Undergraduate Majors Environmental Sciences Mountains Home

Environmental Sciences Major

Environmental Sciences is the study of interactions among the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the world and human institutions.

What makes Environmental Sciences unique at UCR?



The overarching goal of the Environmental Sciences Department is to advance environmental sustainability and expand knowledge of the physical, chemical, biological, and human components of the environment through cutting-edge research, rigorous student training, and service to the community. The curriculum of the Environmental Sciences major provides a broad scope of instruction that enables students to explore various disciplines and professions focused on solving environmental problems. Students in this program have ample opportunities to work along faculty and graduate students in research projects to enrich their learning experience.


In general, what are Environmental Sciences professors investigating?

  • Modern human activities related to natural resource development, agriculture, urbanization, industry, and transportation are placing unprecedented pressure on the earth’s life support systems.
  • Changes taking place in atmospheric physics and chemistry, land cover, freshwater and marine resources, and chemical cycling threaten the ability of human society to sustainably meet current and future needs.
  • Science-based solutions are needed to sustainably manage our natural resources and improve public health.
  • To help meet these challenges, our program emphasizes training for students in the biological, chemical, and physical aspects of environmental sciences and health, centered on the major environmental media of air, soil, water, and the biosphere.

Why Environmental Sciences at UCR?


World-class education across a wide range of disciplines in the Environmental Sciences. 

Engagement of undergraduate students in faculty research programs. 

Low student to faculty ratios.

Did you know?

Environmental Sciences at UCR has its roots in Soil Science that was ranked top in the nation. The Environmental Sciences major has seen an increase in applications over the last five years. Many students in the major have been exposed to research while enrolled at UCR.

Environmental Sciences research at UCR


  • Soil Sciences
  • Hydrologic Sciences
  • Atmospheric Sciences
  • Environmental Toxicology
  • Environmental Management
  • Applied Data Science

What industries can I get into with an Environmental Sciences degree?

Undergraduate Majors Environmental Sciences Student at Computer

  • Business
  • Industry
  • Government
  • Pursue graduate studies in environmentally-related science, law, public health, medicine, or business

What can I do with an Environmental Sciences degree?

Undergraduate Majors Environmental Sciences Student in the Lab

UCR graduates from the Environmental Sciences major have often found jobs in private industry, including consulting companies and contract labs, and state and local government agencies, including state, county, and city-level agencies related to environmental regulation and enforcement. Some have continued to pursue postgraduate degrees in a wide range of scientific disciplines.

What you should know

Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary science and communication skills and STEM preparation are equally important. The program provides various endowed fellowships to support undergraduate research and travels to international conferences.  The program also partners with government agencies for undergraduate internships.

Undergraduate Majors Environmental Sciences Taking Ocean Samples

Advice for success

Be proactive by engaging your professors and senior peers as early as possible. Also, be prepared with UC Riverside's fast-paced quarter system. The quarter is only 10 weeks; stay on top of your courses. 

Undergraduate Majors Environmental Sciences Research in the Field

Consider this

Environmental Science is highly applied in nature, so students should try to gain hands-on experience on campus and during summers.

Available Minor in Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences Minor

Let us help you with your search