Environmental Science (AS, BS)

USF Student Emily in the green house looking at a succulent plant.

See the World & Save the World

Upon graduation, I could go almost anywhere I wanted to go because of my experiences at the University of Saint Francis

Justin Hoover ’11
Industrial Hygienist
Steel Dynamics

USF’s Environmental Science program puts you in the heart of the action as you study one of the most pressing issues of modern times: the conservation, restoration, and protection of our natural resources.

The world will literally be your classroom! Students participate in extensive field work — including opportunities for local, national, and international research and travel.

3 Concentrations — To give you limitless opportunity

Sustainable Food Systems

This new concentration responds to the world’s growing need for Sustainable Food Systems and includes a focus on urban agriculture. You’ll visit a variety of urban farms to learn cutting- edge sustainability operations, as well as complete an internship. Your program will culminate in a meaningful project based on your developing interests.

Conservation Biology

Love the outdoors? This concentration will put you there! Classes regularly venture outside to study environmental issues through a conservation lens. You’ll learn to identify plant and animal species, analyze water management practices, and plan for the conservation of endangered species. This track will prepare you for a career in the growing conservation biology market.

Liberal Arts

This concentration blends environmental science with issues of health, safety, and the law. You’ll learn about environmental pollution, toxins that cause diseases, and laws to combat them. By your junior year, you’ll be engaged in project-based work that makes a real difference. The Liberal Arts track includes an active field studies program with courses that will take you to the Bahamas, Colorado, the desert in Utah and Arizona, and the southern Appalachian Mountains.

Academic Plan

An academic plan is a general blueprint showing how one might complete the degree, semester by semester.

USF student looking through a microscope.

Supportive Faculty & “Amazing Scientists”

You’ll develop close, mentoring relationships with USF professors!

I transferred to USF from another university where the professors seemed disinterested. It’s a whole different experience here! My USF professors are genuinely interested in my success and are always available to help. Plus, they’re amazing scientists with research and projects of their own. I’ve learned so much from them.

Robert Spice ‘19
Environmental Science major

Learn by Doing

As an environmental science major, you won’t sit idle! Active learning starts your freshman year when you tap a maple tree, cook the sap, and process maple sugar. It continues throughout your studies in the form of projects, internships, & travel.

Projects: USF students have built rain gardens, bird gardens, and nature trails, helped maintain the restored prairie on campus, written trail guides, and led hikes through ACRES Land Trust.

Internships to match your interests! Recent sites include:

  • Get Fresh Farms
  • Steel Dynamics
  • Thomas More College Biology Field Station
  • Fort Wayne Metals
  • Omni Source
  • Allen County Department of Health
  • Indiana State Parks
  • Eagle Marsh/Little River Wetlands Project
Group of environmental science student in the water with scuba gear on in the Bahamas.

Where Will the Research Take You?

The work I’m doing now in Marine Biology is the direct result of my USF research experience. I spent one summer studying river systems in Kentucky and another studying dolphins in Florida. I credit my USF professors, who invited me to participate in their own research and then helped me find opportunities that matched my interests.

Emily Richardson ’16
Ph.D. candidate at Monash University, Australia


Our field research courses give you the opportunity to study different habitats, while contributing to ongoing research. Regularly-scheduled trips include travel to the following sites:

  • International: Costa Rica, The Bahamas
  • National: Colorado, Arizona, Utah, the southern & northern Rocky Mountains, the southern Appalachian Mountains

Career Outlook & Success


Of our Environmental Science students find jobs in the field or enter graduate school


Expected job growth for environmental scientists and specialists by 2026, faster than average.

Ready to start?

I want to learn more

Program Director

Louise Weber, Ph.D.
260-399-7700 ext. 8213