Are you interested in solving global warming, deforestation, or overpopulation problems? Get your degree in environmental science and you can make a difference in the culture, economy, or public policy.
Environmental science has a significant impact on society. It provides best practices for conserving our natural resource, ecosystems, environment, and helps us to conserve them. Environmental science provides more insight into climate change and air pollution as well as waste management.
To explore your options, consider the following career list:
- Industrial ecologist
- Climate change analyst
- Engineer for the environment
- Environmental scientist
What is environmental science?
The study of living and nonliving organisms is called environmental science. It combines basic and applied sciences to solve complex environmental problems.
You will engage in scientific research throughout your program and apply key principles and theories to biology, chemistry and physics. These subdisciplines will be used in conjunction with education, communication, and social sciences.
After gaining field experience and technical skills, you will be ready to pursue a degree in environmental science.
What can you expect from an environmental science degree program
You will learn essential technical, practical, as well as theoretical skills as an environmental investigator.
- Do fieldwork and research on soil, sediments, groundwater.
- Develop policies and procedures to prevent and manage environmental issues
- Provide guidance to government agencies, private companies, and the public on how to reduce environmental and health risk.
- Data management and processing
- Software skills for applied and basic sciences
- Collaboration and dissemination through communication
- Scientific method
- Scientific theory
- Scientific laws
Examples of courses in environmental science
Students study the relationships between people and the environment, as well as fundamental societal and political, ethical, as well as economic considerations. Additional studies include the importance of science, technology, policy.
Earth and its environment
Students research global change and environmental factors, including the impact on volcanoes, earthquakes and other physical processes that shape Earth.
Ecology of managed systems
Students will learn how to identify the ecology of ecosystems in managed forests, rangelands, nature reserve, and other related plant communities.
Conservation of soils and management of land-use
Students are able to gain a historical perspective on soil erosion from both a global and regional perspective. Learners use scientific reasoning for evaluation, identify processes and predict methods, and explore socioeconomic variables and policies related to social erosion.
What is the difficulty of a degree in environmental science?
You will be expected to excel in research, mentor students and professors, and provide high-quality instruction.
Program faculty evaluate students’ analytical communication and theoretical understanding of environmental science and practical application of science-based computer programs to research and data collection.
You can still earn your degree even with a rigorous curriculum. Your ability to think critically and use investigative skills is key to your success in your program.
What types of degrees in environmental science are available?
Consider the benefits of each degree, including program length, coursework, and job prospects. Explore the many degrees in environmental science that will help you move up in your career.
Associate degree in environmental science
Students who are interested in environmental science associate degrees usually complete it in two years. Program coursework includes general Chemistry, college algebra, and Earth’s Environment. It also includes other general education and program-specific requirements.
- Survey of physics
- Environment science
- Introduction to environmental studies
An associate degree in environmental science prepares students to work as fish and wildlife wardens or soil and water conservationists. Students can also continue their education and earn a bachelor’s degree for career advancement.
Bachelor’s degree is in environmental science
The typical time it takes to complete a bachelor’s degree in environmental science is four years. Prospective students will combine coursework in biology and chemistry with additional natural and/or physic sciences.
Students can choose to specialize in conservation and natural resources or data analytics in science, and take part in real-world lab experiences.
- The basics of chemistry
- Ecological principles, field methods
- Methods of environmental science research
A bachelor’s degree in environmental science can lead to many career options, such as marine biologist or wildlife biologist.
Graduate certificate in environmental science
Graduate certificates in environmental health, energy policy, and modeling and analysis are available to working professionals as well as new graduates.
Students can choose to take courses in energy and the environment, environmental law and regulations, and environmental policy analysis and policy. Each college and university will have different requirements for certificates and lengths of programs. Many programs can all be completed within one year.
- Spatial modeling
- Integrating environmental issues
- Multimedia chemical risk assessment
Graduate certificate holders can work as public policy analysts or environmental planners. You may also be able to work as a conservation scientist, an hydrologist, or an environmental engineer.
Master’s Degree in Environmental Science
Special topics in environmental science, advanced topics of geographic information, and sampling, analysis, and analysis in environmental sciences may be included in courses.
Students can choose to specialize in geospatial science, plant sciences, natural resources, ecology, water resources, or climate change. It usually takes two years to complete master’s programs.
- Environmental chemistry
- Watershed management applied
- Remote sensing of the environment
Graduates may be interested in a position as a microbiologist, water quality scientist, or any number of other jobs in environmental science.
Doctoral degree for environmental science
Students must submit a publicationable research project to a respected peer-reviewed journal for degree completion. They also have to pass a candidacy test and defend their dissertation. Students are evaluated on academic achievements and research interest.
Many programs require students who can facilitate student seminars, manage teaching laboratories, and act as primary instructors. Students can choose to concentrate in ecology and conservation biology or geosciences, human ecology, toxicology or science education research.
The typical length of the program is three to six years. Students can apply for a job as a professor or biochemist once they have graduated.
- Principles of evolution
- Global environmental change
- General toxicology
Accreditation of environmental science programs
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology offers accreditation to environmental science programs. The Council of Engineering and Scientific Specialty Boards and the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council offer accreditation.
Before applying, find out about your program’s accreditation status. Accreditation means that a college/university has demonstrated a rigorous curriculum and met industry standards. It also signifies that the university excels at preparing graduates for technological developments and health and safety.
All degrees in environmental science are focused on protecting the environment. You can save endangered species and protect the Amazon Rainforest by promoting environmental cleanup.
If you’re interested in a career that involves outdoor activities and travel around the world, join your environmental science colleagues.