Why Environmental Sciences | Environmental Sciences & Policy? – Nicholas School Undergraduate Programs

Why Environmental Sciences | Environmental Sciences & Policy?

Environmental science is the study of environmental systems by integrating various disciplines of physical and biological sciences (Natural Sciences) to understand the natural world we live in. Because human is an integral species affecting our environment, disciplines that study human perceptions, economics, and policies towards the environment (Social Sciences and Humanities) also are integrated in finding solutions to environmental problems in environmental studies. As the demands on the environment continue to increase with a growing human population, careful stewardship of natural resources requires the integration of multiple disciplines. Our majors offer flexibility in the combination of various disciplines to fit the student’s interests.

Students who have completed our majors have used their environmental expertise in governmental institutions and non-profit organizations at the at the local, regional, national, or international levels; have worked for private business organizations, or continued to graduate (Natural and Social Sciences) and professional schools (medicine, law, management). They work on topics ranging from environmental chemistry and ecotoxicology, energy and environment, economic assessments of environmental problems and mitigation, ecosystem services and climate mitigation, social justice, wildlife conservation, to water management.

The BS is appropriate for students interested in the Natural Sciences and continuing to graduate school or to professional programs in physical and biological sciences. The AB is appropriate for students interested in the Social Sciences and Humanities and considering graduate or professional programs in economics, law, or policy.

Specific learning goals for our programs:

Our programs prepare students with knowledge and skills for graduate study in environmental science or professional programs, and for entry-level position in a career addressing environmental problems

Students will:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the breadth of environmental sciences.
  • Use a set of appropriate methodological field skills and analytic tools to gather, analyze, and interpret environmental data.
  • Demonstrate mastery of a subdiscipline within environmental sciences and policy, its main concepts, principles, theories, to address an environmental problem in that subdiscipline.
  • Solve an environmental problem through inquiry, appropriate mining of information, analytical interpretation, and critical thinking skills through a capstone or thesis for graduation with distinction.
  • Communicate effectively via oral and written formats to a diverse audience of specialists and non-specialists in the field.
  • Apply their academic experience in a real-world setting.