Online Bachelor's degrees are the most prominent, while Master's degrees are most convenient for adult learners. According to the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council, there are 34 undergraduate Environmental Science Programs at U.S. universities. The National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council contains specific credentials for undergraduate and graduate level environmental programs (source)
A bachelor’s in environmental science degree requires students to learn across a variety of science fields.
An environmental scientist, understandably, loves the world. They are passionate and naturally curious individuals whose love for the Earth has allowed them to identify its pressing needs and driven them to pursue a future that will be dedicated to coming up with new and innovative solutions to immediate and future environmental problems.
Starting your undergraduate studies in environmental science can lead to a variety of different careers, though the majority of students pursuing this degree aim to go on and become environmental scientists and specialists of some kind.
A Bachelor of Environmental Science could allow you to begin work immediately after graduation, though some students choose to work and further refine their discipline of choice through the obtainment of a PhD or Master of Environmental Science.
Bachelor of Environmental Science Degree
Unlike other science degrees, a bachelor’s in environmental science requires students to learn across a variety of science fields such as biology, chemistry, physics, geography and ecology. A background in these sciences compiled with other diverse fields of study will provide you with a versatile and thorough educational background that intertwines the various fields of science and math with numerous research, analytical and scientific methods.
A Bachelor of Environmental Science is a four-year degree that is available at major universities throughout the world as well as online. The traditional method of on-campus instruction is generally preferred and recommended due to the extensive level of research that is involved in the program.
The foundations of a bachelor’s degree in environmental science will be taken from major scientific fields such as physics, biology, chemistry as well as ecology and geology. Mathematical applications learned through statistics and geometry are also required for completion of an accredited program. The research techniques and skills required to succeed in future careers are taken from the educational background acquired through rigorous scientific study and experimentation in labs.
Electives of a Bachelor of Environmental Science are usually chosen by the student and allows them to dedicate time to a focused specialization such as geology or agriculture. If your primary focus lies within science as a whole but you wish to concentrate on environmental science, you could consider pursing either a double major in a core science such as biology or physics with environmental science or seek a degree program that would allow you to concentrate in environmental science.
The programs for environmental science tend to vary among institutions so research and careful consideration is an integral part of the selection process.
As it combines so many different areas of science, the majority of natural sciences are entry-level/upper intermediate. Core courses that can be expected include Principals of Biology, General Chemistry I, Conservation Biology among others. Mathematics and social science courses are also integral to the program, whereas the electives provide students with the project-based training that will be reflective of their job in the field.
It is not uncommon for students of environmental science to be required to conduct research over holiday breaks and the summer, and the majority must complete a thesis their senior year.
Notable Colleges for Environmental Science
Florida State University
The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science at Florida State University offers both B.A. and B.S. degrees in Environmental Science. The major fundamentals of environmental science are coupled with electives that focus on each student’s individual specialization. The difference between the B.A. and B.S. degree lies within the level of advanced math required, and B.A. students tend to take more classes that prepare them for a career in environmental policy than science-based courses.
University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio’s University of Texas offers an intensive undergraduate study program in environmental science that incorporates not just core courses but also pushes students to develop strong communicative and analytical skills through various courses in mathematics, computer science and GIS. There are three areas of environmental science to select as a concentration and they are policy, ecology and management. The specializations offered allow students to earn a general environmental science degree while also receiving a focused education that will prepare them for a specific career post-graduation.
Careers Available to Bachelor’s Degree Holders
The careers that are available to you after completion of an accredited bachelor’s program are diverse and the path that you take will lie predominately in your own personal interests and specialization.
Environmental scientists and specialists of environmental science are involved in hands-on projects that may include cleaning polluted areas, conducting research on various environmental samples to use in the development of resource solutions, advising policy makers and work with other industries to help with improved and effective waste reduction.
The numerous fields of specialization available to those who study environmental science all provide unique and exciting career opportunities. Science-minded students can go on to be environmental consultants, an environmental engineer or environmental analyst. While the mathematical and science careers are extremely popular among alumni, many with a degree in environmental science find jobs in both the public and private sector. These careers include environmental educator, journalist, forest ranger, natural resource manager, zoologist and more.
Depending on your career goals, a Bachelor of Environmental Science may not be the final goal, but rather a stepping stone that will lead you onto a more advanced and specialized degree program.
Is Environmental Science Right for You?
If you have a love of science and don’t just wish to learn about the Earth but also be a part of its future and help shape it, a degree in environmental science will provide you with the opportunity to do just that. You will get to learn not just about the Earth itself, but also the life forms on it and how both nature, animal and man are interconnected. Your future career will involve actively working to improve upon the current system of resource management and although the research, work and efforts may be demanding and sometimes tiring, if you’re looking for a career that is not arbitrary but dedicated to a good cause, environmental science may be for you.