Environmental Studies Colleges, Universities and Schools in the U.S.

The academic field of environmental studies takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing human interaction with the environment. Programs in environmental studies may be offered through colleges of liberal arts, life science, social science or agriculture. Students choosing a university for environmental studies often take into account available degree programs, possible specializations and research opportunities.

Environmental studies programs are available at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level. A typical bachelor's program in environmental studies includes interdisciplinary instruction in areas like ecology, politics, economics and law.

Top Environmental Studies Schools

Below are some of the best schools with programs in environmental studies.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-6)*
University of California-Berkeley Berkeley, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $13,431 in-state, $38,139 out-of-state
Harvard University Cambridge, MA 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate Certificate $45,278
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,241
University of Washington multiple locations in WA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,839 in-state, $34,143 out-of-state (for Seattle campus)
Yale University New Haven, CT 4-year, Private Bachelor's $47,600
University of California-Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $13,968 in-state, $38,676 out-of-state
Stanford University Stanford, CA 4-year, Private Bachelor's $46,320
Princeton University Princeton, NJ 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $43,450
University of California - Davis Davis, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's, Graduate Certificate $13,951 in-state, $38,659 out-of-state
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 4-year, Private Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral $49,116

Source: *NCES College Navigator

School Selection Criteria

When choosing a school for environmental studies, students should first evaluate available degree programs. Further considerations include:

  • While undergraduate degrees in environmental studies may be awarded as Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Art or Bachelor of Environmental Studies, the distinction is largely based on institutional bureaucracy rather than differing curriculum.
  • Look at specializations a school has, such as environmental policy, ethics and law.
  • Students may consider pursuing a master's degree to qualify for advanced careers.
  • If looking for a Ph.D. program, it ought to include original research opportunities or teaching in the field.

Several schools offer rigorous environmental studies programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. However, not all of these schools offer graduate programs or hands-on experience opportunities - two valuable considerations when selecting a school.

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