Most Environmental Sciences majors concentrate their program in one or two disciplines with future study in professional or graduate programs in mind.  Others use the breadth and interdisciplinary nature of the curriculum to prepare for careers in science writing and methods, in teaching, or in environmental management and other similar careers.  The flexibilty and diversity of our offerings thus provide a wide array of strategies while simultaneously completing the requirements for the major.

Some examples of Environmental Sciences-related careers of past majors include:

Atmospheric Sciences: Weather and climate forecasting, air quality modelling and management, bioclimatology and agricultural management, research consulting in meteorology and climatology.

Geosciences: Coastal processes consulting, engineering geology, land use planning and management, groundwater pollution research and consulting, sedimentary process modeling.

Ecology: Aquatic ecology and fisheries consulting, forestry and agricultural management, park and recreation planning and management, resource conservation, toxic soil and water pollution research.

Hydrology: Groundwater management, flood and surface water management and consulting, water pollution research and regulation, water project economics, hydraulic modeling and analysis.

Environmental Sciences Careers Inventory

In 2015, employment information was examined for all Environmental Sciences graduates from the founding of the Department (the first graduating class was 1974) through 2014.  The dataset, kindly provided via the UVa Alumni Association, included data for over 2400 students (mostly undergraduates).  The employment data were based upon self-reported information, so the record’s accuracy depends entirely on the accuracy and timeliness of the information provided.

Each person was classified into one of six groups based upon the information provided under “employer” and “job title”:

private (for-profit companies)
government (federal, state, local)
non-governmental organization (not-for-profit, non-governmental firms)
consulting (private, for-profit companies that provide services)
K–12 education
higher education


Most EVSC graduates work for private industry, and about one-quarter of EVSC graduates are employed by the government.


The most obvious trends in changes of EVSC alumni through time are that governmental employment has declined over time and that consulting has grown. The private sector continues to account for almost half of employment of EVSC majors.


With the exception of the “private” category, EVSC graduates are much more likely to work in a field that utilizes their EVSC training than other fields.