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Environmental Majors at Purdue

The Pre-Environmental Studies program exposes you to all the majors described below. You’ll take courses during your first year that apply to several environmental majors and be introduced to many environmental majors and careers. Explore your options and select the major that’s right for you.

Core A and Core B refer to the Plan of Study option this major requires. 


Core A Majors 

Environmental Health Sciences

This program focuses on the effects that chemicals and other agents in the environment have on human health. Graduates are assessing environmental exposures, identifying and quantifying responses to chemical exposures, providing input for policy developments that minimize exposure, and developing better methods for assessing human health risks.

Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences

This program focuses on ways to protect and enhance fish populations and aquatic communities. Graduates are analyzing and implementing management plans for streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, reservoir systems, and aquaculture systems.


This program focuses on protecting and enhancing forest ecosystems and the social and economic benefits they produce.  Graduates are working in the field collecting data on trees, plant, and animal species, supervising tree planting and harvest, and managing forest ecosystems from wilderness (federal and state lands) to the largest cities (urban and tree care).

Natural Resources and Environmental Science

This program focuses on understanding the fate of contaminants in the environment, environmental policy, and environmental decision-making.  Specializations include Water Quality, Air Quality, Land Resources, Environmental Economics and Policy, and Environmental Pre-Law. Graduates are facilitating hazardous waste site clean up, solving water and air-quality problems, and contributing to hazardous waste management policy decisions at the local, state, and national levels.

Natural Resources and Decision-Making

This program focuses on landscape level planning, including watershed planning and decision-making based on economics, social aspects, and spatial constructs. Graduates are developing forecasts and recommending policies, regulations, and implementation procedures that create sustainable land use patterns.   

Occupational Health Science

This program focuses on anticipating, identifying, evaluating, and controlling chemical, physical, biological, and radiological hazards on human health and the workplace. Graduates are assessing occupational exposure and safeguarding the workplace in industry, medical centers, and government, as well as pursuing higher education in medicine and industrial hygiene. 


Plant Ecology and Environment

This program provides a strong background in plant biology and the environmental sciences. Graduates are managing, designing, and developing strategies for habitat conservation and restoration, ensuring biodiversity, assessing the effects of climate change, managing invasive species, and using plants to clean up sites. 



This program focuses on protecting and enhancing wildlife populations and habitats.  Graduates are working across all ecosystems — from forests and fields to urban areas — collecting data on wildlife and other organisms, analyzing food webs and food availability, estimating the impacts of changing habitat conditions, and developing and implementing management plans to increase the sustainability of these communities.


Core B Majors

Applied Meteorology & Climatology

This program focuses on the environmental impacts of weather and climate on plants and animals. Graduates are forecasting weather, evaluating climate, and evaluating the impacts of the weather and climate for National Weather Service, National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, Environmental Research Laboratories, and Department of Defense.

Ecology, Evolutionary and Environmental Science

This major focuses on how organisms interact with their physical environment and other organisms from an evolutionary perspective. Graduates are providing technical services in connection with environmental impact decisions and regional planning, as well as providing environmental education at various levels as teachers, naturalists, and journalists.


Environmental and Ecological Engineering

This program focuses on the challenges and opportunities related to ensuring the environmental sustainability of our planet. Graduates are rehabilitating or restoring contaminated sites, using various technologies to help manage streams, and designing and operating systems to help avoid or minimize environmental problems.

Environmental Geosciences

This major focuses on geology and its application to various environmental issues including landfill management, landslide risk, and urban planning. Graduates are geologists, environmental consultants, environmental scientists, and pursuing graduate work in geological and environmental sciences.

Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering

The environmental track of this program focuses on engineering systems for optimal soil and water conservation. Graduates are designing irrigation, waterway, drainage, water, and erosion control treatment systems for government agencies and environmental consulting firms. 

Soil and Hydrologic Science

This program focuses on the different phases of soil, water resources, and environmental management. Graduates have opportunities in government agencies, industry or consulting jobs, as well as, being well qualified for graduate school.​

Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1284 USA, (765) 494-4786

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