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Environmental Studies Degree

Indiginous People Posing

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.

Plowing the Field

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.

Academic Advisor

Shelly Kotynek

Shelly Kotynek
NR 120

  • Semester-by-semester planning
  • Connecting with clubs
  • Changing your major
  • Academic success resources

Faculty Advisors

Dr. Robert Schmidt
NR 348

Layne Coppock
NR 140

  • Career planning
  • Graduate school planning
  • Undergraduate research opportunities
  • Selecting degree program electives


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.

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.

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.

  • 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.
  • 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)

Club membership is not specific to any major in the Quinney College of Natural Resources and all students are encouraged to get involved.  Visit the Student Organizations website to see how to get involved in what interests you.