What's the Curriculum of an Online Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science?

Students interested in a career in environmental policy and regulation may earn a bachelor's degree in environmental science. Pursuing this degree online allows busy students to work at their own pace. Keep reading to learn about the curriculum of an online bachelor's degree program in environmental science. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Curriculum of an Online Bachelor's Degree Program in Environmental Science

Obtaining an online bachelor's degree in environmental science allows prospective students to earn an education at their own pace outside of the workplace, focusing on ways to protect the environment and improve human health. Online classes not only foster collaborative thinking, but also independent thought and initiative. Listed below are examples of the topics that will be discussed within an online environmental science bachelor's degree program.

Important Facts About Courses in a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science

Learning Environment Traditional classroom and online options available
Continuing Education Master's and doctoral degrees available
Possible Careers Environmental Scientist, Geospatial Analyst, Hazardous Substance Scientist, Field Technician, Laboratory Scientist,
Key Skills Critical thinking, analytical ability, problem-solving, independent thinking, effective oral and written communication skills
Median Salary (2018)$71,130 (Environmental Scientists and Specialists)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)11% (Environmental Scientists and Specialists)

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

Example Online Environmental Science Curriculum at Oregon State University

Oregon State University (OSU) offers a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Sciences. The program can be completed online through OSU's Extended Campus (Ecampus), with some exceptions. Physics courses must be completed on the Web through Eastern Oregon University or Chemeketa Community College; also, students must take a year of biology courses on-campus at a local institution. The program takes an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating the physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. Studies focus on contemporary environmental issues, such as greenhouse gases, pollution, ozone layer reduction, nuclear waste and acid rain. Students may specialize in one of the following subjects:

  • Fisheries and wildlife
  • Environmental conservation and sustainability
  • Environmental policy
  • Applied ecology and resource management
  • Business policy

Undergraduate Coursework in an Online Environmental Science Program

In addition to standard classes, students complete an observational experience. This requirement can be fulfilled through an internship, hands-on job experience or academic research for government or private organizations. Mapping or lab research may fulfill the observational requirement. Core coursework in an undergraduate environmental science program includes:

  • Introductory Environmental Economics and Policy: This course examines the degradation of the environment by social and economic forces.
  • Environmental Case Studies: Students in this course learn to research and analyze questions in environmental science using case studies.
  • Environmental Chemistry: Students who take this course study where environmental chemicals come from and how they affect air, soil and water quality.
  • Ecology: The interaction between organisms and their environments is explored in this biology course.
  • U.S. Environment and Natural Resources Law: A discourse between historical development and current policies and regulations is established in this course on the development of American environmental laws.

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