Environmental Sciences


The environmental sciences (ES) major is designed for students who have a keen interest in ecology and the interactions between humans and the natural world. Environmental sciences majors take a wide variety of science and non-science courses. In fact, environmental science majors are the most broadly trained of all science majors at Notre Dame. Further, those majoring in environmental science also have great latitude in their course choices. This freedom to specialize is one of the key features of the environmental sciences major. The major is housed in the Department of Biological Sciences.

Earth sciences concentration for environmental sciences majors

For students with a keen interest in how Earth processes affect the environment, the environmental sciences major offers a concentration in earth sciences. The first two years of the concentration are identical to those of the general environmental sciences degree program, and the students taking this degree specialize in their junior and senior years with a range of specific courses in earth sciences. The earth science concentration provides students with both a broad background and introduction to environmental sciences, but also gives students a more focused degree program compared to the general environmental science degree. The earth science concentration, administered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, prepares students for graduate study in any area of earth sciences, and for a wide range of professional careers in earth sciences in the public and private sectors.


  • Almost 100 percent of environmental sciences majors participate in field and lab research.
  • Most environmental sciences majors participate in study abroad opportunities. Perth, Australia has become a favorite location for ES majors.
  • Careers for ES majors are numerous. Graduate school, medical school, law school, and work for government agencies, or programs such as ACE, Teach for America, Peace Corps are all available options for environmental sciences majors.
  • All environmental science students are encouraged to take at least one of the one-credit Geology Field Trip courses that are offered through the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences.

Majors, Second Majors, and Programs

  • Environmental sciences majors complete 69 credits in science
  • A second major in environmental science is also offered to students in the College of Arts and Letters or in the Mendoza College of Business; students complete at least 37 credits in science for a second major.

Environmental Sciences sample curriculum
Earth Science concentration sample curriculum

Contact Information

Director of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Advisor
Dominic Chaloner
211 Jordan Hall of Science
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556-0369
(574) 631-2441

Earth Science Concentration Advisor
Jeremy Fein
167 Fitzpatrick Hall
Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
University of Notre Dame

Department Chairperson
Jason Rohr