Study Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of Montana
Sustainability doesn’t happen without sound policy and planning. The environmental policy and planning track of the environmental science and sustainability degree provides a real-world introduction to the challenges and opportunities presented by U.S. laws, regulations, planning processes and politics.
Our program offers unique opportunities to examine environmental issues first-hand, through class trips, immersive field courses, study abroad, and summer jobs and internships. We’ll take you into the mountains, rivers and valleys of western Montana to engage in field-based research you won’t find anywhere else in the world, learning from award-winning faculty who are internationally renowned environmental scientists.
of Franke College graduates are employed or in graduate school
concentrations to help build your expertise
acres of land managed for faculty and student research and learning
Other degree concentrations for environmental science and sustainability at the University of Montana
What can you do with an environmental science degree?
Prepare for diverse environmental science jobs with a focus in policy and planning. When you graduate with a major in environmental science and sustainability from UM, you can look to the future with confidence: 97% of Franke College of Forestry and Conservation graduates are employed or attending graduate school, and 85 percent of those are employed in their degree field.
Environmental policy jobs
Graduates of our program go on to environmental planning jobs in Montana and around the world. Environmental science majors who focus in policy and planning may also pursue graduate studies in political science, law, conservation, geography and public administration. Potential environmental policy jobs include:
- Policy researcher
- State conservation/environmental NGO associate
- Congressional staff
- Agency manager
- National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) planner
Environmental science salary
According to Salary.com, the average environmental planner salary in the United States is $68,979. The average salary for a NEPA planner is $66,257, while an environmental policy analyst can expect to earn a base salary of $52,849.
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Beyond the classroom: Experiential learning in the environmental science and sustainability degree program
Our hands-on learning opportunities are among the most meaningful and transformative educational experiences available to college students anywhere. Students leave our environmental science program with real experiences, putting their education to work for humanity, including environmental conservation and sustainability.
Field experiences and research in the environmental policy and planning concentration
With a concentration in environmental policy and planning, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world environmental challenges. Examples include:
- Engaging in internships and field experiences with federal, state and tribal agencies focused on land, water and wildlife.
- Working with conservation organizations, industry groups and associations.
- Working with faculty on applied research in partnership with agencies and organizations developing policy to increase community and environmental resilience to a changing climate.
Study abroad opportunities for environmental science majors
Major in environmental science and sustainability at UM and you’ll be eligible for Franke Sustainability Fellowships, which fund international research and education focused on sustainability. Learn more about study abroad opportunities at the University of Montana.
Career development in the environmental science and sustainability major
Beyond succeeding in your academic coursework, we also want to help you hit the ground running in your career when you graduate. As an environmental science and sustainability major, you’ll have numerous opportunities to make job connections and build your professional network through internships, undergraduate research projects, summer jobs, student organizations and more.
Student organizations for environmental science majors
With a concentration in environmental policy and planning, you might be interested in checking out the following student organizations at UM:
- UM Society for Ecological Restoration
- American Fisheries Association
- Climate Response Club
- Fire Club
- Student Recreation Association
- Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Student Chapter
- UM Whitewater Club
- UM Ski Club
Environmental science and sustainability scholarships
Get help with tuition and other education costs. Majors in environmental science and sustainability qualify for Franke College of Forestry and Conservation scholarships, which complement other scholarships and financial aid opportunities awarded at UM.
Explore classes for the environmental policy and planning concentration
Coursework for the environmental policy and planning track explores U.S. public lands, water and wildlife policy; community, regional and federal lands planning; conflict resolution; the intersection of science and law; and the past, present and future of U.S. environmental policy — in the context of a changing climate and the emergent law and policy of climate change governance.