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Program Overview

Climate change. Water resources management. Emerging pests and invasive species. The changing energy economy. When you think of these challenges, it’s easy to understand why Environmental Science is one of the most in-demand scientific fields of study.

Environmental science is truly interdisciplinary, with a majority of real-world projects requiring collaboration among scientists and other professionals with different expertise. That’s why Ashland University offers a range of concentrations within the Environmental Science program, including:

  • Environmental Science - Biology
  • Environmental Science - Chemistry
  • Environmental Science - Toxicology

You’ll train in science fundamentals, as well as how science can inform discussions of national and global environmental issues.

Students collecting water samples at Blackfork Wetlands

Learning Experiences

  • Emphasis on the development of strong writing and research skills
  • Professors are committed to educating and mentoring students. They teach all classes and labs personally and serve as advisors throughout a student’s time at Ashland University.
  • Opportunities to participate in research as early as your freshman year and to present findings at regional and national professional conferences
  • Access to five environmental preserves, a 2,500-square-foot greenhouse and state-of-the-art equipment
  • The Environmental Lecture Series introduces students to experts from other universities, government agencies and nonprofit organizations and creates opportunities for students to network with professionals.

Learn more about our faculty's research that involves students who learn to use lab and field equipment, do group work, present project ideas and go in-depth into active science.

Students with Professor Stoffer, examining animals found in stream at Canfield Preserve


For details about the curriculum, review the Academic Catalog and the four-year curriculum guide for each concentration:

Caterpillar found in stream at Canfield Preserve


Choose Ohio First

Choose Ohio First - Ashland University has been awarded a grant from the state of Ohio to provide Choose Ohio First Scholarships to outstanding students with interests in the natural and physical sciences. These scholarships support academically strong students who plan to continue to graduate school, health-related professional programs or employment in STEM industries after completing a bachelor’s degree.


Other scholarships available:

Graduate Outcomes

An environmental science degree prepares you for employment or graduate study in a diverse range of fields. Ashland University graduates work for state and federal government agencies, universities and nature centers, environmental service labs and other businesses that need science skills and in-depth understanding of environmental issues.

Students and Dr. Saunders examine bucket of specimens found in Canfield Preserve stream

Career Opportunities

Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 7,800 openings for environmental scientists and specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. The median pay for environmental scientists and specialists was $76,530 in 2021. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Students examine net after going through stream at Canfield Preserve

Environmental Science Minor

Are you looking to expand your current degree to enhance your career opportunities? As an Environmental Science minor, you’ll use your experience in science as preparation for interdisciplinary work in journalism, business, education, creative writing, arts, political science and more.

You’ll participate in discussion-oriented seminar classes that will allow you to learn from students of all disciplines. It’s an opportunity to develop an understanding of how humans affect and are affected by the natural world, including current issues and trends.

Students in stream at Canfield Preserve

Contact Information

Saunders, Patricia
Patricia Saunders, Ph.D.
Director, Environmental Science Program; Associate Professor of Biology
324 Kettering Science Center