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The Department of Environment and Society

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Unlike other majors in the College of Natural Resources, the Environmental Studies major is not a single field of study leading to a specific profession. This degree prepares students to understand broad biological, physical, social, and political aspects of natural resource problems and environmental issues.

Students also work with their advisor to design a 15-credit emphasis for their degree. Some students choose to focus on topics not covered by traditional majors, such as environmental policy or interpretation. Others combine Environmental Studies with another University minor or major (soils, journalism, business, etc.) in order to meet their educational interests and objectives.

Melanie Conrad


Melanie Conrad

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What is Environmental Studies?

Environmental Studies is a flexible field of study that helps prepare students for a variety of careers that involve people and their relationship to the natural world.

This degree prepares students to understand broad biological, physical, social, and political aspects of natural resource problems and environmental issues.

What type of students study Environmental Studies?

Students who …

  • Are interested in the interactions between humans and nature.
  • Are interested in applying social sciences, such as economics or political science, to help protect the environment.
  • Want to promote environmental literacy as educators and communicators.
  • Want to learn about the natural world without a heavy science or math emphasis.
  • Want to prepare for graduate study, law school or an MBA.

What do Environmental Studies majors study?

Environmental Studies students take foundation courses in:

  • Biological and social sciences
  • Writing
  • Mathematics
  • Statistics

They then take a range of courses exploring:

  • The human dimensions of natural resources
  • Economics
  • Collaborative problem solving
  • Policy
  • Additional biology courses.

The degree offers 7 areas of emphasis, including Human Impacts on the Environment, Communications, Business and Economics, Environmental Policy, International, Planning and Analysis, and Environmental Stewardship.

What type of jobs do graduates get?

  • Environmental communicators or educators in business, government, or non-profit organizations.
  • With public land management agencies in fields such as public affairs, visitor services, policy, planning.
  • In international programs fostering sustainable development.
  • As advocates for environmental causes or natural resource constituencies.

Where are our graduates now?

  • Executive director, National Cattlemen's Association (Class of 2006)
  • Graduate student, organic agriculture (Class 0f 2010)
  • Interpretive planner/educator, Southern Utah University (Class of 2011)
  • Law school student, BYU (Class of 2008)
  • Open Air Cinema Foundation, Haiti (Class of 2008)