Online Bachelor's Programs in Environmental Sciences

Read about online bachelor's degree programs in environmental sciences, which are typically offered in a hybrid format that combines online lecture classes with on-site lab classes. Find out how these programs work, explore some of the course topics you would study, and get career information for graduates with a bachelor's degree in environmental sciences. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn My Bachelor's in Environmental Sciences Degree Online?

While it is possible to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental sciences online, these types of programs are extremely rare. Both online and on-campus programs usually require the completion of lab-based science courses. These are classes that must be completed in-person, whether you mainly study online or on campus.

In fact, the online programs that do exist are better known as hybrid programs. Most didactic classes are offered completely online using the Web, DVDs and streaming media. However, you'll complete your lab classes in-person at a local community college. You'll work with your program to find an acceptable school, and then transfer the credits to your online program.

Online Bachelor's Degree in Environmental SciencesHybrid programs are more common than fully online programs
Common CoursesConservation, sustainability, biology, chemistry, physics
Career OptionsBiologist, geologist, climatologist, researcher, teacher

What Topics Will I Study?

Environmental science degree programs tend to be interdisciplinary, meaning you'll study a broad array of topics. You will take classes in physics, geology, biology and chemistry to help you understand naturally occurring changes in the environment. Additionally, because humans have direct and indirect impacts on environmental changes, you will also study how economics, political policy and cultural norms can affect the environment.

Because of the field's broad nature, you will likely focus your studies on a particular area of environmental sciences. You might specialize in conservation or sustainability, examining how humans can make better use of the resources they have. You could focus on ecosystems, determining how and why certain species and habitats are becoming endangered or extinct. You might concentrate on the atmosphere or climatology, tracking seasonal changes in carbon dioxide emissions.

What Kinds of Careers Can I Pursue?

Because of growing interest in environmental change and preservation of natural resources, you can pursue careers in a wide array of areas. You could become a marine biologist, geologist or climatologist. You might work for a meteorological service, the Environmental Protection Agency or the U.S. Forest Service. Some graduates pursue additional education at the master's and doctoral degree levels, becoming researchers and teachers. Others pursue law degrees and work in environmental policy development or environmental law.

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

As an environmental scientist and specialist, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported in May 2018 that the median annual salary for the job is $71,130, while for an environmental science and protection technician, it was $46,170. The BLS projected employment growth of 11% for environmental scientists and specialists and 12% for environmental science and protection technicians from 2016 to 2026.

As for environmental science teachers, postsecondary, the BLS reports that the mean wage as of May 2018 was $91,330.

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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