Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Opportunity is all around you.
If you’re looking for an exciting, rewarding career that gets you out of the office and into the field, a major in Environmental Science might be right for you.
As an Environmental Science major you’ll study the relationship between humans and the planet, explore how our world is changing and discover ways to address our biggest challenges. This interdisciplinary field will introduce you to the physical, biological and social sciences, while preparing you for a future in fast-growing fields.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts many environmental occupations will increase in demand through 2028, due to population growth and increased public interest in hazards facing the health of the planet.
CAN WE BRAG A LITTLE?
100% career and graduate school placement
All recent environmental science majors were employed or pursuing an advanced degree after graduation (2020-21 research survey respondents).
Why study Environmental Science at UW-Whitewater?
An ideal learning environment.
Our students leave UW-Whitewater as broadly trained environmental scientists with strong technical and communication skills. To prepare for the environmental science jobs in Wisconsin (and beyond) that interest you the most, you’ll have the chance to focus in one of three concentration areas:
- Geosciences — gain GIS skills and build geology and geographical knowledge
- Natural science — focus on wildlife and environmental health with courses in biological and physical sciences like ecology, toxicology, botany and oceanography
- Sustainability and Environmental Resource Management — explore ethics, policy issues, and best practices in sustainability
When you attend UW-Whitewater, the Wisconsin wetlands, fields and forests will serve as your training grounds. With plenty of sites on and near campus, as well as the surrounding Kettle Moraine state natural areas, our location is one of the best reasons to choose UW-Whitewater for Environmental Science.
What our Environmental Science students do
Hands-on learning experiences
In a boots-on-the-ground field like Environmental Science, hands-on experience is crucial for your future career, and you’ll get plenty of it at UW-Whitewater.
Environmental Science majors often participate in UW-Whitewater’s Undergraduate Research Program and Research Apprenticeship Program. The interdisciplinary nature of our science program opens up opportunities for collaboration with peers in other departments, such as biology, chemistry and business — as well as with community partners, like the Milwaukee Water Council.
Field and travel study courses
As a major in Environmental Science, you have the opportunity to participate in field study programs that take students to Yellowstone National Park, including one that specifically looks at the park in the winter. Interested in storm chasing? You’re in luck – the Extreme Weather Travel Study program sends students to the Great Plains to locate extreme weather patterns and to analyze weather maps to determine the timing and location of weather events.
Internships and student employment
Many of our faculty members hire Environmental Science majors for lab technicians and research assistants. Our students also frequently intern with local businesses, city/county agencies and nonprofit organizations. Recent sites include the City of Janesville, Jefferson County, Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Land Information Office.
Campus and community involvement
As an Environmental Science major, you might be interested in participating in UW-Whitewater’s Science Outreach programming, or joining your classmates in the Whitewater Geography Association, Students Allied for a Greener Earth, Ecology Club, Geology Club or Gamma Theta Upsilon, the geography honors society.
Space and places: On and off campus
Our department features dedicated research and instrumental labs for undergraduate research opportunities.
Our Natural History Specimen Collection in Upram Hall contains thousands of cataloged plant and animal specimens. And our campus greenhouses contain living artifacts.
At the UW-Whitewater Weather Station, you can look at real-time weather data, plus access decades of archived information to help in your climate change, meteorology or other research.
Field work experiences will take you to our 40-acre campus nature preserve and into nearby wetlands, forests and other natural areas.
What our graduates do
Travel study helps pave the way to employment
Tyler Brasington, an environmental science alum, is the lead park ranger in the Bear Management Office in Grand Teton National Park with the National Park Service.
"When I was an undergrad, the Yellowstone Travel Study helped me develop professional connections and network while in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This further paved the way to eventual undergraduate research projects and employment with the National Park Service."
What can you do with an Environmental Science degree?
After earning their degree in Environmental Science, UW-Whitewater graduates find a variety of positions in various environmental sectors. Here’s just a sample of titles and companies:
- Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
- Public Service Commission of Wisconsin
- United States Army
- Veolia Environmental Services
- Fisheries Operations (Eagle)
- Utility Data Contractors (Waukesha)
- TechLaw, Inc. (Chicago)
- City of Janesville
- Abbyland Foods, Inc. (Abbotsford)
- Sunde Land Surveying
- Tuckaway Country Club (Franklin)
- Wastewater (Burlington)
- We Energies (Milwaukee)
Job titles include:
- Project manager
- Environmental analyst
- Environmental specialist
- GIS technician
- GIS specialist
- Safety coordinator
- Property appraiser
- Quality auditor
- Lab technician
- Autocad technician
- CAD product developer
Some of our students continue to graduate school, such as Ball State University for atmospheric science.
Hired Before Graduation
Allen Kaplan, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, earned a B.S. in environmental science and was hired as a LTE laboratory assistant with the Dane County Department of Public and Environmental Health in Madison, Wisconsin.
"I was able to take amazing travel study courses, such as Geography 492, a travel study course to Yellowstone National Park and a storm chasing travel study course."
Hired Before Graduation
Gracey Garner, from Beloit, Wisconsin, earned a B.S. in environmental science and was hired as a hydrogeologist with Fehr Graham Engineering and Environmental in Rockford, Illinois.
Hired Before Graduation
Mackenzie Pautsch, from New Berlin, Wisconsin, earned a B.S. in environmental science and was hired as a safety coordinator with Michels Power Inc in Neenah, Wisconsin.
Our Environmental Science faculty
UW-Whitewater offers the following Environmental Science undergraduate options:
- Bachelor of Science — Environmental Science, Geosciences emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Science — Environmental Science, Natural Science emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Science — Sustainability and Environmental Resource Management emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Arts — Environmental Science, Geosciences emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Arts — Environmental Science, Natural Science emphasis | 4-year plan
- Bachelor of Arts — Sustainability and Environmental Resource Management emphasis | 4-year plan
In addition to UW-Whitewater’s general education requirements, as an Environmental Science major, you’ll take a variety of core and elective classes that will vary based on your chosen emphasis. Here’s an example of classes most Environmental Science majors will take:
- Introduction to Environmental Science
- GIS I: Mapping Our World
- North American Environmental History
- Writing in the Sciences
Students will have plenty of flexibility to explore electives based on their emphasis and environmental science career interests. Here’s just a sampling of the scores of electives across the biological and social sciences you can choose from:
- Earth and Life History
- Rocks and Minerals
- Animal Behavior
- Sociology of Natural Disasters
- Urban Land Use Planning
- Water Law
To apply, you’ll complete the UW-Whitewater standard application for admission and indicate your interest in earning a degree in Environmental Science.