Students in class
Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Your major in environmental and sustainability studies will provide the knowledge and skills necessary to address environmental challenges facing our world while preparing you for an exciting career. You will examine the relationships between human behavior and the physical and biological world as well as policy development and application.


  • Policy, Advocacy, and Social Justice: use research skills and an understanding of human behavior and public policy to enact environmental change
  • Biosphere and Earth Systems Studies: use disciplinary knowledge to understand one of four science-based subdiscipline areas: Earth Systems, Climate, Ecological Systems, and Geospatial Technologies

Academics + Experience = Opportunities

Complement academic preparation with experiential learning, creating more opportunities after graduation. Talk to an academic advisor and a career coach about making the most of your time at Nebraska.


Four-year success plan
What to do each year


Major requirements and courses


Printable summary
With sample four-year schedule

Transferrable Career Skills

  • Confidently navigate complex, ambiguous projects and environments
  • Conduct and present research to large and small groups
  • Integrate information and perspectives from multiple disciplines to solve problems
  • Collaborate with a team to develop solutions
  • Communicate clearly using different forms of writing to and for a variety of different audiences
  • Comprehend and critically evaluate complex information
  • Understand and use proper laboratory and technical skills and instruments
  • Offer empathetic, sensitive, and patient interactions with others
  • Understand and utilize a variety of research methodologies


Experience is valuable and goes beyond the classroom. We strive to help you connect your academics with research, internships, education abroad, service learning and leadership experiences in environmental and sustainability studies, such as:

  • Interning with the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources
  • Learn more about internships
  • Studying abroad in Greece to learn about sustainability, the environment and society
  • Learn more about education abroad
  • Serving as the Sustain UNL Club president
  • Learn more about getting involved in student organizations


All over the globe, there is a growing market for individuals who want to contribute to the ever-expanding green economy. Given the broad, interdisciplinary nature of the environmental and sustainability studies major, students have the ability to pursue a wide range of environmental careers: sustainability, environmental quality, conservation, environmental education, public health and safety, environmental protection, public policy analysis, environmental consulting, natural resources management, green business or environmental law.

Examples of Alumni Careers

  • Corps Member, Montana Conservation Corps
  • Environmental Scientist, Terracon Consultants, Inc.
  • Greenhouse Assistant, Urban Trail Gardens
  • Land Steward, The Nature Conservancy
  • National Drought Mitigation Center, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • Plant Ecologist, Prairie Legacy, Inc.
  • Project Coordinator, Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department
  • Sustainability Associate, Cleaner Greener Lincoln
  • Waste Diversion Coordinator, City of Lincoln
  • Wildland Firefighter, U.S. Forest Service

Examples of Graduate Schools Attended by Alumni

  • Master's Degree, Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Juris Doctorate, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Agronomy-Plant Pathology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Environmental Science and Policy, Indiana University
  • Master's Degree, Energy, Technology, & Policy, Humbolt State University
  • Master's Degree, Environmental Policy, University of Michigan
  • Master's Degree, Geography, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Master's Degree, Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center
  • Master's Degree, Water Biogeochemistry, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Henry Drvol

“I had the opportunity to take an Honors program Environmental Studies class. Each week we were presented a world issue and learned about it, and later in the week we would have a class discussion. This class not only broadened my views and taught me about issues I may have never heard of, but it also taught me how to tackle problems from many sides and form educated opinions on very difficult topics.”

Henry Drvol

Student perspective videos

Environmental and Sustainability Studies at Nebraska

Contact Us


Academic and Career Advising Center
107 Oldfather Hall