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Environmental Science (BSc)

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 will explore these critical issues:

  • Climate change impacts and adaptation
  • Biodiversity and conservation of species and habitats
  • Water security and water quality
  • Pollution
  • Erosion

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.

birds with Toronto in the background

At a Glance

4 years of study

Bachelor of Science (BSc)

Offered full time and some part time

Accepts applications for Fall (September), Winter (January), & Summer (May) Entry

Application Process

Our programs are open for students direct from high school, with previous post-secondary studies, international students, exchange students and mature applicants.

Learn more about our admission requirements

Tuition and Fees will be paid to York University. Please see the Undergraduate Tuition and Fees information on the Future Students Website.

Entrance Awards, Scholarships and Bursaries are available each year to support your education.

We recommend reviewing funding available exclusively for our students and the funding available for all York University students

  1. Complete an Online Application Form.
  2. Pay the application fee.
  3. 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.

Important Note: Deadlines for each entry period (Fall, Winter & Summer) can be found on the York University Future Students Website.

Hands-on Learning and Field Studies

Learning in the field is a key component in our program. Your courses will take you on location with field trips to various places in Toronto, across the Ontario and in the work place. 

two students working in a lab

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.sional settings.

woman taking water sample from river
student working in a lab

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.

Career Possibilities

The environmental sector is one of the fastest growing in the world. With 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.

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.

Sample Careers

  • Aquatic Scientist
  • Conservationist
  • Environmental Control Specialist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Climate Change Scientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Environmental Consultant

Overseas Placements

Going global is optional in this program. You can choose to Study Abroad on an international Exchange program or take courses on our Semester Abroad at the Las Nubes EcoCampus in Costa Rica.

We also offer you the opportunity to complete a Global internship with York International

Las Nubes Campus

Program Curriculum

We recommend all students understand their degree requirements by referring the official York University Academic Calendar for the year they started the program. Depending on which degree you are pursuing requirements will be different. You are encouraged to meet with your Academic Advisor each year to ensure you are on track for graduation. 

Offered with two streams–Environmental Dynamics or Biodiversity and Conservation

Residency requirement: a minimum of 30 course credits and at least half (50 per cent) of the course credits required in each undergraduate degree program major/minor must be taken at York University.

Graduation requirement: students must successfully complete (pass) at least 120 credits which meet the Faculty's degree and program requirements with a cumulative grade point average of at least 5.00.

General education: to fulfill the Environmental and Urban Change general education requirements students must take 12 credits general education credits as follows:

  • 6.00 credit course in Humanities (HUMA), which may be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1010 3.00 and EU/ENVS 1100 3.00 or any other 1000-level humanities general education course (at least 6 credits) not listed as satisfying the social science requirement.
  • 6.00 credit course in Social Science (SOSC) which may be satisfied by taking EU/GEOG 1000 6.00 or any other 1000-level social sciences general education course (at least 6 credits) not listed as satisfying the Humanities requirement.

Non-Major Science requirement: students will take at least 12 credits from two different non-science subject areas, including at least three credits from each subject area chosen from among:

Major credits: students will take at least 27 credits, including

SC/BIOL 4800 3.00 (cross-listed to EU/GEOG 4800 3.00)

Honours – Environmental Dynamics Stream

Including Major credits above (27 credits) and the following:

SC/GEOG 3540 3.00 (cross-listed to: EU/GEOG 3540 3.00)

24 additional credits from the following:

Upper-level credits: at least 42 credits be at three 3000 level or higher.

Credits outside the major: as required for an overall total of at least 120 credits.

Note: at least 12 major credits from (SC/BIOL or EU/ENVS or EU/GEOG) must be at the 4000 level.

Science breadth: This requirement is met by satisfying the Additional Credits above.

Honours – Biodiversity and Conservation Stream

Including Major credits listed above (27 credits) and the following:

21 additional credits from the following:

Upper-level credits: at least 42 credits be at the 3000 level or higher.

Credits outside the major: as required for an overall total of at least 120 credits.

Note: at least 12 major credits from (SC/BIOL or EU/ENVS or EU/GEOG) must be at the 4000 level.

Science breadth: This requirement is met by satisfying the Additional Credits above.

Residency requirement: a minimum of 30 course credits and at least half (50 per cent) of the course credits required in each undergraduate degree program major/minor must be taken at York University.

Graduation requirement: students must successfully complete (pass) at least 90 credits which meet the Faculty's degree and program requirements with a cumulative grade point average of at least 4.00.

General education: to fulfill the Environmental and Urban Change general education requirements students must take 18 credits general education credits as follows:

  • 6.00 credit course in Humanities (HUMA), which may be satisfied by taking EU/ENVS 1010 3.00 and EU/ENVS 1100 3.00 or any other 1000-level humanities general education course (at least 6 credits) not listed as satisfying the social science requirement.
  • 6.00 credit course in Social Science (SOSC) which may be satisfied by taking EU/GEOG 1000 6.00 or any other 1000-level social sciences general education course (at least 6 credits) not listed as satisfying the Humanities requirement.

Non-Major Science requirement: students will take at least 12 credits from two different non-science subject areas, including at least three credits from each subject area chosen from among:

Major credits: students will take at least 24 credits, including:

Three credits from:

Bachelor – Environmental Dynamics Stream

Including Major credits listed above (24 credits) and the following:

12 additional credits from the following:

Upper-level credits: at least 18 credits be at the 3000 level or higher.

Credits outside the major: as required for an overall total of at least 90 credits.

Note: at least 12 credits from the major courses (SC/BIOL or EU/ENVS or EU/GEOG) must be at the 4000 level.

Science breadth: This requirement is met by satisfying the Additional Credits above.

Bachelor – Biodiversity and Conservation Stream

Including Major credits listed above (24 credits) and the following:

12 additional credits from the following:

Upper-level credits: at least 18 credits be at the 3000 level or higher.

Credits outside the major: as required for an overall total of at least 90 credits.

Note: at least 12 major credits from (SC/BIOL or EU/ENVS or EU/GEOG) must be at the 4000 level.

Science breadth: This requirement is met by satisfying the Additional Credits above.