- Offered as:
- Graduate program
- Learn More:
Environmental and ecosystem sciences focuses on the interactions of physical, chemical, and biological conditions of natural and human-modified environments, with the goal of solving growing environmental challenges.
The environmental and ecosystem sciences major at WSU features a broad interdisciplinary science and social science core coupled with a flexible advanced curriculum. This flexibility allows students to choose in-depth studies in an area of interest, and add a minor in virtually any subject. It also delivers hands-on research and management experience that prepare you for graduate school and management careers.
- Strengths of the program
- Become inspired to make a difference in the real world in a program that prepares you to address the challenges of global change, environmental and resource conservation, and sustainability
- Benefit from a flexible interdisciplinary science curriculum that gives you the freedom to focus on what interests you the most and prepares you for numerous careers and graduate school
- Acquire hands-on experience from research in campus ecology laboratories, field camps, internship programs, and study abroad
- Work closely with professors who are nationally recognized for
- Environmental science
- Conservation biology and genetics
- Climate change biology
- Landscape and restoration ecology
- Aquatic ecology, water science, and water resource management
- Plant and wildlife ecology and management
- Earth science
- Receive academic and professional advising throughout your time here to support your optimum scholarly, professional, and personal growth
- Core courses and curriculum
As an environmental and ecosystem science major, you begin with core courses in:
- Biology and chemistry
- Environmental science
- Earth systems
- Water science
- Modeling and spatial analysis
- Society and environmental management
Next, the flexible curriculum allows you to work with a faculty advisor to create your own specialized program of study by choosing a large block of advanced professional electives in areas such as:
- Animal or plant ecology, climate change, or biology
- Ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology and management, restoration ecology, or spatial/quantitative ecology
- Environmental management, conservation, and sustainability
- Aquatic ecosystem science, water science and management, environmental assessment, or hazardous waste management
- Environmental policy and social science or pre-law
- Advanced Earth science, physical and biological oceanography
You may also choose from a wide variety of seminars, special topics courses, minors, senior theses, and study-abroad opportunities.
See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
For all students at WSU
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, you'll need to do these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For students in environmental science
Students in majors offered by the School of the Environment can be considered for scholarships from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources, and the School of the Environment.
All students must apply through the WSU General Scholarship Appliction. The School of the Environment will use this universal application to evaluate recipients for scholarship awards. The deadline for applying is January 31 of each year.
A listing of scholarships specific to the School of the Environment may be found on the School of the Environment website: http://environment.wsu.edu. These scholarships range in qualification criteria, so when answering questions or checking off categories, be specific.
- Sample career options in environmental and ecosystem sciences
Careers for environmental science graduates include:
- Conservation biologist or hydrologist
- Aquatic, stream or wetland ecologist
- Water resource specialist
- Landscape or forest ecologist or manager
- Restoration ecologist
- Environmental engineer, educator, or consultant
- Range manager
- Land, watershed, natural area, park, or wildlife refuge planner or manager
- Resource policy advisor
- Sustainability program coordinator
- Pollution control technician
- Suggested preparation for incoming students
Students who become environmental and ecosystem science majors often enjoy
- Biological and physical sciences
- Hands-on learning
- Working outdoors
- Applying analytical techniques to solving practical problems
- Making a difference in the real world
High school preparation should emphasize biological/physical sciences, mathematics, communication, reading/reasoning and computer literacy.
If you plan to transfer from another college, we recommend completing some of these prerequisites before transferring:
- Mathematics through pre-calculus
- One year of general chemistry
- One year of general biology
- One year of English/communication
This will give you a good start on the curriculum and reduce the time it takes to graduate. Please check the WSU Transfer Equivalency site, http://admission.wsu.edu/transfer/index.html, or contact us to verify courses.