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.

Clarkson University Class of 2020 100 percent placement rating

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:

  • Environmental Science & Policy 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

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

The Institute for a Sustainable Environment also offers minors in environmental health science that are available to all students, including:  

Environmental Health Science

Sustainable Solutions for the Developing World

Environmental Science

Environmental Policy

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Every environmental science and policy student at Clarkson has the ability to work with our world class faculty on research projects.

    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 and teaches courses like Environmental Policy, Energy Politics and Policy Networks, and American Politics.

    Professor Tom Langen is a conservation biologist with 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.

    Michael Twiss is the chair of the Biology Department, as well as 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.

      Students can also spend summers working in research across the country. Recent environmental science & policy student summer experiences have included:

      • 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
      Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Shane Rogers hosts an undergraduate class which involves students getting water chestnut samples in kayaks in Beacon, NY







      Learn more about our Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) faculty affiliates and their research expertise. 

      Adirondack Semester

      Clarkson undergraduate students participate in a hike as part of the Institute for a Sustainable Environment's Adirondack Semester

      Live a semester as a resident explorer, entrepreneur, environmental scientist, poet and policy advocate of the Adirondack Park, one of the largest protected landscapes in North America.

      The Adirondack Semester is a 15-credit, off-campus domestic study program for undergraduates pursuing an experience that is enriching both academically and culturally. Students from any major who are committed to learn about environmental science, policy, economics and the human history and contemporary issues of the Adirondack region are encouraged to apply.

      Whether you attend Clarkson University or another higher education institution, you can do all this and more as part of Clarkson's Adirondack Semester program for undergraduate students.

      Learn more about the Adirondack Semester

      Environmental and Sustainability Student Clubs

      Clarkson University students in the Institute for a Sustainable Environment's Garden Club tend to the campus garden

      Clarkson students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to the environment and sustainability such as:

      • Clarkson Environmental Club
      • Clarkson Garden Club
      • Clarkson Keepers (beekeeping) 
      • Clarkson Rod and Gun Club
      • Clarkson Sustainability Club
      • Clarkson University Outing Club
      • Clean Snowmobile SPEED Team
      • Engineers for International Sustainability (EIS)
      • H2Code LLC
      • New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA)
      • SCUBA Club
      • Sustainable Synergy

      Sustainability Global Travel Courses

      Clarkson students have the opportunity to travel across the country and the world to work on environmental and sustainability projects through coursework. Clarkson has set a goal to offset all transportation emissions by 2020 and for the whole University to become carbon neutral by 2025. Students can take courses that culminate in a class trip. Below is a sample of some of the options students have to travel on sustainability-related trips. 

      Devil's Thumb Ranch

      This course prepares students for and includes a two-week intensive work/study experience at Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado. Students study the nature of the business and their current sustainability practices through structured class time prior to traveling and identify additional possible projects to creatively overcome complex, real-world sustainability challenges for the business and complete a preliminary feasibility study that includes interdependent technical, economic and environmental considerations.

      Clarkson undergraduate students work on a sustainability project with solar panels at Devil's Thumb Ranch with the Institute for a Sustainable Environment
      Microfinance and Sustainability in Uganda

      On this Global Business Program trip focused on socioeconomics and sustainable development in East Africa, students are exposed to the challenges and opportunities of working in a globally diverse and integrated marketplace. Students visited a cross-section of businesses, governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as social and cultural locales. 

      What's your purpose? Achieve it here.