Associate Degree in Environmental Studies

An associate's degree in environmental studies program will introduce you to topics related to the environment, and prepare you for further education or an entry-level job. In addition to classroom lectures, field trips and labs, you can conduct research, land surveys and hikes in a variety of wildlife settings. Continue reading for more information about the course structure, online options, and potential careers. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Will I Study in an Environmental Studies Associate's Degree Program?

The Associate of Science in Environmental Studies is often geared toward transferring credits to a bachelor's degree program. An Associate of Art program may be available, but is less prevalent due to the scientific nature of the studies. Hands-on training opportunities - whether in labs, expeditions or internships - allow you to put the knowledge you've learned in class into a real-world setting. You will learn to use important technologies and techniques, such as tracking animals, surveying lands and measuring deep waters.

This degree's focus is to help you understand the relationship between humans and the environment. This program provides the tools you need to scientifically measure the environment and plan for conservation and protection. You focus most of your studies on sciences; however, you will also study environmental policies and laws, culture, health and organizational management. Following are some examples of topics you may see in your program:

  • Proposal planning
  • Natural resource management
  • Geology
  • Ecosystem management
  • Forestry
  • Soil conservation
  • Environmental disasters
  • Botany
  • Fisheries
  • Urban studies

Potential CourseworkCore sciences, introduction to environmental topics and technologies, and extensive hands-on training
Online OptionsSeveral colleges offer flexible online programs
Options for GraduatesTransfer to 4-year program, or work as a ranger, health scientist, activist, or environmental manager
Median Salary (2018)$46,170 (Environmental Science and Protection Technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)12% growth (Environmental Science and Protection Technicians)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Can I Study Online?

There are some colleges that offer online associate's degree programs. The flexibility of online study allows you to choose when you want to enroll. Many online colleges have numerous enrollment dates. These colleges offer online libraries and resource centers for you to obtain some materials. Classes are conducted online with online lectures, assignments and discussion threads. Testing is available either online or in a proctored setting.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

With a 2-year environmental studies degree, you can consider and entry-level position with a private company, community organization, government agency or not-for-profit association. You can consider careers as a ranger, a biology consultant, health scientist, environmental manager, habitat restorer or animal activist. Several of these may require continued studies at the bachelor's or master's degree level.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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