Designed for students who find the environmental perspective compelling, SSC/Environmental Studies is a field that studies how human society intersects with the natural environment. The major encompasses the study of natural science and social science in order to understand environmental problems and processes.
Students take courses in chemistry, ecological methods and spatial analysis as well as field courses. Internships are a required part of the curriculum. Specialty tracks provide a body of course work and experiences that prepare a student for a defined area within the field of environmental studies.
Students who complete this concentration will:
- Understand critical concepts in environmental studies: matter/energy, sustainability, ecosystem, biodiversity, natural resources
- Understand principles and processes of biological evolution; the interrelated physical processes; principles of ecology and ecological research ; engage in and understand the processes and techniques of conducting environmental fieldwork
- Understand the interaction of historical/social/political phenomena with environmental issues; identify ethical, spiritual and aesthetic considerations that affect environmental attitudes and behavior
- Understand the foundational statistical methods used to evaluate data in relation to knowledge claims
- Understand the role of environmental law/regulation in environmental issues
- Understand dynamics of conservation biology through study of soil, water, forest, and wildlife populations
- Gain practical experiences through an Internship
- To understand the basic concepts of environmental chemistry.
- To understand techniques of ecological analysis
The SSC/Environmental Studies major is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building the program most suitable for individual interests and career goals. There are approximately 100 students enrolled currently as SSC/Environmental Studies majors.
Courses in the SSC/Environmental Studies major are taught in both large lecture, small seminar and field course formats. Prerequisite and introductory courses for the major typically enroll 40-200 students per class. Core courses and upper level track courses enroll 35 to 100 students per class.
SSC/Environmental Studies major is housed in 203 Clemens Hall on UB’s north campus. The program holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.
Students take courses from across the College of Arts and Sciences allowing them to interact with faculty from various departments such as geography, geology, biology and sociology. Instruction or grading responsibilities for some of these courses may be assigned to teaching assistants.
In addition SSC has approximately 30 adjunct instructors who are working professionals in their fields. They provide a diverse selection of courses related to their areas of expertise.
Students who graduate from the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary/Environmental Studies major are prepared to work in government, community education and organizing, and environmental businesses. Students have reported obtaining employment with the Office of the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, the New York Public Interest Research Group, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western New York Clean Air Coalition.
The interdisciplinary structure of the major prepares students to go on to advanced study in biology, environmental policy, environmental psychology and environmental science. Students have gone on to advanced studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio University, University of Minnesota, SUNY Buffalo and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry.
Admission to the major and advisement for students are coordinated through the program’s office in 203 Clemens Hall. There is at least one advisor assigned to each major area. We provide advisement for students on major and university requirements. Our advisors work closely with the general advising office, financial aid and student accounts to help students find answers to questions about all aspects of being an undergraduate at UB.
Please call our office at (716) 645-2245 ext. 0 to make an appointment with an advisor in your major area of interest.
With the help of its alumni donors, SSC has established a Study Abroad Award to encourage undergraduate students who are in one of the six SSC majors to pursue an opportunity to study abroad. The award is available for study abroad in fall, spring or summer semesters.
Students in our program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of other sources, including:
- UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
- Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
- UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards