B.S. in Environmental Science and Technology (ENST)
Welcome to the Department of Environmental Science and Technology! We are looking forward to knowing you and helping you to make the most of your education.
The Environmental Science and Technology major prepares students for careers and graduate study on environmental problems and solutions that benefit humans and ecosystems. Students in ENST can choose to major in one of four concentrations, or minor in soil science:
As human populations continue to grow, so do concerns about the effects of humans on ecosystems and how ecosystems and the built environment affect human health and well-being. The Environmental Science & Technology undergraduate major trains students in not only understanding the science behind impacts to ecosystems and human health, but also how to develop solutions addressing these impacts.
The major is taught by a group of outstanding faculty with a rich background in the environmental science and engineering who are as comfortable lecturing in a classroom as they are leading students through wetlands, wastewater treatment plants, and woods.
In today’s economy there are many career options for graduates from the ENST major, including careers in government agencies, environmental consulting firms, “green” industries, and non-governmental organizations. Furthermore, the ENST major includes a strong science and math foundation that prepares students for study in a wide range of graduate programs. Clearly, there is great need for students with strong, science-based knowledge of the environment and the ENST major directly addresses that need.
ENST vs ENSP
While there are structural and logistical differences between these majors, such as specific concentrations, course requirements, and administrative offices, the real difference between ENSP and ENST is the way each major approaches environmental problem-solving.
Environmental Science and Technology (ENST) takes more of an “engineering” or hands-on and applied problem-solving approach, with a greater focus on technology and the mechanics of science and ecosystems, with much less focus on policy-making or social systems. This isn’t to say all concentrations in ENSP exclude technology or that all concentrations in ENST exclude social sciences; however, this is a fundamental difference in approach of these programs.
Environmental Science and Policy (ENSP) functions more like a liberal arts and sciences major, in that students complete a broad lower-level core that provides “context” for a concentration in upper-level coursework. ENSP students are introduced to technical coursework, but the main focus is on gaining an appreciation for the ways science and policy interact in relation to environmental problem-solving, especially as regards long-term environmental sustainability.
Please note: The career options for these two majors are quite similar, and that a student’s internship and volunteer experience will be at least as important in the long run as his or her major in determining career opportunities following graduation. We encourage students to meet with both advisors if they would like to discuss program differences in detail to find out which major is best for you.