Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences

Degree Type
Bachelor of Science
Honors Bachelor of Science
College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences


Environmental scientists work to solve our most challenging issues — global climate change, biodiversity conservation, and balancing resource use and preservation.

The environmental sciences degree builds on the interdisciplinary strengths in the natural and social sciences at OSU. Our students learn broadly about environmental sciences from a variety of perspectives, while deeply exploring one area of specialization. Experiential learning is a key part of the degree program since participating in research or an internship provides an opportunity to actively engage in the field of environmental sciences outside the classroom.

OSU-Cascades students who major in environmental sciences have millions of acres of national forest and public lands at their doorstep. It’s a natural laboratory where we explore, develop leadership skills, take field classes and discover innovative conservation and preservation methods.


Program Description

Applied Ecology

The Applied Ecology option is for Environmental Sciences students who seek to orient their studies around ecology. This is applied ecology and therefore includes geographic methods for measuring and data collection in ecological change. Students seeking a concentration in policy and management are encouraged to consider the Conservation, Resources, and Sustainability option.

Conservation, Resources, and Sustainability

The Conservation, Resources, and Sustainability option helps students obtain a solid science base from which to examine environmental issues in terms of conservation approaches, resource management, and sustainability as science and policy.

A total of 180 quarter credits are required to graduate, including 60 upper-division credits. Requirements include:

  1. Baccalaureate core: Total of 48 credits plus WIC course
  2. Environmental Sciences Major Requirements: 51-53 credits
  3. Environmental Sciences & Humanities Core: 25-29 credits
  4. Specialization Option: 27 credits
  5. Experiential Learning: 3 credits
  6. Electives if needed to meet the 180 credits

Degree Checklist

2023-2024 Environmental Science Curriculum Guide (for new students starting summer 2023)

2021-2023 Environmental Sciences Curriculum Guide (PDF) (for students admitted before summer 2023)

Transfer Guides

COCC Environmental Sciences Transfer Guide

CEOAS Transfer Articulation Guides for Oregon Community Colleges

Four-Year Sample Plans

A degree pathway is important to student success. To help you explore your major coursework and for you to begin the process of creating an individualized academic plan, we have created a sample four-year plan for the Environmental Sciences major. These plans also include academic and co-curricular opportunities ideas for each academic year.

This is a sample plan intended for informational purposes only. Students will work with their OSU academic advisor to create degree plan that works best for each student based around unique interests, goals and transfer work.

Environmental Sciences Plan - Applied Ecology Option

Environmental Sciences Plan - Conservation, Resources and Sustainability

Using the following course forecast information students will plan ahead and work with their advisor to create and update academic plans.

OSU Course Catalog

OSU Class Search

Environmental Sciences Courses by Term

At OSU-Cascades, the environmental sciences degree features a broad, interdisciplinary curriculum in the natural and social sciences, along with options in applied ecology or conservation, resources and sustainability. Go beyond the classroom with field research and internship opportunities in Central Oregon’s vast natural laboratory. You’ll graduate prepared to take on challenging issues like climate change, biodiversity and balancing resource use with preservation.

Students will:

  • Identify and define concepts in the natural sciences (e.g. chemistry, atmospheric sciences, ecology, geology, oceanography, soil science).
  • Identify and define concepts in the humanities and social sciences (e.g. economics, environmental law, ethics, resource policy, and human-environment interaction fields like agronomy and geography).
  • Integrate concepts in the natural sciences with those in the humanities and social sciences.
  • Demonstrate a rigorous cross-disciplinary science base (biological, physical, and social sciences) with a deeper knowledge in a specialization area by using the quantitative tools to analyze and interpret data.
  • Communicate ideas clearly—orally, graphically, or in writing—to address environmental sciences issues.
  • Engage in and experience the application of the environmental sciences beyond the classroom through fieldwork, participation in an internship, research, study abroad, or other forms of experiential learning.

Sample Courses

  • Environmental Economics and Policy
  • Environmental Case Studies
  • Issues in Natural Resources Conservation
  • Rangeland Ecology and Management
  • Systematics of Mammals
  • Climate Science
  • Environmental Justice
  • Biodiversity: Causes, Consequences, and Conservation
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Ecosystems of Wildland Soils
  • Forest Ecology
  • Wildland Plant ID
  • Introduction to Water Science and Policy
  • Principles of Fish & Wildlife Conservation

Course Listing

Career Options

Job opportunities for graduates of this degree program include:

  • Arboriculturist
  • Conservation Officer
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Farmer/Rancher
  • Fire Scientist
  • Fisheries Biologist
  • Forester
  • GIS Specialist
  • Naturalist
  • Park Ranger
  • Plant/Soil Scientist
  • Surveyor
  • Water Quality Specialist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Urban/Regional Planner


Request More Info



Contact Us

We're here to help! Future students can connect with an OSU-Cascades admissions advisor for admission and program questions.