In our environmental science and policy (ES&P) major, undergraduate students experience a unique blend of science and policy that provides a strong foundation for pursuing a multitude of careers related to environmental issues.

Environmental problems must be solved using a combination of science and policy. Laws, history, policy and ethics are equally as important as understanding the chemistry and biology involved in these problems. A sustainable future is still taking shape, but with emerging technologies and the improvement of cleaner fuel sources, people have forged sustainable practices.

In the environmental science and policy undergraduate bachelor's degree program, you will gain insight into most aspects of the human world, from science to technology, and the environment with hands-on learning that includes assisting the faculty with research projects and your independent projects. Coursework is challenging but flexible and allows you freedom in emphasizing an environmental area of interest. The curriculum, offered through our Institute for a Sustainable Environment, is also well-suited as a preparatory degree if you are interested in pursuing a degree in the health sciences, including medicine, dentistry or veterinary science.

You'll ask questions like "How do we make trade-offs between the demands of society and the needs of nature?" then work toward finding solutions. The environmental science and policy major is interdepartmental, with coursework ranging from biology and chemistry to physics, mathematics, statistics and engineering, and provides an expansive education.

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Environmental Science and Policy Careers

As an Environmental Science & Policy major, you have the opportunity to pursue many careers upon graduation. Some of these careers include:

  • Environmental science consulting
  • Careers with county, state or federal organizations

Clarkson Environmental Science & Policy majors have been recruited by companies such as: Arcadis, General Electric, Onondaga County Water Authority, Siemens, and EA Engineering, Science and Technology. Many Environmental Science & Policy students have pursued graduate degrees at Clarkson's own Environmental Science and Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. programs, Clarkson's MBA program (one-year or online), or other institutions such as SUNY ESF, SUNY Brockport and Harvard University.

Among the nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges, Princeton Review’s Guide to 353 Green Colleges

Environmental Science and Policy Curriculum & Academic Options


Environmental Science & Policy majors take 60 credits specifically within ES&P. These credits, in conjunction with the Clarkson Common Experience, provide a well-rounded education focusing on the areas of study you find most interesting. ES&P majors take courses such as:

  • ES&P of American Rivers
  • Sustainability & the Environment
  • Adirondack Ecology and Environmental science
  • Social and Political Issues in the Adirondacks
  • Great Lakes Water Protection
  • Where the Wild Things Are: Environmental Philosophy and the Emergence Ecosphere

Environmental Science and Policy Major Curriculum


Looking to take your education a step further? Check out our list of minors to complement your environmental science and policy bachelor's degree.

Clarkson Minors

Research Opportunities

Government-supported environmental science and policy research focuses on important topics such as global warming, depletion of the ozone layer and acid rain. Corporations seek new production methods and materials to decrease industrial pollution.

Recent environmental science & policy student summer experiences have include

  • ranch work in Colorado for The Nature Conservancy
  • aquatic ecology research on New York's Hudson River
  • aquatic research at Woods Hole in Massachusetts
  • the New York State Assembly Internship Program
  • work with the Lake George Land Conservancy

Professor Stephen Bird's research focuses on social and organizational connections and their impact on policy networks. He has also written on policy related to hydro fracking, wind power, and economic growth and energy security. At Clarkson, Prof. Bird teaches Environmental Policy, Special Topic: Energy Politics and Policy Networks, Clarkson Seminar and American Politics.

Martin Heintzelman is an associate professor of Economics and Financial Studies at Clarkson and is interested in the value that people have for their environment and environmental economics. He teaches Applied Economics and Environmental Economics.

Associate Professor Tom Langen is a conservation biologist with a focus on behavioral ecology. His research focuses on road ecology, wetland restoration ecology and bird behavior. Prof. Langen teaches Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology, Animal Learning & Cognition, General Ecology Lecture and Laboratory, Conservation Biology, Biological Systems & Global Environmental Change, and courses for the Adirondack Semester and River University. He also does professional development workshops in the U.S. and Latin America on the environmental impacts of roads and other infrastructures.

Michael Twiss is an associate professor in the Department of Biology and interim director of the Great Rivers Center. He is a limnologist by trade and studies the interactions of freshwater plankton and trace metal elements. Prof. Twiss teaches courses in Limnology, Microbiology Lecture and Laboratory, and Great Lakes Science Practicum.

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