Environmental Science, BS

Pursue a Bachelor degree that focuses on understanding how our natural environmental works and figuring out where we need to learn more. Prepare for a sustainable future and careers in conservation, consulting and other areas.

About this Program

Environmental Science for a More Sustainable Future

With a wide range of applied science courses that support environmental management, you’ll be prepared for careers in a variety of environmental-related areas, including conservation, environmental consulting, ecological restoration, environmental education and more.

Why Seattle University?

Our Jesuit and Catholic approach and deep university-wide commitment to sustainability give you a powerful foundation for environmental science.

Plus, the urban region of Seattle is a great place to study environmental science. It’s one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States and is built on the shoreline of one of the world’s great estuaries, Puget Sound.

Unfortunately, urban growth and other environmental stressors have had significant environmental impacts. Managing our unique natural heritage is one of the greatest challenges faced by the region. Thankfully, the fragility of the natural systems is being addressed by federal, state and local research agencies as well as by a range of consulting companies and foundations.

As a well-rounded environmental scientist in the Seattle area, you’ll be prepared to make an immediate impact on one of the most important—and complex—problems of our time.

Environmental Science Degree At a Glance

Learn how this degree from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will contribute to your career goals. Then, explore course requirements and see how impactful a Seattle University degree can be.

Seattle University’s bachelor’s in environmental science gives you a strong foundation in biology, chemistry, ecology and environmental engineering. As a partially self-designed major, you can take additional upper-division courses in areas of interest, ranging from water resources to environmental economics. The degree is also structured so you can obtain a minor in your area of interest or an undergraduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The last year of your degree includes a capstone that allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a real-life problem.

After you complete your degree, you will be qualified to pursue a career in conservation, environmental consulting, natural resource management, business sustainability, and other similar fields. You can also go on to law school or graduate school in a variety of disciplines.

The minor in environmental science is intended to provide you with a core set of tools and scientific knowledge that can then be used to approach the environmental from the perspective of a single discipline. Seattle University’s minor gives you the opportunity to learn about the biological, physical and chemical components of the environment and then relate them to both human and ecological health. Subjects such as marine, forest or aquatic ecology can all be explored after foundational courses in biology and chemistry are completed. To earn a minor, you’ll complete at least 30 credits in this area.

  • Science Fundamentals:  Apply principles from biology, ecology, chemistry, physics, geology, mathematics, and engineering to examine the natural history, ecosystems, and environmental problems of the Pacific Northwest and to place them in a global context.
  • Experimentation: Plan, safely conduct, and document fieldwork and lab experiments that account for the spatial and temporal complexity inherent within natural systems.
  • Critical Thinking: Develop and test scientific hypotheses using critical thinking skills and contemporary tools.
  • Communication:  Communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical audiences in written and oral forms using reasoning that draws from the scientific literature and is supported by data presented as figures, tables, maps, photographs, and in other graphical forms.
  • Policy:  Evaluate how science can inform the development of policy to address environmental problems such as biodiversity loss, pollution, resource depletion, and climate change.
  • Teamwork: Collaborate on multidisciplinary teams that apply scientific expertise and input from diverse stakeholders to characterize and address environmental problems.

What You’ll Learn

Learn about the classes you’ll take as a student here.

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Top 25% in Science & Engineering

Seattle University ranks #40 in the nation —U.S. News & World Report, 2023

93%

Job Placement Rate

For Seattle University Marketing undergraduates

62%

Of SU Civil Engineering Students

Identify as People of Color vs. national average of 38% —ASEE, 2021

Career-Ready Education

A group of people standing on a fallen tree in a forest.

Capstone Projects: Real Projects, Industry Sponsors

Your year-long, industry-sponsored capstone project gives you the opportunity to collaborate with an industry or agency sponsor on a real project. You’ll develop leadership, communication and technical skills that employers highly value.

A group of people in lab coats in a classroom.

Research Projects with Faculty

At Seattle University, research isn’t just for graduate students. You’ll be able to collaborate with faculty researchers on projects that address contemporary problems. This real-world research prepares you for the best jobs, top graduate programs and postdoctoral training at internationally recognized institutions.

A group of people working in a lab.

Career Development from the Start

Your personal faculty advisor will start helping you develop your career in your first quarter and will connect you with opportunities to explore different careers and connect to employers in Seattle’s wider community.

Thrive in Seattle’s Hub for Environmental Research

Seattle is a regional and national hub for environment-focused research, meaning that there are a number of opportunities for you during your time at Seattle University and after graduation. Opportunities include resource management agencies, private consulting firms or advanced graduate studies in the environment. The fragility of our ecosystem is being addressed by federal, state, and local research agencies as well as by a range of consulting companies and foundations.

The city is also a great place for you to study environmental science. As one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States, Seattle is also built on the shoreline of the Puget Sound, which is one of the world’s greatest estuaries. Over the years, urban growth and other environmental stressors have had significant environmental impacts. Managing our unique natural heritage is one of the greatest challenges faced by the region, and the skills you learn at Seattle University could help you make a big impact here.

Hear From Our Student

Roan Weinkauf

Roan Weinkauf, ‘25

“Whether you want to understand the atmospheric chemistry of climate change or how fish populations are impacted by remediation, the SU environmental science degree will expose you to all environmental questions. Environmental science faculty have been my primary academic support during my time at SU. Due to small class sizes, each professor not only knows who you are but actively cares about you and your future career. These professors are here for the students first and that is very clear.”

BS in Environmental Science

Featured Faculty

Get in Touch

We’re here to help. For information about Environmental Science at Seattle University, contact:

Lyn Gualtieri, PhD

Teaching Professor Director of Environmental Science