Environmental Science Associate Degree Programs

The broad field of environmental science examines how different ecosystems work and how we can better protect our environment. Check out what you'd learn in an associate degree program in this field, and review online learning options. Get more info on careers for those with 2-year degrees in environmental science. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Earn an Associate's Degree in Environmental Science?

If you're interested in learning more about our environment and ways to protect it, you can find associate's degree programs in environmental science from various community colleges across the country. Programs typically take two years of full-time study to complete. Admission into an associate's degree program generally only requires a high school diploma or equivalent.

Degree Requirements High school diploma or equivalent for admission; two year program to complete
Common Courses Biology, resource management, biodiversity, ecology, environmental ethics
Online Availability Some programs fully online; individual courses available
Potential Careers Academic research, industrial research, environmental technician
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)

What Will I Learn?

Associate's degree programs in environmental science examine such topics as the different structures and functions of ecosystems, biological communities and habitats, environmental problems and the economic and ecological impact of using natural resources. In addition to coursework, some programs will also have internship requirements you'll need to meet to fill graduation requirements. Some of the courses you can expect to take include the following:

  • Biology
  • Resource management
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecology
  • Environmental ethics

Are Programs Available Online?

While online programs aren't prevalent in this field, you may find them offered entirely through distance education from a few schools. You may also find individual courses in environmental science online that address the earth's biological systems, the use of our environment and current environmental issues.

Specific requirements for distance learning students vary between schools. However, most require students to meet technical specifications, such as having an updated operating system and Web browser. In some cases, additional software, such as Microsoft Office, is also required to complete coursework. Some online associate's degree programs in environmental science require students to complete an in-person internship.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

With an associate's degree in environmental science, you may have a few different career options in both the public and private sectors. A couple of options include working in industrial or academic research or environmental regulation enforcement. You may also pursue a career as an environmental technician who performs testing in the field or in the laboratory who works to find and eliminate environmental contaminants and pollution. Associate's degrees in this field are also commonly used as part of a pathway to a bachelor's degree in environmental science or a related field.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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