Most Affordable Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

Earning an environmental science degree can lead to new career opportunities. We list the top online programs here.

Updated September 19, 2022

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Most Affordable Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

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Environmental Degrees Online

A relatively new academic arena, environmental science incorporates elements of biology, chemistry, physics, and geography. Environmental science degree programs feature interdisciplinary curricula and may also cover aspects of the social sciences. Environmental scientists study the natural world and the ways in which humans and other organisms interact and affect the environment.

Learners pursuing an on-campus or online environmental science degree must demonstrate a strong background in the hard sciences. Most programs require applicants to have a minimum 3.0 GPA. In addition to classroom instruction, environmental science degree programs usually require laboratory hours and fieldwork.

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental scientists earn a median salary of $71,360 per year, compared to a median annual salary of $39,810 for jobs in all fields. The BLS projects an 8% growth rate for environmental science jobs from 2019-2029, double the average projected growth rate for all occupations. These projections indicate that graduates of online environmental science programs may enter a strong job market.

What Are the Goals of an Environmental Science Degree?

Schools offer environmental science degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Environmental science is a broad field of study, and learners often specialize in an area such as ecological systems, sustainability, conservation, environmental management, or energy and air pollution control.

Students pursuing an online environmental degree typically follow the same curriculum as their on-campus peers. Upper-level classes cover topics such as environmental regulations, ecological economics, and global environmental politics. Most environmental science programs also feature fieldwork during which learners conduct research and test hypotheses through experimentation and data collection.

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Why Get an Environmental Science Degree?

Students pursuing a degree in environmental science learn to examine, understand, and find viable solutions for pressing topics. Graduates can use these skills to address issues such as climate change, fire ecology, renewable energy, and bioremediation.

While earning a degree in environmental science, students explore the latest developments and research findings in the field.

A degree in environmental science demonstrates expertise in the field. Many employers value degree-holders as disciplined and knowledgeable professionals.

An online environmental science degree qualifies individuals for field and laboratory research positions. Graduates can also work for environmental regulatory agencies, advocacy groups, and pharmaceutical companies.

According to BLS data, bachelor's degree-holders earn a median weekly salary $502 higher than that of workers with a high school diploma. Degree-holders also enjoy lower unemployment rates.

A bachelor's degree in environmental science can qualify holders for graduate programs. While some master's and doctoral programs admit applicants with a degree in an unrelated field, most prefer candidates with a background in environmental science.

FAQ Online Environmental Science Degrees

What kind of jobs can you get with an environmental science degree?

In addition to environmental scientist positions, graduates can qualify for jobs such as hydrologist, microbiologist, zoologist, and oceanographer. Professional opportunities vary based on the individual's specialization area.

Are environmental scientists in demand?

The BLS projects an 8% growth rate among environmental science positions from 2019-2029, a rate much faster than the national average for all occupations.

What is an environmental scientist's salary?

Environmental scientists earned a median salary of $71,360 in 2019. This is significantly higher than the median annual salary of $39,810 for all occupations in the economy.

How long does it take to earn an environmental science degree?

Most full-time students earn their bachelor's in environmental science in four years. Learners with an associate degree in a related field or a bachelor's degree in another area of study may graduate faster.

What Are the Requirements for an Environmental Science Degree?

Applicants to bachelor's-level environmental science programs typically need an academic foundation in one or more of the hard sciences. Most schools also require candidates to have a minimum 3.0 GPA and above-average SAT or ACT scores. Admitted students may need to complete prerequisite coursework before enrolling in environmental science classes.

A bachelor's in environmental science typically requires 120 credits, including classroom instruction, laboratory work, and fieldwork. Learners in online environmental science programs may need to complete a summer internship, and curricula often culminate with a comprehensive exam, a research project, or a thesis.

Best Online Environmental Science Degrees

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 Most Affordable Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Interested in a flexible education that prepares you for a career in the environmental science field? Check out the online bachelor of science in environmental management at the University of Florida. A total of 24,310 remote learners get a top education from the public college, which offers 19 online bachelor's programs.

The bachelor's in environmental management program prepares students for the field by equipping them with the tools they need to succeed. Enrollees learn about both foundational concepts and advanced topics through a variety of classes. If it makes sense for their career aspirations, degree-seekers can complete hands-on learning experiences to strengthen their industry knowledge. Learners gain valuable knowledge from internships, externships, and applied research projects. Academic advisors and career counselors assist students through the course of their program.

To lower degree expenses, qualified applicants can pursue funding opportunities, like scholarships and fellowships, from internal and external sources. As a leader in remote education, the college supports the academic endeavors of its enrollees, awarding aid to 92% of degree-seekers.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 Most Affordable Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

Oregon State University

  • Corvallis, OR
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Oregon State University features a bachelor's in environmental sciences program that appeals to learners wanting a flexible online education in environmental science. The public institution's 14,977 virtual degree-seekers can choose from 22 remote bachelor's programs with industry relevance. The college offers institutional resources from its Corvallis campus that benefit its online learners, including a supportive remote learning community.

Environmental science students learn industry knowledge through hands-on classes. The curriculum covers general education and advanced topics and can be customized. Enrollees can supplement their learning through experiential learning opportunities. Degree-seekers who complete internships, externships, or research projects get first-hand experience of what it's like to work in the environmental science field.

The admissions office can let prospective students know more about enrollment criteria. Financial aid is awarded to 85% of all enrollees, so students should meet with the financial aid office to see if they qualify. Scholarships, fellowships, and other aid opportunities let eligible learners reduce the cost of their degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,846
Out-of-state
$29,445
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
31,719
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
47% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#3 Most Affordable Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

Southern New Hampshire University

  • Manchester, NH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Looking for a flexible education that prepares you for the environmental science field? Consider Southern New Hampshire University’s online bachelor's in environmental science. The 106,762 distance learners at the private college can choose from 35 premier online bachelor's programs.

The program provides students with the tools they need for a successful career in environmental science. The curriculum includes a variety of coursework, giving enrollees broad knowledge of both foundational and advanced environmental science topics. Experiential learning opportunities help degree-seekers increase their industry knowledge to advance their career goals. Learners can also gain valuable knowledge from internships, externships, and applied research projects. Throughout the program, students can get guidance from their academic advisor and career counselor.

To lower degree expenses, qualified applicants can pursue funding opportunities, like scholarships and fellowships, from internal and external sources. A total of 77% of enrollees at the college receive financial aid from the leader in distance learning.

Average Tuition
In-state
$30,756
Out-of-state
$30,756
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
113,514
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education

#4 Most Affordable Online Environmental Science Degrees 2022

University of Maryland Global Campus

  • Adelphi, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online

Students seeking a flexible education to prepare them for the environmental science field should consider the bachelor's in environmental management from the University of Maryland Global Campus. The public college connects 52,298 distance learners with a top online education, offering 31 bachelor's programs remotely.

In the program, students gain the tools needed for a successful career. Enrollees learn about both foundational concepts and advanced topics in environmental management through a variety of classes. Degree-seekers can deepen their industry knowledge with experiential learning opportunities to further their career goals. Applied research projects, externships, and internships impart learners with valuable knowledge. Students can get help from their academic advisor and career counselor throughout the program.

Scholarships, fellowships, and other internal and external funding opportunities let applicants decrease their educational expenses. A benefit of attending a leader in remote education, degree-seekers get connected to funding opportunities to support their academic journey, with 46% of them receiving aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,200
Out-of-state
$11,976
Retention Rate
52%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
58,281
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
90% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

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