Student researcher wearing a red shirt and safety vest kneeling in a field
Schmid College of Science and Technology

» Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science & Policy

The interdisciplinary bachelor of science in environmental science & policy creates scientists who can communicate with policy makers and future policy makers who understand science.

From Paris to Sacramento, the Gulf of Mexico to the wilds of Montana, the on-campus dining commons to the White House lawn, our students put environmental science into practice and turn that practice into impact. Read More

Major Opportunities for Jenny Gritton

Chapman University student Jenny Gritton working in the Keck Center for Science and Engineering.

Majoring in environmental science and policy is much more than the course work. You’ll have opportunities to pursue your interests wherever they take you. Learn how recent alum Jenny Gritton used her time at Chapman to create a sustainable future.

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Areas of Study

Environmental science & policy students complete core course work in both the natural and social sciences, and then choose to specialize in one of the following:

  • Ecology
  • Earth systems
  • Environmental policy

Where can this degree take you?

Alumni from this program have gone on to graduate programs in conservation biology, environmental chemistry and environmental law. Others have accepted positions with consulting firms, environmental non-profits and research-based agencies.

Read about what our alumni are doing

Research and Internship Opportunities

Opportunities for student/faculty research as well as internships with community partners add even more flexibility to this degree program and allow students to customize their Chapman experience. 


Our students gain real-world experience through internships that prepare them for their career after Chapman. Some of the places our students have interned locally are:

Research Resources

Undergraduate Research Opportunities with Faculty

Dr. Hesham El-Askary is interested in understanding the interactive mechanisms among the various subsystems of earth and seeing how these subsystems shape the environment that we live in. 

Dr. Jennifer Funk
 discusses her research into how plants respond to climate change and how we can restore plant communities that have been invaded. 

Dr. Jason Keller
is an ecologist broadly interested in the flow of carbon and nutrients through ecosystems. Much of his work explores how ecosystems will respond to ongoing global change. His current research focuses on the controls of anaerobic decomposition and greenhouse gas dynamics in a variety of wetlands, ranging from northern peatlands to tidal marshes.

Dr. William Wright
's current research examines questions about the chemical, and behavioral defenses of sea hares, ecology of spiny lobsters, territorial ecology of intertidal limpets, and non-lethal effects of global warming. 

Global Education Opportunities

Environmental Science & Policy majors are encouraged to spend a semester abroad and have many opportunities around the globe. Students typically earn upper-division elective credit by taking unique courses in ecology, earth systems, and policy! Below are samples of courses and recommended programs abroad for ES&P majors. Visit the Global Gateway for more options.

Latin America

  • ICADS Environment and Sustainable Development, Costa Rica: Latin American Perspectives on Justice and Sustainable Development; Ecology of Managed and Natural Ecosystems; Independent Field Work
  • University of Glasgow, Scotland: Marine & Freshwater Biology
  • ISA Athens, Greece: Integrated Methods in Environmental Analysis
  • EuroScholars: academic research project chosen by student and faculty at one of seven universities in Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Belgium and the Netherlands
  • Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand: Environmental Policy & Governance; Animal Diversity; Marine Ecology
  • University of Auckland, New Zealand: Remote Sensing and GIS; Natural and Human Environmental Systems
  • Macquarie University, Australia: Urban Climate and Air Quality; Marine Climate, Weather and Coastal Oceanography


  • University of Cape Town, South Africa: Contemporary Urban Challenges; Life in the Sea; Sustainability & Environment


In addition, students can participate in a Summer International Internship in one of seven locations worldwide to obtain hands-on work and culture experience while earning 3 Chapman credits. Placements are customized and based on the student’s major, career goals, and interests.

Every Interterm and summer, Chapman faculty lead groups of students on Travel Courses for 3 Chapman credits. Consider applying to the ENV227-Darwin and the Galapagos Travel Course during Interterm to experience a 10-day course trip to learn about biodiversity and theories of Charles Darwin while exploring these amazing islands.

Visit the Center for Global Education for more information or email

Capstone Experience

The environmental science & policy degree culminates in a senior capstone project where students complete a campus environmental audit with the goal of providing Chapman with a report that not only summarizes available data, but also provides actionable solutions to a variety of sustainability issues.

Past audits have focused on:

  • waste management, reusables, and sustainable food options
  • energy efficiency, behavior change, LEED EBOM certification, and sustainability policies
  • overall water and landscaping processes and alternatives

View all past environmental audits


Our faculty are top researchers in their fields and explore issues ranging from pollution over megacities, the effects of invasive plant species on ecosystem processes, the characterization of heavy metals in mine waste, and the impact of presidential transitions on environmental law.

This work is supported by research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Fulbright Program.  Environmental science & policy students routinely engage in these cutting-edge research questions.

Environmental Science and Policy Faculty

Georgiana Bostean, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, Health and Policy

Warren deBruyn, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry

Hesham El-Askary, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Remote Sensing and Earth System Science
Director of Graduate Programs in Computational and Data Sciences

Jennifer Funk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Director of Biological Sciences Program

Jason Keller, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Head of Life and Environmental Sciences Faculty

Christopher Kim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Associate Dean for Academic Programs

Crystal Murphy, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Political Science

Walter Piper, Ph.D.
Professor of Biological Sciences

David Shafie, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science

Ramesh Singh, Ph.D.
Professor, Earth System Science and Remote Sensing 

Virginia Warren, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy

Advising for Students

Need to talk to your program advisor? Looking for a MAP (Major Academic Plan)?

Visit the Academic Advising website. There you’ll find contact information for all Schmid College program advisors, as well as links to MAPs for each program.

Research Spotlight

Dr. Jennifer Funk discusses her research into how plants respond to climate change and how we can restore plant communities that have been invaded.

Watch Video »

Research Spotlight

Dr. Hesham El-Askary is interested in understanding the interactive mechanisms among the various subsystems of earth and seeing how these subsystems shape the environment that we live in. 

Watch Video »

Contact Us

Cheryl Stack
Administrative Assistant
Keck Center 290
(714) 628-2862