Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus Northern Illinois University Your Future, Our Focus

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*

* 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.