Environmental Science

If you鈥檙e passionate about improving and sustaining life on Earth, the Environmental Sciences program will transform your passion into practice. Using interdisciplinary approaches, coupled with hands-on field and laboratory experiences, you will be prepared for a career in environmental fields.

Program Snapshot

Program Type Format Credit Hours
Major On Campus 126

Why Study Environmental Science at Wilkes?

Society depends on environmental scientists to encourage the efficient use of natural resources, advocate for diverse and sustainable energy resources, and help solve complex environmental problems. The program incorporates a strong background in all physical and natural sciences and includes extensive laboratory and field experiences.

The Environmental Science program exposes you to environmental system processes and will prepare you with an understanding of how changes (natural and anthropogenic) are influencing the Earth. The curriculum emphasizes field analysis of natural systems and technical training, providing you with job-ready skills. Our goal is to train scientists who use their knowledge to protect the environment and human health, conserve natural resources, advise policy makers, and work with industry to address environmental issues.

What Will You Learn as an Environmental Science Major?

  • Build your knowledge on a foundation of natural and physical science courses (physics, chemistry, biology), which are necessary to understand complex environmental systems.
  • Learn about the many issues facing the environment today, such as climate change, soil and land use, water and air quality, waste management, water resources and sustainability management.
  • As part of your three-semester capstone project, you will conduct research with expert faculty advisors and mentors to further develop skills desired by employers, such as field data collection, data processing and management, interpretation and analysis, oral/written communication, and troubleshooting equipment and methods. Past topics have included measuring and reporting on the success of a new surface mine reclamation approach, tracking groundwater flow pathways using chemical tracers, characterizing the behavior and stability of mountain streams, and using lake sediment cores to understand past climate patterns.

Program Highlights

Experiential Learning

Our curriculum emphasizes experiential learning, such as hands-on activities, field expeditions and community engagement, including opportunities to engage and network with professional environmental scientists. These experiences reinforce learned content and provide you an opportunity to apply and practice skills necessary for career success.

Pick Your Passion

Choose a concentration in biology or earth science. The biology concentration focuses on topics in ecology, conservation, and aquatic biology. Topics in the earth science concentration include the chemical and physical behaviors of the atmosphere, ocean and other natural systems.


Take part in research as early as your first year, working with your professors researching topics that have great implications for society. These experiences are unique in undergraduate-only programs, providing you with exposure to and training with equipment, techniques and methods often reserved for graduate students.

My time with Wilkes was defined by their amazing faculty and staff who are always willing to engage with students and lend a helping hand.

Ellen Weber '19 - Environmental Science

Wilkes gave me so many research opportunities. The variety of classes in the department let me choose my path and each one included hands-on experience in the field or lab. Faculty provided much needed support and mentorship and continues to even still.

Lena Campisi '17 - Environmental Science

average class size


trips in the field taken per course


2020 median pay per the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Careers & Outcomes

Job Titles

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Health and Safety Manager
  • Environmental Scientist and Protection Technician
  • Conservation Scientists and Foresters
  • GIS Analyst
  • Hydrologist
  • Land Use Planner
  • Microbiologist
  • Science Teacher
  • Wetland Specialist
  • Wildlife Biologist


  • Borton-Lawson Engineering
  • Brandywine Conservancy
  • Environmental Resources Management
  • Gannett Fleming Inc.
  • Langan Engineering and Environmental Consulting
  • Pennsylvania American Water
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Rettew Engineering Consultants
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • UGI Utilities
  • United States Environmental Protection Agency

Graduate Schools

  • Columbia University
  • Drexel University
  • Lehigh University
  • Manhattan College
  • Old Dominion University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University at Albany - State University of New York
  • University of Delaware
  • University of Houston
  • University of New Haven
  • University of Oklahoma
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Villanova University