Best 20 Online Environmental Science Degree Programs in 2021 - Best Value Schools

Best 20 Online Environmental Science Degree Programs in 2021

Staff Writers by: Staff Writers

Interested in an online environmental science degree? The job outlook for those who have earned this degree has never looked better, since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that there would be an eight percent growth in this job market from the years 2019 to 2029. On top of that, the median salary is more than $70,000. 

The environment could use more “green” employees who work diligently to make the planet a safer, healthier place. Below are our top colleges that offer an online environmental science degree. 

Best Colleges with an Online Environmental Science Degree

With the hundreds of colleges throughout the United States, finding one that works for you can be a daunting task. We are here to help by providing a list of our top 20 college choices that offer this degree. 

1. University of Florida (37 Points)

At the University of Florida, you can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management. This degree will allow you to become an Environmental Scientist, Natural Resource Manager, Conservation Scientist, and much more. This degree can be completed entirely online, allowing students to work at their own pace. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $6,381
  • Graduation rate: 88%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 17 to 1

2. University of South Florida (33 Points)

If you are looking to further your education with an online Master of Science in Environmental Environmental Science and Policy degree, the University of South Florida may be the institution you were looking for. Students will be able to specialize in climate and hazards, wetlands and water, geographic information systems, natural environments, or human-environment interactions. This program is a total of 36 credit hours and has both a non-thesis and thesis option. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $6,410
  • Graduation rate: 75%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 23 to 1

3. Fort Hays State University (29 Points)

Fort Hays State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Geosciences or Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geosciences. This degree is especially useful for those who want careers in education, government, or other industries that require the study of natural resources, landscapes, or paleontology. In order to choose this program, there are a number of general and elective courses that must be completed first. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $5,280
  • Graduation rate: 43%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

4. SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (28 Points)

Earning a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Management from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry will provide students with the knowledge and coursework needed for a career in environmental, societal, and economical industries. The program can be completed by full-time students in two years and will give students the opportunity to take upper-division courses, such as Climate Change and Sustainability, Ecological Dimensions of Sustainability, and Introduction to Sustainability Data Analysis. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $9,130
  • Graduation rate: 76%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 14 to 1

5. Montana State University (27 Points)

The online Master’s Program in Environmental Sciences at Montana State University provides a customized curriculum based on the educational needs of each unique student. The program takes between two and six years to complete and is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The coursework will be centered around a wide range of environmental topics, including watershed hydrology, soil nutrient management, integrated management of invasive plant species, and much more. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,325
  • Graduation rate: 57%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

6. American Public University System (25 Points)

American Public University System offers an online Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science that is designed to be completed in eight weeks. The degree requires at least 120 credit hours to graduate and provides an education that combines natural and social sciences. Students will get the opportunity to get hands-on experience working with organizations, such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, and The Natural Conservancy. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,324
  • Graduation rate: 40%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 21 to 1

7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (24 Points)

The College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a 32-credit Graduate degree program in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. This is a flexible online program that allows students to learn about wildlife conservation, soil science, forest ecology, and more. Faculty and advisors are available to assist each student in creating a schedule that fits their time and educational needs. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $15,122
  • Graduation rate: 85%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 20 to 1

8. Columbia Southern University (23 Points)

The Orange Beach, Alabama-based institution of Columbia Southern University does not only cater to their on-campus students, but also to those who are unable to attend classes onsite. An online Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management can be obtained after completing 120 credits with a cost of $235 per credit. You will learn how to safely manage environmental issues and concerns through team-based approaches by applying theory and technology, as well as investigating mitigation and remediation strategies. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $5,655
  • Graduation rate: 22%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 41 to 1

9. Oregon State University (22 Points)

Ranked highly for have the Best Online Programs by U.S. News, Oregon State University has a large variety of distant learning programs to choose from, including a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences. The faculty at this institution are known worldwide for their research, expertise, and innovation, giving students a top education that will allow graduates to be successful upon the completion of this program. This program is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and requires at least 180 credits to earn this degree. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $11,715
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

10. University of Wisconsin – Green Bay (21 Points)

If identifying and analyzing a slew of environmental issues piques your interest, then a Graduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay may be the program you are looking for. Every student will have the option to specialize in one of four areas and will have the chance to solve real-world issues and problems that could change the environment for the better. If you are searching for a Bachelor’s degree, but would also like to complete a Master’s, an Accelerated Bachelor and Master program is available to quickly complete both degrees in less time than earning each degree separately. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,873
  • Graduation rate: 53%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 22 to 1

11. Johns Hopkins University (20 Points)

An online Master of Science in Environmental Engineering and Science is possible at Johns Hopkins University. The program combines the fundamental concepts of geology, chemistry, physics, and biology to teach students how to solve complicated environmental problems. It can be completed by part-time students in approximately five years. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $55,350
  • Graduation rate: 93%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 6 to 1

12. University of Arizona (19 Points)

Hone in your critical thinking, communication, science, and leadership skills with an online Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. The University of Arizona provides this degree to students who want to learn the art of managing environmental systems, advising policymakers, and compliance with environmental law once they graduate. This education will allow you to make a difference in the environment and world. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $12,691
  • Graduation rate: 65%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15 to 1

13. Delta State University (18 Points)

Delta State University created a unique online degree that is unlike the other environmental science programs available at the previous institutions. This college has a Master of Applied Science in Geospatial Information Technologies includes coursework in applied remote sensing, digital photogrammetry, image analysis, and more. A minimum of 30 credits are required to graduate and the GPA must be at or above a 3.0. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,671
  • Graduation rate: 39%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1

14. Bellevue University (17 Points)

Located in Bellevue, Nebraska, Bellevue University offers a Bachelor of Science in Sustainability Management that was ranked as one of the Top 10 Online Sustainability Degrees by Best College Reviews. The program is designed to be completed at whatever pace fits the students’ lifestyles, such as taking one course at a time. Those students who work or have other scheduling conflicts will appreciate the flexibility of this degree option. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,851
  • Graduation rate: 24%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 27 to 1

15. University of Maryland Global Campus (16 Points)

The online Environmental Management Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland Global Campus is an award-winning, hands-on program that will teach students how to tackle environmental issues, including global warming, water scarcity, air quality, and the security of the nation and its citizens. The degree requires 120 credits and is also available in a hybrid format. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $7,560
  • Graduation rate: 15%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 19 to 1

16. Stevenson University (15 Points)

Stevenson University is a small institution located in Stevenson, Maryland. One of the undergraduate programs offered is a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, which will educate students on how to solve environmental problems that involve organisms and human society, landforms, ecosystems, and the atmosphere. This program can help students gain employment as an ecologist, air quality engineer, natural resources manager, and more. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $37,142
  • Graduation rate: 60%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 15 to 1

17. Everglades University (14 Points)

Beginning in the year 1998, Everglades University provides online and on-campus educational programs to adults who have jobs and are unable to attend classes on a traditional campus. A Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Policy and Management is an ideal degree for those who are interested in environmental or government careers. Students are expected to complete 123 credit hours and can be completed in less than 41 months. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $18,320
  • Graduation rate: 52%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 18 to 1

18. Wilmington University (11 Points)

Do you have dreams of becoming a policy analyst, environmental scientist, park ranger, or educator? Then a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Wilmington University may be the education you need. This 120-credit program will teach students how to use critical thinking and hypothesis testing in order to be ready for a career right after graduation. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $11,480
  • Graduation rate: 21%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 12 to 1

19. Arizona State University (10 Points)

A Bachelor of Science in Sustainability can be obtained entirely online from Arizona State University. This program has three tracks for students to choose from: Economics of Sustainability, Social Systems, and Problem-Solving Framework. Students will have the opportunity to solve sustainability-related problems that impact both the nation and the world. Some of the careers that will be available upon completion of this program include a climate change analyst, compliance manager, environmental economist, and environmental specialist. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $10,806
  • Graduation rate: 4%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 13 to 1

20. Prescott College (9 Points)

Prescott College offers an online Master of Science in Environmental Studies that requires 36 credits to graduate and has three areas of study available: environmental communication, conservation biology, or a self-designed focus. While the degree is online, mentor study opportunities are available. 

  • Annual in-state tuition: $32,553
  • Graduation rate: 33%
  • Student-to-faculty ratio: 9 to 1

How the Colleges were Ranked

A formula was used to rank the colleges based on a point system that includes the tuition and graduation rates. We began by research colleges throughout the United States and discovering what their annual in-state tuition and graduation rates were. From there, points were awarded to each institution, giving more to those that had lower tuition costs and higher graduation rates. This formula helped us determined which school should be first and which one should be 20th. 

If you would like to have your college listed, let us know! Also, if your university was on this list but there was a problem with the information given, contact us and we would be happy to correct it. 

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