learn about in the major?

The Earth’s oceans, atmospheres, surface and interior; how these components of the Earth system interact with life (ecology) and human society; major current national and world issues, e.g. climate change, sustainability, energy, water resources, and biodiversity; hands-on experience taking environmental measurements and using software and statistics to unlock the secrets of environmental data; and much more. Click here for a full listing of our environmental science courses.

How can I personalize my major based on my interests?

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary subject that ties together knowledge from many areas (biology, chemistry, physics, policy, etc.) to understand the world around us. In your junior and senior years, your curriculum is tailored to your interests and goals. All of our majors choose an environmental science specialization:

  • Ecosystems
  • Geography
  • Climate change
  • Sustainability science and policy.

Click here to learn more about major requirements and specializations.

Why study environmental science at the University at Albany?

We are the only department in the nation that has three professors who have won the American Meteorological Society’s Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award. Our faculty are world leaders in their fields of research, so you will learn cutting-edge science in your coursework. Our location in the state capitol offers many opportunities for internships and exposure to state agencies that deal with environmental issues. Albany is surrounded by a diverse natural environment, and there are many opportunities to apply what you’ve learned at local nature sanctuaries, preserves, and state parks that are only a short drive away.

Are there opportunities to add a minor?

Yes! A minor is a great way to diversify your education and learn extra skills that make you more attractive to future employers. Some common minors among environmental science majors include atmospheric science, sustainability, informatics, or a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) certificate. A full list of minors is here.

What internship opportunities are there?

Internships are a great way to gain real world experience, try on different careers, and get your foot in the door of potential employers. We keep track of the many internship and summer job opportunities in the region and match our students up with the experience that is right for them. Local opportunities include: The NY State Museum, Pine Bush Preserve, US Geological Survey, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, NYS Energy Research and Development Authority. See a sampling of current opportunities here.

What student groups are our majors involved in?

There are hundreds of campus groups where you can meet up with others that share your interests. There are a number of sustainability and environmental campus groups that you can get involved in (The UAlbany Outdoors Club, UAlbany Students for Sustainability, and UAlbany Grow Green). Many of our students also volunteer at our annual Family Earth Day event.

Students with an interest in sustainability can even live together in a World of Environmental Health & Sustainability Living-learning community.

What are some research opportunities?

Our students have the opportunity to work on a research project with a professor or scientist. Projects range in scope from campus to New York to the globe, including climate change, sustainability, energy, water resources, and biodiversity. Research can be done for credit.

What jobs can I get with an environmental science degree?

There are many types of jobs available for environmental science majors. Examples include:

  • Environmental consulting
  • Federal agencies such as the Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Geological Survey
  • Private companies in energy (e.g., sustainable energy)
  • Earth science teacher or professor
  • Environmental technician or researcher

...and many more!

Alumni Current Jobs

Elizabeth Moran (B.S. 2013)
-Water and Natural Resources Associate at Environmental Advocates of New York

Cory Statt (B.S. 2014)
-Field Technician at SunEdison

Benedetto Schiraldi (B.S. 2010)
-Energy Engineer, WSP - Parsons Brinckerhoff

Amy Jarvis Ryan (B.S. 2003)
-Senior Operational Excellence Manager / Northeast Region - Aramark Higher Education - Facilities Services

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