Environmental Science Major (HBSc)

Admissions Category: Physical & Environmental Sciences

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Two girls in the woods observing nature

Program Overview

The Environmental Science Program explores the intricate dynamics of our ever-evolving environment, where natural processes intersect with human activities. Over the past century, human influence on the environment has surged, accelerating environmental changes significantly. Understanding the dynamics of both natural and anthropogenic environmental change requires knowledge spanning many scientific disciplines. Our program recognizes that environmental changes pose multifaceted challenges. These include issues such as surface and subsurface water pollution, air and soil contamination, the ominous threat of climate change, resource depletion, species endangerment, and the escalating problem of waste disposal. These pressing environmental concerns are the result of a collective failure to fully grasp the complexities of our environment. Environmental degradation isn't limited to affecting humanity alone; it reverberates across all species and ecosystems, necessitating a multidimensional approach for effective understanding and mitigation. Environmental Science Major program integrates insights from various fields, including biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, earth science, and ecology, fostering a holistic comprehension of environmental systems and processes. This integrated approach doesn't merely seek to identify the causes behind environmental change and degradation; by nurturing a comprehensive understanding of the intricate web of relationships within our environment, it also endeavors to unravel the intricate mechanisms by which these changes impact all living organisms.
Just like our other Environmental Science programs, the Environmental Science Major offers a hands-on scientific education that equips students with a diverse skill set, enabling them to address environmental and societal challenges across various natural and human-made sectors. Through a dynamic blend of fieldwork and laboratory training, our programs thoroughly prepare students for careers in consulting, government, non-government organizations, research, and teaching in the field of Environmental Sciences.
Additionally, the Environmental Science CO-OP option provides students with opportunities to gain practical work experience and professional competencies in various settings, including industry, government agencies, and academic institutions. For more details, please refer to the Co-op website. (add the link to the Co-op website)

Complementary Programs:

Environmental Science, Environmental StudiesGeographyChemistryBiologyPhysicsComputer ScienceStatisticsHealth ScienceSociology., Applied Climatology, International Development Studies

Check out future career opportunities and skills acquired from completing this program:

Competencies & Skills

  • Use observations, samples, and specimens to explore theoretical concepts and conduct research
  • Analysis of contaminants and pollutants
  • Qualitative and quantitative approaches for environmental impact assessments and audits
  • Statistical reasoning and methods
  • Climate change modelling and impact assessment
  • Design, implementation and reporting of research (lab & field) works

Careers for Graduates

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Planner
  • Natural Resources Education Coordinator
  • Environmental Management Services
  • Field Technician for Resource Management and Conservation
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Technician/Technologist
  • Program Coordinator in Provincial/National Parks
  • Climate Services
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Climate Change Consultant

Further Education

  • Environmental Science
  • Planning
  • Environmental Technology
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Environmental Health and Safety
  • Environmental Law
  • Climate change and its impact on Environment
  • Environmental Sustainability

Program Pathway

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4

Year 1
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career

Year 2
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
Apply Theory to Practice
Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
Plan for Your Future Career
  • Gain experience by applying for a summer, part-time or Work Study position via CLNx (>Jobs & Recruitment).
  • Considering grad school?  Speak to professors and advisors early so you choose the right courses.
  • Explore careers through the AA&CC’s Job Shadowing and In The Field programs.

Year 3
Choose Your Courses Wisely
  • 2.0 credits at the C- or D-level in EES courses (taken in year 3 and 4) with at least 0.5 credit at the D-level; OR 1.5 credits at the C- or D-level in EES courses and PSCD11H3 (Communicating Science: Film, Media, Journalism, and Society).
  • Use Degree Explorer to ensure you are on track with your degree.

Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Enter to win the UTSC Library Undergraduate Research Prize or Poster Forum. Enroll in EESC24: Directed Readings in Environmental Science.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Build on your skills and knowledge through relevant events offered through your department, student groups, DSL and the AA&CC.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)
  • Consider running for an elected position in EPSA or another campus club.

Plan for Your Future Career

Year 4
Choose Your Courses Wisely
Develop Your Academic & Research Skills
  • Apply for the Academic Travel Fund through DSL to conduct research, present at a conference, or engage with the academic community internationally.
  • Enroll in EESD09/EESD10: Research Project in Environmental Science.

Apply Theory to Practice
  • Attend the Summer & Full-time Job Fair in January to meet with potential employers looking to hire students for summer and full-time positions relevant to your field.

Become an Engaged Citizen (Locally & Globally)


  • Participate in the AA&CC’s Partners in Leadership program to learn and network with an alumni mentor about transitioning into the work field or further education.

Plan for Your Future Career
  • Attend the AA&CC’s Get Hired job search conference in April/May.
  • Attend a Jobs for Grads orientation for a job search “crash course” and for access to full-time job listings.
  • Discuss grad school plans early with staff at the AA&CC and your professors; get your Personal Statement reviewed in the AA&CC.


  • AACC - Academic Advising and Career Centre (www.utsc.utoronto.ca/aacc)
  • CCR - Co-Curricular Record (https://clnx.utoronto.ca/ccr/overview.htm)
  • CLNx - Career Co-Curricular Learning Network (https://clnx.utoronto.ca/home.htm)
  • CTL - Centre for Teaching and Learning (https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/ctl)
  • DSL - Department of Student Life (https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/studentlife)
  • EPSA - Environmental and Physical Sciences Students Association (https://www.myepsa.ca)
  • SCSU - Scarborough Campus Students Union (https://www.scsu.ca)


Departmental Contact

Prof. Heidi Daxberger

E-mail: heidi.daxberger@utoronto.ca
Location: EV
Phone: 416-208-5136


Environmental Science Librarian

Sarah Guay

E-mail: sarah.guay@utoronto.ca
Phone: 416-287-7497


Academic Advising & Career Centre

E-mail: aacc.utsc@utoronto.ca
Location: Room AC213
Phone: 416-287-7561


Department of Student Life

E-mail: studentlife.utsc@utoronto.ca
Location: Room SL157
Phone: 416-208-4760


Environmental & Physical Sciences Students’ Association (EPSA)

E-mail: president@myepsa.ca
Location: EV264


Did You Know?

Two scientists looking over some data

Environmental Science offers three combined Master’s degree programs: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/physsci/master-environmental-science-overview