Environmental Management Degree Guide

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Sometimes considered the “doctors of the earth,” environmental managers seek to preserve and allocate earth’s resources in the best way possible.

The earth’s resources are not just exotic plants and animals that you see on National Geographic, but also involve things we take for granted every day such as water, air, and gas. As these elements become scarcer, the need for efficient management is necessary. The study of Environmental Management offers instruction in conservation of natural resources to prepare graduates for careers in both the public and private sector.

Environmental management degree programs will have natural science courses as its foundation along with more business-like courses such as safety compliance and conservation regulations. Students will have a solid understanding of how management principles can relate to environmental conservation. Thus, this degree is largely interdisciplinary.

What kind of environmental management degree should you get?

An online degree versus a traditional on-campus one may be preferable for those who choose to work during their undergraduate years. Online degrees are also typically cheaper and offer more flexible course times and lengths. For example, many online courses only run for 8-weeks rather than a 14- or 12-week semester or quarter. This can allow students to finish their degree in as little as three years.

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How much money do people make with a degree in environmental management?

According to PayScale, as of November 2015 those with a bachelors degree and one to four years of working experience earned an average of $52,000. Those who are managers can earn a bit more, with the average environmental health and safety manager earning $69,053. Of course, salary ranges based on location and field.

In the science and engineering field, the BLS reported in May 2014 that the median salary of environmental scientists was $66,250. Field technicians earned anywhere from $33,490 to $74,570. In September 2015, project coordinators had a range from $39,195 to $83,928.

What can you do with a degree in environmental management?

A bachelor’s degree prepares graduates for entry-level positions. The most common jobs are environmental scientist, project coordinator, or field technician. Professionals can work in government agencies, public utility companies, or waste management firms. Some may even be able to work for private companies that contract out with environmental management firms.

Although those with only a bachelors may not initially have too high of a management role, those who are employed in this field are essentially managing the earth’s resources. Workers must understand not only natural sciences, but the business side of the field in order to have successful communication with city governments and firms. A master’s or a PhD can increase one’s opportunities and knowledge.


What are the requirements for a degree in environmental management?

Successful applicants of this program will have a high school diploma from an accredited school with a competitive GPA and test scores. Any personal essays and letters of recommendation should be submitted. Although not absolutely necessary, many schools like to see that students have taken advanced science courses, as environmental management does require a natural science curriculum component.

What are the best online environmental management degrees?

College Choice has ranked the 5 best online environmental management degrees. This ranking was compiled based on two overarching factors: institutional excellence and student success. Institutional excellence was calculated looking at a variety of data points such as graduation rate, institutional reputation, and students’ entering test scores. Student success rate was based on financial aid, average student indebtedness after graduating, and early starting salary. Our research comes from the National Center for Education Statistics’ IPEDS database, the U.S. News & World Report, PayScale, and individual college websites.


See our rankings methodology page.

  1. University of Florida

    Gainesville, FL




    Known as the Gators, the University of Florida is a prominent public research institution with over 160 years of history. Outstanding research, strong community involvement, and excellent academic programs are just a few of the characteristics that make UF stand out. Through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF’s Environmental Management degree is offered entirely online. This college awards nearly $40,000 in scholarships to deserving students annually. Through UF’s many online programs, students can expect nothing but excellence.

    Program Features

    UF’s online BS in Environmental Management degree is ideal for those who wish to make a strong impact in improving the earth’s well-being and health.

    • 120 credit-hours
    • Liberal arts curriculum
    • Sample Courses: Principles of Macroeconomics, Agricultural and Environmental Quality


    In 2016, the U.S. News & World Report ranked UF as having the #11 best online bachelor’s programs in the country.

  2. Northeastern University

    Boston, MA




    Northeastern University is a private research university located in Boston. Through its experiential learning program, students integrate real world experiences in the classroom. These experiences include anything from exciting research to being able to participate in a dream internship. At Northeastern, graduates are prepared to take on their future careers, with 92 percent of all graduates being employed or in graduate school within nine months. In 2016, 89 percent of people were employed within a field related to their major.

    Program Features

    A BS in Environmental Science at Northeastern is a degree that develops students’ basic scientific understanding in order to solve environmental problems.

    • Focuses: Geoscience, Conservation Science, Marine Science, or independent track
    • One-on-one faculty mentorship
    • Sample Courses: Age of Dinosaurs, Oceans and Coasts, Volcanoes


    Undergraduates of this program have the opportunity to work on various environmental research projects, including ones that require students to travel.

  3. Oregon State University

    Corvallis, OR




    Oregon State University is a diverse campus with more than 200 academic programs, both online and on-campus. As a university that is among the top in the world, OSU receives more research funding than any other institution in the state. Oregon State Ecampus is a recognized leader of online education in the nation, with over 50 different degrees. Since its beginning OSU has had a history of providing distance learning by holding its first classes to farmers on a train. An online degree at OSU may be the ideal place to get ahead in one’s future career.

    Program Features

    An online OSU BS in Environmental Sciences degree offers an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental issues.

    • Online tutoring, career support, and library services
    • Four start terms
    • Sample Specializations: Aquatic Biology, Earth Systems, Environmental Water Resources


    OSU was ranked as having one of the best online programs in 2018 by the U.S. News & World Report.

  4. Florida International University

    Miami, FL




    As a truly metropolitan university located in the city of Miami, Florida International University is a top-ranked research institution. At FIU, students are encouraged to solve the next generation of problems in whatever field they are passionate about. In total, FIU has received $116 million of awards for research and has filed 61 patents. FIU is also a very international university, with students all over the country and world. With its online programs, students are able to study from anywhere in the world.

    Program Features

    FIU’s online BS in Environmental Studies prepares students to understand theories in natural science to perform technical work in the environment.

    • Option to minor in biology or chemistry
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Sample Courses: Sustainable Bioenergy, Topics in Earth Science, Agroecology


    An internship in agriculture allows students to experience working and conducting research at a farm.

  5. University of Maryland University College

    Adelphi, MD




    The University of Maryland University College is an online state university with over 70 years of experience with distance learning. Specifically founded with adult learners in mind, students at UMUC can get the education they need to advance in their career without slowing down or stopping their current career. Since its beginning, UMUC has received several awards and recognitions for its excellence in teaching. In 2015, the World Affairs Council ranked UMUC as Educator of the Year.

    Program Features

    UMUC’s online bachelor’s in Environmental Management degree is an award-winning program for students who wish to learn how to mitigate environmental issues.

    • Focuses: Toxicology and Hazard Control, Sustainability
    • Ability to join the Environmental Management club
    • Sample Courses: Environmental Health, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems


    This program was ranked as a “Best Buy” by Get Educated in 2014.

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