Student talking to school age students about the environment

What is Environmental Science?

LMU's Environmental Science major helps students understand how society’s intense use of resources and waste management practices have resulted in a variety of environmental concerns on the local and global scales. Only through sound, multidisciplinary science can we understand the causes and ramifications of environmental disturbances, and then determine ways to eliminate or reduce them.

The Environmental Science major provides students with a rigorous understanding of the basic sciences of biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as the practical knowledge and skills associated with environmental research, monitoring, and effective communication of technical data. Internship programs in which students work with environmental professionals are a key component of the major.

The major prepares students to attend graduate programs and work as environmental scientists in the private sector and with government agencies and public interest groups. 

What do Environmental Science majors do?

Environmental Science majors enjoy an interdisciplinary program that involves coursework from various LMU departments. The undergraduate Environmental Science Program is part of the Department of Natural Science. (The Civil Engineering department offers a master of science in Environmental Science.)

Environmental Science majors gain theoretical and technical knowledge of the generation, transport, and fate of pollutants. Students look at how pollutants affect natural resources and human health, learn about resource management, and become expert at conveying technical information. Laboratory courses emphasize the collection of samples from various media and provide opportunities for students to use an array of equipment to characterize these samples. Many courses include field trips to the LMU-adjacent Ballona Wetlands and Santa Monica Bay to collect samples and study environmental conditions and resident biota. 

Is this major right for you?

You might be an Environmental Science major if you:

  • Are passionate about the environment
  • Plan to be a scientist
  • Enjoy doing fieldwork
  • Are disciplined and analytical
  • Have diverse interests 

About our faculty

Our faculty members are experts in fields such as marine biology, pollution ecology, and analytical, environmental, and physical inorganic chemistry.

Our faculty members are active researchers and writers with experience working in the field and the classroom. Faculty from the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, Mathematics, and Physics offer additional courses for students in this major. 

About our students and graduates

Our students earn internships with local environmental organizations in the public and private sectors. Students undertake research projects, make presentations, receive a solid grounding in the basic core sciences, and learn key technical tasks commonly performed by environmental scientists.

LMU students majoring or minoring in Environmental Science go on to careers in environmental protection, environmental health and safety, environmental education, natural resources management, and environmental monitoring and assessment. They also work in allied environmental professions such as law and consumer advocacy. 

Representative courses

Our offered courses have included:

  • Environmental Science
  • Environmental Science Lab
  • Principles of Water Quality Management
  • General Physics I & II
  • Aquatic Chemistry
  • Ecology Lab
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Microbiology
  • Geology
  • Watershed Management
  • Environmental Impact Reports
  • Inland Waters
  • Applied Oceanography
  • Plant Biochemistry
  • Independent Studies 

More resources (links)