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Which degree path is right for me?


The University of Utah offers two undergraduate majors directly related to studying the environment: Environmental and Sustainability Studies (College of Social and Behavioral Science) and Earth & Environmental Science (College of Science). Advisors can help students identify their interests and professional goals, and how each major can meet the needs of students.


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The Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENVST) major in the College of Social and Behavioral Science is an interdisciplinary STEM program that has been established at the U for 25 years.  The ENVST degree fosters an understanding of ecological systems, human societies, and the consequences of human-environment interactions. Our program provides students with a broad education that emphasizes mixed-methods, systems thinking, peer learning, and community engagement. It stresses the importance of social responsibility, leadership, a science-based focus on solutions and integrated problem solving.


The ENVST Program is 55 credits and requires an interdisciplinary core curriculum that students take over the course of their degree:

● ENVST 2050 - Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Science & Solutions
● ENVST 2051 - Environmental Science Lab
● ENV 2100 - Environment and Society
● ENVST 3364 - Challenges to Global Sustainability
● ENVST 3365 - Environmental Justice
● ENVST/GEOG 3210 - Global Climate Change
● POLS 3390 or POLS 5322 - Environmental Policy
ENVST 4800 or ENVST 5000 - Internship or Research project related to the Environment or Sustainability
● ENVST 5555/5557/5558/5559: Capstone course specific to your emphasis.


Students select one of the four emphasis areas to focus their interests and elective coursework. The electives are rooted in interdisciplinary approaches from across campus, including Anthropology, Atmospheric Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Communications, City and Metropolitan Planning, Geography, Economics, Education, Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health, and Sociology.

● Air, Water & Health
● Conservation & Land Management
● Food Systems & Community
● Ecojustice Education

This degree is accessible to transfer students and those interested in double majoring/minoring. For more information about course descriptions, internship options, research opportunities, student projects, careers in the different emphases, and capstone project examples please visit our website


ENVST & EES can also be done as a double major at the University of Utah. In other words, you don’t have to choose just one! If you’re interested in exploring this option, please make an appointment with either advisor below.







The Earth and Environmental Science major in the College of Science will provide students with a detailed understanding of land, atmosphere, water, and ecosystems. The major is based around a rigorous science core of classes, a set of cohort-building earth and environmental science courses, and a flexible set of emphases and electives. This degree will prepare students for careers such as natural resource management, environmental consultants, climate scientists, and environmental regulations, or as a preparation for graduate or professional school.


The Earth and Environmental Science major is focused on calculus-based quantitative reasoning and thinking. It requires students to enroll in the science core classes, similar to most degree programs in the College of Science. This science core includes:

● Mathematics courses through Calculus II (Math 1220 or Math 1260)

● At least two semesters of physics (Physics 2210 and Physics 2220)

● At least two semesters of chemistry (Chem 1210 and Chem 1220, plus labs)

● Participation in the Science Research Initiative (SCI 1500) and conduct at least one semester of research (SCI 2710).




Students in Earth and Environmental Science will focus their studies on a specific emphasis: Climate Science; Ecosystem Science; or Geosystem Science. These emphases will each contain coursework specific to the fields of study. Students will have the opportunity to take courses in each of the emphases, however, only one emphasis can be declared.


Upper-division coursework will be focused in Biology, Atmospheric Science, and Geology. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor to develop a curriculum pathway that meets their interests and goals.


ENVST & EES can also be done as a double major at the University of Utah. In other words, you don’t have to choose just one! If you’re interested in exploring this option, please make an appointment with either advisor below.





Have Questions? Meet with the ENVST advisor. 



Amanda Brown, Lead ENVST Advisor

CSBS Student Success Center: Gardner Commons, 2455

(801) 213-1144 

Click HERE to schedule an appointment

Have Questions? Meet with the EES advisor.


sean meyer

Sean Meyer, Senior Academic Advisor

Frederick Albert Sutton Building (FASB) Rm 104a


Click HERE to schedule an appointment

Environmental studies takes on a broader view of environmental issues and looks at the natural sciences as well as social sciences. Those who major in Environemental Studies tackle questions like, 'How do humans relate to the environment?' and 'How do environmental challenges intersect with political and historical considerations, public policy, and the law?'

Environmental science combines disciplines from  sciences like math, chemistry, biology,  physics, atmospheric science, earth science and geology to tackle questions and issues around scientific and quantitative aspects of environmental issues. Those who major in Environmental Science often go on to work in environmental chemistry or climate change science.

Career Options for Environmental Studies Graduates:

Career Options for Environmental Science Graduates:





Last Updated: 3/30/24