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Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science


The world is your classroom, so we won’t confine you to learning only at a desk. Your education will be enriched with hands-on, experiential learning that will prepare you for success in your career. You’ll have opportunities to present research at national conferences and be published before you’ve even finished your undergraduate degree. We’re located in the heart of the Great Lakes Bay Region, so you will have premier access to the Saginaw Bay Watershed, one of the nation’s greatest natural freshwater laboratories. We established our own Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute with a research boat and foster many regional partnerships so you can engage with diverse ecosystems and gain plenty of firsthand field experience. If you are interested in science and environmental exploration, Environmental Science may be the perfect fit for you.

What should you choose — Environmental Science or Environmental Studies & Sustainability?


This program focuses on solving environmental problems with ecological and analytical tools. Coursework centers around mathematics, biology, and chemistry or physics. If you’re thinking about a career in natural resources management, environmental toxicology, or energy systems, this is the major for you.


This program focuses more on the social sciences but links them with natural sciences to prepare students for careers in planning, policy, geospatial analysis and conservation. ESS pairs well with a minor in political science, international studies, or business, or a certificate in community development. An environmental studies & sustainability major is a good fit if you’re interested in a career in sustainability coordination, environmental education, or environmental law.

Contact: Dr. David Karpovich,


Cardinal Points

  • Study in our backyard — the heart of the Saginaw Bay watershed. Students gain hands-on, real-world experience to meet the needs within the Great Lakes region and beyond.

  • We partner with the Bay County Health Department on beach water testing research. Our students help protect our community and preserve the environment by studying any sources of contamination and determining beach closings.

  • Students have the opportunity to intern with the Saginaw Bay Environmental Science Institute.

  • SVSU's instructional facilities feature modern and well-equipped laboratories that have major equipment available to ensure advanced research opportunities for students. 

  • A recent $300,000 award from the Office of Great Lakes supports cutting edge research in measuring microbial DNA in local waterways. 

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science offers comprehensive training in a variety of disciplines including Biology, Chemistry, and Geography. Students will be prepared for careers with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and businesses, as well as for graduate studies. Students develop core skills for environmental science careers through coursework in general biology, chemistry and geography. They examine ecological systems with respect to energy cycles and sustainability concepts. They also learn to conduct field research and laboratory experiments using best practices and industry standards. Additionally, the major is characterized with extensive hands-on field and laboratory experiences as well as a required internship.

Highlighted Courses

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Key Electives

Click here to see a listing of programs




Complementary Minors/Majors

Our Students After Graduation...


State of Michigan
The Dow Chemical Company
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy
Michigan State University Institute of Water Research
Midland County Health Department
Spicer Group
Michigan State Police Crime Lab
Nalco Water

Graduate Programs

University of Michigan
Western Michigan University
Michigan State University
Wayne State University
Miami University in Ohio
Bowling Green State University
Wright State University

Career Opportunities

Environmental Inspector
Environmental Scientist
Safety and Health Specialist
Park Ranger
Aquatic Toxicologist
Wetlands Ecologist
Water Resources Specialist
Soil Conservation Specialist
Water Quality Scientist
Environmental Health and Safety Officer

  • 8% projected growth for employment of environmental scientists and specialists with a Bachelor’s degree through 2030. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • $73,230 is the median yearly pay for environmental scientists and specialists in the U.S. (U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • With a bachelor’s degree from SVSU’s Environmental Science program, students are prepared for a multitude of careers within the state and federal levels of government, environmental protection agencies, human health, pharmaceuticals and university research.

Cardinal Successes

These stories offer insight into how SVSU students have turned their education into successful opportunities yielding real-world success.

Emily Short


Tami Sivy

Read More..

Fully integrated into social networks, SVSU Connect is a valuable networking space dedicated to the community of SVSU students, faculty and alumni which cultivates a culture of helping and giving back. In addition to connecting with each other, students at all points along their journey can reach out to alumni mentors for guidance and insight into making the most of their SVSU experience and successfully transitioning into life after graduation.