Environmental Studies


Why study Environmental Studies?

Toxic algae, air pollution, declining biodiversity. UC’s College of Arts and Sciences prepares you to take on these challenges with an interdisciplinary program that reaches into the natural sciences like biology and chemistry, policy and social sciences, and writing, ethics, and other humanities.

Environmental Studies investigates the natural world and the interaction of humans and the environment. UC will give you the interdisciplinary training and knowledge to address the complex and changing environmental problems we face.

At UC, you will get a strong foundation in sciences such as biology, chemistry and geology; social sciences such as communication and public policy; all framed within humanities like history, ethics, and scientific writing. And you will take what you learn into the field using the latest research technology and UC’s state-of-the-art labs, which give UC distinction as a top research institution as ranked by the Carnegie Foundation.

UC leads the way in environmental studies and you will, too. Environmental problems require creative solutions, imagination and talent. If you have strong critical-thinking skills and a passion for the environment, UC is the place for you. Environmental studies graduates have pursued diverse careers as consultants, lab analysts, ecologists, land managers and park naturalists.  We also enjoy a close relationship with the nearby Cincinnati Zoo and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), where students can enhance their coursework with research experience and/or internships.

During your sophomore year, this major will allow you to opt into a co-op track. The optional co-op track provides an opportunity for you to engage in compensated, career-oriented experiences and reflect upon and integrate those experiences as a part of your undergraduate degree. Engaging in multiple meaningful career-related experiences prior to graduation provides you with an opportunity to develop transferable skills and gain a competitive edge as you prepare for life after graduation. Please see the curriculum map linked below for more information.

Admission Requirements

Freshmen applicants, please visit the Admission Requirements page for more information.

The keys to success in environmental studies are both a curiosity about and a passion for the natural world. The complex nature of environmental issues and solutions also requires creativity in problem-solving, flexibility, imagination and a talent for both written and oral communication. Successful students have strong analytical and critical thinking skills and an interest in the sciences that form the foundation of UC’s approach to environmental studies.

Graduates of environmental studies may choose to pursue professional careers after the BS or to continue their studies in either graduate schools (MAs or PhDs in fields such as biology, ecology or environmental science/studies) or professional schools (e.g., law school, education, or medicine). Career opportunities include positions in federal, state and local agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, consulting firms and academic institutions. Examples of potential careers include:

  • Air or water pollution analyst
  • Aquatic ecologist 
  • Resource, land or lake management 
  • Ecologist or biological researcher 
  • Environmental agency or nonprofit official
  • Environmental consultant 
  • Environmental risk assessor
  • Environmental attorney 
  • Environmental compliance analyst
  • Hydrologist/limnologist
  • Park naturalist or ranger
  • Environmental mediator/negotiator
  • Hazardous waste manager
  • Satellite remote sensing
  • Geographic information systems specialist 
  • Conservation biologist 
  • Natural resource specialist
  • Environmental protection specialist
  • Wetlands/grasslands restoration specialist 
  • Zoologist/wildlife biologist
  • Waterway restoration specialist
  • Policy analyst

Students in the UC College of Arts and Sciences enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Co-op Option

Students in this program can participate in the optional co-op track and gain valuable work experience while they are still in school. To fulfill the requirements of this track, students are prepared to participate in a competitive search process to complete at least two co-op experiences. Participation in the co-op track will be noted on students’ transcripts. 

University of Cincinnati 3 + 3 Law School Admissions

This major welcomes eligible students who would like to earn a bachelor’s degree and a UC law degree in just six years, saving a year of tuition and time over the traditional path to becoming a lawyer. Students will receive careful advising to complete their major and A&S core degree requirements in 3 years. More information is available here.

The University of Cincinnati and its Center for Environmental Studies present an ideal physical and intellectual location in which to study, producing broadly trained, interdisciplinary environmental professionals. Cincinnati is an urban area surrounded by rural communities; this urban-to-wild land gradient provides an array of diverse ecosystems for academic study and research. As such, the local environment is challenged by both the municipal and industrial needs of a city, and the broad impact of activities such as farming and land management. UC is home to a diverse faculty and a rich curriculum that actively address environmental issues and problems. Faculty in the center have many interests and are drawn from several departments of the UC College of Arts and Sciences (e.g., biological sciences, geography, geology, economics and communication), the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science and the UC College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, as well as from professional scientists of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The expertise within the university is supplemented by the presence of three major research divisions of the EPA: the National Center for Environmental Assessment, the National Environmental Research Laboratory and the National Risk Management Research Laboratory. The close proximity (across the street!) of the EPA facility markedly expands the resources available to environmental research and education, and many UC students have held positions and internships at the EPA. Additional opportunities include affiliated student environmental groups such as LEAP (Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection), undergraduate research opportunities, and internships with local or national agencies and organizations.

To graduate from the UC College of Arts and Sciences, students must:

  • Earn at least 120 credits. This can include transfer credit, AP credit and free electives, but does not include preparatory coursework. Students who have met all other degree requirements must continue earning credit until the total number of their earned hours comes to at least 120.
  • Attain a 2.0 grade point average for all courses taken at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Be in good academic standing, that is, not on either academic probation or disciplinary probation or suspension.
  • Complete the residency requirement by earning at least 30 credits after matriculating into the college.
  • Complete all of the requirements of at least one major (see major requirements above).
  • Complete the College Core Requirements.
  • Submit an application for graduation to the registrar's office by their posted deadline.

Admission to A&S is generally available for any off-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cum and a 2.0 in the most recent institution.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cum

For more information, Pathways Advising and Student Success

Transfer students should apply using our transfer student online application

Admission to A&S is generally available for any on-campus student who was admissible directly from high school and has 2.0 GPA cum.

Students who were not admissible directly from high school must have:

  • 24 semester (36 quarter) hours earned
  • at least a 2.0 GPA cum

Application Deadlines

While midyear admission is possible, fall semester is generally the best time to enter the college, since many course sequences begin in that semester. Applicants to the UC College of Arts and Sciences who are enrolled or who were previously enrolled as degree-seeking students in A&S or in other UC colleges should apply for admission directly to A&S (in French West, 2nd Floor). All other applicants who wish to earn an undergraduate degree from A&S should apply through the Office of Admissions (3rd Floor, University Pavilion).

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Contact Information

David Stradling, PhD
322 Arts & Sciences Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0373
(513) 556-2057

Find related programs in the following interest areas:

Program Code: 15BAC-EVST-BS