Program Spotlight: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences

Posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Two students examine flora in a forest.
Gain the skills and experience you need to tackle the environmental problems threatening our world.

The United Nations has said "we need to push harder" to prevent irreversible climate disaster.  Be part of the movement that pushes harder with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences degree from the University of Guelph.  Learn to face environmental problems with a unique U of G perspective that focuses on the essential connection between humans and our natural world.  Prepare for a rewarding career in environmental protection, analysis, or research and apply your skills in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.


What is the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences program?

The B.Sc. (Env.) program is designed to provide a strong interdisciplinary grounding in environmental sciences as well as the socioeconomic issues that impact the Earth.  This program promotes practical management, problem-solving, and communications skills and includes extensive experiential learning opportunities such as co-op, research, and international exchange programs.


Why B.Sc. (Env.) at the University of Guelph?

  • Beginning in first year, our students leave the classroom to get real-world experience in labs and in the field.  The many opportunities for experiential learning and independent research give students an ability to collect, analyze, and interpret environmental data; and propose solutions that account for both the biophysical science and the socio-economic context.
  • In this hands-on program, students are able to design and conduct experiments of their own and problem solve using state-of-the-art computing and analytical tools.
  • Enhance your knowledge and gain key field connections around the world with the program’s extensive experiential education courses, co-op placements, and exchange opportunities.
  • Not sure where exactly your interests lie in Grade 12?  The common first year in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences program gives students the flexibility to switch between majors as they discover their passions.


A group of students conduct a test on a beach.


What majors are there to choose from?

  • Ecology: This program pairs principles of ecology with the economic, legal, and policy issues related to the management of the environment.  As an ecology student, you will learn how plants, animals, and microbes interact and explore issues like habitat loss and species endangerment.  Develop the expertise needed to solve ecosystem management questions and prepare for careers in environmental protection, sustainability, consulting, research, and impact assessment.
  • Environmental Economics & Policy: Combine science, politics, and economics to produce effective and sustainable environmental policy.  Students gain an understanding of the policy tools and market mechanisms for managing our natural resources.  Equipped with the ability to look at issues from the perspectives of economics, politics and environmental sciences; grads are enabled to become leaders in the public, private and NGO sectors.
  • Environment & Resource Management: In Environment and Resource Management, you will gain skills across the natural sciences, an understanding of how they interact, the tools and techniques needed to support decision making, and the methods of management and governance that are used in environmental decision-making.  You will gain technical skills fundamental to management of the biophysical environment, such as remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS), effective data collection, analysis, and presentation.
  • Environmental Sciences: This major combines environmental science with practical experience in environmental problem solving.  The integration of biophysical sciences with real-world applications provides students with a unique skill set for confronting environmental issues.  Students will graduate from this major ready to address diverse problems such as pollinator conservation, soil and water conservation, greenhouse gas mitigation, plant disease management, and chemical movement in the environment.


What courses will I take in first year?

Sample first year courses for those in the B.Sc. (Env.) program include:

  • Discovering Biodiversity
  • General Chemistry I
  • Introduction to Environmental Sciences
  • Elements of Calculus I
  • General Chemistry II
  • Introduction to Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Introduction to Environmental Economics, Law & Policy
  • Introduction to the Biophysical Environment


Where can I go with a B.Sc. (Env.) degree?

Our grads are prepared for a wide range of careers including environmental consultant, environmental manager, environmental and/or resource planner, geographic information systems analyst; and careers related to environmental protection, resource management, and research in the public, private, and NGO sectors.

Some of the places that employ U of G B.Sc. (Env.) talent include:

  • Stantec Engineering Firm
  • Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
  • Alberta Parks
  • McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP
  • Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Canada


Ready to learn more?

To learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences program and admission requirements, visit its program page!  To get a sneak peek of student life in the B.Sc. (Env.) program, check out the Environmental Sciences Student Executive (ESSE)’s Instagram at @esseuoguelph!


Alexander Hall

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