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.
30+ possible minors
In one of the most flexible programs at Waterloo, you can add one of more than 30 minors to your Environment, Resources and Sustainability degree. Or do a double major. Or add an option. So go ahead: customize your degree to your interests!
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.
About Environment, Resources and Sustainability
Available as a major and minor
Earn a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree
Different field courses to choose from
Offered by the Faculty of Environment
8-month capstone project in fourth year
- Ontario students: 6 Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English (a final grade of 70% is required)
- Recommended: One grade 12 U or M course from Canadian and World Studies or Social Sciences and Humanities or the Arts; One grade 12 U or M course from Mathematics or Science
- Admission averages: Low 80s
- An Admission Information Form is recommended
- Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements
When you graduate, you can apply your knowledge in a growing number of fields, from green technology to ecological consulting to environmental law. Graduates work for government, conservation authorities, environmental consulting companies, energy and power companies, and environmental NGOs.
- Analyst, Responsible Investing, AIMCO
- Ecologist, Dougan & Associates
- Senior Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme
- Park Naturalist, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario
- Strategic Technology Professional, BC Hydro
- Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Canada
- Biologist, Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario
- Senior Environmental Specialist, Public Works and Government Services Canada
- 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.
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 also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor (or minors) as part of your degree. You can also pursue a double major to really focus on two subjects.
At Waterloo, our students are active in both understanding environmental issues and pursuing careers that address
- resource management
- environmental sustainability
- natural resources management and preservation
- environmental education
- ecological restoration
Gain relevant work experience through co-op
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.
Learn more about Environment, Resources and Sustainability
- Email Jay Smith, our Environment recruitment co-ordinator, who can answer any questions about Environment, Resources and Sustainability
- Visit the Environment, Resources and Sustainability website
- Related programs