Why This Matters

  • PREPARE FOR A CAREER IN 1 OF 6 INDUSTRIES

    Training in environmental management can lead to jobs in a variety of different fields, including environmental health and safety; manufacturing; government; construction, and more.

  • 7000 NEW ENVIRONMENTAL SPECIALISTS NEEDED

    As companies and governments continue to address issues affecting the environment, the demand for environmental scientists and specialists is expected to grow 8% by 2028.

  • EARN $24,960 MORE PER YEAR WITH A MASTER’S

    Environmental specialists with a master’s degree earn an average annual salary of $71,130. By comparison, environmental science and protection technicians, an associate’s-level field, earn $46,170 per year.

Our Research

For this list, we focused on programs that offer master’s degrees in environmental management or related fields. A Master of Science (MS) is the most common type of advanced degree in this subject.

We specifically looked at programs that deliver all or most of their coursework through distance learning. Some programs may give students the option to complete their degree through a combination of on-campus and online classes.

As a measure of quality, we only included programs offered by regionally accredited institutions, ensuring that they meet the highest standards of quality for postsecondary education. Some programs are also accredited by the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

We evaluated the programs based on their outcomes, cost, reputation, faculty, and flexibility, and calculated an Intelligent Score of 0 to 100 for each program. Our top picks for the best online master’s in environmental management are flexible, cost-effective, and well-regarded. (For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 59 hours to write this article
  • 132 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 445 education programs we compared

The Top 25 Online Master’s in Environmental Management Programs

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What You Should Know About This Degree

Environmental management combines principles of ecology and environmental sciences, business, and leadership to address issues related to environmental safety, conservation, and sustainability. Individuals pursuing a career in environmental management have a range of career options to choose from, including research, environmental law and policy, resource management, renewable and alternative energy, and more. Prior to enrolling in a program, consider what your career goals are, so you can select the program that most closely aligns with your interests.

A bachelor’s degree will qualify you for most entry-level environmental management jobs, although a master’s degree may help you advance your career. Practical experience is also valued in this field, and it may be possible to obtain promotions through on-the-job training and experience. If you are currently working in environmental management, consider the different paths you can take to achieve your career goals, to help you determine if committing time and money to a master’s degree is necessary.

Although many programs deliver their coursework fully online, they may also have in-person requirements for internships or labs where students are able to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world settings. Review the plans of study for your programs of interest carefully, to confirm if you will be required to attend any on-site experiences. This will help you arrange your schedule and budget to accommodate these components.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Environmental Management programs:

  • What are the prerequisites for this program? Although some programs accept students from all educational and professional backgrounds, some environmental management programs seek students who have an undergraduate degree or previous work experience in environmental sciences or a related field. When researching programs, be sure to review their eligibility requirements, to confirm that you meet the basic qualifications for admission.
  • Does this program have the specialization that I want? As environmental science is a very broad field, many programs give students the option to specialize through focused tracks or electives. Common areas of specialization include sustainability management and policy, water management, environmental education, and more. Review the specialization options a program offers to ensure you select one that aligns with your interests.

At this time, you can also gather your application materials, and confirm application deadlines. Financing your graduate education is another consideration. Find out if the program offers any assistantships, scholarships or grants. You can also look into federal financial aid, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer, if you are currently working.