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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Environmental Studies and Policy

Majors Overview March 10, 2015

Environmental policy is usually a concentration in environmental studies programs at the bachelor’s level. Education is interdisciplinary and features studies from the humanities and the natural sciences. Students will learn how to carry out environmental research, develop environmental policies, and understand the various aspects of environmental issues.

Information on Environmental Studies and Policy Degree Programs

The bachelor’s degree program in environmental studies will benefit individuals who wish to gain knowledge in environmental policy. Coursework in these programs is devised to suit the needs of those wishing to affect environmental policy; the program is less suitable for those seeking careers as environmental researchers or scientists. Those who complete a bachelor’s degree in the field can seek jobs in conservation, resource management, planning, or consulting.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Environmental Studies and Policy

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. Graduates learn to use holistic approaches aimed at resolving contemporary environmental issues through holistic approaches. Schools award Bachelor of Science (B.S.) and Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degrees to graduates.

Students enrolled in the programs learn about social, political, and cultural factors that affect environmental principles and human–nature relationships. They learn about sustainable development, climate change, biodiversity, ecological systems, and resource consumption and management. They gain education about the earth from global and local perspectives and learn to consider multiple viewpoints when they design environmental courses of action.
Students receive training in data analysis, probability, statistics, and environmental research methods. They are also taught technological skills in geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing. Independent studies, internships, or fieldwork projects are included to provide students with opportunities where students can practice policy design.


Some classes in social studies, biology, and earth studies are required to be taken by students enrolled in the program. Students are often allowed to tailor their coursework to match their individual interests. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Environmental economics
•Environmental modeling
•Public policy and the environment
•Environmental urban planning
•Environmental law
•Applications in environmental studies
•Earth as an ecosystem
•Cultural ecology

Career Choices

The leadership, advocacy, and critical thinking skills attained from the program, in addition to environmental knowledge can help graduates seek entry-level careers in areas such as the following:

•Resource management
•Environmental policy design and evaluation
•Environmental consulting
•Land use planning

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete a bachelor’s degree program may seek continuing education by enrolling in master’s degree programs in environmental policy, whereby they may enjoy additional career choices and advancement opportunities. They may also choose to enroll in professional graduate programs in public policy, public health, or law, wherein they may opt for specializations in environmental policy.

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