Explore the science that will enable you to study how ecosystems function and the policy alternatives that will allow you to examine solutions to maintain environmental quality.

Major Roadmap

Major Roadmap

Explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. Find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future. 

Environmental Science and Policy Major Guide

Environmental issues such as climate change, water quality and biodiversity loss are significantly affecting the earth and human societies. As an Environmental Science and Policy major, you will study the science underlying environmental problems as well as the policy strategies that will enable you to develop solutions to these problems.  

But you won’t just stay in the classroom.  ENSP faculty and students conduct field research at Wild Basin Preserve, the Spicewood Ranch ecolab in the rural Hill Country and in tropical forests in Costa Rica. Apply your research skills to projects like examining the environmental impacts of electric scooters, testing Travis County residents’ water for lead contamination or examining whether paying Costa Rican and Ugandan farmers to not cut down their forests helps reduce deforestation.  

As environmental issues are inherently interdisciplinary, integrating science and policy allows ENSP graduates to acquire the research, analytical and technical skills necessary to acquire positions in a wide range of environmental careers in the public, private and non-profit sectors.  Degree Plan.    ENSP graduates are currently working as environmental scientists at private environmental consulting firms and regulators with the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality and earning acceptance to top environmental graduate programs (See more examples below).  

Austin, a sustainability-oriented city, is the perfect place to study Environmental Science and Policy, providing ENSP majors with a wide range of internship opportunities.  ENSP majors intern with state agencies such as Texas Commission for Environmental Quality and environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy and Save Our Springs Alliance.   

What do our graduates do?

Environmental Science and Policy majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from St. Edward’s. Here’s a sample.

  • Environmental health and safety consultant for Loureiro Engineering Associates
  • Environmental scientist at AECOM, a civil engineering firm
  • Program associate for the Energy Program at the Environmental Defense Fund
  • Community organizer for the Texas Campaign for the Environment
  • Program Manager, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
  • Environmental Educator, Austin Youth River Watch
  • Master’s students at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University and the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master’s Program of the European Union. 

Small Steps Lead to Big Change

Peter Beck, associate professor of Environmental Science and Policy, helps students develop an awareness of environmental issues. Hear his views on the importance of sustainability and protecting our natural resources.