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Best Bachelor's Degrees in Environmental Science

Apr 05, 2021

Environmental Science Degrees

A degree in environmental science prepares students to work in a variety of careers within the science field. Environmental scientists and specialists combine different areas of science and work to protect the environment and human health. They examine environmental issues ranging from climate change to overpopulation to biodiversity. Many work in laboratories or offices, but also spend time out in the field observing the environment in person.

Top Bachelors Degree Programs in Environmental Science

Study.com evaluated hundreds of colleges and universities across the country to compile a trustworthy list of the best schools offering an environmental science program. To determine the programs' accessibility, cost-effectiveness, and overall value, we looked at relevant data from the Department of Education such as graduation and retention rates as well as tuition and other fees. We also considered the quality of research and experiential learning opportunities that schools can offer, and the availability of top-notch facilities and resources that students can access. This comprehensive list can be a useful guide for students who intend to pursue a bachelor's degree in environmental science.

1. Humboldt State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,864 92% 49% 83% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management program at Humboldt State University provides six concentration options including geospatial science, ecological restoration, and energy and climate. The campus in Arcata, California sits on an ecologically diverse region surrounded by national and state parks, a marsh and wildlife sanctuary, and a community forest, which serve as ideal locations for field research. Students can also pursue field studies abroad such as courses on sustainability and social responsibility in Costa Rica.

2. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,115 70% 76% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with specialization options in areas such as renewable energy, watershed science, and environmental analysis. Located in Syracuse, New York, the college maintains a prestigious honors program that provides qualified students with merit-based scholarships and opportunities to take part in rigorous research projects. Environmental science majors who aim to participate in study abroad courses can apply for program-specific scholarships funded by the Round River Conservation and the International Sustainable Development Studies Institute among other grant providers.

3. Western Washington University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,343 90% 68% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

Western Washington University's Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program provides concentrations in marine science and toxicology as well as specialized courses like the oceanography of the Salish Sea, paleoclimate and paleoecology, and ethnobotany. To enhance students' learning experience, the school hosts a weekly speaker series, which brings environmental experts to the Bellingham campus to deliver lectures on a variety of topics. The college also hands out awards every year to encourage academic excellence; the Ming-Ho Yu Environmental Toxicology Award and the Outstanding Environmental Applications Experience Award are just some of the recognition given to deserving students.

4. Westfield State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,849 87% 61% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

Westfield State University in Massachusetts features a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program that allows students to earn the degree part-time or complete a second major in another discipline such as political science, English, or regional planning. Since experiential learning is a key part of the curriculum, a lot of courses involve hands-on activities such as monitoring water quality in lakes and rivers, going on a field trip to Maine to collect marine samples, and developing strategies to rehabilitate damaged ecosystems. Environmental science majors can participate in extracurricular activities and start building their professional network by joining student organizations such as the Environmental Planning Club.

5. University of North Carolina Wilmington

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,181 65% 72% 72% Yes Yes AP Credits

At the University of North Carolina Wilmington, students can complete a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science; the former integrates humanities and social sciences with natural sciences while the latter focuses on physics, chemistry, biology and other physical sciences. Through the university's cooperative agreement with the North Carolina State University (NCSU), environmental science majors have the unique opportunity to earn their degree in three years and then transfer to NCSU to complete a bachelor's in environmental engineering in just two years. The campus is home to student organizations such as the Coastal Society and the Seahawk Wildlife Society, which provide access to fieldwork experiences, conferences, workshops, and other enriching events.

6. University of Maine at Presque Isle

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,330 99% 38% 91% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Science program in environmental science and sustainability at the University of Maine at Presque Isle features concentrations in sustainable agriculture, and natural resources and environmental science. To enhance their technical training, students can complete a geographic information system (GIS) certificate over two semesters and use the university's GIS laboratory, considered one of the most advanced GIS computing facilities in the state. The environmental science program takes pride in its exceptional faculty roster composed of experienced academics with terminal degrees in their specialization areas.

7. University of Vermont

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$18,802 67% 77% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Vermont in Burlington offers a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences that students can take in any one of the following colleges: Arts and Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources. The program provides nine concentration options, the highest among the schools on this list, which include ecological design, global environmental and climate change, and environmental chemistry. Students have access to numerous state-of-the-art research facilities such as the cosmogenic laboratory, one of the very few labs of its kind in the country, and the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, which has its own fully equipped research vessel.

8.Olivet College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$28,692 No Available Data (2019-2020) 44% 100% No Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Olivet College's Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science program provides a comprehensive learning experience in the fields of research, environmental health, and conservation among others. A concentration in environmental education is also offered, which includes a specially designed field-based course on ecology for pre-service teachers held at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Located in Olivet, Michigan, the college highlights its excellent faculty members who provide personalized mentoring and guidance as students pursue independent research projects that they can present and publish even as undergraduates.

9. SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,872 58% 68% 94% Yes Yes AP Credits

The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in environmental science as well as an optional concentration in environmental planning and management. Environmental science majors have access to a wealth of research opportunities through the Center for Earth & Environmental Science, which has supported many impactful projects such as studying microplastics and invasive species in Lake Champlain, and deglaciation in the Adirondack Mountains. Students can also take part in the off-campus Applied Environmental Science Program at the Miner Institute, which aims to help equip them for professional roles in environmental science.

10. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,272 80% 37% 71% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers five concentration options including marine and coastal resources, earth system science, and science education. To gain practical experience in the field, environmental science majors can secure internships at government agencies such as the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. They can also work as research assistants or even develop their own research projects. Academically competitive students can qualify for the BS and MS fast track program, which allows undergraduates to take graduate courses in their final semester and complete their bachelor's and master's degrees at an accelerated pace.

11. University of Washington-Tacoma Campus

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11,639 87% 56% 83% No Yes AP Credits

The University of Washington-Tacoma offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program with options to specialize in conservation biology and ecology, and geoscience. Students with good academic performance and high financial need can avail of private scholarships specifically earmarked for environmental science majors such as the Michael & Margaret Kalton Endowed Scholarship and Tim Quandt Memorial Endowed Student Support Fund. Graduates of the program have found rewarding careers in government agencies such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, and the US Department of Agriculture.

12. California State University-Channel Islands

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6,802 86% 54% 83% Yes Yes AP Credits

California State University-Channel Islands in Ventura County features a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Resource Management with concentrations in marine and coastal systems, and earth systems. Service learning and community engagement initiatives are central to the program; environmental science majors have worked in ecological restoration projects in Louisiana, Costa Rica, and Mexico after Hurricane Katrina. The university has also partnered with various organizations like the National Park Service and California Coastal Conservancy for coastal protection initiatives that students can get involved in.

13. University of South Florida-St Petersburg

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5,821 27% 44% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

The BS in Environmental Science and Policy program at the University of South Florida-St Petersburg provides interdisciplinary concentrations in environmental analysis, environmental science, and policy and sustainability. To enhance their learning experience, students have access to the school's botanical gardens and geopark as well as to technologically advanced facilities like the stable isotope lab and analytical electron microscopy. Environmental science majors can also explore study abroad opportunities and take part in the Climate Change Program in Peru or green programs in countries like Iceland, Japan, and Nepal.

14. Lake Superior State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12,255 57% 51% 96% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science at Lake Superior State University can choose to specialize in chemistry, physical sciences, and policy and management. To complement the program curriculum, the school offers a highly specialized GIS/geospatial technology program that will give students a competitive advantage as they learn technical skills like geospatial analysis and programming, spatial statistics, and remote sensing data analysis. The campus in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is home to the Superior Analytics laboratory, where students have the opportunity to work with environmental monitoring agencies in high-level research projects.

15. University of Maine at Farmington

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,344 91% 58% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Maine at Farmington offers a competitive Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences program with tracks in geology and environmental science, and tailored courses in environmental geoscience, forest ecology, and aquatic biology among others. The rigorous curriculum also includes a special two-week course to explore the diverse habitats, ecosystems, and natural history of Costa Rica. Students can participate in meaningful collective action by joining the university's Sustainable Campus Coalition, which works to advance environmental sustainability through public education and impactful partnerships with local organizations.

16. University of Hawaii at Hilo

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,792 52% 44% 86% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at the University of Hawaii at Hilo features concentrations in physical science and biological as well as advanced courses in geostatistics, archeometry, and environmental impact assessment. The campus is home to several highly sophisticated facilities such as the analytical lab, which is essential for water quality and ecological studies, and the Knope Evolutionary Ecology Lab, which supports studies about ecology and conservation biology. Environmental science courses are taught by highly accomplished professors who have developed expertise in relevant topics such as microbial pollution, genetic research for conservation, and tropical ecosystems.

17. University of Maine

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11,438 90% 57% 99% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Maine in Orono offers a Bachelor of Science degree in ecology and environmental sciences with an expansive array of concentration options including soil and water science, ecosystem ecology, earth and climate sciences, and resource management. The program prepares students for productive internships at various environmental programs such as the Penobscot Experimental Forest and Lake Stewards of Maine. Environmental science majors can also enhance their hands-on training by working as research assistants for faculty in high-impact projects like monitoring phosphorus levels in the state's lakes and studying Atlantic white-sided dolphins.

18. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,930 82% 61% 100% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

At the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, students can pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies with a specialization in environmental science. The well-designed program focuses on biology, chemistry, and physical science while also including courses like literature and the environment, environmental economics, and environmental health. The college manages its own 60-acre forest that students can utilize for outdoor classes, research work, and other projects. Students also have plenty of learning opportunities off campus such as field trips to the Adirondack Park and the Everglades, and independent studies in Alaska, Tanzania, Scotland, Australia, and other locations.

19. Longwood University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13,520 90% 66% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

Located in Farmville, Virginia, Longwood University offers a BS in Integrated Environmental Sciences with concentration options in earth sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences. The school runs a competitive eight-week research program that allows environmental science majors to work on an original scientific project with personalized guidance from faculty; the program provides a $3,500 allowance as well as free room and board for the duration of the study. Students also have access to facilities for research and scientific study such as the Harvill-Stevens Herbarium, which houses the world's largest collection of Virginia-native plants, and the Longwood Greenhouse.

20. University of Maryland-Baltimore County

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12,028 61% 71% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Maryland-Baltimore County's Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science and geography includes courses in geomorphology, ecology, and lab and field techniques for environmental science. Environmental science majors can pursue independent research studies at their own state-of-the-art lab equipped with a spectrophotometer, diurnal growth chamber, soil temperature probes, and other essential devices. The campus is home to the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Education, which organizes a long-running seminar series for students and other community members featuring scientists and academics with expertise in various areas of study in environmental science.

21. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25,070 93% 47% 100% No Yes AP Credits

Fayette, Missouri's Central Methodist University offers a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with courses in robust environmental chemistry, toxicology, and environmental policy. Aside from the core courses, the expansive curriculum includes research projects, internships and enriching field experiences, and hands-on classes in ecosystems, wildlife, agriculture, and other specialized topics. By joining the campus-based Environmental Science Club, students can take part in river clean-up initiatives, visits to a nearby biological station, and habitat management activities at the university's Besgrove-Hodge Wildlife Sanctuary.

22. Georgia College & State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,530 80% 64% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program at Georgia College & State University exposes students to a comprehensive study of natural and social sciences such as chemistry, geology, geography, and economics. The campus in Milledgeville, Georgia is home to a greenhouse with over 300 unique plant species and the William P. Wall Museum of Natural History, which focuses on earth sciences. Both facilities serve as valuable learning and research resources for environmental science majors. The faculty in the biological and environmental science department are experienced academics and experts in a broad range of disciplines including terrestrial and aquatic ecology, hydrology, and organismal biology.

23. Colorado Mesa University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,686 78% 34% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction features an innovative Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Technology program with concentrations in ecosystem restoration and pollution monitoring and control. To further broaden their scientific expertise, students have the option of earning a minor in watershed science or certificates in sustainability practices and geographic information systems. Academically competitive students can apply for the prestigious honors program, which requires more advanced coursework and a challenging honors thesis or research project that students will need to present in a scholarly event.

24. SUNY College at Brockport

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,680 55% 64% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

The State University Of New York, College at Brockport offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program with six specialized tracks including wetland ecology, earth science, terrestrial ecology/biology, and environmental chemical analysis. Environmental science majors can take advantage of generous research grants such as the Kenneth E. Damann Research Award for studying aquatic ecology and the Haynes Research Scholars Fund for a summer research project. Environmental science graduates have found promising careers in the academe, the private sector, and at local and national government agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Fish and Game.

25. Northern Vermont University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12,422 78% 40% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

Northern Vermont University's outstanding Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program is offered at the Johnson and Lyndon campuses; the Johnson program provides concentrations in environmental policy and environmental analysis, while the Lyndon program features upper-level courses that focus on environmental pollution, sustainable food systems, and biodiversity, among others. Environmental science majors at the Lyndon campus can experience a one-of-a-kind immersion program that allows them to run scientific experiments and field surveys in their first year. To help students expand their knowledge and build professional connections, both campuses host regular scientific seminars featuring experts in various areas of study such as wildlife management, ecology, and laboratory research.

26. University of Massachusetts-Boston

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14,613 76% 49% 86% Yes Yes AP Credits

At the University of Massachusetts-Boston, students can choose between earning a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science; the BA program puts emphasis on management, policy, and law while the BS track focuses more on chemistry, biology, physics, and other natural sciences. Both programs feature concentrations in earth and hydrologic sciences, policy management, and marine science. The school ensures a holistic learning experience for students by fostering living-learning communities where students practice sustainable living with a close-knit cohort. To provide broader access to internship opportunities, the university maintains partnerships with various agencies and organizations such as the National Park Service, Triumvirate Environmental, and Mass Audubon.

27. University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,873 85% 53% 84% No Yes AP Credits

With over 50 years of academic experience in environmental science, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay offers an excellent BS in Environmental Science program with key courses in regional climatology, environmental statistics, and environmental politics and policy. The university's laboratories are equipped with advanced instruments for environmental monitoring such as gas and ion chromatographs, mass spectrometers, and infrared and UV-visible spectrophotometers. Students can gain valuable hands-on experience at the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity, which manages several vital facilities including a natural history museum, greenhouse, herbarium with more than 35,000 plant specimens, and over 1,200 acres of diverse natural habitats.

28. California State University-Monterey Bay

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,143 75% 63% 81% Yes Yes AP Credits

The BS in Environmental Science, Technology and Policy program at California State University-Monterey Bay provides concentrations in applied ecology, watershed systems, and environmental data analysis. The intensive coursework enables students to learn essential research, analysis, and communication skills through numerous hands-on activities such as field trips to collect environmental data, managing large data sets, and utilizing geographic information systems to build maps and models. The university holds a Capstone Festival twice a year to showcase the impressive projects of environmental science majors and encourage excellence in scientific research among students.

29. Albright College

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$25,642 85% 57% 100% No Yes AP Credits

Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program that allows students to delve into animal and plant ecology, hydrology, and land management. To develop their research experience, students can work alongside faculty, all of whom hold PhDs in their area of study, on projects about watershed studies, wetland restoration, and forest management, among other topics. Environmental science majors often land internships at the US Fish and Wildlife and the PA Department of Environmental Resources, while graduates can find employment at government agencies like the environmental science majors Environmental Protection Agency and the US Department of Agriculture.

30. Grace College and Theological Seminary

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$24,078 80% 69% 98% Yes Yes AP / ACE / NCCRS Credits

Winona Lake, Indiana's Grace College and Theological Seminary provides a unique Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program that adopts an empathetic Christian perspective. Aside from conventional classes in the natural and social sciences, environmental science majors will take courses in scripture and interpretation, Christianity and critical thinking, and environmental ethics. The college has partnered with the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams at the neighbouring Grace College and the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies to provide students with enriching opportunities for research work and local internships. Students here also secure internships at the Christian Ministry in the National Parks, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Soil and Water Conservation District.

31. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,950 90% 54% 92% Yes Yes AP Credits

Students in Kutztown University of Pennsylvania's Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program can choose to focus on one of five tracks: chemistry, biology, regenerative agriculture, geography, and geology. To foster hands-on learning, the university provides extensive study areas and advanced facilities such as a 30-acre ecological preserve and a protected wetland near the campus, a digital microscopy lab, and a scanning electron microscope lab. Environmental science majors can easily find internship opportunities at government agencies and environmental organizations in the region such as Citizen's Clearinghouse for Hazardous Wastes, Valley Forge National Park, and the Philadelphia Zoo.

32. Oregon Institute of Technology

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,485 97% 46% 78% Yes Yes AP Credits

Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls offers a BS in Environmental Sciences with a robust interdisciplinary foundation in natural and social sciences, mathematics, and geographic information systems. While completing the program, students have the option of earning a dual degree in civil engineering or renewable energy engineering, which can give them a major career advantage. Many environmental science courses promote experiential learning by integrating fieldwork and site visits to areas like the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge, Hagelstein Park, and the Sprague River Valley.

33. University of Idaho

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,304 78% 56% 96% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Idaho's BS in Environmental Science program, available at campuses in Moscow, Idaho Falls, and Coeur d'Alene, features a broad range of courses in the physical, biological, and social sciences. Students have access to drones, sensors, and other high-tech equipment and software that are essential to their monitoring and research activities. The university also maintains several research field stations and labs such as the Center for Forest Nursery and Seedling Research and the Taylor Wilderness Research Station, which offer an ideal space for students to learn firsthand about reforestation, wilderness conservation, and other key concepts in environmental science.

34. The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,656 82% 48% 97% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program at the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga provides six unique concentration options for students including engineering science, geographic and cartographic sciences, and environmental health. To facilitate easier student access to research data and facilities, the school has formed partnerships with various organizations in the state such as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Aquarium, and Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center. Environmental science majors who need financial aid can avail themselves of various program-specific scholarships and grants such as the Louise G. Currey Environmental Studies Scholarship and the Tucker Foundation Scholarship.

35. University of Minnesota-Duluth

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$13,680 75% 62% 90% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Minnesota-Duluth offers a BS in Environmental Science program that provides a solid grounding in environmental policies, monitoring techniques, and urgent environmental issues such as the global climate, pollution, and population. To enrich students' academic exposure, the school organizes regular seminars on a variety of environment-focused themes featuring senior faculty and environmental experts as speakers. Seminar topics include microplastics, justice and equity in sustainability, and food security. Environmental science majors can expand their networks and get involved in community conservation projects by joining student organizations such as the Environmental Science Club and the Earth and Environmental Sciences Student Organization.

36. Northern Michigan University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11,525 66% 48% 93% Yes Yes AP Credits

Northern Michigan University's Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program exposes students to the basics of resource conservation and how natural systems work as well as to contemporary concerns like sustainability, climate change, and earth hazards. Located in Marquette, Michigan, the university provides a wealth of opportunities for hands-on learning such as mapping the local county using geographic information systems or monitoring climate and weather changes in Lake Superior. Students can also participate in study abroad programs and learn more about sustainable agriculture and other environmental issues while taking classes in Cuba, Brazil, Poland, or Scotland.

37. The University of Montana-Western

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$5,725 56% 49% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Montana-Western in Dillon offers the only field-based Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program in the state, with concentration options in wetlands management, geology, and sustainable resources management. With a field-based program, environmental science majors spend most of their time outdoors, exploring Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks for a geology course or snowshoeing in high-altitude lakes to study climate change. The school's faculty are experienced, PhD-level academics and researchers who conduct innovative and highly engaging classes; sessions can include hikes and overnight trips, small-group lab exercises, and challenging research projects.

38. University of Nevada-Reno

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,184 88% 61% 88% Yes Yes AP Credits

The comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program at the University of Nevada-Reno includes specialized courses in ecohydrology, rangeland ecosystems, climatology, and environmental law and policy among others. The university fosters a vibrant research community where students can take part in a wide variety of projects and topics such as biogeochemistry, fire ecology, conservation biology, and climate change. Students also have access to generous support for undergraduate research including funding for honors thesis projects, travel grants for students who will present at professional conferences, and paid research positions for underrepresented students.

39. University of Virginia

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$17,935 24% 95% 57% Yes Yes AP Credits

The University of Virginia's main campus in Charlottesville offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science; the BA track is designed for students with interest in environmental planning, regulation, and teaching roles while the BS program is for those who want to pursue graduate studies or science-focused careers. Students can also complete a rigorous specialization in environmental and biological conservation, which delves deeper into biodiversity and conservation strategies and includes a field-based study or internship as a curriculum requirement. The university owns a sprawling experimental farm and arboretum equipped with laboratories, greenhouses, and computer facilities where students can conduct research and lab exercises.

40. Florida State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$6,517 36% 83% 97% Yes Yes AP / ACE Credits

Tallahassee-based Florida State University features both BA and BS in Environmental Science programs; the BA program is more focused on policy while the BS curriculum has more intensive math courses. The university takes pride in its advanced laboratories and research facilities such as the Coastal and Marine Laboratory and the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, which serve as ideal sites for students to experience hands-on learning and work on their research projects. The school employs dedicated academic and graduate advisors who can provide accurate guidance to environmental science majors on their research goals, opportunities for directed individual study, and pathways to graduate studies.

41. University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$16,389 64% 82% 90% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The University of Massachusetts-Amherst offers a unique interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science that allows students to design their own area of concentration. The curriculum provides a variety of specialized courses such as hazardous waste operations, environmental site assessment, and innovative recycling strategies, which combine theoretical knowledge and hands-on training. Students can enhance their expertise in their chosen area of study by taking part in faculty-led research projects, where they can earn academic credit or even get paid. The university oversees over 2,000 acres of forest properties, which serve as living laboratories for experiential learning.

42. University of California-Davis

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$14,495 39% 87% 66% Yes Yes AP Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and Management program at the University of California-Davis features six specialization tracks for students to choose from, which include incredibly unique options like climate change and air quality, natural resources management, and watershed science. Students have access to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Analytical Laboratory, where students can conduct detailed analyses of soil, water, plant, and wastewater in aid of environmental research. Through the university's expansive study abroad programs, environmental science majors can learn about sustainable cities in northern Europe, environmental justice in Ecuador, and geographic information systems in Bhutan.

43. Oregon State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11,715 82% 67% 85% Yes Yes AP Credits

Oregon State University's BS in Environmental Sciences program provides 12 specialization options across a broad range of topics including alternative energy, aquatic biology, environmental agriculture, and earth systems. To make the program more accessible, the school is offering it on-campus in Corvallis, Oregon and online. Through the school's academic mentoring program, undergraduate students can engage with mentors in graduate school who can help them learn more about opportunities in advanced studies and map out their academic and professional goals. Aside from pursuing graduate degrees, many environmental science graduates here have found employment in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, American Airlines, and various state agencies.

44. Lander University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$11,700 43% 45% 100% Yes Yes AP Credits

Located in Greenwood, South Carolina, Lander University offers a BS in Environmental Science program with a strong grounding in chemistry, biology, geology, and mathematics. Environmental science majors have completed internships at Capsugel, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, and even at a sustainable agriculture program in Mexico. Students can broaden their academic experience by joining campus organizations such as the Environmental Science Student Organization, which holds discussions on environmental awareness and organizes community cleanup and recycling initiatives.

45. Robert Morris University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$31,200 84% 65% 99% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program at Robert Morris University provides robust training in applied sciences such as forestry, agronomy, soil science, and toxicology. Aside from physical science courses, students complete a comprehensive communication skills program that teaches them to prepare reports and present information in a coherent way that is accessible to the general public. The campus in Moon Township, Pennsylvania is close to a lot of environmental consulting firms, nonprofits, and government agencies; environmental science graduates have found employment at EnviroLink Network, PA Department of Environmental Protection, and Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

46. Valley City State University

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$7,707 76% 50% 98% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

Valley City State University in North Dakota is one of only two colleges in the state that offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. We loved the program's emphasis on hands-on learning: students have many opportunities to participate in laboratory sessions and take field trips for water quality monitoring, soil sampling, and other data gathering activities across North Dakota's unique landscape. Environmental science majors will take most of their classes at the Rhoades Science Center, a fully equipped facility with biomedical research labs, a greenhouse, and the only planetarium in the state. Students also have access to cutting-edge technology such as a multiparameter water quality sonde and an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer.

47. University of Oregon

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$12,720 82% 74% 77% Yes Yes AP Credits

At the University of Oregon in Eugene, students can earn either a BA or BS in Environmental Science; this interdisciplinary program covers several areas of study including biology, chemistry, physical geography, and data analysis. Aside from developing their technical knowledge, environmental science majors enhance their leadership and communication skills by joining the Environmental Leadership Program, an initiative that connects student teams with state agencies, nonprofits, and companies to work on a variety of environmental issues. Students can also take part in advocacy work through several campus organizations like the Coalition Against Environmental Racism, Climate Justice League, and Students for Indigenous Rights & Environmental Justice in Bolivia.

48. Arizona State University-West

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$10,803 82% 48% 98% Yes Yes AP Credits

Arizona State University-West offers both a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science; the BA curriculum focuses more on policy and management while the BS program features diverse concentration options such as toxicology, data/modeling, and conservation biology. Both programs provide a unique accelerated track, which allows students to complete their four-year degree in just 2.5-3 years or pursue a graduate degree along with their bachelor's in as little as five years. The campus in Phoenix, Arizona is home to numerous labs and research spaces for a broad range of specialized topics including soil biogeochemistry, risk assessment and applied toxicology, and biological imaging.

49. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$8,980 23% 91% 65% No Yes AP Credits

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill features a standout Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science program with concentration areas in water and climate, ecology and natural resources, and environment and health; another program with a unique quantitative energy systems track is available as well. The school offers an impressive array of opportunities for experiential learning such as a spring semester field study in Thailand on energy and pollution and a summer program in the Galapagos. Environmental science majors can also pursue research projects and take full advantage of the school's central location in the Research Triangle, a renowned area in North Carolina that hosts one of the highest concentrations of environmental groups in the world.

50. University of Wisconsin-Stout

Tuition Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid % Placement Services Career Services Accepts
$9,463 91% 60% 83% Yes Yes AP / NCCRS Credits

The University of Wisconsin-Stout's Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science provides specializations in natural resource conservation, aquatic biology, and environmental health as well as minors in plant science, sustainability, and geographic information systems (GIS). The campus in Menomonie, Wisconsin offers top-notch research facilities such as the Center for Limnological Research and Rehabilitation where environmental science majors can look into lake pollution and remediation, and participate in analytical chemistry labs for examining air, water, and sediment pollution. Students can find plenty of internship opportunities in local and state agencies such as the National Park Service and the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

To get a more in-depth look at our school ranking methodology, please visit Study.com's ranking methodology page.

Tuition information is based on published tuition and required fees, per data by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

What Kinds of Environmental Science Degrees Are There?

Environmental science degrees are available at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate levels. Certificate programs also exist. In order to work in this field, you need to obtain at least a bachelor's degree in natural science or science based field for most entry-level jobs. In addition, employers value practical experience. Cooperative programs, which can provide college credit for job experience, are valuable for students to complete.

Associate Degrees in Environmental Science

An associate degree in environmental science can be obtained within two years and provides students with an introduction to basic courses within the major. The Associate of Science can be a good option if a student is not sure if this is the specific subject area they want to focus on. This degree serves as a good introduction to a bachelor's degree in environmental science. It consists of about 60 credits which can be completed at a community college in preparation to transfer to a four year university when finished (depending on transferability of courses taken). Students explore science, math, and humanities courses.

Bachelor's Degrees in Environmental Science

A bachelor's degree allows students to take more courses in order to further explore specific areas of science included in the major. Students can choose between a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science. The Bachelor of Arts degree includes both the social sciences and humanities, whereas the Bachelor of Science has an emphasis on natural and physical sciences and connecting those areas of study to environmental issues. For most bachelor's degrees in environmental science, students can choose to complete an internship. This opportunity allows them to gain first-hand experience and knowledge about the career field.

Master's Degrees in Environmental Science

You can continue to pursue your studies in environmental science by earning a master's degree. You'll need to focus on environmental science as a whole or choose to focus specifically on a physical or natural science within the field. The degree can be earned in about two to three years and consists of anywhere between 30 and 45 credits dependent on the program selected and university requirements. Students can choose to pursue a non-thesis option or a master's program with a thesis. The thesis option is usually for students who plan on working on advanced coursework.

Doctoral Degrees in Environmental Science

You can continue your education even further and earn a PhD/doctorate that prepares you to work for government agencies, become an educator, or conduct independent research. This can take anywhere between three and seven years to complete. To earn a PhD in environmental science, students are usually required to complete a research project that needs to be published.

Certificates in Environmental Science

There are many universities that offer certificates in environmental science, and these can be completed in 10-30 credits over the course of two or three semesters. Certificates can be completed in person or online. Many of these may focus on a specific area within the field of science. One of these is a certificate in geographic information systems. This certificate provides students with access to computing labs dedicated to geospatial technology, statistics, and data science. The experience they have completing this certificate helps prepare them for a career in areas such urban studies and public health along with environmental science.

There are also a wide range of certificates for graduate students. One of these is a certificate in weather and climate analytics. The curriculum in a program such as this one is designed to help prepare students to analyze atmospheric datasets, test hypotheses, and present the findings in ways that can be applied to create solutions to environmental problems.

Prerequisites for a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science:

Most bachelor's programs in environmental science only require the completion of a high school degree and the official transcript of courses taken and grades received. Students should have a strong interest in science and math and have performed well in these classes.

Students should also examine their skills when it comes to their preparedness for this field. Working in environmental science requires you to have a wide range of qualities including professional and interpersonal skills, including communication skills, analytical skills, and self-discipline.

Environmental Science Bachelor's Degree Concentrations

Students have the ability to tailor their environmental science degree based on the career path they are considering. Depending on the university you choose to attend, there are a wide range of concentrations to choose from such as energy and climate or sustainability and conservation. Students can also choose to work with animals with a concentration on biodiversity and wildlife. Individuals can also work to protect the environment by choosing a concentration in environmental justice or law. Finally, concentrations in health and the environment or in food and agriculture are also available.

Curriculum for a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science

Students take courses in biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. In order to have hands-on experience, many environmental science programs include an internship. Students should look to take courses that involve computer modeling, data analysis, and geographic information systems. These skills help prepare students as they enter the job market.

There are a variety of free online courses and training that can even be completed for credit towards your degree. However with an environmental science degree, fieldwork and labs are required. This may include spending time in university science facilities conducting experiments, tests and analyzing their findings. Students may also have the opportunity to go out into their local community or take field trips in order to explore a variety of locations examining those environments first hand such as what they might do in career such as an environmental protection specialist.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Bachelor's in Environmental Science?

On average it takes 3-4 years and the completion of 120 credits to earn a bachelor's degree in environmental science. This depends on if students plan on attending classes part-time, full-time, or in an accelerated format.

Accreditation for Bachelor's in Environmental Science Degrees

Colleges and universities in the U.S. receive accreditation from agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education; the accreditation process involves an extensive review of a school's educational programs and student services. An institution's accreditation impacts course credit transferability. It also impacts a student's eligibility for federal financial aid. Students should look for the school to have earned both national or regional accreditation.

For an environmental science degree, accreditation is provided by the National Environmental Health, Science and Protection Accreditation Council. This is the only non-profit organization in the United States that accredits stand-alone environmental health academic programs.

Environmental Science Licensure & Certification

It is not necessarily required for someone working in environmental science to have a professional certification. If someone chooses to, however, the National Registry of Environmental Professionals does offer certification. The Certified Environmental Scientist (CES) is a credential establishing a professionals's understanding of the basic principles of environmental science. Candidates are required to have a bachelor's degree in an environmentally related area, but three years of acceptable work experience may be substituted for each year of an academic degree program. Students must also have three years of work experience directly related to environmental science.

If you are planning on teaching or becoming an environmental educator, certification will be necessary. Certification requires having at least obtained a bachelor's degree, completion of a teacher preparation program, and supervised teaching experience.

What Can I Do With a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science?

There are a wide range of options you can pursue within the field of environmental science. Some popular jobs include environmental scientists, environmental engineers and environmental health and safety specialists. Other jobs include lawyers, biologists or geologists that specialize in the environment and work to protect the planet. Another more creative option is an environmental designer who works with architecture. Further careers within the field of environmental science include anthropologists, archaeologists, meteorologists and zoologists.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for environmental scientists are projected to grow 8% from 2019 to 2029 which is higher than average. Due to the increased focus on the environment and threats facing the planet, there has been growth within this field in recent years. As of May 2019, the median salary for environmental scientists is $71,360, as per the BLS.

How to Become an Environmental Scientist

To work as an environmental scientist, individuals need to have earned at least a bachelor's degree. These professionals often start their careers as analysts, research assistants, or technicians. The majority of their time is spent in laboratories and offices, but as environmental scientists they may work out in the field and travel to different locations.

Environmental scientists can choose to work in a specific area such as the energy industry. With climate change and global warming, these professionals work to research and increase the usage of renewable energy. One of these sustainable solutions is wind energy. Environmental scientists work with wind farmers in order to help ensure they follow environmental regulations and policies. By using natural sciences, human behavior, and local culture they are able to analyze and reduce the negative impacts that may be inflicted on people and the environment that may come from energy sources. Environmental scientists who specialize in the wind industry may be hired by development companies to come up with solutions and visit sites where they can apply their research to wind power projects.

How to Become a Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist

To work as a zoologist or wildlife biologist you need to obtain at least a bachelor's degree. This can be in zoology and wildlife biology or a related science field such as environmental science. Prior to working in this career, students can gain experience through internships or volunteer work within the field which can include working with animal species and research conducted in labs. These scientists study animals, wildlife, and ecosystems. This includes monitoring species to ensure they are healthy and checking for any diseases or parasites that may harm their population.

Zoologists and wildlife biologists are similar in nature, but zoologists spend their time conducting research and investigating particular types of animals and animal kingdoms as a whole, whereas wildlife biologists study specific species or ecosystems. Wildlife biologists may study species that may be at risk for extinction and focus on conservation efforts to protect their population and habitats.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Information for Bachelor's in Environmental Science Degrees

Students planning on receiving a bachelor's degree in environmental science should complete the FAFSA to determine if they qualify for any federal aid. There are many large organizations that offer scholarships to students planning to pursue a career in environmental science. The National Science Foundation offers a STEM scholarship for students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Along with independent organizations, there are several government agencies that offer scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students, including the United States Department of Energy and The United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Professional Organizations in Environmental Science

There are many professional organizations within the field of environmental science in the United States and around the world. Scientists research, study, and protect the environment through their work. Then they collaborate with one another with the shared mission of protecting the planet. International organizations include the International Association for Society and Natural Resources which has 4,200 members in over 45 countries. Members are professionals who work in social science and natural sciences. The organization applies their research and strategies to help combat issues facing the environment and natural resources.

Domestically, there are organizations such as the National Association of Environmental Professionals. This is an interdisciplinary organization devoted to maintaining the highest standards of ethics in professions pertaining to environmental science.

Another organization is the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) which is made up of over 1,000 interdisciplinary environmental programs in North America and around the world. Its mission is to teach, research, and serve as well as to improve communication within the science community.

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