Environmental Science

Get a science degree. Save the planet.

An Environmental Science student at the University of Waterloo.

Benefit from 20 months of paid co-op work experience and graduate ready for a career as an exploration geoscientist, groundwater specialist, ecologist, consultant, teacher, and more.

Get a solid grounding in chemistry and biology and still have lots of room to explore environment-related courses in ecology, aquatic ecosystems, geology, hydrology, and more. You’ll learn about climate change, groundwater flow and contamination, environmental impacts of pollution, responsible extraction of Earth resources, waste disposal, and human engineering of Earth processes.

Specialize in Ecology to address ecological sustainability and biodiversity while learning about the fundamental science of life on Earth. Go the Geoscience route and focus on the interactions among the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere as well as the human activities that encompass the complex and dynamic Earth System.

Or choose the Water Science specialization and investigate the unique properties of water; the distribution and movement of fresh and salt water above, on, and within the Earth; and the quality and quantity of water that humans depend upon to survive and thrive on this planet.

Any route you choose, whether you want to gain paid work experience through co-op or not, you’ll be part of one of the top four environmental science programs in Canada (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021) — and graduate with the scientific knowledge, creativity, and expertise you need to create a more sustainable world.

Program highlights

  • Green your campus. Don’t wait until you graduate to make a difference. Help create a greener environment through clubs offered by the WUSA Sustainability Project.
  • 25+ field courses. Hone your hands-on skills. We offer a ton of upper-year field courses, from hydrogeology on our north campus to marine biology in New Brunswick.


What will you learn?

First-year courses

In your first year, you'll take a mixture of Biology, Earth Sciences, Chemistry, and Mathematics courses to give you the foundations for your upper-year classes.

Learn more about courses you'll take for your Environmental Science degree.

Customize your Environmental Science degree

You can add additional areas of expertise to your degree by including one of the minors or diplomas available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Environmental Science students include Biology; Chemistry; and Environment, Resources, and Sustainability.

You can earn a Diploma in Environmental Assessment and gain knowledge in the environmental assessment process in Canada. This is useful when preparing for a career in consulting or government.
 

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