What Can I Do with My Environmental Biology Major?
This major is designed to provide students with a foundation in population, whole organism, evolutionary biology and environmental science as well as in chemistry and mathematics. Upper-level electives in the major allow students to explore the myriad applications and contexts of environmental biology through courses in fields like history, government, economics, public policy and international affairs. Each student has the opportunity to participate in an in-depth independent research or internship experience in conjunction with a member of the faculty with expertise in an area of environmental biology
Graduates of the Environmental Biology program will be grounded in the fundamentals of natural science and prepared to enter graduate programs in fields such as biology (ecology & evolution, genetics, etc.), environmental science, public health, medicine or public policy. Students will also be prepared for careers in fields such as conservation, science education, and international relations.
The environmental biology major emphasizes an education in core scientific principles, critical reading and writing skills, and the ability to understand, apply and communicate scientific concepts and results. Throughout your experience in the program, you will obtain the following skills:
Critical Thinking Skills
- Interpret and critique scientific text, presentations, and primary literature
- Structure and place understanding with appropriate references to literature
- Speculate on meanings of data and on possible future directions
- Ability to relate biology to other disciplines
- Present scientific understanding to both scientific and general audiences
- Speak and write precisely
- Present scientific ideas arguing from evidence
- Stimulate interest of audience
- Design and perform experiments
- Construct mathematical models in order to test scientific hypotheses
- Use a variety of sources to develop questions and hypotheses
- Collection and presentation of data
- Construct, evaluate, and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data
You can use the examples above, and experiences from classes or research projects to enhance your resume. Try plugging in some of your experiences or skills gained into this formula: Accomplished (X) as measured by (Y) by doing (Z).
Sample Resume Class 1, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Member of Class, taught by Prof. _____
- Gained advanced understanding of how Earth’s climate system functions, how past climatic fluctuations compare to projected future changes, and how human activities contribute to climate change by analyzing science literature and examining long-term data sets and resources from NASA’s Earth Observatory
- Developed background in both classical and molecular genetics, such as features and patterns of inheritance in bacteria, fungi, plants, animals, and humans, by (insert course lab work/projects/assignments) in Genetics course
- Learned about basic ecology, forest biodiversity, conservation challenges, and experimental methods by (insert course lab work/projects/assignments) in Forest Ecology course
Georgetown Alumni have taken their environmental biology degree across multiple different industries and have applied the skills they learned in environmental biology across multiple disciplines.
Additional information about these outcomes can be found in Cawley’s Post Graduation Outcome Report
“An underrated benefit of majoring in environmental biology was the small classes which allow you to experience more one-on-one teaching and more hands-on approaches.” – 2020 Georgetown College Graduate, Environmental Biology
Helpful Keywords to Improve Searches
There are lots of ways to find good keywords to help your job or internship search process, or even just to learn more about the types of jobs you can do within a specific major. One way to explore this is by checking out the job search tool on Google.
Once you are in, type in something generic like your major and the world internship afterward. Once you hit enter, it will give you lots of options to explore, but if you want to explore titles, possible career paths, or keywords, hover your mouse over the ‘Title’ tab on the top of the page. This will give you a ton of ideas and options to explore possible keywords.
Sample Internship Opportunities
- Government agencies/Government relations (e.g., National Institutes of Health, Institute of Biotechnology, Environmental Science, and Computing)
- Nonprofit agencies (e.g., Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History)
- Health care (e.g., Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy)
- Biotechnology (e.g., Millennium Pharmaceuticals)
- Conservation (e.g., SeaWeb, Alaska SeaLife Center)
The Georgetown Biology Department Website is rich with additional information on studying Environmental Biology.
Professional Associations are a great place to go to dive deeper into the field of environmental biology and learn more about what post grad life might look like.
- American Institute of Biological Sciences
- National Association of Environmental Professionals
- Ecological Society of America
- Society for Conservation Biology
- National Environmental Health Association
Vault is a fantastic resource to learn more about specific career fields in environmental biology. Vault has information such as salary information, work environment, education and training requirements, outlooks, and specific tips for entering into the field.
Professors & Academic Deans
Georgetown professors and faculty members can be a wonderful resource for Georgetown students. If you are still curious to learn more about the disciplines of a specific major, we’d encourage you to connect with your professors! Outside of office hours, Georgetown has an online interface called GU360 where students can explore and connect with faculty members that are eager to mentor and support students. You can use this interface to learn more about specific department research, specialties, and areas of study within a major.
You can also connect with your academic dean or counselor to further discuss opportunities within a given major.
Lastly, each department has a dedicated Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS). This is the individual in charge of coordinating the major program or department as a whole. You can find the Director of Undergraduate Studies by exploring the faculty and staff pages of individual departments websites.
Connecting with alumni is a fantastic way to explore a day in the life of any given major student. There are several different ways to connect with Georgetown Alums. Hoya Gateway is Georgetown’s premier networking platform which connects alumni and students to have meaningful conversations and build a strong network of support. This is a platform alumni opt into with the sole purpose of supporting current students, which means there is an extremely high response rate.
You can also utilize LinkedIn to connect with Georgetown Alum. A simple alumni search on Georgetown’s LinkedIn profile will help you get connected to approximately 130 thousand alumni, which you can then filter to meet the location, major, industry, or skills that you are interested in exploring.
You can also check out our Post Graduation Outcomes to learn more about what Georgetown alumni in specific majors are up to after graduation. We survey our seniors at the end of each year and into the following year to learn about jobs they secured, service opportunities they committed to, or graduate schools they decided to attend. You can filter by first major to get an idea of what life after Georgetown looks like. You’ll see in many cases that alums are using majors in a wide variety of ways, and your major doesn’t always equal your career path.
Career Center Staff
You can also connect with career center staff to talk through the possible outcomes of one major over another. In short, there are endless opportunities no matter what major you choose. However, connecting with someone might help you navigate your decision making process a little bit easier.
At the career center, you have the opportunity to meet with either a Career Exploration Counselor or an Industry Advisor. Career Exploration Counselors can help you talk through concerns, goals, the big picture, and strategies to move forward. You can think of them as generalists and a great place to get started. Industry Advisors can help you think through specific questions about a given career path and provide specific industry information and trends. You can think of them as specialists for once you start to narrow down your possible path. If you think an appointment with one of these individuals would benefit you, you can make an appointment on Handshake.