Students and instructor standing outside looking through binoculars

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Science Overview

A bachelor’s degree in environmental science from SMWC gives you a thorough understanding of the natural world to prepare you for a career in solving today’s environmental problems. This discipline helps students understand how various aspects of the natural world connect with each other and  human society. Our degree programs provide the flexibility to lead you to the career of your dreams. With your professional advisors helping you along the way, you can mix and match majors and minors to get the perfect degree tailored to you and your career aspirations. Plus, you’ll graduate with a strong foundation in liberal arts.

SMWC’s environmental science program emphasizes the importance of conservation of natural resources and sustainability, which is also a core value of the College. Students learn about pollution, loss of biodiversity and ways humans are harming the environment. You will also learn such topics as biology, science communication, zoology, environmental law and ecology. On top of classwork, we provide opportunities for our students to gain real-world experience through internships and research projects.


What is environmental science?
Environmental science studies the interactions of the environment’s physical, chemical and biological components and how they relate to one another to affect organisms. At The Woods, a bachelor’s degree in environmental science is particularly impactful because our 300-acre campus sits literately in the woods. SMWC students can conduct experiments just steps from their rooms due to our 311-acre wooded campus, complete with a lake and outdoor classroom.

Sustainability is also one of SMWC’s core values as an institution. You’ll see us live out our values every day. Environmental awareness and sustainability are not just degree programs here — they are a way of life.

Why get a degree in environmental science?
A bachelor’s degree in environmental science will help you understand the relationships between environmental ecosystems. With a passion for the environment, conservation and sustainability, our program in environmental science will take your passion and turn it into a career path.

What can you do with a degree in environmental science?
Environmental science is a fast-growing area. Typically, jobs in environmental science focus on sustainability, preservation, energy and pollution. Our graduates have achieved success in many job fields:

  • Sustainability Consultant
  • Environmental Conservation
  • Environmental Investigator
  • Energy Analyst
  • Naturalist

Our program will also prepare you for graduate programs in environmental science if you think a master’s in environmental science is the path you want to be on. If you want to combine a major in environmental science with a double major in programs such as education, communication or business, you’ll create a unique program with even more possibilities. Or a minor in leadership or political science if you want to pursue environmental law.

Check out our blog: 10 careers you can have with a degree in environmental science degree

What is the average annual salary of someone with an environmental science degree?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029. As you look at starting salaries, keep in mind that the cost of living and opportunities to move with a career or industry sector should also factor into your decision. The average salary for an environmental scientist is $76,480, according to BLS.

What support and resources are provided at SMWC?
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) provides exceptional, personalized learning resource services to encourage student success. The LRC offers help with a range of academic support services, including a writing center, tutoring, college success courses and more.

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College is routinely ranked by US News and World Report among the Best Regional Universities in the Midwest and the Best Value Schools. Our departments are also routinely ranked for their individual degree programs.
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