Save the planet (superhero outfit not included)
Use insights from the natural, physical, and social sciences to help solve some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges — from water scarcity to pollution to loss of biodiversity.
Learn about conserving and restoring ecosystems, and explore issues in environmental governance. And thanks to our small classes, you’ll develop a real sense of community right from first year.
When you graduate, you can apply your knowledge in a growing number of fields, from green technology to ecological consulting to environmental law. And if you want an early start, you can also apply that knowledge to paid co-op work terms.
Eight-month capstone research project in fourth year
Field courses to give you hands-on experience
- Six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including any Grade 12 U English (a final grade of 70% is required)
Admission average: Low 80s
We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
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Questions? Ask a student!
Contact an Environment student ambassador to learn about their experience.
Ask them questions such as why they chose their program, what the classes are like, and how you can get involved on campus.
First-year courses and beyond
September to December
January to April
After first year
About half of the classes you’ll take will be Environment, Resources and Sustainability courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
View the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
Customize your degree
You can add additional expertise to your degree by choosing one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular choices include Geography and Environmental Management, Biology, and International Development. You can also pursue a double major to really focus on two subjects.
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve, developing valuable work experience in your field of study.
Sample co-op job titles
- Outdoor education intern
- Ecological assistant
- Food loss & waste data collection
- Species at risk research student assistant
- Landfill operations
- Sport fish technician
- Research assistant
- Program coordinator
Sample co-op employers
- Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing
- Toronto District School Board
- Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
- City of Toronto
- Sustainable Waterloo Region
- Stantec Inc.
What can you do with a degree in Environment, Resources and Sustainability?
Graduates commonly pursue careers in education, environment, and research. They often work in government ministries, environmental consulting firms, and more.
- Program Advisor – Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change
- Park Naturalist – Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario
- Teacher – Waterloo Region District School Board
- Environmental Scientist – Conestoga-Rovers & Associates
- Ecologist – Dougan & Associates
- Biologist – Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario
- Environmental Consultant – North Shore Environmental Consultants
While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, our graduates often pursue Master’s degrees in political science and public policy, attend law school, or apply to a faculty of education to become a teacher.
Learn about the future of careers in environment, sustainability, and geography.
Offered by the Faculty of Environment
Available as a major and minor
Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree
Ready to learn more?
- Visit the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability website
- Download our program brochure
- Email Graham Barnes, our Environment recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions about the program
- Related programs
Visit our Beyond Ideas website to learn how students in Environment and Resources and Sustainability are using their studies to make an impact in the real world
Get career-relevant skills
Whether you choose the regular or co-op stream, you’ll get plenty of hands-on experience through case studies, field trips, and community projects. In your final year, you’ll work one-on-one with a professor on a research project of your choice.
30+ possible minors
In one of the most flexible programs at Waterloo, you can add one of more than 30 minors to your degree. Or do a double major. Or add an option. So go ahead: customize your degree to your interests!