Environmental Studies (B.S. or B.A.)

Why Study Environmental Studies at NIU?

Our Environmental Studies B.S. and B.A. degree programs give you the skills to analyze solutions to energy demands; assess the impact of environmental, climatic and energy challenges facing society; and learn how to promote sustainability and the new policies surrounding it. 

Our program offers six areas of emphasis:

  • Biodiversity and Environmental Restoration*
  • Energy Studies*
  • Environmental Policy
  • Nature and Society
  • Water Sciences*
  • Educator Licensure - Environmental Science*
  • Sustainable Food Systems

* B.S. only

7 reasons to choose environmental studies

Careers with an Environmental Studies Degree

According to National Geographic Magazine, these are the 11 fastest growing careers for environmental studies professionals:

  • Conservation Officer
  • Eco-Tour Guide
  • Energy Policy Analyst
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Education Officer
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Environmental Planner
  • Environmental Policy Analyst
  • Environmental Protection Specialist
  • Environmental Soil or Water Technician
  • Environmental Sustainability Specialist
  • Forest resources manager
  • Naturalist
  • Outdoor/Park Interpreter
  • Park Naturalist/Ranger
  • Recycling and Reclamation Worker
  • Restoration Technician
  • Solar Developer
  • Sustainability Analyst
  • Sustainability Outreach Specialist
  • Sustainability Program Manager
  • Waste Program Manager
  • Water Conservation Specialist
  • Water Quality Specialist
  • Water Resources Manager
  • Watershed Coordinator
  • Wildlife Conservation Officer

Learn more about Environmental Studies careers.

Environmental Studies Faculty

Our environmental studies degree programs are interdisciplinary and feature faculty from several different areas including:

  • Anthropology
  • Biological sciences
  • Economics
  • Engineering technology
  • Geographic and atmospheric sciences
  • Geology and environmental geosciences
  • History
  • Law
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Philosophy
  • Political science

As a student, you can participate in faculty-led research projects in areas including restored habitat, comparative anatomy and water conservation. Some research opportunities include travel to Madagascar, Mexico, Southeast Asia and other sites around the globe.


Hands-on Learning Opportunities

We have several vibrant student organizations you can join that focus on environment, sustainability and energy:

You can also participate in the Communiversity Gardens, NIU Green Team and the Native Plant Garden Project on campus.

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