tackle the world’s most pressing environmental problems with a major in environmental chemistry.
explore your options — classes, internships, research and study abroad. find what interests you, discover what you love, and create a major experience that jumpstarts your future.
you’ll learn the impact that chemical substances have on the earth’s ecosystems by building your knowledge of both chemistry and environmental science. get ready to confront climate change, find ways to clean up air and water pollution, and respond to environmental disasters. or figure out solutions to problems related to energy, waste and recycling.
you’ll join a student-faculty research group for at least two semesters, where you’ll learn the process of research from beginning to end. apply your knowledge in the state-of-the-art labs of the john brooks williams natural sciences center. graduate with a solid understanding of the science — and the connections between the environment, economics and policy.
you’ll leave st. edward’s ready to make a difference.
what do our graduates do?
environmental chemistry majors go on to a variety of careers and graduate schools from st. edward’s. here’s a sample.
- geochemist and risk assessment officer at tetra tech, a consulting and engineering company
- Master’s student at Texas A&M
- phd candidate at depaul university
- phd candidate at the university of north texas
8 reasons to choose st. edward’s
St. Edward’s is the No. 8 Best Regional University in the West in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report college ranking. In honor of our ranking, we share the top reasons to become a hilltopper.
major requirements: the bachelor of science in environmental chemistry requires 67 hours of major courses, which include a combination of environmental science, chemistry, philosophy, biology, math, and physics.
general education requirements: in addition to the major program requirements, all students must satisfy the general education requirements. talk with your success coach and faculty advisor about which courses are right for you.
view and download the full degree plan for our environmental chemistry major (pdf).
a few examples of courses students in this major take:
- environmental politics and policy – explore new demands worldwide for dealing with the risks of climate change, population growth, loss of biological diversity and terrorism, which will force governments everywhere to rethink policy strategies and find new ways to reconcile environmental and economic goals.
- environmental ethics – explore moral concerns and ethical decision making with regard to the environment. topics include individual, corporate and state freedoms and responsibilities, permissible uses of animals, and comparison of strategies for protecting natural resources, as well as case studies regarding equity, justice, and individual and community rights to environmental resources.
- biochemistry – survey of the fundamentals of biochemistry. topics include structure of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates, catalysis, kinetics, bioenergetics and metabolism, and information pathways.
“as a scientist, it is my goal to explore the natural world through the lens of chemistry and contribute to the global community of scientific explorers. as a teacher and mentor, i hope to guide students through this never-ending journey of exploration they will continue well beyond their years at st. edward’s.”
– santiago toledo, associate professor and chair of chemistry
outside the classroom
we emphasize experiential learning, so students majoring in environmental chemistry enroll in at least two semesters of research courses and join a student-faculty research group with the goal of producing and presenting professional-level work.
our internship program acquaints students with practical experience. our students have recently interned with:
- tetra tech
- texas commission on environmental quality