Joint program with the Faculty of Science
Environmental Science explores the impact of human activities on our planet through the study of biology, chemistry, physics and physical geography. You will gain a scientific foundation in the biological and physical sciences needed to address urgent environmental and urban challenges and generate and communicate solutions.
The Environmental Science program offers two streams of study, and you select your stream in Year 2 of the program:
- In the Environmental Dynamics stream, you will specialize in physical geography, studying the interactions between land, air, water, and biological organisms to understand how the natural environment responds to stressors.
- In the Biodiversity and Conservation stream, you will specialize in environmental biology to understand how organisms and ecological communities are impacted by environmental stressors and learn to apply this knowledge to protect species and biodiversity.
In your studies, you will get practical experience in data collection, research, and scientific analysis in the field and in the laboratory. You will learn to work collaboratively and develop effective communication, analytic and critical thinking skills while better understanding climate, ecological and biophysical systems. Our graduates are prepared to make transformative environmental change in careers within the private and public sector.
Students explore these critical issues:
- Climate change impacts and adaptation
- Biodiversity and conservation of species and habitats
- Water security and water quality
Our environmental science students gain a scientific foundation in the biological and physical sciences needed to address urgent environmental and urban challenges – and generate and communicate solutions.
Full time and some part time
Fall, Winter and Summer entry
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
First year courses
- Physical Geography: Weather and Climate
- Physical Geography: The Dynamic Earth
- Cells, Molecular Biology and Genetics
- Evolution, Ecology, Biodiversity, and Conservation Biology
- Foundations in Science
- Foundations in Math
- Foundations in Computer Science
Sample upper year courses
- Vegetation and Solis
- Environmental Assessment
- Ecological Climatology
- Conservation Biology
Hands-on Learning and Field Study
- York University Co-op Program provides students in environmental science with an opportunity to integrate their classroom learning with hands-on, paid, work experiences.
- Students measure and analyze environmental samples in multiple field course options with the same equipment and techniques used in professional settings.
- In field study courses, such as Hydrosphere in second year, students measure water and energy flows on York’s campus. Whereas in another course, Water Quality and Stream Ecosystems, students conduct sampling of Black Creek following the standardized protocols outlined in the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol and the Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network.
- The Aquatic Biogeochemistry Lab provides hands-on training on lab analytical equipment under the supervision of a senior technician. Students routinely use the facility to conduct independent projects and for course work.
- In our Flume lab students use a research-grade hydraulic flume to model river dynamics for course work and career-readiness training.
- Semester Abroad at the Las Nubes EcoCampus in Costa Rica
The environmental sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. With issues of climate crisis, loss of biodiversity, and equity at the forefront of the public conscious, more organizations and businesses are looking to hire environmental professionals. By developing technical, hands-on scientific experience in research and analysis along with transferrable skills in communication, critical thinking, and leadership, our graduates are working in both the public and private sector in a variety of fields such as science, technology, education, government, business.
Some sample careers include:
- Aquatic Scientist
- Environmental Control Specialist
- Laboratory Technician
- Climate Change Scientist
- Wildlife Biologist
- Environmental Consultant
To help you succeed, our Experiential Education Coordinator provides a variety of career support services to our students including resume help, interview prep, and career planning workshops, and maintains an exclusive job board just for our students.
Please note that meeting the minimum academic requirements is not a guarantee of admission. More information is available on the York University Admission Requirements page.
How to Apply
Deadlines can be found on the York University Future Students website.
- Complete an Online Application Form.
- Pay the application fee.
- Submit supporting documents through the York University online portal, MyFile.
- Within four business days of application, you will receive a confirmation email with your nine-digit student reference number, which will allow you to access your MyFile account and upload your documents.
- It is important to check your MyFile regularly for any documents you are required to submit and updates to the status of your application.
- More information about supporting documents, document processing times and decision processing times is available on the I’ve Applied page.