Master's Programs in Environmental Science

Master's degree programs in environmental science could prepare you for careers managing natural resources. Get information about program requirements and courses offered. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Types of Master's Degrees Can I Earn in Environmental Science?

If you're considering a master's degree program in environmental science, you have a few options to choose from depending on your interests and career goals. You might choose a degree program that focuses on environmental systems and management with specialized concentrations, including ecology, water resources and environmental education. Alternatively, you may pursue a dual degree that combines environmental science with other fields, such as environmental policy, public affairs or engineering. Combined bachelor's and master's degree programs are also offered.

Specializations Environmental education, water resources, ecology
Prerequisites Bachelor's degree is required; some institutions may require the degree to be in a related field with some prerequisite coursework already completed
Common Courses Climate change, organizational development, statistics, soil and water chemistry, natural resource management
Online Availability Fully-online programs are available, but some may require some campus visits

Will I Need to Fulfill Any Prerequisites?

Prerequisites for graduate programs in environmental science vary between schools and programs. While all master's degree programs insist that you have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school, some require your degree to be in a related major, such as biology, ecology, microbiology or agronomy. Other programs only require undergraduate coursework in statistics and chemistry. If you don't meet these requirements, most schools will allow you to take additional courses at the start of your program.

What Will I Learn?

Master's degree programs in environmental science are typically designed to prepare graduates for careers as scientists and researchers who attempt to solve environmental problems on a local or international scale. Your courses may cover environmental controversies, research methods, climate change and the relationship between humans and the environment. Dual degree programs include interdisciplinary topics, such as policy development and analysis, organizational behavior and nonprofit management. Graduate programs are offered with both thesis and non-thesis options. Some of the courses you can expect to find include:

  • Wetlands and water quality
  • Soil and water chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Natural resource management

Can I Find Programs Online?

You can complete master's degree programs in environmental science online, although they may offer fewer electives than campus-based programs. However, some online programs offer specializations, such as sustainable development and policy, sustainable natural resources and water conflict management. Formats for online programs vary between schools, but programs generally offer thesis and non-thesis tracks. Some online programs require thesis students to visit campus to defend their research.

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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