Environmental Studies, Bachelor of Science

126 Credits
St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


The interdisciplinary nature of the Ecology program ensures that students take courses in sciences, social sciences, and humanities to learn about environmental issues from different disciplinary perspectives. The Environmental Studies (Ecology) program emphasizes the natural sciences coupled with mathematics and supplemented by select social sciences.

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Admission requirements for the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in Environmental Studies are identical to those currently outlined for admission to a four-year degree in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at St. John’s.

For more information about admission to this and other undergraduate programs at St. John’s University, please visit Undergraduate Admission online. Or contact us directly at the campus of your choice:

Admisison Office - Queens Campus


Admission Office -  Staten Island campus

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Career Outcomes

Environmental progress has been made in every field at every level of society. Government at every level, businesses large and small, industry of every kind and institutions of every design are actively concerned with environmental issues.

Yet much more remains to be done. Most professionals in the field would agree that the really serious environmental threats still lie ahead. The truly significant issues for humanity are not behind us in the 1990's but directly ahead of us at the beginning of the 21st century. Environmental professionals are needed in every walk of life and in every level of society: scientists in the biological, ecological and geological fields, engineers with special knowledge of physical, chemical and pollution systems, writers, journalists, business entrepreneurs, community organizers, social scientists, urban and regional planners, attorneys, formal and non-formal educatiors, toxicologists and other health related professional and park, museum, zoo and aquarium curators and managers. Many more career opportunities will emerge at the dawn of the coming century.

How to Proceed?
Preparing for your environmental career begins with a strong foundation of college courses. At the undergraduate level you are expected to become fluent in all of the language and methods of describing and reporting environmental problems. This includes verbal and oral skills and quantitative methods including computer modelling, graphic analysis and mapping skills that may be essential methods to solve environmental problems. You also should acquire a foundation of scientific thinking both in the laboratory and in field settings so that you can actually engage in environmental problem solving.

Secondly, you need to acquire a variety of real experiences in environmental issues. These should be geared to your eventual career goals. They should broaden your understanding of how things get done in the real world and allow you to build a resume that employers will be respect. Projects and activities within some of your courses may be a good beginning but you need to supplement this with real activity such as volunteer work for environmental organizations or with internships or guided research directed by faculty and outside agencies. Finally, you need to know something about the environmental community of environmental professionals in your career area. You need to make contacts and meet people who are in responsible positions and to network with faculty, alumni and other students in ways that place you in the best possible position when you graduate.

Career development is something that should begin the day you decide to become an Environmental Studies major. You need to make opportunities along the way while you are still in school and to build a collection of courses and experiences that will be valuable to your future employers.

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Additional Information


Since the Fall of 1976 the Environmental Studies Internship Program has placed over 150 undergraduates in a multitude of agencies throughout the New York metropolitan area. Internship placements are designed primarily for graduating seniors and bridge the gap between academic preparation and the real world workplace. Over the decades this program has proven uniformly successful for both students and employers and is generally recognized as one of the strongest assets of our undergraduate program.

Students are accepted into the program through an application process that reviews their interests and qualifications. Placements are made to reflect their career goals and aspirations and are individually designed and monitored. Students earn academic credit for their work but at the option of the agency or company may be placed on salary for the term they are employed as an intern. This provision is often favorable to firms in the private sector whose workers need to be covered by workman's compensation.

Two general types of internships are available over an academic year. During the regular Fall and Spring semesters interns are placed in a wide range of agencies on an individual basis. During summers interns are organized into a single project group that works collaboratively at a selected field site. Students become involved in a variety of natural resource management, environmental science and educational activities. These internships are open to all undergraduates and give students the opportunity to gain realistic work experiences before entering their senior year.

Although future employment cannot be guaranteed (through an internship), many of the interns receive job offers from their agency or from related agencies as a direct result of their placement. Even if employment is not the immediate result of the internship, each student becomes more aware of what environmental work is all about and begins to build their "base of experience". Employers are interested in skilled employees who have a realistic perspective about environmental affairs. Undergraduate experiences, paid or unpaid, are as important as academic courses and good grades. The combination of training, experiences and formal education makes St. John's students successful as they proceed with their future careers.

For information about specific internship agencies and opportunities please contact the Program Director , Daniella G. Howarth.

Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC) Wetlands Nature Preserve
Over 600 natural acres of wetlands and forests located about 10 minutes from campus. Used by courses in Ecology, Botany and Natural Resources as field study site. The preserve includes freshwater and estuarine wetland systems along a central tidal creek - Alley Creek. The freshwater inflows are from small lakes and streams including a rare artesian spring. Tidal ranges in the estuary are typically greater than 6 feet. The Alley Creek tidal system connects to the North with a much larger estuary -Little Neck Bay- which itself is tributary to the upper East River and Long Island Sound.

Windmill Pond Ecological Restoration Project
In 1987 planning began for the creation of a new open water habitat within the existing freshwater wetlands near the headquarters building. The capital part of the pond project was finished in 1997. Vegetation and wildlife are now firmly established within and around the pond which in the last few years has become a featured part of the landscape at the center. 

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Success Story

Nurul Alia’a Harun ’14C
At the United Nations, SJU Student Makes a Difference