Online bachelor's programs in environmental studies can help students explore possible solutions for future environmental challenges and learn how to work in environmentally based businesses and organizations. A strong science curriculum and classes that cover social, legal and global political issues are components of degree programs in environmental studies. Courses in these programs may include environmental policy, sustainability and environmental research. Online programs in this field of study are available from four-year public and private institutions. They usually take around four years of full-time study, and graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.
Some distance learning programs are designed for degree completion for those students who already have college credits. In these cases, students may be required to have an associate's degree or possess a minimum number of college credits at the undergraduate level prior to admission. Some schools with online bachelor's programs cater to working adults and could require evidence of work experience, which may not necessarily have to be connected to environmental studies.
Like on-campus programs, the interdisciplinary coursework involved with earning an online environmental studies degree includes science, social science and humanities classes. How civilization interacts with the natural world and our impact on that world is the central issue of environmental studies programs. Biology, ethics, public policy, ecology and energy are the primary subjects covered. Some courses in environmental studies offered as part of a distance learning program might include:
Concepts of Sustainability: Students study current sustainability issues while examining energy, urbanization, rainforests, food systems and global climate change.
Environmental Biology: The origins, evolution and impact of human activity on biodiversity are discussed in this environmental course.
Environmental Policies: This online course examines social, economic and political policies and their impact on the global environment, as well as how policy decisions can protect the environment.
Energy and Environmental Systems: The relationships between energy generation, consumption and conservation, relative to fossil fuels and renewable resources, are studied in this course.
Environmental Research: Students select a topic or incident, collect research and analyze the findings using geographic information system software.
Students taking online environmental studies courses use Web-based educational software. They may log in and complete coursework at their convenience, any time during the day or night. Environmental studies programs may include laboratory simulations for biology, chemistry and geology classes; simulated labs are interactive and accessed via CD-ROM. Instructor and student communications take place through Web software, e-mail or over the phone. Program assistance and tutoring are often provided as part of online programs.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in the expanding field of environmental studies are open to careers in industry and government. Some of these professional opportunities include:
- Ecology Surveyor
- Environmental Scientist
- Natural Resource Specialist
- Conservation Planner
- Climate Activist
- Environmental Planner
Online bachelor's programs in environmental studies are available to students wishing to become environmental scientists, conservation planners and natural resource specialists. Students in the program will study topics such as environmental biology, policies and research.