Environmental Sciences

Undergraduate Program

Introduction to the Major

Environmental Sciences (ES) is a broad, interdisciplinary major that examines the impact of human activities on natural systems. Students learn how to apply tools and techniques from a variety of disciplines such as biology, ecology, chemistry, toxicology, geology, hydrology, meteorology, geography, engineering, statistics, behavioral science, policy analysis, economics, and law.

All ES majors complete a senior thesis in which they investigate an environmental issue, design and execute independent research, and present their results in oral and written form.

The ES Curriculum 

ES has three concentrations: Biological Science, Social Science or Physical Science. For all concentrations, lower division coursework emphasizes basic science in a rigorous curriculum drawn from biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, economics and environmental science. 

For upper division courses, students take electives in their area of interest and courses in research methodology and environmental modeling to prepare for the senior research seminar. This yearlong course is the capstone of the major where students design and conduct their own research with guidance from faculty.

Amplify Your Major

What makes ES such a great major is its interdisciplinary nature and the structured execution of a senior thesis of your choosing.
Aileen Lavelle, ES Student & Peer Advisor

Four-Year Student Timeline

First Year

Explore Your Major

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Second Year

Explore Your Major

Connect and Build Community

  • Start attending Rausser undergraduate events

  • Explore ways to get involved at Rausser College through special programs and groups.

  • Get to know professors and graduate student instructors during office hours.

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Third Year

Explore Your Major

  • Complete the statistics requirement no later than the fall semester.

  • Start brainstorming research topics for your senior thesis and reach out to potential faculty mentors.

  • Take ESPM 100ES during the spring semester, which culminates in a proposal for your senior thesis research topic.

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

Fourth Year

Explore Your Major

  • Take ESPM 175 and find a faculty mentor for your senior thesis.

  • Do a degree check to ensure you are on track to graduate.

  • Complete any “bucket list” courses and remaining major, college, and campus requirements.

  • Present your research at the ES Symposium to your peers, friends, and family.

Connect and Build Community

Discover Your Passions

Engage Locally and Globally

Reflect and Plan Your Future

What Can I Do With My Major?

ES graduates are well-prepared for careers in fields such as environmental consulting, education, health, or law, as well as community, urban, or regional planning and other related areas of environmentalism. Graduates are well-qualified for a variety of graduate programs, including environmental policy and management, law school, medical school, and environmental engineering.

Jobs and Employers

  • Analyst Consultant, Accenture

  • Biological Tech., Dept. of Agriculture

  • Biologist Intern, UCSF

  • Business Associate, Next Jump

  • Consultant, NASA

  • Data Analyst, Lucid Software

  • Environmental Compliance Intern, Recology

  • Environmental Scientist, Americorps 

  • Forestry Tech., Collins Company

  • GIS Data Specialist, City of San Mateo

  • Naturalist, Aquarium of the Bay 

  • Software Ops. Specialist, Nuro

Graduate Programs

  • Civil Engineering, PhD

  • Ecology, PhD

  • Environmental Science, Masters

  • Forestry, PhD

  • Law, JD

  • Molecular Biology, PhD

  • Public Health, Masters

  • Public Policy Analysis, Masters 

Examples gathered from LinkedIn and the First Destination Survey of recent Berkeley graduates.

Learn More

Connect With Us

Cal Day 

Come to Berkeley’s annual Open House in April for information sessions, campus tours, special talks, and more.

Golden Bear Orientation 

Join your peers in the campus-wide UC Berkeley orientation program for all new students.


Attend department events with students, staff, and faculty. Visit nature.berkeley.edu for news and updates.


The Undergraduate Advisors for all Rausser College majors are located in the Office of Instruction and Student Affairs in 260 Mulford Hall. 

Visit nature.berkeley.edu/advising/meet-rausser-advisors for detailed office hours and appointment booking links. You may email general advising questions to envsci.ugrad@berkeley.edu.

How to Use this Map

Use this map to help plan and guide your experience at UC Berkeley, including academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities. Everyone’s Berkeley experience is different and activities in this map are suggestions. Always consult with your advisors whenever possible for new opportunities and updates.