environmental studies

Admission requirements

  • Prospective students should enroll in as many classes as possible in mathematics, English composition and sciences during their high school years.
  • A minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA) is required for all credit hours transferred from other institutions.
  • All undergraduate majors must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA in all courses taken to fulfill departmental degree requirements.


  • Due to current energy and ecological crises, the “green-collar” job market shows real potential for growth. UMKC’s Environmental Studies Program is designed to meet pressing needs in the workforce and the urban community, and to produce graduates who are broadly educated in environmental issues and who can communicate effectively. The program is an active partner in Kansas City’s robust environmental network, helping students attain relevant real-world experience beyond the classroom.
   students in lab class

Fast facts

  • There are approximately 85 undergraduate students in Geosciences degree programs; 60 percent are studying environmental studies, 20 percent geography and 20 percent geology.
  • Upper-level classes average 15-20 students.
  • Recent awards received by environmental studies students include the prestigious Morris Udall Award and the Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) undergraduate fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


  • Internationally recognized faculty have expertise in earthquakes, climate change, colonial geography, history of the city, mineral resources and environmental science.
  • Faculty members are actively involved in regional, national and international research projects from ozone and asthma studies in Kansas City to environmental remote sensing in Nigeria, and wetland issues in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.
  • Faculty research findings have been featured in National Geographic, Time Magazine, Nature, Science and Wetlands.
  • Faculty members have received funding of more than $1 million in competitive grants from the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, American Chemical Society, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey and the Kauffman Foundation.
  • The department boasts a diverse faculty, conversant in a total of 10 languages. Forty percent are non-white, coming from China, India, Korea and Nigeria. Women comprise 20 percent of faculty.

Student organizations

The Environmental Studies Student Association (ESSA) offers students opportunities to: 

  • Meet with visiting environmental scientists
  • Attend special interest forums and lectures
  • Participate in environmental field trips
  • Attend student-driven organizational activities
  • Participate in city government
  • Acquire a local or regional internship
  • Attend national meetings and conferences


Explore career options for Environmental Studies majors at

Contact us

Office of Admissions

120 Administrative Center
5115 Oak St.
Kansas City, MO 64112
Phone: 816-235-1111
Toll-free: 1-800-775-8652
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TTY)

Visit us

Students are encouraged to schedule a campus visit by visiting or calling 816-235-8652.


UMKC is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.