Best Online Environmental Science Programs of 2022

Online bachelor's in environmental science programs lead to careers addressing issues like climate change and preventing or remediating environmental degradation. Explore our list of top programs.

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by Staff Writers

Updated September 8, 2022

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A bachelor's degree in environmental science provides advanced training and education in a broad range of scientific disciplines, including biology, chemistry, geology, and physics. Pursuing an environmental science bachelor's degree online adequately prepares graduates for careers as environmental scientists and specialists. Specific titles include climate change analyst, environmental health and safety specialist, and environmental restoration planner.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals earned a median salary between $71,130 and $80,890 in 2018, depending on specialization. This is a significant increase from the $46,170 median salary earned by environmental science technicians -- a related career obtainable with only an associate degree.

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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Best Online Environmental Science Programs of 2022

Deciding which college to attend is a highly personal decision impacted by a variety of factors, including location, cost, academic quality, and school reputation. When pursuing an online education, additional concerns apply, like program format and pacing. With all of these considerations in mind, we've created a ranking of the best online environmental science bachelor's degrees available. For each institution listed below, find both school- and program-specific information about curriculum offerings, admission requirements, and student services available to online learners.

Our rankings should provide a solid starting point for your college search. However, only you can properly evaluate your options and decide which online environmental science degree is the best fit for you. Take time to closely research the programs that catch your eye. Reach out to a school admissions specialist with any questions you discover along the way.

1. Oregon State University

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Location: Corvallis, Oregon

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $331; Out of State: $331

Credits to Graduate: 180

Degree Completion Program | No

Accreditation | Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

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OSU's online bachelor's in environmental science program runs asynchronously. Students complete hands-on fieldwork, a thesis, or a research and scholarship course. The program offers many specializations, including alternative energy, applied ecology, and earth systems. Other options include environmental agriculture and environmental water resources.

Applicants need a 3.0 GPA and prerequisites in English, foreign language, science, and social studies.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 47%


2. Virginia Wesleyan University

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $399; Out of State: $399

Credits to Graduate: 128

Degree Completion Program | No

Accreditation | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

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VWU offers an online bachelor's in environmental studies that emphasizes science, economics, and humans' position in the natural world. Students can complete the program in 12 months. Graduates may work in fields like corporate sustainability, environmental science, and natural resources conservation.

Applicants need a 2.0 GPA or a high school transcript or GED results. Prospective students submit SAT or ACT scores and any college transcripts.

School Information

  • Graduation Rate: 77%
  • Admission Rate Rate: 48%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 14%


3. Southern New Hampshire University

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Location: Manchester, New Hampshire

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $320; Out of State: $320

Credits to Graduate: 121

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Accreditation | New England Commission of Higher Education

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SNHU's bachelor's in environmental science program offers specializations in data analytics in science and natural resources and conservation. Asynchronous coursework focuses on real-life scenarios and problems. The school mails home-lab kits to enrollees. Degree-seekers can participate in hands-on field experiences, complete research projects, or gain skills in grant writing in science.

Applicants submit an online application, transcript release form, and an electronic attestation that they have completed high school or received a GED.

School Information

  • Graduation Rate: 44%
  • Admission Rate Rate: 88%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 94%


4. Wilmington University

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Location: New Castle, Delaware

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $390; Out of State: $390

Credits to Graduate: 120

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Accreditation | Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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WilmU offers a bachelor's in environmental science and policy online that features hands-on learning with program-provided home-lab kits. The curriculum focuses on hypothesis testing, scholarly writing, and problem-solving using scientific and digital tools.

Course areas include an environmental science core, a public policy core, and core electives. The program also offers field experiences.

Admission requires official transcripts. Applicants with fewer than 15 transfer credits need a high school or GED diploma. They must also submit SAT or ACT or math and English placement scores.

School Information

  • Graduation Rate: 21%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 75%


5. University of Arizona

100% Online | Self-Paced Classes

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $525; Out of State: $525

Credits to Graduate: 120

Degree Completion Program | No

Accreditation | Higher Learning Commission

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UofA's online bachelor's in environmental science program prepares graduates to address problems like climate change and pollution. Students can choose between two emphasis areas: leadership, sustainability, and communication; or soil, air, and water.

Enrollees take classes like environmental justice, environmental microbiology, and geographic information sciences. Graduates may work in fields like agriculture and urbanization, sustainable resource management, and environmental restoration.

Applicants complete an online application and submit transcripts.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 42%


After reviewing the best environmental science online degree programs, read our comprehensive guide to explore admission details, common learning outcomes, and additional resources.

Environmental science graduates go on to work in a variety of industries, including government, business, and healthcare. Visit our career guide to explore your options.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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