The Environmental Science major emphasizes biology with substantial coursework in computing sciences and mathematics, chemistry, and environmental policy to prepare students to solve modern environmental problems.
Environmental Science (ENVS) and Environmental Studies (EVST) are distinct, but related programs. Both programs start with an introductory course in environmental studies and end with a course in research methods and a professional capstone. Both are interdisciplinary programs that focus on building knowledge and skills in the Natural/Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts. However, while these content areas exist in both majors, the ENVS major prescribes significantly more natural science, physical science, and computational science content than does the EVST major.
More information about the Environmental Studies Program can be found in the Course Catalog.
Beyond the Classroom
Environmental Science students have completed an NSF-REU research internship at Blandy Experimental Farm (University of Virginia); completed an independent study on stormwater management with the Harshman CE Group, LLC; conducted research on conservation of genetic diversity of ash trees on the Allegheny National Forest; rehabilitated injured wildlife at Savannah Wildlife Rescue Center; planted and maintained trees for Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; and led ecotours at Penn's Cave & Wildlife Park.
Students have also designed and participated in environmental and sustainability projects in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Scandinavia with support from the Magellan Project, Mazingira Fund, and study abroad opportunities. The Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment (LIASE) Program supports W&J students and faculty in integrated, innovative projects and programs that promote Asian studies within the context of environmental studies.
ENVS majors and EVST majors complete their programs with a capstone presentation at a professional conference or on campus. The 2020 on-campus presentations included a wide variety of topics, and you can view them here.
Because of its foundation in the natural sciences, the Environmental Science program prepares students for related graduate programs in the sciences, as well as technical positions in consulting firms and careers in environmental engineering, and for entry level positions in natural resource management, government agencies, and in research positions for land conservancies.