Earning an Online Environmental Science Bachelor's Degree

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If you are concerned about the environment and climate change, consider pursuing an environmental science online degree. There are many academic programs within the field, and this guide can help you compile a personalized list of viable schools. It outlines what to expect from an environmental sciences program, how to apply to one, and what courses you might take. It also explains potential careers and professional opportunities for environmental sciences graduates.

Overview of Environmental Science Degrees

At its core, environmental science involves the study of Earth's natural processes. The field also focuses on how humans affect the natural sciences. Courses in these programs cover climate change. Students also learn about solutions to these problems, including conducting research to resolve the Earth's environmental dilemmas, using tools to preserve ecosystems, and utilizing new technologies to confront climate change. The curriculum often takes an interdisciplinary approach. Students also learn about environmental policy issues, with courses covering topics like water scarcity, agriculture, natural resources, energy, urban sustainability, and waste management.

An environmental science degree online prepares students to work in careers that promote sustainability and conservation. By studying the scientific concepts behind climate change and environmental processes in addition to the societal and policy components of environmental science, students can use that knowledge to land jobs after graduation. For instance, professionals with online environmental science degrees might work as environmental consultants. Consultants need to understand both science and policy to make informed decisions for their clients.

Best Online Environmental Science Schools: 2019

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To be considered for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria:

  • Accredited at the institutional level
  • Private nonprofit or public school
  • Minimum of 1 online bachelor’s or master’s degree in subject area for 4-year schools
  • Minimum of 1 online associate degree or certificate program in subject area for 2-year schools

Schools were then scored on factors such as:

  • Cost & Financial Aid
  • Number and variety of online program offerings
  • Student-teacher ratios
  • Graduation rates
  • Placement and support services offered
  • Academic/Career counseling services
  • Employment services
  • Loan default rates

These factors were assembled for each school and rated using a peer-based-value (PBV) calculation. PBV compares the cost of a program to the cost of other programs with the same (or similar) qualitative score and cost. PBV denotes the overall value or "bang for your buck" of a college or degree program.

Environmental science is a growing industry, and a degree in the field gives graduates a better foot in the door to the growing list of jobs and careers that are becoming available. Program options from two-year to bachelor's to graduate can get you started in the field and help you move along your career path, allowing you to help tackle the environmental problems of today — and tomorrow. We're helping with your research for the perfect school by looking at the degrees available, class sizes, student services and net price. Using these metrics, we've compiled our list of the Best Schools for Environmental Science in 2019.

Rank School Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratio Ranking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
4%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
5
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 99.23
Read more

In August 1990, NorthWest Arkansas Community College opened to provide a quality education to 1,200 students. Since that time, the school has educated over 7,000 students who took for-credit courses, as well as 5,000 who completed non-credit courses. With the mission of empowering lives through an accessible, affordable education, NorthWest Arkansas Community College has programs designed to train students for rewarding careers—and the environmental science program is no exception. Students who complete an associate’s degree in environmental science prepare for jobs in the field by taking courses in sustainability fundamentals, microbiology, public speaking, environmental biology, basic chemistry, and environmental compliance.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
2 Pamlico Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
11%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.27
Read more

Students who enroll in Pamlico Community College’s environmental science program can prepare for jobs in waste management, environmental testing, chemical and biological analysis, EPA compliance, and contaminated site assessment. The school offers associate’s degrees in environmental management technology and environmental science technology, which focus on the impact that sustainable management has on a community. Students in the environmental management technology program take courses in climate, fish and wildlife, and the economic uses of renewable energy. Students who enroll in the environmental science technology degree study planning, economics, pollution control, environmental law, and how human beings interact with nature.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
3 Eastern Iowa Community College District Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
17%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 95.12
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Eastern Iowa Community College District’s environmental, health and safety associate’s degree prepares students to work in occupational health and safety technician careers, such as industry hygiene technician, safety specialist, hazardous materials technician, safety coordinator, and environmental specialist positions. Students in this program take coursework in subjects such as occupational safety, industrial processes, air and water quality and remediation, industrial hygiene, and hazardous materials. Eastern Iowa Community College District is a military-friendly school that allows students to enroll in convenient online classes. As a result, students can easily complete their degrees as they juggle classes with their military duties.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
4 Southern Arkansas University Tech Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
22%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 91.74
Read more

The environmental management degree from Southern Arkansas University Tech is designed for those who want to help the environment by pursuing managerial jobs in water, solid waste, and wastewater facilities. The degree program, which can be completed entirely online, offers courses in areas such as environmental safety, wastewater, solid waste management, industrial treatment technology, and environmental management. In addition, students are required to take general education courses to ensure they receive a well-rounded education. These courses include subjects such as composition, computer science, and public speaking, as well as classes in the biological, physical, and social sciences.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
5 SUNY Broome Community College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
14%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.66
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Students who want to earn an environmental science degree can build the foundation for their studies at SUNY Broome Community College. The school’s associate’s degree program provides an interdisciplinary education that students can use to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree, or if they choose, pursue an entry-level position in the field. Students in the program take courses in environmental science and policy and ecology, as well as calculus, algebra, and biology. In addition, to prepare for the rigors of bachelor’s degree programs and future jobs, student must take writing and speech classes designed to sharpen their communication skills.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
6 San Antonio College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
9%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 90.11
Read more

Founded in 1925, San Antonio College is one of the largest single-campus community colleges in both Texas and the United States. Students who enroll in the school, which is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, can take advantage of knowledgeable faculty members, computer and library resources, and labs that provide hands-on experience. Those who chose the earth sciences associate’s degree program receive an education that can prepare them to work in both academic and non-academic environments. Students in this program focus their studies on geography and geology, among other subjects.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7 Ocean County College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
4%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
Ranking SCORE 88.79
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Ocean County College’s associate’s degree program in environmental science prepares students for careers in environmental education centers, testing labs, food manufacturers, ecotourism companies, and public relations firms. To that end, the program offers courses in ecology, marine biology, and oceanography, as well as mathematics, chemistry, and general biology. Students in the program may also complete a field practicum that provides off-campus, hands-on experience under the supervision of a professor in the department. In order to successfully complete their degree, students must also demonstrate computer literacy by taking earning information science credits or passing a test administered by the school.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
Rank School Title Net Price Financial Aid Total Programs Student-Teacher ratio Grad Rate Ranking Score School Description Additional Benefits: Placement Services Counseling Services Credit for Experience
1 Prescott College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
90%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
4
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
45%
Ranking SCORE 99.75
Read more

The environmental studies bachelor’s degree track at Prescott College takes a holistic approach that encompasses areas such as biological and earth sciences, natural resource management, field research methods, and environmental policy. Outside of the classroom, the school offers academic resources where students deepen their understanding of the field. For example, students can use the Natural History Institute at Prescott College to view rock, plant, and insect specimens, listen to guest lectures, and get help with research. When students complete their degrees, they can continue their education in a graduate degree program or pursue jobs as ecologists, environmental educators, marine biologists, forest rangers, and wilderness advocates.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
2 Goodwin College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
91%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
3
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
N/A
Ranking SCORE 95.06
Read more

The environmental science bachelor’s degree program at Goodwin College gives students the knowledge and skills they need to take advantage of the growing green economy. Coursework found in the program include topics such as epidemiology, environmental health, site risk assessment, and environmental and industrial toxicology. In addition to classroom instruction, students gain valuable field experience that allows them to research how different factors influence the environment. Students studying environmental science at Goodwin College who maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average are eligible to receive a scholarship from the school that covers 40 percent of their tuition costs.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
3 Clarkson University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
99%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
70%
Ranking SCORE 94.27
Read more

The environmental science and policy major at Clarkson University aims to teach students how to balance the needs of society with the needs of the environment. To that end, the school allows students to get a well-rounded look at environmental issues by studying ecology, ethics, law, economics, and environmental health science. In addition, students can get hands-on experience by participating in research projects, internships, co-ops, and capstone projects. Students also have access to Clarkson University's Institute for a Sustainable Environment, which is the home of research initiatives like the Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science and the Center for Sustainable Energy Systems.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
4 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
50%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
71%
Ranking SCORE 93.96
Read more

Students who want to advance their environmental science education without focusing on research can enroll in the environmental assessment master’s degree program at North Carolina State University at Raleigh. Offered jointly through the school’s College of Natural Resources and the College of Agriculture Life Sciences, students can complete this degree online within two years. Students in this program take a curriculum in environmental risk and exposure assessment, environmental stressors, soil microbiology, fisheries management, and hydraulics of groundwater. Students also participate in a professional project, which can be in the form of a lab manual, position paper, journal article, or instructional videotape.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
5 Harvard University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
56%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
97%
Ranking SCORE 93.36
Read more

Harvard University offers a concentration in environmental science and public policy that gives a multidisciplinary look at the complex problems that affect the environment today. As a result, students in this program leave with a deep understanding of the scientific, political, ethical, and economic issues involved in addressing environmental concerns. Coursework includes classes in conservation biology, sustainable development, energy resources, environmental science and engineering, and climate policy. In order to foster a close relationship between students and professors, the school offers seminars, special events, and field trips designed to augment what goes on in the classroom.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
6 Southern Methodist University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
72%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
80%
Ranking SCORE 93.29
Read more

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University provides an environmental science program that stresses developing the critical and creative thinking skills needed to tackle complicated issues. To foster these skills, the school offers a rigorous curriculum and gives students the choice to focus their studies on chemistry, earth science, or biology, depending on their education and career goals. In addition, the school hosts speakers with expertise in the field who have given presentations on topics such as global environmental change and policy, environmental legal protections, water sustainability, global biodiversity, and black smoke.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
7 Salem College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
63%
Ranking SCORE 93.20
Read more

Students who want to pursue careers that contribute to sustainable environment systems can get the training they need from Salem College. The school’s environmental science bachelor’s degree program helps to develop students’ understanding of past and present environmental issues, as well as basic conservation ecology principles. Students in the program take core classes in ecology, biodiversity, social statistics, and biometry. In addition, they can choose an area to concentrate their studies on, such as computational environmental analysis, environmental management, conservation ecology, and environmental policy and advocacy. No matter what area students choose to focus on, they have the opportunity for experiential learning through the school’s internships.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
8 Johns Hopkins University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
48%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
92%
Ranking SCORE 92.68
Read more

Johns Hopkins University’s environmental science master’s degree program is designed for students who want to pursue leadership roles in the field. Offered through the school’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, the program provides a deep understanding of environmental policy, from how policies are drafted to how they are implemented, communicated, and enforced. Students in this program can choose to concentrate on one of four areas: environmental monitoring and analysis, environmental planning, ecological management, and environmental management. In addition to coursework, students must complete a capstone project, such as a written report, that focuses on their concentration topic.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
9 The University of Findlay Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
52%
Ranking SCORE 92.13
Read more

Students who want to become executives in occupational health, safety, and environmental fields can earn a master’s degree in environmental, safety and health management from the University of Findlay. This program provides both scientific and business knowledge that allows students to develop managerial, integrative, and analytical skills, as well as an understanding of environmental regulations, risk reduction, and hazard management systems. The program, which is accredited by the Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, also gives students the foundation to conduct environmental research, which is a skill they can use if they choose to contribute to the knowledge base of the field.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
10 Columbia University in the City of New York Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
46%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
95%
Ranking SCORE 92.13
Read more

The work done by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University in the City of New York’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is guided by this mission: “to understand the planet Earth and to convey that understanding to our students.” With that goal in mind, the school’s environmental science program combines scientific principles with business and policy information to give students a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues. Columbia University offers undergraduate and graduate degrees designed to prepare students for careers in science, business, law, public policy, education or journalism jobs after graduation.

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
11 Philadelphia University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
2
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 92.09
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
12 University of Illinois at Springfield Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
93%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
47%
Ranking SCORE 91.96
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
13 University of Idaho Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
78%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
56%
Ranking SCORE 91.31
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
14 Wayland Baptist University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
33%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
36%
Ranking SCORE 90.80
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
15 Mitchell College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
43%
Ranking SCORE 90.58
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
16 University of Mount Union Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
100%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 90.52
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
17 Green Mountain College Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
97%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
42%
Ranking SCORE 89.91
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesNo Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
18 University of New Haven Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
95%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
56%
Ranking SCORE 89.84
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes
19 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
53%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
66%
Ranking SCORE 89.41
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
20 Oregon State University Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
55%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
61%
Ranking SCORE 88.92
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
21 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
98%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
84%
Ranking SCORE 88.49
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
22 University of Florida Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
29%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
85%
Ranking SCORE 88.15
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
23 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
42%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
84%
Ranking SCORE 87.94
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
24 University of Houston-Clear Lake Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
N/A
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
N/A
Ranking SCORE 87.79
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
25 California State University-Fullerton Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
34%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
51%
Ranking SCORE 87.71
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceNo
26 University of Central Florida Net
Price
FINANCIAL
AID %
44%
TOTAL
PROGRAMS
1
STUDENT-TEACHER
RATIO
GRAD
RATE
65%
Ranking SCORE 86.73
Read more

Additional Benefits: Placement ServicesYes Counseling ServicesYes Credit for ExperienceYes

Online Environmental Science Colleges

State
Degree Level
School Type
Environment

Application Process

In order to apply for an online environmental science degree, students should possess a high school diploma. Select schools allow students to apply with high school equivalency credentials, like a GED. As with most undergraduate admissions processes, schools typically expect students to apply with either an SAT or ACT score. Colleges also assess other factors, like extracurricular activities, community service, and personal statements or essays.

In addition, some schools offer accelerated, honors, or bachelor's to master's environmental science degrees. Students must have completed several years of college courses to apply. Schools also set minimum GPA requirements for these programs.

What Will I Learn?

Environmental studies majors study many topics, including climate change, environmental policy, and the technical scientific concepts needed to understand biology and geology. They study the geopolitical situation regarding the Earth's limited natural resources. They can also choose to approach the topic from a sociological perspective, learning about food production and its impact on society.

A bachelor's degree generally requires students to earn 120 credits. Typically, colleges expect students to complete 30-40 credits in general education coursework. Within these general requirements, students usually take math and natural science courses, like chemistry and biology. Then, students take courses within their environmental science major. Finally, students take elective classes or pursue a specialization.

Global Climate Change

Students in this course learn about the reasons for global climate change and its impact. It covers basic concepts such as the greenhouse effect and how human activity accelerates climate change. Learners examine how climate change affects natural processes on Earth, like ecosystems and biodiversity. They also learn about social, economic, and ethical concerns in relation to global warming.

Environment, Food, and Society

This course looks at how society consumes food and the environmental impact of society's agricultural practices. Learners study natural resource allocation, including soil and water. They also examine global food sustainability and distribution.

Energy and Conservation

Students in this course learn about the Earth's natural resources. They explore the availability of those resources in relation to human resource consumption. Students study the harmful impact of natural resource extraction and refinement on the Earth. In addition, the course highlights energy shortages and how humans can fight to conserve remaining natural resources.

The Urban Environment

This course considers urban centers as a sort of ecosystem. It looks at the political and social factors that create cities and towns and investigates the effects concentrated groups of humans have on the environment. Students learn about the benefits of green spaces.

Environmental Microbiology

To truly master their major, students must comprehend the scientific components of the environment down to the microscopic level. This course covers topics like genetics, microbial growth, bioremediation, elemental cycling, and metabolism of organisms. In addition, students learn how these concepts affect ecosystems and environmental change.

What Can I Do with an Online Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science?

The environmental science field lends itself to several careers. Graduates are not limited to working in research or staying in academia. Students majoring in this subject gain skills that prepare them to work for corporations, nonprofits, government agencies, consultancies, research firms, and academic institutions. Below, learn how these skills transfer to specific jobs.

Core Skills

Like their peers in other scientific fields, environmental studies students spend a lot of time in the lab. They learn about the scientific method and how to design and carry out experiments. Students also learn about collecting and making sense of data. Some colleges require students to take entire courses dedicated to data analysis. The environmental sciences focus heavily on quantitative skills, so expect to take math classes like statistics and calculus as well.

Students may learn geology skills and even complete geological fieldwork. Some environmental science programs require students to take geographic information system (GIS) courses. Students also learn how to use environmental modeling technology to create mathematical models and predict climate patterns. Many jobs expect employees to create models in order to make predictions. For instance, a town government might hire a consultant to study rising sea levels based on its population growth.

Potential Careers and Salaries

Students often go into environmental science to promote sustainability. Companies often hire environmental consultants or program managers to ensure their policies and practices meet sustainability regulations. As a result, students can look for positions at consulting firms or environmentally-conscious companies. Alternately, graduates could go into advocacy, working as policy advisors or lobbyists in the field of environmental science. Current students may also choose to conduct sustainability research at universities, nonprofit organizations, or other research groups. Students can also find jobs within federal, state, or local government agencies that create environmental regulations.

Here a few potential positions — and their median salaries — for environmental science graduates.

Browse Bachelor’s in Environmental Science Careers
Environmental Program Manager

Environmental program managers work to make businesses more environmentally sustainable. They might work as independent contractors, at consulting firms, or as in-house program managers. They make sure business decisions and processes meet environmental regulations, and they help brainstorm new green initiatives.

Environmental Manager

Environmental managers spearhead efforts to put green practices into place. For instance, they might help businesses power their buildings with environmentally friendly energy sources, or they may help manufacturing firms reduce carbon emissions.

Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator

These professionals typically work in-house at companies, firms, and nonprofit organizations. They ensure their employers implement sustainable policies and they review and evaluate the company practices. They make sure those practices meet health and safety standards.

Will I Need a Graduate Degree for a Career in Environmental Science?

Bachelor's degrees prepare graduates for entry-level jobs in environmental science. If you want an advanced opportunity in the field, consider graduate school. Those who earn their Ph.D.s typically work at universities, conducting research in the science of sustainability. They also teach college courses. A master's degree can also help professionals who want to move into management or leadership roles.

However, professionals do not always need to return to school to advance their careers. Employers often prefer a bachelor's degree and experience over more schooling. As an alternative to graduate school, consider continuing education programs from professional associations. These groups often provide workshops, classes, and webinars. They sometimes offer certifications, too.

Accreditation for Environmental Science Bachelor's Programs

Accreditation acts as a guarantee for higher education: Students who attend accredited programs earn a quality education. They transfer the skills and knowledge they learn to a professional career. Choosing an accredited program is an important factor when choosing a school. Most graduate programs do not accept candidates unless they have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school. Employers also look at your school's accreditation status.

Accrediting agencies evaluate academic programs; they review course material, curricula, and faculty. If everything is in order, they provide accreditation. But they can also take accreditation away if the school does not meet their standards. Unlike other fields, no accreditation agency exists specifically for environmental sciences programs. Therefore, students should look for accreditation from regional accreditation agencies.

Environmental Science Professional Organizations

Professional organizations are a way for students to learn about their future professions and make professional connections. These associations often administer job boards and career fairs and publish research in scholarly journals and other publications.

Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

Founded in 2008, the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences welcomes students and faculty working and studying within the field. The organization hosts an annual conference and publishes research and news online, in academic journals, and in a book series.

Association for EHS Management

Students aiming to go into environmental health and safety management should consider joining this organization. The group offers forums and webinars to members who want to continue their education after college. The association also has a job board and an EHS consultant finder online.

National Association of Environmental Professionals

The National Association of Environmental Professionals operates through its regional chapters across the U.S. Members can attend conferences, learn from webinars, and earn $1,000 through the organization's annual scholarship fund. NAEP also gives students a membership discount.