Three Houghton environmental biology students using nets in local stream.

Environmental Science Major

Explore and conserve God's creation in a constantly changing world.

Investigate and explore the science behind the environment including biology, ecology, field methods, chemistry and more, in a Christ-centered environment. Grow deeper in your understanding of your faith in relation to Environmental Science and gain a deeper appreciation for God's creation.

Partner with faculty who invest in your professional and academic success and are passionate about living out faith in Christ.

Degree Snapshot

Undergraduate - Bachelor's

Degree Types: BA, BS

Program Credits: 124

Explore Courses & Degree RequirementsCareersMeet the Faculty

What will I learn?

Two Houghton environmental science students looking at their findings from their net, standing in a river.

Through Houghton’s major in Environmental Science, you will:

  • Conduct research in an area that you are passionate about, such as the Megatransect through the Sierra Nevada Mountains of CA
  • Explore ecosystem function, the impacts of environmental problems, and the ways in which society influences problems and solutions
  • Learn in a personal, friendly, and collaborative environment that allows for faculty to personally assist you in reaching your goals

Why study Environmental Science at Houghton?

Gain Hands-on Experience

Gain professional experience before graduation. Many environmental science students have the opportunity to conduct, present, and publish peer-reviewed research in collaboration with faculty members. Students can work directly in the field through off-campus study, practicums, internships, and student/faculty research collaboration.

Conduct Research with Faculty

Engage in research with a faculty member during the semester or as part of the Shannon Summer Research Institute. Some previous topics have been: animal behavior, ecology, conservation, microbiology, ecophysiology, genetics, etc. In the past, students traveled to conduct research on biodiversity in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Learn about the research institute

Immerse Yourself in God's Creation

Study on a campus with 100+ acres of forested land and riverine habitats. You will be able to study at some of these places that are in close proximity to campus: the Genesee River, Roger Tory Peterson Institute for Natural History, and Allegany and Letchworth State Parks for ecological and environmental study and internship opportunities.

Work in State-of-the-Art Facilities

Get hands-on with professional research equipment in the recently renovated Paine Center for Science, including:

  • genetic analyzer for sequencing DNA
  • laminar flow hoods for tissue culture
  • fluorescent microscopes and imaging systems
  • thermal cyclers for PCR
  • various equipment for DNA/RNA extraction and electrophoresis
  • advanced instrumentation for water quality assessment
Explore the Biology Facilities

Courses & Degree Requirements

Popular Courses

BIOL 251 Genetics

Principles of inheritance in living organisms, including the modern concepts of “gene” action and DNA structure and function.

BIOL 301 Field Botany

Introduction to taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of vascular plants. Includes field trips throughout Western New York and northwestern Pennsylvania, plant identification and classification, and developing an extensive herbarium.

BIOL 336 Animal Behavior

Study animal behavior, why animals behave as they do and, to a lesser degree, how they get the job done. Topics include genes and behavior, learning, organization of behavior, communication, mating systems, parental investment, and cooperation.

Degree Options

BA - 124 credits

57 credits
Required Courses

67 credits
Elective courses + general education

BA Degree Requirements

BS - 124 credits

69-73 credits
Required Courses

51-55 credits
Elective courses + general education

BS Degree Requirements

Meet a Faculty Member

What can I do with a degree in environmental science?

Career Opportunities

Students earning a BA or BS degree in Environmental Science from Houghton University are prepared for careers in many areas, including but not limited to:

Graduate School

Here are some Master's degree options for Environmental Science majors:

  • Conservation
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Ecology


Career growth for Environmental Science Scientists and Specialists.

From 2022 to 2032 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Houghton students throwing their graduation caps in the air on the steps of the Chapel.


of Houghton students are employed or in graduate school within 6 months of graduation.

Class of 2022

View Alumni Success and Career Outcomes

Related Majors

Houghton biology major working in biology lab dissecting specimen.


Undergraduate - BS
Houghton biology student working with professor during dissection lab.

Biomedical Sciences

Undergraduate - BS
Houghton student walking down first path following Tanzanians.

Global Studies

Undergraduate - BA

Ready for what's next?

Discover if earning your degree in Environmental Science from Houghton University is right for you.