The objective of the Environmental Science major is to prepare students for a career in the field of environmental sciences. Students receiving this degree can either pursue graduate studies or enter the field of environmental science where jobs are available, for example, with private businesses, governmental agencies, and environmental non-profits and advocacy groups.

The Environmental Science major is a rigorous interdisciplinary program involving course work in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and environmental science and engineering. The learning outcomes for this degree program are:

  1. Students will be able to apply the scientific method to formulate and test hypotheses.
  2. Students will be able to assess and evaluate effectively global environmental processes embedded in a social and ethical context.
  3. Students will have proficiency in the following: Earth systems science, micro- and macroevolution, ecosystem services, and anthropogenic impacts on ecosystems.
  4. Students will have proficiency in the fundamental concepts of the physical and life sciences.
  5. Students will have basic field, laboratory, and analytic skills in a quantitative capacity.
  6. Students will effectively communicate through written assignments and oral presentations.
  7. Students will demonstrate critical thinking skills needed for assessing and solving problems relating to environmental issues and policies.

Laboratory courses are designed to maximize hands-on experience in collecting samples from various media, and using an array of equipment to characterize samples of soils, water, and air. Many of the environmental science courses include field trips to the adjacent Ballona Wetlands and Santa Monica Bay to demonstrate methods for collecting samples, and to study environmental conditions and resident biota. Internships with local environmental organizations and companies are an integral component of the program. The major requires that the student conduct a research project followed by presentation of results upon completion.