Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

Earning a bachelor's in environmental science can lead to increased career opportunities. Here, we outline the top online programs.

Updated September 12, 2022

Reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

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Environmental science incorporates biological and physical sciences to study the environment. An online environmental science degree may lead to jobs in areas like public health, ecological restoration, and emergency management.

Graduates with a bachelor's in environmental science can pursue roles such as environmental scientist or specialist. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals earn a median annual salary of $73,230. The BLS also projects jobs for these professionals to grow 8% between 2019-2029.

This guide ranks the best online bachelor's in environmental science programs. It also covers other important information for prospective students, such as common courses and careers for graduates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Environmental Science


What kind of jobs can you get with an environmental science degree?

An environmental science bachelor's degree can lead to jobs such as environmental scientist, industrial ecologist, and oceanographer.

What is the highest-paying job in environmental science?

According to the BLS, environmental engineers make a median annual salary of $92,120.

Are environmental scientists in demand?

The BLS projects jobs for environmental scientists and specialists to grow 8% between 2019-2029.

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Featured Online Schools

Our partner schools offer programs that help you advance your education while accommodating your schedule. Visit their sites to learn more about degrees, course offerings, start dates, transfer of credits, and more.

Why Get a Degree in Environmental Science?

Graduates with an online bachelor's in environmental science can work in diverse industries, including ecological restoration, climatology, and environmental health and safety. Some graduates pursue technical roles, such as environmental engineer. Other graduates may pursue roles in environmental policy, regulation, or management. Some environmental science students also pursue graduate degrees to prepare for research or teaching careers.

How Much Does an Environmental Science Degree Cost?

The College Board's 2020 Trends in College Pricing report indicates that in-state students at public four-year colleges pay an average of $10,560 in tuition annually. Out-of-state tuition at these schools averages $27,020 annually, while private four-year schools cost $37,650 annually, on average.

Students can save money by completing general education courses at a community college before transferring to a four-year environmental science program. Students can also save money by pursuing an online environmental science degree. Many schools allow all online students to pay in-state tuition rates regardless of residency. Additionally, the flexibility of online programs often allows students to continue working while pursuing a degree.

Additional Online Student Fees for Environmental Science

Online education often costs less than on-campus learning, but it may require additional expenses beyond tuition. For instance, online students need adequate laptops and internet connections. Some online programs also feature on-campus requirements, which may include costs for travel, room, and board.

Additionally, like on-campus students, online learners may need to pay for books and lab equipment. They may also need to pay a graduation fee.

How Much Do Environmental Science Majors Make?

Environmental science graduates can pursue careers in diverse industries. New graduates often pursue entry-level jobs, such as research assistant, field analyst, or technician. According to the BLS, entry-level environmental science and protection technicians make a median annual salary of $46,850.

The BLS reports that experience and education may improve career prospects for environmental scientists. Environmental science graduates with professional experience and/or an advanced degree can pursue positions such as environmental engineer, environmental scientist or specialist, and health and safety manager. These professionals make median annual salaries between $73,230-$92,120.

Courses in Environmental Science

Online environmental science bachelor's programs often include interdisciplinary courses in law, education, and science. Students may take science courses in biology, ecology, and geology. They may also take courses in environmental ethics, policy, and management. Additionally, many programs include internship experiences and capstone projects.

Some bachelor's in environmental science programs offer specializations. Common specializations include environmental agriculture, environmental science education, and oceanography.

Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines several courses commonly found in environmental science bachelor's programs.

How to Become an Environmental Scientist

A career as an environmental scientist often begins with a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as natural resources, geosciences, or chemistry. These programs provide foundational knowledge in geology, biology, and other disciplines that support an environmental science career.

To qualify for leadership roles, bachelor's graduates usually need professional experience and/or an advanced degree. Environmental scientists seeking postsecondary teaching or research positions may need a doctorate.

Certifications and Licensure for Environmental Science

Graduates with an online bachelor's in environmental science degree can pursue professional credentials to advance their career. Professional credentials help individuals demonstrate specialized expertise. This list outlines several common certifications for graduates with an environmental science degree.

The certification demonstrates skills and knowledge in environmental health, Earth science, and chemistry. Candidates need three years of relevant employment, an environmental science-related bachelor's degree, and passing scores on an exam. Applicants with 12 years of relevant experience do not need a degree to qualify. The certification serves experienced engineering professionals who meet standards set by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists. Prerequisites include a related degree, eight years of progressive work experience, and at least four years in a leadership role. Advanced degrees may count toward the eight-year professional experience requirement. The certification serves staff, managers, and volunteers involved in environment and wildlife protection and preservation. Candidates need at least two years of full-time natural resources experience and a bachelor's degree in a related field.

Online Bachelor's in Environmental Science Programs

#1

The University of Alabama

School Information
Location Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 71%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

From its Tuscaloosa campus, The University of Alabama enrolls students in its top-ranked online human environmental sciences degree. To meet the needs of a variety of students, the public institution offers in-person and online courses. The bachelor of science in human environmental sciences prepares professionals for entry-level careers.

The program's distance learning format appeals to working professionals and busy students. During online classes, students strengthen their communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills. Students individualize their degree through electives and minors. Online students benefit from academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

Distance learners can qualify for scholarships, grants, and loans, including Pell Grants and federal loans.

The University of Alabama Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 5,041

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Online Master's Programs: 23

Admission Rate: 83%

Graduation Rate: 71%

Offers Transfer Credits: No

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#2

University of Saint Joseph

School Information
Location West Hartford, Connecticut
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 55%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 21% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Located in West Hartford, Connecticut, the University of Saint Joseph offers multiple online programs, including a top-ranked graduate certificate in environmental science. The private institution enrolls learners in traditional, hybrid, and online programs. With an environmental science certificate, professionals can pursue entry-level roles in diverse fields.

Busy students and working professionals benefit from the program's flexible learning format. During an online environmental science program, learners take courses that build in-demand knowledge and skills. Faculty advisors work with students to create an individualized degree plan based on their career goals. The school supports online students through academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

Distance learners can pay for their degree with scholarships, grants, and loans.

University of Saint Joseph at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 496

Online Master's Programs: 4

Admission Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 55%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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#3

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

School Information
Location Lincoln, Nebraska
Admission Rate 78%
Graduation Rate 66%
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 49% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers an online environmental science degree that ranks among the top environmental science programs in the country. To meet the needs of a variety of students, the public institution offers in-person and online courses. The bachelor's in environmental science uses a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes career-ready knowledge and skills.

Designed with working students in mind, the flexible format makes it easier to earn a college degree. The degree's major courses and general education requirements strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Faculty advisors work with majors to choose electives and customize the degree. Academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services help degree-seekers complete the program and transition into the workforce.

Online learners can qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 12,449

Online Master's Programs: 11

Admission Rate: 78%

Graduation Rate: 66%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

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