Masters in Environmental Science: Degree Program Overviews

Learn about the curriculum and requirements of a master's degree program in environmental science. Find out about possible career choices, including advanced research work.

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Essential Information

Environmental science is the study of the environmental systems at play in forests, mountains, oceans, rangelands and other natural spaces, as well as in areas of human habitation. Those interested in analyzing these systems for the purpose of conservation are well suited for master's degree programs in environmental science.

A master's degree program in environmental science typically lasts two years and is designed to provide students with the research capabilities, assessment skills, and practical knowledge necessary to become environmental scientists. Program graduates are expected to understand various environmental habitats and know how to minimize harmful elements, predict environmental change and manage natural resources.

Most master's degree programs in environmental science combine class lectures on environmental research with hands-on experiments. For this reason, most universities offering graduate programs in environmental science are located close to natural habitats such as forests and national parks. Graduate students are also expected to complete thesis projects that help further research in particular areas of environmental science, such as soil chemistry, water chemistry or nutrient management.

Education Prerequisites

Graduate programs in environmental science require that incoming students hold bachelor's degrees in science-related fields. Applicants will also need to submit GRE scores and comply with any other admission requirements enforced by the particular school or program.

Program Coursework

Because many master's degree programs in environmental science request that students study along a particular track or subject within the field, graduate courses can vary. However, some common, core courses in an environmental science graduate degree program include the following:

  • Advanced earth systems
  • Methods and numerical skills
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Hydric soils
  • Land resource management
  • Health data analysis
  • Public policy analysis
  • Forest conservation
  • Science and politics

Popular Career Options

Graduates of a master's degree program in environmental science are well suited to earn advanced positions in research and management in areas of scientific study and natural resource management, respectively. Some popular careers include the following:

  • Geoscientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Climate control scientist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Epidemiologist
  • Atmospheric scientist
  • Physicist
  • Science technician
  • Land surveyor
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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences
        • Environmental Studies
      • Natural Resources Management
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at The University of Texas include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Diploma
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Texas include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Florida Atlantic University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences
      • Physical and Environmental Science
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Southern Illinois University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at CUNY College of Staten Island include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences
      • Physics
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Florida Gulf Coast University include:
      • Graduate: Master
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Physical Sciences
      • Chemistry Sciences
      • Natural Resources Conservation
        • Environmental Sciences

Popular Schools

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