Choosing an Environmental Science Degree

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If you’re interested in a career that involves working outdoors, helping wildlife, or saving the environment, you will be right at home working towards a Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences degree at Illinois. Our students obtain an active, hands-on, scientific education that prepares them to address critical environmental issues facing our world.


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We want our students to be well prepared for their careers, which is why we require taking classroom learning into the field. Students get to work alongside our world-renowned faculty learning to do a range of activities including soil and water sampling, flora and fauna identification, and measuring wildlife populations.

While we’re based in the prairie state, our students have the opportunity to practice their skills on a global scale. Students can travel abroad with faculty members to see first-hand how to adapt what they have learned to different environments, or pave their own way and choose one of the other 400 study abroad opportunities available at U of I.

Our students are also highly encouraged to get involved with our departmental research and take advantage of regularly updated volunteer or paid internship opportunities.

Socially Aware

Teachers introducing young students to beehives in full bee protection gear

While our emphasis on physical and biological sciences is clear, we also provide our students with a strong social science background.

As humans continue to impact our environment, giving our students the background knowledge and critical thinking skills to drive positive change in their career fields has become crucial.

Our students can even elect to concentrate their major primarily in the social aspect of environmental science. This is especially useful for students who are interested in pursuing a career in areas like policy, law, or advocacy.

Career Ready

Student being instructed on how to cut down a tree

While there are amazing graduate degree opportunities in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, if pursuing a graduate degree is not in your plans, there are plenty of career opportunities available right after graduating with your bachelor’s.

Whether pursuing careers in the private or public sector, our students are in high demand for jobs in forestry, conservation, environmental consulting and more.

If a hands-on degree program that prepares you for navigating the social and political climate of your natural resources or environmental science-oriented career sounds like the right fit for you, visit us. If you’ve already made your decision and are ready to apply, visit our admissions website.