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Is environmental science a bad major? where to go?

lmkh70lmkh70 Posts: 957Registered User Member
edited September 2012 in Science Majors
After spending part of the summer doing volunteer work with an environmental center, and then spending the rest of the summer in the mountains (family reunion and then stayed for vacation, so it was a more rural area, not so much a hot vacation spot), my daughter decided that an environmental sciences major might be for her. She is already strong in science.

However, I am finding that many schools only have environmental science as a grad degree. There are a few that have it as an undergrad degree. I am wondering if perhaps it would be better for her to pick one of the sciences and do that for undergrad instead. She loves most of the sciences and environmental sciences seemed to pull it all together. She is not interested in environmental studies. Thanks in advance for your help!
Post edited by lmkh70 on

Replies to: Is environmental science a bad major? where to go?

  • spdfspdf Posts: 955Registered User Member
    Another option is to see if your daughter can create an environmental science major from courses in various departments. Lots of smaller schools have students do this kind of thing all the time.

    There are some LAC's, for example Carleton, Knox, and Austin College, who have land that is used specifically for environmental studies, even if the college doesn't offer an ES major. Knox even has a Green Oaks term in which one spring trimester is devoted entirely to environmental science.

    http://www.knox.edu/academics/distinctive-programs/green-oaks-term.html

    http://www.austincollege.edu/academics/centers-and-institutes/center-for-environmental-studies/

    http://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/ents/
  • LAGatorLAGator Posts: 387Registered User Member
    Environmental Science sounds like a good undergrad degree for your daughter, though a traditional science degree would work as well.
  • CThoosierCThoosier Posts: 33Registered User Junior Member
    I'm not sure what part of the country your daughter is looking at in terms of schools, but Indiana University's Environmental Science program at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs is one of the best and bridges across the biology, chemistry, geology and geography depts across IU. It's very science-intensive and is very well-regarded.
  • ScientificmindScientificmind Posts: 305Registered User Member
    lmkh, I am not sure where you live, but in NJ, Rutgers offers a Environmental Science Program. I considered it when I first entered Rutgers, however after doing bad in General Chem(I did great at the Lab, did terribly in the Lectures) I decided I'm not going to waste my time. Anyway it's a good major, however, most careers require a Masters at least, and from what I've seen, the entry level work is less than desirable. Sure during school, you get to go to all the fun field trips, however I was talking to my advisor at the time, and he said that beginners usually start out doing mudlogging and other undesirable grunt work. Something else your daughter can consider is Geology. Geology also combines all the sciences(physics, chemistry, biology) and is a stronger program than Environmental Sciences, and it offers better job opportunities, although beginning work is still on the undesirable side, unless you get a internship with corporations like Exxon Mobil, which hires lots of engineers and geologists, in their oil exploration field.
  • polarscribepolarscribe Posts: 3,232Registered User Senior Member
    Why do you say it's "undesirable grunt work?"

    Yeah, entry-level jobs in the sciences are often hands-on field work. That's how you learn - and how you apply your skills to the real world.
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