Master’s Degrees in Environmental Science

bachelors-degreesA Master’s Degree in Environmental Science will allow you to focus on a particular area of concentration of Environmental Science.

Most graduate students focus on a particular area of concentration that refines the current knowledge of environmental science. The additional years of intense study are no easy feat for a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science, so it is important to consider whether a secondary degree in Environmental Science is right for you.

What is a Master’s of Environmental Science?

In short form, a master’s in Environmental Science allows a student to build upon preexisting basic and applied knowledge as well as introduce new and exciting concepts through rigorous scientific research. A deeper disciplinary in Environmental Science allows students to develop a more detailed understanding of the subject and its various components, as well as refine the skills that are necessary to succeed in the field such as technology skills, the ability to communicate effectively, analytical techniques and scientific and research methods and procedures.

The specific program will vary among institutions. Environmental Science is a very broad field and likewise, so are the degree options. Just as there are concentrations and specializations that a student focuses on while pursuing an undergraduate in Environmental Science, a master’s degree usually follows one of the specific tracks offered by the university and provides the student with the opportunity to expatiate upon a concentration of their choosing.


Admission criteria is determined by individual universities, however any master’s degree requires that a student has successfully completed an undergraduate program and been awarded a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school.


The program for a master’s degree in Environmental Science is grounded in research but also includes standard classes. These advanced multidisciplinary courses expound upon previously learned information and further deepen your understanding of the subject. The hands-on research trains students to take their scientific abilities and teaches them how to utilize and further enhance their environmental problem solving capabilities.

In addition to multiple science courses, a Master of Environmental Science also tends to include politics, politics, law and explores the economics of environmental problems.

Careers with a Master’s of Environmental Science

Continuing your education is a fantastic idea and there is an increasing number of universities adding Environmental Science to their roster as the field continues to grow. However, it is important to consider whether you actually want a master’s or if you would like to earn you doctorate. The master’s degree program and a PhD program differ greatly in time, cost and future career options. Deciding on what type of profession you wish to pursue post-graduation can make the choice between a master’s, PhD or any secondary degree much easier.

Some of the professions that students have entered upon completing their Master of Environmental Science include geoscientist, environmental scientist, climate control scientist, environmental consultant, epidemiologist, atmospheric scientist and a science technician. Most people who have earned a Bachelor of Environmental Science and already found work as an environmental scientist or specialist return for their master’s in order to become more educated in a particular facet of the field of environmental science and subsequently qualify for positions regarding that specific area of concentration as well as potentially be eligible for a pay raise or considered for advancement opportunities.

Noteworthy Schools

The following two universities are worth taking a look at if you are interested in earning your Master of Environmental Science.

Ohio State University

Ohio State offers both thesis and non-thesis master’s degree options and it’s up to you to write up and submit your own program to the university. If academic liberalism is something you seek, then Ohio State’s approach to the Master of Environmental Science will give you just that. The Program of Study plan must be submitted at the start of your second semester. You can choose to concentrate in biological, physical or social sciences. Every student must make an oral presentation during their first year as well as toward the graduation of the 30-37 credit program.

Rochester Institute of Technology

The Rochester Institute of Technology offers both a 5-year B.A. and M.S. of Environmental Science program and a traditional 2-year master’s program. Students who decide to attend Rochester will be given the choice of choosing one of the following concentrations: Cell and Molecular Biology, Organismal Biology and Evolution, Ecology and Field Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, Public Policy, Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing or Statistics. Those interested in a career in environmental management or environmental policy may be well-suited for the program offering at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Selecting a College – What to Consider

There are many factors to weigh when deciding on what institution to attend for your master’s. While many more may come up while you browse schools, the ones that should be considered first and foremost are:


Any university that is not accredited cannot provide you with a degree that will be internally recognized and give you the opportunities you hope to receive by earning a secondary degree. Whether the institution is online or you plan on attending on-campus, you can check the accreditation of a college by consulting the list assembled by the U.S. Department of Education’s Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.


Although some students pursuing a master’s for their present career may receive funding from their profession, those who are planning on paying for the degree themselves must consider how much the degree will cost them, what type of financial aid they will need and how much as well as current student loans and the increase additional ones will have on the monthly repayment amounts.

Master’s and doctorate degrees are more expensive than an undergraduate degree, usually ranging between $21,000 to $150,000 for a master’s and anywhere from $35,000 to $350,000 for a PhD.

Career Objectives

Furthering education is a costly endeavor, so make sure that you’re earning a degree that will have a significant impact on your present career or open up the door to one you aim to have. Management positions, particularly those requiring specialization in a field that is more in depth than a bachelor’s degree, are generally the most common type of career that those who decide to earn a Master’s in Environmental Science desire.