The Best Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science Programs

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Published on May 19, 2021

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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.

Best Online Bachelor's in Environmental Science Programs

  1. University of Florida - Gainesville, FL
  2. Southern New Hampshire University - Manchester, NH
  3. Oregon State University - Corvallis, OR
  4. Prescott College - Prescott, AZ

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 Accredited Online Bachelor's Programs in Environmental Science

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.

University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL

UF Online's BS in environmental management is an interdisciplinary degree that emphasizes agricultural ecology, hydrology, pest management, soil science, and water resource management. Delivered through the school's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the program prepares learners for careers in conservation, hydrology, sustainability, and resource policy. Students complete 120 credits, including 39 major-focused credits and 24 elective credits.

Although nearly all classes take place online, freshmen and lower-division transfer students must take required chemistry labs in person. They may do so at an approved state university or college campus, an approved regionally accredited school, or during a bootcamp-style experience in Gainesville, Florida.

Individuals with at least 60 credits from an accredited institution can seamlessly transfer into the UF Online environmental management degree if they possess a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. They must complete two chemistry courses and a calculus course before transferring.

UF Online maintains application deadlines in February, May, and September of each year. Students may begin the program in May, August, or January. The program admits candidates on a rolling basis. Applicants must submit high school and/or college transcripts, along with ACT or SAT scores if they received a high school diploma within the past five years.

All UF Online learners can access the Student Plaza, which offers a digital gathering place for networking, chatting with academic advisers, and organizing study groups. Distance learners also benefit from a digital library and access to student clubs.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Environmental Management
Available Concentrations: Environmental management in agriculture and natural resources
Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $553/credit out-of-state
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 2.0 minimum
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (352) 392-3261
Email: admissions@ufonline.ufl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Southern New Hampshire University View School Profile Manchester, NH

SNHU offers an online environmental science bachelor's degree focused on using evidence-based and practical solutions to solve environmental problems. Students examine the effects of climate change, air and water pollution, overpopulation, and the loss of biodiversity on the environment and community health.

In the natural resources and conservation track, students explore research and methods in remediating human-caused hazards and learn skills that they can apply in a business, nonprofit, or government setting. The program's geospatial technologies track emphasizes the use of geographic information systems to visualize and analyze data applicable to a variety of environmental issues.

Students pursuing the 121-credit online environmental science degree take classes on environmental ethics, chemistry, biology, physics, and research methods. Two environmental science colloquia allow students to master tools and technologies critical to the environmental science field. These courses offer hands-on activities that provide students with real-world experience using software and systems.

Applicants submit high school transcripts and transcripts from any colleges or universities previously attended. They must also submit an electronic attestation form to verify that they received a high school diploma or GED.

SNHU charges the same per-credit tuition for resident and nonresident students. Active military personnel and their families benefit from a discounted tuition rate.

The university also features Pathways to Math Success, which enables students to take math assessments and earn up to six credits for what they already know. In some cases, students who pass these assessments can graduate early. Students in the online environmental science bachelor's degree usually graduate in four years.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Environmental Science
Available Concentrations: Natural resources and conservation; geospatial technologies
Tuition: $320/credit
Credit Requirements: 121 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Contact
Phone: (888) 387-0861
Email: admissions@ufonline.ufl.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Oregon State University View School Profile Corvallis, OR

The environmental science bachelor's degree online at OSU prepares students to evaluate and solve environmental problems related to pollution, climate change, and biodiversity. The 180-credit program offers several specializations, including applied ecology, environmental agriculture, and water resources. Students may also seek a geographic information science certificate focused on data collection, analysis, and visualization.

The online environmental science degree program features classes on environmental law, climatology, urban forestry, and watershed management. The environmental science core comprises 27-34 credits in addition to 27 elective credits. Students must also complete at least three credits of experiential learning. Most students graduate within four years.

The school maintains a transfer-friendly policy, enabling students to receive credit for courses taken at other accredited institutions. However, students must take at least 45 of their final 75 credits at OSU. All distance learning takes place through the Canvas learning management system.

All online students pay the same tuition regardless of residency. Military members and their families enjoy reduced tuition along with assistance applying for financial aid and veterans benefits. All distance learners can access a 24/7 digital library, career services, academic advising, online tutoring, and individual success coaches to help them stay on track toward graduation.

OSU's online environmental science bachelor's degree program features four start dates throughout the year.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Environmental Sciences
Available Concentrations: Applied ecology; aquatic biology; conservation, resources and sustainability; GIScience certificate; Earth systems; environmental agriculture; environmental policy and economics; environmental water resources
Tuition: $297/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
GPA: 3.0 minimum (preferred)
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (541) 737-9204
Email: ecampus@oregonstate.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

Prescott College View School Profile Prescott, AZ

Prescott College offers an education rooted in the liberal arts, with degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Among Prescott's many online offerings is bachelor of arts in environmental science, which requires students to earn a minimum of 120 credits.

Online students can begin the program in May or August. All program requirements can be completed online, but students must complete an on-campus orientation. Application requirements include a focus essay, a program application, and official transcripts.

At least 60 of the 120 required credits must be in environmental studies and sustainability. Topics covered in major courses include community engagement, sustainability, and the arts. Students must also complete two breadth areas, which operate like minors. One is liberal arts-based and the other elective-based; both require 30 credits. Learners must also fulfill a mandatory community service component. Student focuses include environmental education, agro-ecology, environmental policy, and natural history.


Program Overview
Program Name: BS in Environmental Studies
Tuition: $598/credit
Credit Requirements: 120 credits
Program Length: 4 years

Delivery
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements
Standardized Tests: SAT or ACT

Contact
Phone: (928) 350-2104
Email: chorissa.butler@prescott.edu
Social Media Accounts: Facebook; Twitter

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.

Feeling first-day-of-college jitters? Learn what to expect and how to prepare for the first day of class. Looking for a good school in the Southwest? Check out our list of the top 10 online colleges in the southwestern United States. Students can make college life easier by bringing 10 documents that are essential for study, work, and other aspects of student life.

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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