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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Environmental Science

In order to develop solutions for human-caused environmental change, we must first understand the principles of the natural environment. Students in the Environmental Science (ES) program engage in an integrated science curriculum, designed to give students a broad perspective on the environment, its components and processes, and ways to manage and restore the ecosystems within it. This major investigates the mechanisms behind climate change, develops approaches to sustainably manage Earth’s resources, and works to support and preserve biodiversity.

Within the Environmental Science major, students may choose 1 of the following 4 specializations in which to focus:

Ecosystem Restoration- Students will study how ecosystems (both land and water) function at the physical, biological, and chemical level. This specialization is aimed at giving students the knowledge needed to preserve, create and restore our fragile ecosystems.

Environmental Molecular Science- Environmental Molecular Science looks for answers to environmental challenges by studying their smallest components, analyzing chemical and biological processes on the scale of a single atom, molecule, and cell.   It is particularly suited for students wishing to pursue an advanced degree from graduate school (M.S. or Ph.D.) in the fields of environmental microbiology, geobiology, or biogeochemistry. A more detailed description of the specialization and job opportunities can be found here. Additional information for students considering career paths in this field can be found here.

 Soil Resources and Environmental Sustainability- Land and water systems depend heavily on the soil to maintain their functions and stability. This specialization focuses on sustaining and improving soil   quality to ensure a healthy environment.

 Water Science- One of the biggest environmental issues we are facing is the quality and quantity of our water.  This specialization addresses the role that freshwater plays in our human and natural systems, competing and growing demands for water, and the influences of changes in climate and land-use on our water resources.

View Environmental Science Major Requirements Here.



Career Outcomes:

On average, 93% of students in this major have acquired employment or enrolled in graduate or professional school within 6 months of graduation with an average starting salary of $47k.


Stormwater Field Consultant, Alpha EMC, Florida
Environmental Intern, New York State Parks, New York
Modeling, Assessment and TMDL Intern, Ohio EPA, Ohio
Soil Conservationist, USDA - NRCS, Ohio
Applications Engineer, Fondriest Environmental, Ohio
Restoration Technician, Homer Companies, Illinois
Staff Scientist, Clear Creek Systems, Washington
Fire Ecology Intern, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico
Researcher, KAUST Red Sea Research Center, Saudi Arabia
Environmental Scientist, Kentucky EPA, Kentucky
Ecologist, Lawhorn & Associates, Ohio
Fish Technician, Midwest Biodiversity Institute, Ohio
Environmental Specialist II, Ohio EPA, Ohio
Volunteer, Peace Corps, Zambia
Preserve Steward, The Nature Conservancy, Ohio
Aquatic Specialist, AQUA DOC Lake and Pond Management, Ohio
Viticulture Research Intern, E&J Gallo Winery, California
Laboratory Scientist 1, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio
GIS Analyst, Apple Inc., Texas

Graduate School Outcomes

In a typical year, 20% of Environmental Science grads go directly into graduate or professional school.  Of those students, one-third to one-half typically choose to continue their studies at The Ohio State University.  Here are some of the Ohio State master's, professional, and Ph.D. degrees Environmental Science students have pursued over the past five years immediately following graduation:

Environment and Natural Resources
Ecology and Water Systems Engineering
Civil Engineering
Doctorate of Law
Earth Science
Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering,
Environmental Science

Here is a list of selected other graduate programs pursued by Environmental Science students upon graduation in the past 5 years:

Columbia University, Climate and Society
University of Pennsylvania, Environmental Water Resources Management
Northwestern University, Energy and Sustainability
Hawaii Pacific University, Marine Science
Case Western University, Doctorate of Law
University of Cincinnati, Medicine (MD)
University of California-Davis, Marine Ecology


Full employment and graduate school outcome reports are available here.