Economics / Environmental Studies

Economics / Environmental Studies


Economics is concerned with how people living in a world of scarcity make choices. These choices inevitably involve costs. Questions examined in environmental economics include efficient resource use, preservation of wilderness and biological diversity, local and regional air pollution, global climate change, and treatment of toxic substances. Students learn how to use economic principles to help understand the causes of environmental problems and to identify potential remedies.

Western’s combined major in Economics and Environmental Studies is available to students who have a strong interest in the economic aspects of environmental studies and natural resources. The curriculum is designed to provide a broad area of study in the economic choices involved in how humans interact with natural systems.

Western’s Economics Department is part of the College of Business and Economics.  The Environmental Studies Department is part of Huxley College of the Environment.

Beyond the Classroom

The WWU Student Economics Association (SEA) is a student-led club that promotes the development of skills to lead members’ transition into the job sector. The club coordinates events to help guide and inspire innovative thinking for economics students and business students alike.

Careers and Graduate Studies

An increasingly dynamic career area for economists has been in environmental business and management, sometimes referred to as sustainability, in which economists are involved in planning and forecasting, production and market analysis, pricing, and government policy analysis.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates:

  • Alameda County: Green Purchasing Associate
  • Google Maps: Visual Data Specialist
  • Health Management Associates: COBRA Specialist
  • Port of Seattle: Intern
  • Pro Unlimited: Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
  • Genzyme

Sample Jobs

  • Environmental Consulting
  • Economics/Environmental Researcher
  • Environmental Advocacy for Non-profits
  • Environmental Affairs-Business
  • Environmental Protection-Government

Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.