Earth and Environmental Sciences, BA

Life and the future of human civilization depend on people who think broadly from a science-driven perspective about how we interact with our planet. Pursue earth and environmental sciences to link your interest in science and the environment with complementary fields like sustainability, advocacy and public policy.

Program Description

The BA program in earth and environmental sciences provides a foundational understanding of the evolution of the earth system with an emphasis on the planetary context for sustainable human societies.

The degree program includes broad training in the physical sciences, especially process-oriented geosciences that focus on Earth's life-sustaining surface environment. Advanced courses focus on topics, including:

  • climate change
  • earth's water, energy and material resources
  • impact of land-use change on human civilization
  • physical, chemical and biological process interactions that define Earth's evolution

This is designed as a liberal arts program with an emphasis on basic scientific literacy, not as a preparatory degree program for graduate study in the natural sciences.

In addition to the guidelines in the Concurrent Program Options section below, students interested in pursuing concurrent or second baccalaureate degrees in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences are advised to visit the college's website for more information and requirements.

Required Courses (Major Map)

Major Map

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What if: See how your courses can be applied to another major and find out how to change your major.

At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: Yes
  • Second Language Requirement: Yes
  • First Required Math Course: MAT 117 - College Algebra
  • Math Intensity: Moderate program math intensity moderate

Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site:

Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to for information about how to change a major to this program.

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Career Outlook

With a breadth of knowledge and experience and the acquired skills to integrate various domains of knowledge, graduates are prepared for a variety of careers that position them to help find solutions to tomorrow's environmental and sustainability challenges. Recent environmental awareness in business and government has also resulted in new employment opportunities (e.g., environmental coordinators, directors and managers).

Sample careers include:

  • education
  • environmental administration
  • environmental reporting
  • management
  • public planning

Sample career settings include:

  • governmental agencies
  • museums
  • nongovernmental organizations
  • nonprofit organizations
  • publishing companies
  • regulatory agencies
  • utilities

Graduates are also well prepared for admission to strong professional schools in fields outside the natural sciences.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Climate Change Analyst

  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: $76,480

Elementary Teacher

  • Growth: 0.7%
  • Median Salary*: $61,690
  Bright Outlook

Environmental Analyst

  • Growth: 4.1%
  • Median Salary*: $64,460

Environmental Protection Specialist

  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: $76,480

Environmental Restoration Planner

  • Growth: 6.1%
  • Median Salary*: $76,480

Environmental Sciences Professor

  • Growth: 4.2%
  • Median Salary*: $83,040
  Bright Outlook

Fire Chief

  • Growth: 3.6%
  • Median Salary*: $80,150

Forest Ranger

  • Growth: 14.8%
  • Median Salary*: $48,110
  Bright Outlook

High School Teacher

  • Growth: 1.0%
  • Median Salary*: $62,360

Middle School Teacher

  • Growth: 0.8%
  • Median Salary*: $61,810

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly.