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.

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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:

  • Apply to co-op at the end of your first year and gain hands-on work experience for your resume.
  • 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.


2020 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 2019/20

*Center for World University Rankings (CWUR)


Format: full time or part time      Duration: four years     Start: September (fall term)     OUAC code: UEB
Ontario High School Admission Requirements
  • Minimum admission range: low 70s
  • Competitive admission range based on last year’s admitted students: low 80s
  • English at 60%
Canadian Admission Requirements (Outside of Ontario)

Students applying to this program from a Canadian province outside of Ontario are encouraged to review our course equivalents by province chart. This chart will show you what courses from your province are equivalent to the admission requirements listed under Ontario High School Admission Requirements.

International Admission Requirements

Students applying to this program from an international curriculum are encouraged to review our curriculum-specific requirements; you must also meet all program-specific requirements listed under the Ontario High School Admission Requirements section.

English-Proficiency Requirement

Laurier's language of instruction is English, and so we may require you to provide evidence of your English proficiency to help make sure you experience success in your academic courses.

Your three most recent years of full-time education must be in English without taking any ESL (English as a Second Language) courses. If you do not meet this requirement, you must provide evidence of your English proficiency.

We reserve the right to request an English-language test from any applicant.

If you do not meet Laurier's English proficiency requirement but are academically qualified for your program, you may be eligible for a conditional offer of admission.

Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) Program

The Laurier English and Academic Foundation (LEAF) program is an academic English program for Laurier applicants who have to prove English proficiency. If you have received an offer to Laurier with a condition to meet our English- proficiency requirement, you can meet that condition by successfully completing the LEAF program.

College Pathways

2+2 Agreements with Fleming College

Graduates of Fleming’s two-year Environmental Technician, Ecosystem Management, or Fish and Wildlife Technician diploma programs are eligible to be considered for a unique 2+2 agreement, provided they graduate with an overall average of 70%.

Block Transfer Agreement

Graduates from a two-year general Arts and Science diploma program can apply to Environmental Studies within the Faculty of Science on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. To be considered for admission, graduates must have an overall average of 75% in their program and achieve a minimum of 60% in a 4U English course or equivalent.

Learn more about our college transfer agreements.

Other Admission Requirements

Visit our admission requirements section to find specific requirements for university students, indigenous applicants, mature learners, homeschooled applicants, senior citizens, refugees, and more. 

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. Our professors 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.
As an Environmental Studies student at Laurier, you'll learn and practice key skills in environmental management, explore groundbreaking ideas in a collaborative classroom environment, and connect with other students and researchers who share a similar passion for nature.

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 Northern Canada. You'll have opportunities to learn how to use geographic information systems (GIS) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to develop your applied skills, which are highly desired by employers.

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

  • 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.


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"Community is more than a buzzword at Laurier. We strive to make sure our students know that they matter and belong, which leads to an enriched campus experience and academic excellence. The friendships and connections you make here will last you a lifetime."

Ivan Joseph, vice-president, Student Affairs

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
  • 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 519.884.0710 x3385 or see all contact information.