This guide provides a look at the top online bachelor's degrees in environmental health and safety. On this page, readers will find a ranking of the top schools offering these programs.
The following sections feature an overview of what to expect from an online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety. Readers can learn about sample courses, admission requirements, and potential career paths for graduates. This guide also answers a few frequently asked questions about these online programs.
What Are the Best Environmental Health and Safety Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top Two:
|1||Missouri Southern State University||Joplin, MO|
|2||Oakland University||Rochester Hills, MI|
An online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety provides students with the education and training they need to become competitive candidates for entry-level positions. Graduates may also use their bachelor's degree as a stepping stone to further education, going on to pursue a master's degree or a doctorate.
Graduates who earn an online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety can pursue a variety of positions, such as health and safety engineer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), these professionals earn a median annual salary of $91,410. Additionally, the number of jobs in this field is projected to grow by 5% from 2018-2028.
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Programs
Missouri Southern State University
|Joplin, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 33%||
MSSU's bachelor's in environmental health and safety program is accredited by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council. Professors have industry experience, and coursework covers topics like epidemiology, hazardous material safety, and environmental regulations. The curriculum also features 10-12 elective credits.
Environmental health and safety graduates earn an average starting salary of about $40,000 annually. The school's career services professionals help degree-seekers find entry-level positions by offering personality assessments, resume-writing software, and internship opportunities.
Application requirements include a minimum 2.25 high school GPA and acceptable ACT or SAT scores. Online learners do not pay out-of-state tuition. Merit-based scholarships award up to $1,750 per year for first-year students and up to $1,000 per year for transfer students.
|Rochester Hills, MI||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 55%||
Students pursuing OU's online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety can learn entirely online or in a hybrid format. The 125-credit curriculum prepares students to work in the light manufacturing and healthcare fields. Additionally, the program uses a mix of synchronous and asynchronous courses.
On OU's career services website, online degree-seekers can consult the Handshake Resource Library. These and other vital services help nearly 90% of alumni find a job or start another academic program soon after earning a bachelor's degree.
Prospective students who did not graduate high school but earned a GED certificate can apply. Merit-based scholarships for first-year and transfer students award up to full tuition.
Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Program Overview
Students pursuing an online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety learn to investigate health problems in the community and enforce health regulations. These programs cover topics such as air quality control, food protection, and water quality. Students typically split their time between academic coursework and hands-on, laboratory experience. This degree also requires many general education classes in the sciences -- such as biology and chemistry -- and math.
Many programs help students find internships in environmental health and safety organizations. Online learners may also need to complete a capstone project. Successful graduates develop competencies related to data analysis, critical thinking, and interpersonal communication.
A bachelor's degree in this field prepares students for entry-level positions. Graduates can use their degrees right away if they wish to enter the workforce after completing their program. Alternatively, those who seek additional graduate-level education can position themselves for higher salaries and managerial positions.
Common Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Degree Courses
- Environmental Law and Policy
This course delves into the current environmental laws and policies governing the nation. Students examine how environmental policy changes over time and how it affects businesses, governments, and other organizations. This course also explores environmental law and policy ethics, teaching students how to conduct themselves as regulation enforcers.
- Environmental Issues Management
Students in this course review environmental regulations and how they help manage environmental risk. This class teaches the practical application of scientific methodology and data collection for risk assessment and damage control. Participants examine case studies concerning at-risk communities and regulatory agencies to increase their understanding of environmental health issues and management techniques.
- Environmental Health
This course explores health issues related to air and water pollution safety. Students learn how urbanization and housing issues can become factors in spreading disease across vulnerable populations. Coursework also looks at remedial solutions to these problems and probes the responsibility of the community in getting involved in their own health and safety.
Online learners in this course study the spread and possible control methods of diseases. Topics covered include methods of disease distribution and measures of disease frequency. Students learn to analyze data and employ scientific studies of disease. Some epidemiology courses require prerequisites in math and science.
- Community Health
This course focuses on health issues specifically related to the community. Students learn about the different resources available to community members when confronted with health issues. This class also examines public health regulations, hazards, and solutions. Additionally, enrollees may learn about governmental, private, and voluntary healthcare providers.
Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Admission Requirements
Standardized Test Scores
First-time applicants -- particularly recent high school graduates -- usually need to submit standardized test scores. Most colleges accept SAT and/or ACT scores, though some schools prefer one test over the other. Transfer students or older first-time applicants typically do not need to submit standardized test scores; however, a school may require a placement test instead.
High School Diploma/GED Certificate
Colleges typically require that applicants hold a high school diploma or GED certificate. Postsecondary institutions look for high school completion to ensure students finished common college prerequisites in math, science, and English. Students without a high school diploma or GED certificate may be able to find institutions -- typically community colleges -- that do not require these credentials for admission.
Applicants may need to meet minimum GPA requirements for admission. This GPA cutoff is usually between 2.0 and 3.0, although some colleges set higher GPA minimums, particularly for popular or especially challenging degree programs. Transfer students may see different GPA requirements than first-time applicants.
Letters of Recommendation
Many colleges require letters of recommendation from applicants. These letters should come from individuals of authority who know the student well, including teachers, coaches, and employers. Some institutions, such as schools with religious affiliations, may require a letter of recommendation from a local pastor or another religious leader.
Statement of Purpose
Some programs require a statement of purpose or letter of intent from the applicant. Programs attempt to find the best potential candidates based on these statements. A statement of purpose allows the applicant to express why they want to pursue a certain degree and how they would contribute to a program.
Online Bachelor's in Environmental Health and Safety Career Paths
Health and safety engineers develop systems to prevent illness, injury, and property damage. These professionals mostly work in an office setting. The BLS reports that these workers typically earn yearly salaries above $90,000.
Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians analyze work environments and procedures to ensure that organizations keep their employees safe. The BLS reports a median annual salary of $70,480 for this profession.
These careers offer entry-level access to the profession. Neither career requires a license for an initial position. However, health and safety engineers may need to earn a license to advance in the field.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does an environmental health and safety officer do?
An environmental health and safety officer examines communities, organizations, and other workspaces to evaluate working conditions and enforce safety regulations mandated by law. These professionals may also provide suggestions for improving health and safety in at-risk communities.
- What can I do with an environmental health and safety degree?
An environmental health and safety degree prepares graduates for careers with governmental agencies, as well as private organizations that oversee health regulations. Graduates may become consultants for privately owned companies that oversee working conditions or become air quality/food and water inspectors.
- Is environmental health and safety a good career?
The BLS projects 5% growth for health and safety engineers and 6% growth for occupational health and safety specialists/technicians from 2018-2028. Graduates can find job openings across the country and pursue career advancement by gaining additional experience, licensure, and/or further education.
- What is the salary of an environmental health and safety officer?
Salaries for environmental health and safety officers vary depending on many factors, including the employer and location. However, the BLS reports that occupational health and safety specialists and technicians earn a median annual salary of more than $70,000.
- How many years does it take to study environmental health and safety?
An online bachelor's degree in environmental health and safety takes around four years to complete. However, students who hold transfer credit based on previous education, AP or standardized testing, previous work experience, and/or military experience may graduate more quickly.
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