Environmental Science Major

The Earth is constantly sending us messages about the state of our climate and the changes in our environment. Learn how to record, research and analyze these messages to better understand our relationship to the natural world and address the environmental challenges we are facing today.

Group of students and faculty member posed with a sign reading "Baldplate Mountain".

Why Study Environmental Science at Albion?

As an environmental science major at Albion, you’ll explore the relationship between nature and society and learn how to be an effective steward of our natural world. You’ll develop a strong base of knowledge in the fundamentals of ecology, geology, biology and chemistry, and use this to shape your path of study around what interests you most. You’ll undertake hands-on field research, study in our nature center and engage with our local and global communities as you apply all you learn to solve real-world problems.    

What Will You Learn as an Environmental Science Major?

You’ll learn the principles of ecology, geology, biology and chemistry. You’ll contextualize your scientific study in courses that explore our social, political and economic relationship to the environment.

You’ll examine the impact that government, businesses and individuals have on the natural world through the lens of current environmental policies.

You'll be the architect of your path of study, selecting five units of science electives centered around a theme such as habitat protection, modeling in environmental science or water resources.

You’ll conduct your own research in a field of study that you are passionate about under the mentorship of a faculty expert.


Student Research and Community Engagement

Two Albion College community members working outside by a river holding a tub of water

As an environmental science major, you’ll explore the social, political, and scientific dimensions of sustainability through internships and research projects. Albion offers an abundance of opportunities for students to work on independent projects on and off campus, from conducting research along the Kalamazoo River to undertaking a research internship on toxicology at Henry Ford Hospital.

Field Seminars

Four students sitting in the grass on a hill.

Our field seminars are life-changing: you’ll travel to diverse locations around the U.S. and meet people who are working on environmental protection and sustainability causes. In recent years, students have learned about arid-land agriculture at the Pueblo Bonito Great House in Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and traveled to Oregon to study sustainability and organic farming on the Pacific coast.

Whitehouse Nature Center

Entrance to the Whitehouse Nature Center.

We call it the greenest classroom on campus, and it’s the only one with a river running through it. As an environmental science major, you’ll take courses in our nature center, where you’ll access 140 acres of living laboratory, including five miles of trails, more than 400 plant species, 170 bird species, a wildlife observation room, a student farm and live exhibits of local reptiles and amphibians.

Careers & Outcomes

The environmental science major is intended for students who are planning a career in the environmental field, either as a researcher or practitioner. Students will be well prepared for graduate work in this area or for entry-level jobs at environmental consulting firms, analytical laboratories, government agencies, or advocacy groups. Below are examples of some of the professions our students choose, as well as graduate programs our students have recently attended.


Job Titles

  • Environmental Researcher
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Microbiologist
  • Ecologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Wildlife Manager
  • Environmental Consultant