A UAlbany student conducting environmental science field research.

Bachelor of Science

Interdisciplinary Studies - Environmental Science

Program of Study


The BS in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Concentration in Environmental Science is a combined major and minor where you can choose from one of four specializations:

  • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems
  • Geography
  • Sustainability Science and Policy

Each track has a customized set of classes. In addition to environmental science, you will complete core coursework in math, biology, chemistry and physics. Benefit from the expertise of faculty, who are highly recognized and active researchers in the field of environmental science.

Honors Program

Students who have by the end of their fourth semester attained a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and a grade point average of at least 3.50 in courses required of the major in environmental science may apply to the department chair for the program leading to a B.S. degree with honors in environmental science.


Environmental Science Courses

  • Introduction to Environmental Science and Lab​
  • Understanding the Earth​
  • Sustainable Development: Energy and Resources​
  • Atmospheric Structure, Thermodynamics, and Circulation​
  • Ocean Science​
  • Environmental Statistics and Computation​
  • Meteorological and Environmental Measurement​
  • Environmental Science Fieldwork Experience​
  • The Adirondack Environment​
  • Climate Laboratory​
  • Paleoclimatology​
  • Major Topics in Environmental Science

Focus on ecology, biodiversity and health.

Required courses

(7 credits)

  • Introductory Genetics
  • Ecology


(15 credits) In addition to environmental science courses, you can take electives in areas like anthropology, biology, public health, geography and political science. Sample courses:

  • Culture, Environment, and Health
  • Genetics of Human Disease
  • The Adirondack Environment
  • Urban Ecology
  • International Political Economic Science
  • Global Environmental Issues and Their Effect on Human Health

Four-Year Plan

Climate Change

Focus on climate variability and climate change.

Required courses

(12 credits)

  • Climate Variability and Change
  • Water and Climate Change
  • Climate Laboratory
  • Paleoclimatology


(9 credits) Choose from courses in atmospheric sciences, environmental sciences, math, political science, public health and public administration & policy. Sample courses:

  • Air Quality and Air Pollution Policy
  • Environmental Internships
  • Calculus II
  • International Environmental Policy
  • International Political Economic Science
  • Global Environmental Issues and Their Effect on Human Health

Four-Year Plan


Focus on land-use planning, resource management and geographic information systems​.

Required courses

(10 credits)

  • Introductory Urban Geography
  • Introduction to Cartography
  • Geographic Information Systems


(12 credits) Sample Courses:

  • Climatology
  • Computer Mapping
  • Environmental Planning
  • Water and Climate Change
  • Sustainable Development: Energy and Resources

Four-Year Plan

Sustainability Science and Policy

Focus on renewable energy, air quality and environmental policy​.

Required courses

(9 credits)

  • Air Quality and Air Pollution Policy
  • Sustainable Development: Energy and Resources
  • Selected Topics in Political Science


(12 credits) Select from anthropology, atmospheric science, biology, environmental science, geography, public administration, political science and public health courses. Sample courses:

  • Culture, Environment, and Health
  • Weather, Climate Change, and Societal Impacts
  • World Food Crisis
  • The Adirondack Environment
  • Introductory Urban Geography
  • Environmental Planning
  • International Environmental Policy
  • International Political Economic Science
  • Global Environmental Issues and Their Effect on Human Health

Four-Year Plan

Applied Learning

The nearby environment features many parks, wildlife preserves and sanctuaries to put your coursework to practice.

The University's location at the state capital provides access to environmental science internship programs and career opportunities with organizations including:

  • New York State Museum
  • Albany Pine Bush Preserve
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
  • New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Past students have taken advantage of opportunities for coordinated study abroad involving departmental collaborations with universities in Argentina, Brazil and Taiwan. Students also have opportunities to travel to conferences to present their research and participate in professional development.​

Undergraduate Research Opportunities​

You can conduct research in a wide variety of environmental topics, such as Earth’s past climate, energy and sustainability. 

If you’re interested in pursuing research, you can come up with your own project idea and speak to a faculty member about overseeing the project. Alternatively, you are welcome to approach a faculty member whose research interests match yours. 

One to three credits of ENV 497 (independent study) or three credits of ENV 498 (undergraduate research) can be taken and used towards environmental science major elective requirements.


Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Option

Combine your Environmental Science degree with the MS in Information Science program. This ALA-accredited master's program covers a broad range of interdisciplinary topics related to library science, information processing, information management and data analysis.

You can save time and money by beginning your graduate degree coursework while still enrolled as an undergraduate student. Up to 12 academic credits, billed at the undergraduate rate, will count towards both degrees – so you’ll complete your combined program in only 5 years and spend less than you would if you completed each program separately. 

UAlbany graduate at Commencement
Career Outcomes

With an environmental science degree, you will be equipped for a wide variety of career paths in both the public and private sectors, or to pursue an advanced degree. Our graduates have obtained positions in organizations such as the U.S. Geological Survey, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and renewable energy companies.

Potential job titles include:

  • Environmental scientist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental attorney
  • Environmental engineer
  • Renewable energy specialist
  • Air quality scientist
  • Data scientist
  • Secondary and primary school education


Undergraduate student researchers at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet
Carly Lindsay

"I am so grateful for my time with the UAlbany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. As a student, I was able to work with passionate professors who instilled in me the strong scientific background needed to understand and tackle today’s environmental challenges. The department also connected me with internships that launched my career as a sustainability professional." 

- Carly Lindsay '21, BS Interdisciplinary Studies - Environmental Science

Sumar Hart

"Going through the environmental science program provided me with a strong education, lab and fieldwork experiences, and opportunities to explore research possibilities within the field. I was given support and encouragement from professors, not only with classes but with figuring out my future plans and direction." 

- Sumar Hart '22, BS Interdisciplinary Studies - Environmental Science




Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Bachelor of Science
  • Effectively communicate with colleagues or others via clear and efficient writing or presentation technique.
  • Identify and describe the various systems comprising the Earth's environment, including recognizing key aspects of these systems’ interaction and feedback loops.
  • Perform quantitative analyses specific to environmental evaluation, including assessing relevant parameters and interpreting their trends in space and/or time.
  • Apply field methods, data, concepts, and models to the solution of problems in the environmental sciences.

What Makes The University at Albany Great

Student move-in day.

Living-Learning Communities

Live and take classes with other incoming freshmen who share your personal interests, passions or intended academic major.

A student abroad visiting a monument.

Study Abroad

Become a global citizen: international experience is crucial to success in business, education, research, and public policy.

A student conducting undergraduate research.

Undergraduate Research

Research, scholarship, and creative activities at the University at Albany is an option for all students, across all academic disciplines. You will be able to learn more about a specific academic field or career path all while building a long-lasting mentoring relationship with a faculty member or principal investigator.

Explore Minors

Build competency in a passion or strengthen your resume.

A minor consists of 18–24 graduation credits which must include a minimum of 9 graduation credits of advanced coursework at or above the 300 level. Most undergraduate degrees require completing a minor and it has to have a different title from your major.

Full List of Minors
  • Acting
  • Africana Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Art History
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Bioethics
  • Biology
  • Broadcast Meteorology
  • Business
  • Chemistry
  • Chinese Studies
  • Cognitive Science
  • Communication (Fully Online Option)
  • Computer Science
  • Creative Writing
  • Criminal Justice Studies (Fully Online Option)
  • Cybersecurity (Fully Online Option)
  • Documentary Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Economics
  • Educational Studies
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Electronics
  • Film Studies
  • Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (Fully Online Option)
  • English
  • Forensic Science
  • French
  • Game Design and Development
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Geography
  • Globalization Studies
  • Hebrew
  • History (Fully Online Option)
  • Informatics (Fully Online Option)
  • Instrumental Performance
  • International Studies
  • Italian
  • Japanese Studies
  • Journalism (Fully Online Option)
  • Judaic Studies
  • Korean Studies
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Law and Philosophy
  • Leadership
  • Legal Studies
  • LGBTQ Studies
  • Library and Information Science
  • Linguistics
  • Machine Learning
  • Mathematics
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Music
  • Musical Performance
  • Musical Theatre
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Portuguese
  • Pre-Education
  • Psychology (Fully Online Option)
  • Public Health
  • Public Policy
  • Religious Studies
  • Russian
  • Russian and Eastern European Studies
  • Social Welfare Studies
  • Sociology (Fully Online Option)
  • Spanish
  • Statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Theatre
  • Theatrical Design/Technology
  • Urban Studies and Planning
  • U.S. Latino Studies
  • Vocal Performance
  • Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies