Best Online Environmental Science Degrees

Join the scientists, activists, policy-makers, and educators working to reverse climate change. Earn an Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science!

BOB EnvironmentalSci CollegeChoice

In November 2018, a team of scientists revealed a massive report regarding the state of our climate. In it, we learned that our earth and ecosystems will be at risk of severe crisis by as early as 2040 unless we make substantial changes to our consumption behaviors.

The future of our nation – and planet – is desperate for young people to come up with innovative solutions to our climate crisis. Earning an online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science will give you both the technical know-how and the means to make a difference. Will you be on the frontlines of saving our planet?

What kind of Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science degree should you get?

Most young people these days are just plain busy. We’re constantly pulled in 101 different directions. That’s why we’ve filtered only for the top Bachelor’s in Environmental Science degrees that are solely delivered online. You can earn this degree from anywhere — that means you can maximize your time doing the things you love while still being in school.

The programs on this list still follow a typical time table for completing a bachelor’s degrees. Most take around four years to finish. But with online learning, you can literally be in the forest while you learn about forestry hundreds of miles away. How cool is that?

If you’re more comfortable in a classroom setting, though, we’ve still got some great choices for you. Check out our list of the 35 Best Environmental Science Degrees.

What can you do with an Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science degree?

You’ll quickly find that the field of environmental science is wide-ranging. At the very basic level, your classes will give you the skills to research ecosystems and chart methods of conservation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

If you’re fascinated by soil science and forest ecosystems, you can become a forester or a park ranger. If you get fired up about climate change policy, then you can find a government job as a lobbyist in Washington DC. Others go on to be consultants, data scientists, marine biologists, and more.

The planet is filled with millions of creatures and intricate ecosystems. Pick what you love the most and go for it!  

How much money do people make with an Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science degree?

As you learned, the career options for folks who earn an online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science are limitless. That means the salary range will vary as well. However, one thing that is consistent across the board is demand for experts in environmental science. Along with the global demand for climate change solutions, the job outlook is expected to increase by 11 percent.

If you’re interested in a sampling of annual salaries for people with this degree, here’s a list of a number of common jobs in the field:

  • Environmental Scientists: $69k to $112k
  • Conservation Scientists: $61k to $97k
  • Hydrologists: $79k to $122k
  • Zoologists: $62k to $99k

Thank goodness saving the world isn’t unpaid work! This degree will set you on the path to both financial security and career satisfaction.

What are the Best Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science degrees?

You can’t save the world on your own. Start small. We’ve crafted a list of the top 5 Best Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science degrees.

We’ve found that the best degrees are those that offer not only fair prices, but ample flexibility and convenience as well! To find the best degrees for you, we look at the best schools in the country based on reputation, student satisfaction, program quality, and return on investment. Then we review the bottom line – just how much is this going to cost? Check out our methodology page for a more in depth description of our data.

Once we determine all of the above, we curate a list of stellar schools for you! These not only represent the best degrees you can get, but also ones that will fit your budget. Check out our picks below!

Are you prepared to start a long career in bettering the future of our world? Read on!

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.


Oregon State University

College Choice Score: 100

Tution(In-state / Out-of-state): $10,967/$29,457

Program Website


Oregon State University is a seasoned pro when it comes to environmental research. This Pacific Northwest public research university holds land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant designations. Through the OSU Ecampus, students have access to over 900 online classes.


Oregon State University features an online BS in Environmental Science that lets you stay outside! The curriculum totals 180 credit hours, some of which are designated to a specialization area. There is also a final experiential requirement. A sampling of courses includes:

  • Fish and Wildlife Conservation
  • Environmental Geology
  • Urban Forestry
  • Technology, Energy, and Risk


In addition to this rich curriculum, students can also add to their degree with a GIScience certificate. Some of the possible areas include Applied Ecology, Earth Systems, Environmental Policy and Economics, and many more.


American Public University System

College Choice Score: 96.65

Tution(In-state / Out-of-state): $8,244/$11,862

Program Website


Fully operating as an online institution, American Public University System is known for its special care toward active-duty military and veterans. Though it’s not officially affiliated with the U.S. military, the student population is made up of over 56 percent military personnel. Around 48,600 students attend.


APU delivers an online Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science that focuses primarily on the policy and analysis side of environmental issues. Students will complete a total of 120 credits. After taking a series of core courses, students can specialize in one of four tracks:

  • Environmental Technology and Management
  • Regional and Community Environmental Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Fish and Wildlife Management


Students in this program have the opportunity to learn from the best experts out there! Faculty in this department are working professionals in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, and beyond. APU also has a generous transfer policy in allowing up to 90 transfer credits.


The University of Alabama

College Choice Score: 92.83

Tution(In-state / Out-of-state): $31,136

Program Website


Based in Albany, New York, Excelsior College is a private institution that was founded in 1971. Over 36,500 students are enrolled here each year. Excelsior College is known to be generous with transfer credits, making it an ideal option for adult learners.


The BS in Natural Sciences with a Biology concentration at Excelsior College takes a turn toward the hard sciences. This online degree covers 120 credits, with 33 credits devoted to the Biology concentration. Here’s a look at a few courses in the curriculum:

  • Ecology
  • Bioethics
  • Evolutionary Biology
  • Introduction to Oceanography


One unique feature at Excelsior College is that students can receive college credit for their military experience and training. If you are an active-duty servicemember, then your military school courses and exams will easily transfer. The same goes for health care credentials, criminal justice training, and more.


University of Florida-Online

College Choice Score: 89.51

Tution(In-state / Out-of-state): $10,780/$28,100

Program Website


The University of Florida is a commanding public research institution based in Gainesville. UF-Online, its distance education branch, delivers over 200 fully online degree programs. Globally, the school ranks #7 in Plant and Animal Science, according to U.S. News & World Report.


At UF-Online, you can earn an online BS in Environmental Management. This curriculum gets down to the nitty-gritty of ecosystems, from soil science to water resources. You’ll take 120 credits in highly specialized coursework. A sampling of courses includes:

  • GIS in Soil and Water Science
  • Principles of Agribusiness Management
  • Agricultural and Environmental Quality
  • Wetlands


Some students choose to add a minor to this degree for further specialization. You name it, the University of Florida-Online has it as an option. Here are some examples: Horticulture Science, Urban Pest Management, Wildlife Ecology Conservation.


Everglades University

College Choice Score: 89.15

Tution(In-state / Out-of-state): $30,501

Program Website


Relatively recently established in 1999, Everglades University is a private institution in Florida with numerous branches throughout the state. The online campus is based in Boca Raton, Florida. It accounts for the majority of the student population.


The program at Everglades University takes a unique shift in offering a BS in Environmental Policy and Management. This curriculum focuses more on business skills than hard sciences. Students complete a total of 123 credits and jump into fascinating coursework like:

  • The Science of Persuasion and Negotiation
  • Energy Policy
  • U.S. Environmental Policy and Management
  • Environmental Impact Analysis


Everglades University recently entered into a unique partnership with the U.S. Green Building Council and Pearson. Together, the three institutions have systematically created curricula that focus on sustainability and renewable energy. For example, students can earn a LEEDS certification for green building.