Environmental Science vs. Environmental Studies

What is the difference between Environmental Science and Environmental Studies?

Students on a boat looking at catch

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary science-based major. It is a combination of biological, ecological, chemical, geological, and mathematical principles often used to solve environmental challenges or manage natural resources. It is an applied science field that broadly integrates multiple scientific disciplines to assess and respond to environmental risks or problems. This major prepares students for career opportunities such as those in resource management, water resources, pollution research and abatement, government agencies, habitat restoration, academia or education, consulting, environmental (or urban) planning, climatology, environmental engineering, environmental sustainability, conservation, environmental law, policy, non-profit organizations, and many more.

Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary social science and humanities-based major. It focuses on the human relationship with the environment and how environmental challenges intersect with politics, economics, society, and culture. Environmental studies gives students a broad foundation in human-environment and nature-society relations, preparing them to approach pressing environmental questions and complex environmental issues from multiple angles. This major prepares students for careers in environmental policy, environmental planning, sustainable development, green business, environmental law, academia or education. Due to the differences, students are encouraged to carefully review the curriculum and requirements for both majors in light of their interests and career goals.