Where Can I Find Free Environmental Science Courses Online?

Environmental science courses teach principles of biology, Earth sciences and environmental protection techniques. Free classes on the Web are a great way to learn more about the field on your own schedule. This article explores where you can find free environmental science courses online. Schools offering Environmental Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Some major universities provide partial or full courses in environmental science that can be accessed through OpenCourseWare (OCW). Courses can include lecture notes, slideshows, videos, reading lists, laboratory experiments and assessments. You can find courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Some schools allow you to share courses through social media.


Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health offers free online access to many of its popular classes. The courses are primarily focused on public health, but many topics intersect with the environmental sciences. You can find the following free online courses in environmental science with the Johns Hopkins OpenCourseWare project:

  • Tropical environmental health
  • Statistical methods of air pollution risk estimation
  • Principles of industrial hygiene
  • Environmental health
  • Food production, public health & the environment

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers free online courses through its OpenCourseWare project. Undergraduate and graduate coursework is adapted from on-campus MIT classes. The materials vary with each class, but they may include reading lists, lecture videos and other materials. MIT offers over 100 free online courses in environmental science, broken down into categories like biological organisms, energy, material goods and waste, water, soil and air. Courses cover a very broad range of topics, including:

  • Economic and environmental issues in materials selection
  • Atmosphere, ocean and climate dynamics
  • Energy, environment and society
  • Environmental earth science
  • Global warming science

Utah State University

Utah State also offers free online courses through its OpenCourseWare and Extension projects. Courses are based on classes offered at the main campus and through the Extension program, and they may include syllabi, suggested readings and videos. A variety of courses related to environmental science are offered, such as:

  • General ecology
  • Soil-based hazardous waste management (environmental engineering)
  • Avalanche & snow dynamics
  • Wildland fire management & planning

Tufts University

The OpenCourseWare project at Tufts draws primarily from its health sciences department. Copyright concerns limit some of the downloadable course materials, but the school offers detailed bibliographic information so that students can seek out additional materials on their own. Free online courses at Tufts in the environmental sciences include:

  • Agricultural science & policy I & II
  • Biology of water & health
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) for urban & environmental analysis
  • Tropical ecology & conservation
  • Environmental Literacy Institute Workshop

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:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools