Most Affordable Online Master’s in Environmental Management Degrees

Become an expert in saving the planet. Start by earning one of the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Environmental Management.

Most Affordable Online Masters in Environmental Management

Want to take the next step in your career but not waste time or money doing it? Eager to find tangible ways to improve environmental systems? Ready to take a team to the top? These online Master’s in Environmental Management will push you into uncharted territory – in the best way! You’ll become a steward of not only the environment, but also your own career.

What kind of Online Master’s in Environmental Management should you get?

If you’re short on time and money, you’ve come to the right place. These five programs are all offered online and all cost less than $16,000 per year.

Most of these schools offer either Master’s in Environmental Management, or Master’s in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Resource Management, Planning or a combination of both. There are benefits to each! It all depends on where your ultimate career goals lie. The bottom line for all five programs is affordability and flexibility. In that case, you can’t go wrong!

If you’re looking for other related affordable graduate programs, take a look at our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Graduate Colleges.

How much money do people make with an Online Master’s in Environmental Management?

A management job in any sector is a home run when it comes to a salary. This degree is no different. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the broad category of Natural Science Managers make on average $118,970 per year. At the very top of this pay range, you’ll find environmental managers working in the manufacturing industry.

Another great perk is that jobs in this area are expected to rise along with concern about the environment. This means you’ll be in high demand! Employment rates are projected to increase by 10 percent by 2026. Keep in mind that this growth rate could be even higher in states that are particularly conscientious about the environment.

What can you do with an Online Master’s in Environmental Management?

Environmental managers are the experts when it comes to sustainable practices in a large-scale setting. It will be your job to make sure that whatever organization you’re working for complies with environmental standards. Here’s the thing: it might be up to you to set those standards! You’ll have to know the ins-and-outs of air, water, and land policy in order to effectively protect those resources.

You will likely be hired on by a private organization or company. This could be in virtually any industry, from manufacturing to business to healthcare. Your job will include developing a strategy for sustainable practices, gathering a team, and implementing that strategy.

What are the requirements for an Online Master’s in Environmental Management?

Even though all five of these programs offer graduate degrees in environmental management, you’ll find that their requirements vary. For example, in the application process, some schools ask you to take the GRE; others don’t require it. Make sure to read the fine print and provide everything that is required of you in the application packet.

Your curriculum, however, will likely follow a similar pattern for each school. Program lengths tend to range from 12 to 24 months. This varies, of course, with whether or not you’re attending as a full-time or part-time student. As is common with a master’s degree, most of these schools require 30-40 credit hours, or 10-12 courses in total.

What are the best Online Master’s in Environmental Management?

Rest assured, this list has been boiled down to give you not only the best, but the most affordable programs in environmental management. Here at College Choice, our data team has developed a methodology that first considers the net cost of each program. Then they factor in graduation rates, retention rates, and the early salaries of graduates.

The final list offers you the 5 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Environmental Management. Our facts and figures come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

2018 Ranking

See our rankings methodology page.


University of Illinois at Springfield

Average Net Price: $11,444

School Website


The University of Illinois at Springfield is a public institution that serves around 5,700 students. When it comes to online learning, the University of Illinois at Springfield is a decorated veteran. It has been offering distance learning degrees since 1999 and has won numerous awards for its excellence in online education.

Program Features

University of Illinois at Springfield surges ahead of the rest with its online MA in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Planning and Management. You’ll take a total of 40 credit hours, but over half (24 credits) will be in your concentration. Some of those classes will cover:

  • Advanced GIS Applications
  • Transportation: Problems and Planning Procedures
  • Natural Resources: Policy and Administration
  • Environmental Policy and Analysis


All of the programs on this list are noteworthy for their affordability. But the University of Illinois at Springfield takes the cake in this category. With an average net price of $11,400, you won’t need to break the bank to earn a degree in your area of interest. Even more, you’ll be able to apply for scholarships and tuition waivers like the Graduate Public Service Internship.


University of Houston-Clear Lake

Average Net Price: $11,628

School Website


A mid-sized institution based in Texas, the University of Houston-Clear Lake was founded in 1971. It was started with the intention to educate NASA employees in the sciences. However, it has since broadened its scope to offer over 90 degree programs.

Program Features

The MS in Environmental Management at the University of Houston-Clear Lake keeps your career at the forefront of its curriculum. The program is designed as a hybrid program. You can take nearly every class online, and non-online classes are held in the evening. Take your pick from engaging electives like:

  • Water Management
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Environmental Risk Management
  • Coastal Resilience


You get the best of both worlds with this degree. While most of your coursework will be online, you can also get hands-on experience. The Environmental Institute of Houston is a fantastic resource for you to interact with other environmental professionals in the field.


University of Maryland University College

Average Net Price: $12,483

School Website


The University of Maryland University College is based in Adelphi, MD. However, it serves most of its students via distance learning. In fact, it is known as one of the largest provider of online education in the nation. Over 90,000 around the world attend UMUC online. It is also a leader in educating active-duty military.

Program Features

You’ll earn this Master’s Degree in Environmental Management completely online. Over the course of 36 credit-hours, you’ll learn how to manage an environmental project, utilize key software, dive into policy, and much more. Some of the core classes in this curriculum include:

  • Principles of Waste Management and Pollution Control
  • Emerging Environmental Technologies
  • Water Resources Management
  • Environmental Communications and Reporting


One great way to hit the ground running with this degree is to join the Environmental Management Club. During monthly seminars, you’ll discuss environmental issues, find job openings, and network with other students. The group also hosts an annual P3 Grant competition.


Arizona State University

Average Net Price: $13,007

School Website


Rated the #1 Most Innovative School in America for three years in a row, Arizona State University is a game-changer in higher education. It enrolls over 72,000 students among its multiple campuses. ASU Online delivers 150+ undergraduate and graduate programs completely online.

Program Features

The MS in Environmental and Resource Management is a great example of what ASU does best. You’ll have the luxury of options all along the way. The program can be delivered 100 percent online or as a hybrid program. Students select one of three formats for their study: thesis, applied project, or coursework-only. Regardless, some core classes include:

  • Regulatory Framework for Toxic and Hazardous Substances
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Sustainability and Sustainable Development
  • Industrial Hygiene


This curriculum is divided into three tracks. Each require 30 credit hours. You can choose to specialize in Environmental Management, International Environmental Management, or Water Management. Narrowing your focus into one of these concentrations is a savvy move to make yourself stand out to future employers.


University of Wisconsin, Madison

Average Net Price: $15,874

School Website


University of Wisconsin, Madison is the largest and oldest university in the state. Known as the flagship institution in the state system, UW-Madison consists of 20 academic schools and colleges. It has the high distinction of being a “Public Ivy.”

Program Features

The UW Master of Science in Sustainable Management is an online degree that will engage you with a range of environmental issues. The curriculum divides out into core classes, specialty tracks, and a capstone experience. In total, you’ll take 12 courses. A selection of a few highlight courses includes:

  • Applied Research and the Triple Bottom Line
  • Leading Sustainable Organizations
  • Sustainable Water Management
  • Waste Management and Resource Recovery


One perk of completing this degree online is that your professors come from all five branch campuses of University of Wisconsin, Madison: UW-Green Bay, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Parkside, UW-Stout, and U-Superior. That means you’ll get the best possible instruction.