Why This Matters


    The median salary for environmental scientists is $31,540 more than the median salary for all occupations.


    The job outlook for environmental science graduates is much better than many other U.S. occupations, as businesses seek advice on how to minimize their environmental impact. Specialists are also needed to help protect natural resources as new buildings are constructed.


    As wildfires continue to increase, more conservation scientists and foresters are needed to prevent and suppress these natural disasters. Over 1,700 jobs will be added to address environmental threats at the state and local levels.

Our Research

As an undergraduate program, the online programs on this list award students either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. These programs cover topics such as sustainability, environmental management, and environmental policy. Coursework is delivered in either online or hybrid learning formats.

Accreditation is given to environmental science programs that adequately prepare graduates for jobs in the global workforce. It’s important to consider accreditation, as some employers look for this information when hiring new talent. The programs on this list have all been accredited either at the regional or national level by institutions such as the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

  • 52 hours to write this article
  • 54 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 58 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates both informational, physical, and biological science. Graduates are prepared for a wide range of career opportunities. As many industries focus on ways to become greener, their expertise is expected to remain in high demand.

While environmental science programs focus on ways to manage natural resources, you may want to consider a degree in environmental studies if you are interested in factors such as sustainability and shaping public policy. Decide whether you want to focus on the science behind environmental challenges or the social impact of environmental issues when choosing which major is right for you.

Graduates should also consider obtaining additional qualifications, such as the Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) certification.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online bachelor’s in environmental science programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Students who’ve obtained a high school diploma are eligible to study at the programs on this list. Each program may have specific requirements such as a minimum GPA in program-related courses like biology, chemistry, or mathematics. You can check with the school’s admissions department to find detailed information on these academic prerequisites.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Four years of full-time study is required to earn a bachelor’s degree. While it’s possible to complete the programs on this list earlier, a minimum of 56 credits and a maximum of 180 credits are needed to graduate. Some programs also have field and lab experience requirements built into their curriculum.

Be sure to research application deadlines as well as financial aid opportunities. Higher education programs can be expensive, but there are many scholarships and grants available at the local, state, and federal levels.