The environmental science major at UMN Morris will equip you with the scientific tools you need to help solve the environmental challenges our planet faces. By pursuing a degree in environmental science, you’ll gain a solid understanding of the basic and applied sciences while learning about environmental issues and how society relates to discoveries and initiatives in environmental science. Our liberal arts approach emphasizes creative, critical, and analytical thinking skills that will prepare you to explore the complex or unfamiliar issues you may encounter in the future as an environmental scientist.

As an interdisciplinary program, environmental science combines a strong science core with a body of coursework that provides the foundation for a deeper focus in other sciences, such as geology, biology, or chemistry. Combining environmental science with another discipline is common; many environmental science students have pursued a double major with environmental science, as there is no environmental science minor. As an environmental science graduate, you’ll be ready to enter the workforce or continue on to advanced study.

Like the major itself, the work of our faculty is interdisciplinary. Ongoing faculty projects include subjects of current significance to climate, water, and energy issues such as glacial geology and alternative energy.


Degree Requirements


As a UMN Morris student pursuing a degree in environmental science, you’ll be able to do your own independent research in your area of focus. 

As part of your capstone project, you’ll take on a project outside of the University. The project can take place in the field, at a nearby laboratory, or with cooperating consultancies. The following courses provide valuable experience in applying the knowledge you’ll have mastered in the classroom.

  • Field Experience in Environmental Challenges - a summer course offering the chance to travel to Italy and study the geological processes in the Alps
  • Environmental Science Field Camp - a hands-on opportunity to identify and solve an environmental science problem, either in the field or as part of an internship

Student Learning Outcomes

By completing a degree in environmental science you will be able to

  • demonstrate a thorough knowledge about the natural resources of land, air, and water;
  • identify the problems arising from the interaction of human society and the natural environment;
  • effectively use techniques of applied environmental science, including experiment design, collection of data, and analysis of experimental results; and
  • present in writing or orally scientific problems that pertain to the environment.

General Education Requirements

The University of Minnesota and its faculty are committed to providing an education that invites you to investigate the world from new perspectives, learn new ways of thinking, and grow as an active citizen and lifelong learner. The University’s general education requirements are designed to be integrated throughout your four-year undergraduate experience. These courses provide you an opportunity to explore fields outside your major and complement your major curriculum with a multidisciplinary perspective.

Careers & Graduate School

The environmental science curriculum at UMN Morris will fully prepare you to enter multiple environmental science-related fields and immediately become an active participant in those fields with multiple career possibilities in both the government and private sector.

To that end, we work with cooperating laboratories, businesses, and government agencies to provide practical experience for students in the form of internships or similar placements. Some of these placements may lead directly to employment or serve as a springboard to other employment opportunities.

Further academic work at the graduate level is also an option if you choose to continue your studies or teach in the field.

Cost of Attendance

The University of Minnesota Morris is a national public liberal arts college committed to making a high-quality education available to students from across the country. Expenses for housing, meals, books and supplies, transportation, loan fees, and personal expenditures can vary.

There are several locations on campus or nearby where students can participate in research or conduct projects of their own. The West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) and the biofuel generator are on-campus facilities hosting ongoing projects. Environmental Science students also intern at West Central Environmental Consulting in Morris.

Research & Engagement


As a UMN Morris student, you’ll have access to programs that make research opportunities possible. Several locations on or near campus provide opportunities to participate in or conduct research, such as the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) and the biofuel generator. Environmental science students have also interned at West Central Environmental Consulting in Morris.


As a UMN Morris student, you’re strongly encouraged to take part in academic opportunities outside the classroom. That’s how you will gain practical, hands-on experience in the environmental science field. 

Working closely with experienced faculty, you’ll be able to craft your own projects and follow your interests in the field of environmental science, taking advantage of the many laboratory facilities and field work resources offered at UMN Morris and through affiliated organizations. Your academic adviser will assist you in finding internships, research assignments, and other opportunities to broaden your experience in the field. 

Request approval for an internship or field experience in environmental science


As a UMN Morris student, you’re encouraged and welcome to engage in any organizations related to your major.

Quick Facts

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University of Minnesota Morris
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