What is the best college major if I am interested in environmental issues?



  1. 0 Votes

    Probably Environmental Science; you study biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics and relate them to environmental issues. Environmental Science majors usually go on to do environmental work, such as being an ecologist or conservationist.

  2. mle
    0 Votes

    There are many facets to environmental issues; I suggest you consider what part of environmental issues you see yourself working in.  Do you see yourself researching climate change?  You need a chemistry and atmospheric sciences background and you will probably need to go to graduate school.  Would you prefer to be an environmental activist or create environmental policy?  You will need a history and policy background.

    Find some job descriptions for work you would like to do and see what the required background is.  Also consider whether you will need graduate school and if you want to go to graduate school. Good luck and don’t worry too much.  Many people get a college degree and go on to work in a completely different field.

  3. 0 Votes

    Mle is right, almost whatever major you do can be applied to the environment. I would suggest a minor in environmental studies or ecology to go along with say, a business, journalism, biology (etc) degree. And look into schools with active environmental clubs and awareness! Forestry is a major you don’t hear much about, which is also something to consider.

  4. 0 Votes

    You could also study something like political science or even law if you are interested in environmental policy and helping to shape laws that will impact the environment. As other have mentioned, pairing a degree like these with a double major or a minor in environmental science will help give you a background in the issues, but also allow you to learn other skills that will come in use after you graduate. Also, as tutt47 said, get involved in groups and organizations outside of the classroom that are focusing on environmental issues. Not only is it a great way to meet people who have the same interests as you, but it also really helps to put a “real world” perspective on issues—you can see them in action when you do volunteer work rather than just learn about them academically.

  5. 0 Votes

    Most people either choose ecology or biology. However, almost anything can be beneficial to environmental work.  Economics is INCREDIBLY important to planning conservation programs efficiently and to devise new economic strategies that will benefit the natural world.  Then there’s environmental law, that fights to protect the environment through legal measures and sues those who think they can break the rules. A background in education allows you to come up with plans for teaching young people how to preserve their environments.

  6. 0 Votes

    I agree with Mle, it really depends on what aspect of environmental issues you are most passionate about. For instance, I have a politics background, but now am going into the public policy side of environmental studies.  There’s a website which is slowly compiling all the various potential environmental majors, ranging from ecotourism and coastal management to environmental enforcement or environmental ethics. See the link below for the complete list.

  7. 0 Votes

    The field of Landscape Architecture is booming with sustainable “green building”; it is a way to actively shape the physical structure of our future surroundings. See the site below for an idea of what is involved (there are many such programs):


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