BS in Environmental Science: The Definitive Guide & Top Schools

Are you truly passionate about the environment?

If this is the case, and you’d like to make a difference in a rewarding career field, it’s a good idea to pursue a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science.

This field combines the areas of geology, biology, physics, and chemistry in order to study the environment and solve problems related to environmental challenges.

What Will I Learn in an Environmental Science Bachelor’s Program?

When you study Environmental Science at a college for a Bachelor’s degree, you will learn about the interactions between living organisms and the environment in which they live.

This includes natural and human-designed factors.

The field is an interdisciplinary one that encompasses conservation biology, ecology, atmospheric science, and environmental policy, among other things.

People who work in this field strive to understand how various factors affect the environment and also work to come up with solutions to issues like pollution and deforestation.

An Environmental Science Bachelor’s program entails some basic study as well as deeper education on concepts and principles in this field.

You’ll have to take courses in chemistry, geology, physics, and policy that may include the following specific courses:

  • Climate Change
  • Meteorology
  • Sustainability
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Civic Ecology
  • Energy Conservation
  • Renewable Energy
  • Environmental Engineering and Design
  • Soil Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Environmental Toxicology

This is only the start of the types of courses you’d take as part of an Environmental Science degree.

It’s important to note that in almost every college you’ll be required to take courses outside of your major as part of an undergraduate Bachelor’s program.

Some of these may be English, history, Freshman seminar, and an art class.

Be sure to talk to your advisor to get the details of what you’ll be expected to take and how this will look over your time at the school before you begin.

You also can (and should) meet with them to discuss how to organize your schedule of courses in between semesters.

How to Choose a Good Program in Environmental Science

Classroom instruction is a big part of any degree program.

However, there are other types of work that you’ll have to do to complete your degree requirements.

This includes research projects, fieldwork, and internships.

You’ll be able to learn in a classroom setting and then apply this knowledge in various real-world settings.

As you get further into your studies, you’ll find out where your interests lie and narrow down what field you’re interested in.

A quality Environmental Science program will have instructors and advisors who will ask you the tough questions and challenge you to determine what track best suits you so that you’ll be prepared for the career you want.

It’s important that you find an institution that is accredited.

This is especially the case if you’re entering into an online program because it can be more difficult to figure out how legitimate the school is right away.

Accreditation means that the school meets the educational standards that are recognized by educational institutions that are similar.

How Long Does it Take to Earn a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science?

For the most part, a program to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science is going to take four years if you’re attending on a full-time basis.

If you are only taking classes on a part-time basis, you’re definitely going to be attending for a longer period of time.

This can be five to six years or it possibly can take you longer to complete the requirements.

Some programs will allow you to do a part-time semester if you’ve already been on a full-time track or to come back to the program after you take some time off.

You’ll need to weigh your options and determine how much time you’ll have to go to classes and commit to your studies when you’re deciding whether to attend on a part-time or full-time basis.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science?

There is no simple answer as to how much it will cost for your Environmental Science Bachelor’s degree program.

Some of the factors that affect the cost include if you’re attending online or in the classroom, if you live on campus or if you reside in the same state as the school, and what the particular college charges per credit hour.

The general range for what it would cost to receive your Bachelor’s in Environmental Science in the United States is $10,000 to $60,000 per year.

This means that you may end up paying at least $40,000 to $240,000+ for a four-year program.

When you first see the amount it costs to get a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, it can be overwhelming.

The thing to remember is that there are opportunities for merit scholarships, work-study stipends, and other awards that can take some of the burdens off of you.

Even if you don’t receive any of these, there’s a chance you can get most or all of the costs covered by financial aid that you’ll begin to pay back a while after you are done with college.

What Can I Do with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science?

There are a variety of career areas and fields you can enter when you have a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science.

Here are just a few of these careers:

  • Environmental Educator – Someone who works as this type of educator develops and implements programs that help to raise awareness when it comes to environmental issues. They’ll also discuss conservation efforts in key areas.
  • Water Conservationist – In this career, you’ll identify any threats, conserve water, and mitigate water supply as well as identify what you expect to become environmental health issues. You might work for the US Forest Service or the Army Corps of Engineers.
  • Energy Manager – This professional evaluates energy use and works to design and manage energy efficiency projects. They also might plan energy initiatives in order to conduct optimal energy conservation.
  • Policy Analyst – A professional who works as a policy analyst conducts research and analytical services while looking at policy briefs that are related to the environment.
  • Conservation Scientist – Someone who works as a conservation scientist manages and protects natural resources like wetlands or forests. They might work on plans that help to protect wildlife habitats and lessen the impacts of natural disasters.
  • Environmental Planner – This individual would work on sustainability and environmental regulation efforts that would help minimize the environmental effects of regional and urban development.
  • Sustainability Coordinator –  A sustainability coordinator puts together and implements strategies that make it possible to work toward sustainability. They also use these methods to help organizations reduce their environmental impacts.

Should I Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science?

It’s a great idea to explore how getting a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science can improve your life.

If you would like a career in environmental conservation, education, or management, this is definitely the right path for you to take.

It can prepare you for different careers, though it is crucial that you narrow down your field(s) of choice before you get too far into taking courses at the college.

The environmental industry in the United States generates over $265 billion.

There are more than 125,000 new positions available in the fields under this category every year in the country.

This means that there’s great potential for finding work after you complete your requirements and get your Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science.

Environmental Science is not a field where you’ll merely be sitting around discussing abstract ideas or breaking down theories.

Sure, there is some of this involved, but there are many real-world applications when it comes to putting your degree into practice.

In your courses, you’ll definitely talk about the issues that matter today, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and how companies are having an impact on the environment.

It is a field that deals directly with public health, and it provides you with an opportunity to do research, create policies, and promote sustainable practices in an effort to improve our planet.

If you want to study the environment, talk about the big issues, and make a real difference in the world, Environmental Science may just be the right choice for your Bachelor’s program.

It’s worth taking the time to find out more about this engaging and fascinating scientific field to see if you could imagine spending many years working towards goals and advancing in one of these careers.