Environmental Studies (BA)

Study the natural and social sciences to understand human relationships with the natural environment. Learn about sustainability issues in the management of land and water, the formulation of environmental policy, and how improved decision-making can manage resources, protect the environment and ensure a healthy future. You can learn how to use geographic information systems (GIS) and crewless aerial vehicles to develop your applied skills.

solar panels

Apply Your Learning

Make the most out of your university career by taking advantage of all that Laurier has to offer you. Volunteer work, campus clubs, leadership programs, studying abroad, work experience – there are so many ways you can extend your classroom experience into the real world.

Here are just a few examples of the experiences you’ll get in the Environmental Studies program:

  • Participate in a community-engaged learning course in sustainable development during second year. Experience being part of a consulting team working with professional planners to develop real world sustainability initiatives in Waterloo Region's rural communities. 
  • The Capstone Urban Sustainability Project (CUSP) is the perfect fit for students in the BA in Environmental Studies program looking to engage with the community – all while earning a course credit.
    • In CUSP, you'll undertake a yearlong consultation with our community partner, the City of Cambridge. Collaborating with other students in your consulting team, you'll seek to resolve an aspect of urban planning and development with a solution grounded in principles of sustainability and professional practice. Your team will bring together skills in project management, written communication, graphic design, mapping, public speaking, research analysis, and community engagement.
  • Live in the Faculty of Science Residence Learning Community to connect with professors outside the classroom, meet alumni to explore your career paths, and feel the support of your science peers.
  • Take courses with fieldwork and lab components built-in and apply your lecture notes to practical experiences.

Check out the Geography and Environmental Studies Experience Guide.


2022 graduates who secured employment or went on to postgraduate studies


Laurier ranks in the top 6 percent of universities worldwide*


students who gained hands-on learning experiences at Laurier in 2022

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term) or January (winter term)    OUAC code: UEB

Program Details

Environmental Studies at Laurier

Study in a program that’s current, dynamic and continuously seeking new ways to enhance our understanding of the natural world and our place in it. You'll learn about the physical and human dimensions of climate change and what can be done to impact them. You'll practice key skills in environmental management, explore ground-breaking ideas in a collaborative classroom environment, and connect with other students and researchers who share a similar passion for nature. 
The professors you will work with include internationally known experts in biodiversity protection, climate change adaptation, Indigenous ecological knowledge, northern environmental change, and sustainable food systems. They are actively employed in monitoring threatened plant and animal species; are engaging citizens in environmental science; are working with communities and Indigenous groups to devise better ways of managing land and regional planning, environment and natural resource policy, nature conservation. 

Practical Research Experience

In your upper years, you can participate in field courses, where you will design and carry out original research projects in places such as provincial parks, cities and in northern Canada. You'll have opportunities to learn how to use geographic information systems (GIS) and Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) to develop your applied skills, which are highly desired by employers.

In our second year Sustainability course, you can collaborate with professional planners to generate new ideas for fostering sustainable growth in Waterloo Region's rural townships.

Your Path to Medical School


Get one step closer to your medical school dreams at Laurier!

Our pathway agreement with American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) means you’re automatically granted an admissions interview to the AUC School of Medicine if you meet all academic requirements. Upon graduation, you’ll have the opportunity to write exams to practice medicine in Canada, the UK or the United States.

Program Options and Courses

Options and Minors

These are a few of the many popular academic opportunities which allow you to dive deeper into your major area of study or broaden your knowledge:

  • Community Engagement Option
  • Education Minor
  • Geomatics Option
  • Public Policy Minor
  • Sustainability Option
  • Writing for Career and Community Minor

Check out other options to enhance your degree.

First-Year Courses

  • Environment, Sustainability and Society
  • Introduction to Human Geography
  • Introduction to Physical Geography
  • 3.5 elective credits

Sample First-Year Electives

  • The Anatomy of Earth
  • Our Digital Earth
  • The Surface of Earth

Sample Upper-Year Courses

  • Introduction to Sustainability
  • Climate Change and Collective Action
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Environmental Migration
  • Global Food Systems
  • Indigenous Ecological Knowledge
  • Parks and Protected Areas
  • Wildlife and Resource Management

Similar Programs


Co-op is a way to integrate what you are learning in the classroom with practical experience in your field of study. Build your resume, earn money, develop your network, and graduate with work experience.

You can apply for admission to co-op in your first year and may be eligible for an admission interview early in your second year. As a student in this program, you will be eligible to complete paid work terms lasting 12 to 16 weeks.

Interested? Learn more about co-op.

Tuition and Scholarships

Getting a university education is an investment in your future.

At Laurier, we take financial health seriously by providing a wide variety of funding opportunities for you throughout your degree, such as scholarships and bursaries, and by equipping you with the skills to manage your finances effectively in the years to come.


Your Career Awaits

Environmental Studies graduates can work in the areas of environmental assessment, research and monitoring, land-use planning, parks and protected areas, resource management and policy making.

Here are just some examples of our graduates' destinations. What’s yours?

Sample Career Options

Note: Additional training and education may be required.

  • chief ecologist
  • corporate sustainability officer
  • economic development planner
  • environmental consultant
  • field technician
  • land use planner/surveyor
  • map analyst
  • natural resources officer
  • public policy analyst
  • urban planner
  • water efficiency assistant water resources specialist

Explore more careers.

Support After Graduation

Alumni for life means that you have access to Career and Employment Support offered at Laurier for your entire career.

Waterloo Campus

The Waterloo campus is tucked into about one city block, so you’re steps away from your classes, food and your new favourite study spot.

There are many ways to tour our Waterloo campus, whether that's on a guided tour with one of our Laurier student ambassadors, on your own using virtual reality, or even on-demand through one of our pre-recorded tours. See our campus spaces and start to picture yourself at Laurier.

Interested in More Info?

Email chooselaurier@wlu.ca, call 548.889.8888 or see all contact information.