COVID-19: See our Phoenix Forward page


(Bachelor of Science)

Environmental Policy and Planning is an environmental studies program based in the social sciences. It is designed to prepare students for a variety of challenging professions involving the planning, analysis, design, and administration of policies and programs dealing with the natural and human-made environment. Students who major in Environmental Policy and Planning consider environmental challenges through the lens of law, politics, and economics. The program provides students with a solid background in environmental policy, environmental law, environmental planning, environmental design, and an introduction to sustainable development and community-based environmental protection. It also prepares students for graduate work in environmental studies, public policy, public administration, law, community planning, and related fields.

Environmental Policy and Planning majors engage in both theoretical and applied study in their courses, and have flexibility to choose from different emphases. Students may serve as interns in planning agencies in local governments, work in teams with a professor to conduct community planning and design, work with environmental organizations, or develop programs for sustainable communities. The three program emphases from which majors can choose are public policy, environmental planning (managing resources in the natural environment), and environmental design (creating the built environment).

The major in Environmental Policy and Planning consists of two sets of requirements: 1) required supporting and analytical courses and 2) upper-level courses within an area of emphasis. Students should discuss these Emphases with their program advisor when establishing an academic plan.

The public policy emphasis focuses on environmental policy development and implementation; methods of policy analysis; and political, administrative, legal, and economic issues in environmental policy. It provides students with a strong background in the public policy and administrative aspects of environmental studies. This emphasis prepares students for employment in the public, nonprofit, and private market sectors as environmental policy analysts, specialists in public information, environmental management, government relations, and related careers, as well as for graduate work in environmental studies, public policy, public affairs, administration, and law.

The environmental planning emphasis focuses on sustainable and resilient land use and planning methods for human settlements and our surrounding environments in an era of climate change and resource scarcity. This emphasis teaches you skills in management of land and natural resources, techniques in geographic information systems, and how to adapt to the accelerating human influences on our environment. Students interested in learning skills in designing and planning community redevelopment; protection and management of farmland, forests, air, waters, flora and fauna at the community and regional levels; and developing comprehensive environmental impact studies may want to select this emphasis. It helps prepare students for careers and graduate work in environmental planning, community and regional planning, community-based environmental management, geography, and related fields.

The regional planning and environmental design emphasis focuses on creative problem-solving techniques in defining, analyzing, and solving problems in the built environment at human scale.  Emphasizes basic graphic and verbal presentation techniques and relationships between form, the natural environment, people and function.  Students interested in developing skills in the planning and urban design at the community and regional levels may want to select this emphasis. It helps prepare students for careers and graduate work in architecture, environmental planning, urban and regional planning, and community-based non-profit organizations that work in community development, geography, and related fields

A minor in Environmental Policy and Planning is similar to the major in developing knowledge and skills in planning, decision-making, public policy, environmental design, political and economic processes, as well as the analytic capacities to participate in decision-making. An interdisciplinary minor in Environmental Policy and Planning is a good choice for students who wish to major in Environmental Science, Public Administration, Political Science, Economics, Urban Studies, Democracy and Justice Studies, or a number of other programs.

Considering a Double Major or Certificate?

Some students may want to consider a double major, combining Environmental Policy and Planning with Public Administration. Other popular second majors include Political Science, Urban Studies, and Economics. A double major or a minor in one of these fields complements the Environmental Policy and Planning curriculum, and makes students stronger candidates when seeking careers or entry into graduate programs. 

A certificate in Environmental Sustainability and Business fits well with a major or minor in Environmental Policy and Planning. Likewise, students interested in working in an non-governmental or non-profit organization might explore the certificate in Nonprofit Management.  Students should contact a faculty adviser early in their academic careers for advice on these options.

Students may study abroad or at other campuses in the United States through UW-Green Bay’s participation in international exchange programs and National Student Exchange. Travel courses are another option for obtaining academic credits and completing requirements. For more information, contact the Office of International Education at (920) 465-2190 or see