Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies undergraduate major is focused on training students rigorously in the multiple dimensions of environmental change through courses that integrate scientific understanding of human-environment interactions, practical responses to environmental problems, and the values that shape our decisions and behavior.

As graduates with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, students will:

  • Integrate scientific principles of earth systems and human-environment interactions, understanding of perspectives and values, and practical response in the study of environmental problems and proposed solutions.
  • Evaluate different sources, claims, and data for environmental topics and construct their own arguments.
  • Produce an independent research-based analysis of an environmental issue.
  • Evaluate contrasting perspectives on and values for environmental issues.
  • Generate effective communication about environmental topics in written and oral format
  • Evaluate how global and local environmental burdens and benefits are shaped by historical and contemporary systems of exploitation, oppression, inequality, and unequal power relations.

"The CU environmental studies major has allowed me to develop systems thinking skills reinforced with an understanding of the socioeconomic, political, and ecological components of environmental problems. The community, curriculum, events, and the support given for leadership development have prepared me to take effective action in shaping a sustainable future." 
Matthew Ribarich, ENVS 2014

"I chose to major in environmental studies at CU Boulder because the curriculum gives a balanced education that combines a strong scientific knowledge base with communication and critical thinking skills.” Brittney Manzagol, ENVS 2014 

What can I do with a degree in Environmental Studies? 

Who better to answer this question than those who have earned a degree in Environmental Studies from CU Boulder? So that's what we did.

In 2018, the Department of Environmental Studies surveyed ENVS B.A. graduates from 1994-2018 on the utility of the degree and what professional positions they hold now. About 670 ENVS alumni completed the survey, and 73% held jobs related to their degree after graduation. Here are the positions with emergent themes in word cloud form, as well as specific examples of professions listed in the survey responses. In addition to those listed below, there are an ever-growing number of professions that concern the environment. Consider majoring in Environmental Studies and look forward to opening a new chapter!

Job titles of a sampling of our ENVS Graduates:

  • Environmental educator (e.g. Bixby School, The Greenway Foundation, Watershed Education Program)
  • Sustainability Coordinator, Officer, or Vice President (e.g. Arapahoe Basin, City of Durango)
  • Environmental Consultant or Planner (e.g. various consulting firms, City of Ft. Collins)
  • Policy Communications Manager, writer, analyst (e.g. Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Bloomberg)
  • Associate in Sustainable Finance, CEO (e.g. Morgan Chase, Carbon Finance)
  • Organizer (e.g. American Lands Alliance, Conservation International, CALPIRG, GreenCorps, Humane League)
  • Founder, Director, Development officer (e.g. Accenture, Environment America, Green Alliance)
  • Senior Attorney (e.g. Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Sierra Club)
  • Environmental Scientist, ecologist, wildlife biologist, geologist, engineer, technician, GIS specialist (e.g. National Park Service, NEON, Johnson Controls, Seacrest, CO Div of Parks and Wildlife, USGS, Alaska Dept of Fish and Game)
  • Energy Analyst or Market Advisor (e.g. at Platts, Sunrun, Xcel, UPS)
  • Water or Air Quality Specialist (e.g. National Park Service, US Water Alliance, Denver Water)
  • Park Ranger, Research Scientist, Trails Director (e.g. CO Parks and Wildlife, US Forest Service, Grand Canyon, Boulder County)
  • Conservation Scientist, Restoration Ecologist, Naturalist (e.g. Montana Fish, Parks, and Wildlife, Ocean Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Oahu Army Natural Resources Program, Peace Corps)

ENVS graduate job word cloud