Environmental Science

Sustainable land management, hydrologic resources, and water quality are critical for human populations globally. Learning to manage, use and sustain natural resources through sound ecological and economic principles is the focus of the environmental science program. If you are interested in understanding ecosystems, reducing environmental pollution, educating the general public about these topics, or advising government leaders on how to shape environmental policy, then consider an interdisciplinary degree in environmental science.

Environmental Science

Career Opportunities

A Bachelor of Science degree in Soil, Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences from the School of Natural Resources (SNR) at the University of Missouri will provide you with the skills you’ll need to succeed in a wide variety of environmental science careers.

You can individualize your degree program by choosing between three tracks: Hydrology, Water Quality, and Land Management. The Land Management track focuses on terrestrial environments; the Water Quality track focuses on the chemical and biological characteristics of water; the Hydrology track focuses on the movement, distribution and management of water. The Environmental Science curriculum was developed in partnership with private firms and government agencies to meet their future personnel needs in environmental management.

Students in any of the three tracks take a mix of natural and applied science classes, such as ecology, soil science, forestry, atmospheric science, hydrology, and fisheries and wildlife. Other required classes provide students with technical and outreach skills, such as geographical information systems (GIS), knowledge of technologies and methods for remediation of degraded environments, and environmental monitoring techniques and instrumentation.

Graduates with broad technical knowledge and experience in environmental issues are in demand. Environmental professionals have a wide range of career opportunities, including working in environmental management and monitoring, land-use planning and assessment, teaching, and conducting research for private and government institutions. Typical positions include environmental specialist, hydrologist, water quality specialist, and environmental educator.

State and federal government agencies that employ environmental professionals include the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Opportunities in private groups include working for environmental consulting firms, industry and environmental advocacy groups.

Research/Internship Opportunities

As an environmental science student, opportunities to gain real-world experience through research and internships are almost limitless. You can work side-by-side in the field or lab with environmental science faculty and obtain hands-on experience with research in environmental monitoring, hydrology, water quality analysis or land management. Opportunities exist for on-campus internships and part-time employment as technicians, which provide valuable experience to prepare students for a professional career in environmental science.

Students are required to complete a three credit hour practical internship in environmental science. Among the state and federal agencies that recruit environmental science interns are the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Private groups, such as environmental consulting firms, a diverse selection of industries and environmental advocacy groups, may also provide internship opportunities.

Get Involved on Campus

Want to have fun and develop your leadership skills and professional contacts at the same time? Then join one or more of the College's student clubs and organizations. There are more than 30 to choose from, and each gives you the opportunity to apply what you're learning in the classroom while making lifelong friends.

There are numerous student organizations in the School of Natural Resources, including: the Environmental Science Club, Sustain Mizzou, the Student Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, the Meteorology Club, the Forestry Club, the Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Society, The Wildlife Society, and the Student Parks, Recreation and Tourism Association. Club meetings include scientific presentations as well as visits describing employment opportunities in natural resources and environmental sectors.

Learn More

Learn More
Major requirements

School of Natural Resources

124 Anheuser-Busch Natural Resources Building
Columbia, MO 65211
Phone: 573-882-1730
Fax: 573-882-2636
E-mail: SNR@missouri.edu
Academic Major Sheet (PDF)
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