Undergraduate Major

Environmental Science & Sustainability Major (BS)

Engage with and protect the natural world with an environmental science and sustainability degree. Through field work, research experiences, internships, and international travel, you'll become a leader in addressing today's most pressing environmental and sustainability issues.

Environmental Science Hero

Program Overview

Sustainability and environmental well-being are some of the most pressing matters facing society today. You'll think critically, engage creatively, and act empathetically towards the natural world and its inhabitants when you study environmental science.

You'll learn scientific foundations in small classes, working directly with professors dedicated to knowing you personally. Before long, you'll be studying exotic insects in a federally restricted lab and monitoring pollutant levels in local waterways.

You'll also engage in research projects that can take you all over the world, from the coffee farms of Costa Rica to the jungles of the Amazon Basin in Peru. You'll direct your own research projects and constantly be sharing your work in class and on the local, regional, and even national levels.

All these experiences will prepare you to be an engaged global citizen and innovator in the field of environmental science.

Program Options

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Environmental Science Minor

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Environmental Studies Minor

The environmental studies minor is designed primarily for students in the arts and sciences who have an interest in environmental issues and policies. This minor provides students with the necessary interdisciplinary academic knowledge to understand complex environmental issues and the social, political, and cultural contexts that affect human interaction with the environment. Specifically, the curriculum is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply knowledge from the scientific disciplines in conjunction with the principles of social science to help address some of our most pressing local, regional, and global environmental problems.

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Sustainability Science Minor

The sustainability science minor is designed for students in all majors who have an interest in sustainability. The minor provides students with the necessary academic training to apply scientific knowledge and principles to sustainability practices. This minor helps students become better prepared to address some of our pressing local, national, and international sustainability problems.

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Sustainability Management Minor

Sustainable development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Students interested in managing or knowing more about the network of dependent relationships that exist between the environment, the economy, and the culture, and understanding that these interrelationships exist on the local, regional, national, and global levels may choose to minor in sustainability management.

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Students can obtain secondary certification in Earth and space science by completing the secondary education track. Students must also follow the instructions and requirements in the Center for Education section. Students may seek certification in more than one field; however, this usually requires more than eight semesters. Students who wish to become certified in more than one area should work closely with their faculty advisor when planning course schedules.

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Admission Information

Applying to Widener is easy—and free! Simply complete our Widener Application or the Common Application. You'll also need your official high school transcript and either an admissions essay or your SAT/ACT scores. We're a test-optional school, so there's no need to submit both.

Know you're interested in applying to Widener but unsure if you're ready to zero-in on a major? You can apply as an Exploratory Studies student with an undecided major. This program will help you start your college journey on the right foot while you explore which undergraduate program is the right fit for you.

When to Apply​

We accept applications on a rolling basis—there are no hard deadlines. Apply when you're ready and we'll take a look as soon as we receive your app. 

Key dates to keep in mind:​

  • October 1: FAFSA opens for the next academic year (Widener's school code is 003313)​
  • November 1: Early Action deadline and decision notifications begin​

What to Expect After Applying​

Once we receive your application and all materials, you can expect to hear back from us quickly. Along with your application decision, you'll also find out about any merit-based scholarship awards. You're automatically considered for merit scholarships as soon as you apply—you don't need to apply separately.

Learn more about the application process

If you apply before November 1, you are considered an Early Action applicant which comes with benefits like:

  • Receiving your admissions decision by Thanksgiving
  • Early consideration for merit-based scholarships
  • Early notification of financial aid offers, including need-based awards
  • Priority enrollment for summer registration—where you sign up for classes!

All applications are non-binding, so why wait? Apply today!

Our admissions team will help you make the most of college-level credits earned after high school. We maintain strong partnerships and articulation agreements with numerous local community colleges and also accept a wide range of course credits earned at accredited colleges and universities.

Curious about how many credits may transfer? Email your transcripts to transfer@widener.edu and our transfer coordinator will personally review your coursework as an unofficial credit evaluation. Applicants are given priority during busy seasons, but you don't have to apply to work with our transfer coordinator. 

Transferring doesn't have to be a guessing game—share your stats and we'll take it from there! 

Learn more about applying as a transfer student

Widener University serves as a "second home" for students from around the world. We are located just outside of Philadelphia and close to New York City and Washington, D.C.—offering many unique professional and personal opportunities to explore.

Want to know what it's like to be an international student on campus or need assistance navigating English proficiency requirements? We're here to help, and our international admissions director will support you through the application process. 

This support doesn't end with admissions—our International Student Support team will serve as a valuable resource throughout your Widener journey—meeting Visa/immigration requirements, getting acclimated to campus, and much more.

Learn more about applying as an international student

Program Highlights

You'll grow your global community while growing your scientific skills with an environmental science degree. Take part in a pre-orientation experience in Costa Rica to meet new people and become involved civically in a global experience before you even begin your freshman year.

Environmental Science Experiences

Global Experiences

Faculty-led short-term study abroad experiences in Costa Rica, Peru, and Honduras will expose you to the diversity of the natural world and enhance your cultural knowledge of human-environment interaction. Put your skills to work through practical research projects, like consulting with coffee farmers in Costa Rica.

Environmental Research

Diverse Research Opportunities

From day one, you'll be encouraged to engage in cutting-edge research with your professors. You'll have the chance to present to the scientific community at local, regional, and national forums and conferences. Complete your education with an independent capstone project, culminating with the presentation of your senior thesis on Student Project Day.

Environmental Science Faculty

Expert Faculty Mentors

Your professors cherish the opportunity to get to know you. With faculty members interested in atmospheric and water chemistry, environmental analysis and toxicology, meteorology, physiological ecology, geology, and tropical biology, you'll find a diverse set of mentors eager to help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

Clubs & Organizations

Environmental Science & Sustainability majors have the opportunity to joing various clubs and organizations across and outside campus to expand their network, including the Environmental Club, the Lambda Pi Eta - National Communication Honor Society, and many more.

Faculty

Our professors invest in your success through close mentoring and continual feedback. Get to know our environmental science faculty.

Your Inside Track to Success

Your Inside Track to Success

With a strong set of scientific skills plus a distinguished resume of local and global research experiences, you'll graduate an agent of change for the world, ready to take on any number of careers in environmental science.

Outlook & Outcomes

Potential Careers

  • Government environmental protection agencies
  • Environmental engineering firms
  • Environmental law
  • Environmental consulting
  • Ecology

Industry Growth

Job outlook for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 8% by 2030 as the world population grows, and grows more concerned about environmental protection.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Recent Employers

  • Academy of Natural Sciences
  • Ecological Society of America
  • Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences
  • Delaware County Regional Water Authority
  • United States Department of Agriculture

Outstanding Career Placement

Over 90% of Widener environmental science graduates work or attend graduate programs in relevant fields.

Source: Annual survey of Widener graduates six months after commencement.

Gain Work Experience

Environmental science students often gain credit for work-related experiences they pursue over the summer. Some have also held internships at research institutions in the tri-state area.

International Education

Collaborating with students and faculty members from foreign universities on research projects provides you with the global experience and cultural knowledge that are highly prized skills in today's economy.

Take the Next Steps

Apply

Applying online has never been easier—and it’s free! We also accept the Common Application. Take the next step toward joining the Widener Pride.

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