Environmental scientists analyze environmental issues and develop practical solutions. They look to repair and prevent damage caused by climate change, overpopulation, loss of biodiversity and other crises. They're protectors of the planet, champions of clean energy and self-admitted tree huggers.
At Southern New Hampshire University, you can gain the education and experience you need to pursue your passion for the environment with an environmental science degree online. This BS degree program gives you a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences.
Watch the two-minute video to learn more about this online degree, including how you'll get hands-on experience in courses and labs.
Not available for students outside the continental U.S.
The unique interdisciplinary BS in Environmental Studies online program gives you a foundation in essential environmental concepts with courses such as Ecological Principles and Field Methods, Global Climate Change, and Waste: Sources, Reduction and Remediation. Course work includes instructor-led labs with custom lab kits mailed to students in order to provide hands-on learning.
Upon completion of the environmental science degree online, you'll have the knowledge and skill set to:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your bachelor’s in environmental science online at SNHU include:
Our BS in Environmental Science equips you to pursue or advance your career in a wide array of roles from environmental scientist, analyst, protection specialist or research scientist to hazardous substance scientist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees 15 percent growth for environmental scientists and specialists through 2022.
The environmental science degree online program gives you a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences, like biology, chemistry and physics. Course work includes analyzing the implications of climate change, overpopulation and other global issues.
This course analyzes the application of ethical theory to moral questions about the environment. A number of different traditions in environmental ethics will be discussed and their strengths and weaknesses evaluated by applying them to practical moral problems.
Introductory level biology course that includes mammalian cell structure and function, cellular reproduction and physiology, and basic Mendelian genetics. Laboratory exercises (BIO-101L) to follow lecture topics.
BIO 101L is a laboratory course, following topics in BIO 101, General Biology. Students will gain hands-on experience and visual reinforcement of concepts, including acid-base dynamics, enzyme action, osmosis and diffusion, cellular reproduction, and use of microscopes.
This course introduces students to the principles of ecology and practical methods used in the field. Students will explore theoretical topics in the ecological systems including the level of the population, community and ecosystem; energy flow and biogeochemical cycles; and the concept of sustainability. Students will read literature and conduct research projects in the field and will use critical thinking to evaluate research, design studies, present findings and debate on the issues.
This course surveys the major themes of chemistry. Topics include chemical reactions, acids and bases, bonding, phases of matter, nuclear chemistry, and basic organic chemistry.
This course will use laboratory techniques to study the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics such as the mole, chemical equilibria, chemical and physical properties, solutions, kinetics, etc., will all be covered along with other topics important to chemistry.
This course provides an introduction to the scientific aspects of the environmental field. The first part of the course introduces students to the foundations of environmental science, while the second part concentrates on the application of these foundations to real life environmental problems. Therefore, the course not only engages the fundamentals of environmental science but also shows students how science informs sustainability, environmental policies, economics and personal choice.
This course provides students with an understanding of how to evaluate, conduct, write and design research. Required for environmental science majors, it introduces the why, when and how quantitative and qualitative methods are used as investigative tools. The course follows the scientific method and focuses on how to search the literature, write a literature review, formulate research questions/hypotheses, and design experiments to test these hypotheses. We will also explore qualitative methods and discuss their use in the field with special attention to conducting interviews, case studies, and focus groups. Students will prepare a research proposal on a topic of interest. Formulation of this project begins early, forms the basis for a final project, and is presented in a mock scientific conference.
This is an issue and methods based course that will introduce environmental science majors to the tools and technology used in the field. Students will read and discuss primary literature that use these techniques and will participate in hands-on activities. A main focus of the course will be on the use and application of geographic information systems (GIS).
This is an issue-based discussion course aimed to define and explore multifaceted topics in environmental science. Designed like a senior seminar, students are expected to conduct extensive research on varied topics and then communicate their knowledge in both oral and written assignments.
Principles of Physics is an algebra based course that explores the major topics in physics, such as motion and forces, gravity and projectiles, energy and work, thermodynamics, vibrations and waves, electricity and magnetism, solids and fluids, light and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics.
This course surveys the major themes in geology. Students will examine topics such as plate tectonics, the rock cycle, surface processes, and concept of geologic time.
Please select four of the following:
This course will focus on the importance of biodiversity. Currently, we are experiencing an unprecedented loss in species; losing, on average, two species a day. Unlike past mass extinctions humans are largely responsible. Following the Society of Conservation Biology's guidelines for conservation literacy, this course will investigate how we can apply biological principals to reverse trends in species loss. We will focus on case studies to develop our understanding of what maintains, reduces, and restores biodiversity. The course will be organized into three sections 1) history and value of conservation biology, 2) threats to biodiversity, and 3) approaches to solving conservation problems.
This interdisciplinary course brings students up to date on what is known and not known about the causes and consequences of global climate change, and about viable response options. Topics include analysis of climate drivers such as greenhouse gas emissions, and land-use changes, and investigation of some climate system responses such as increased storm intensity and increased surface temperature. Students also explore some of the societal and economic impacts of global climate change. By reference to the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, paleoclimate studies, and other authoritative sources, students learn how to separate fact from fiction in the often publicized debate about the dynamics of global climate change and about how we should respond to it.
This class will introduce the concept of natural resources by studying topics such as land, soil, rangeland, forest, water, atmosphere, minerals, and energy. The management, use, and environmental impacts associated with these resources will also be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the United States within the context of the global environment.
This course surveys the various forms of energy available to our industrial society. The environmental impact and depletion of each energy form is discussed with emphasis on the development of clean and inexhaustible alternative sources for the home and business. Topics include traditional and renewable energy sources, greenhouse effects, transpiration, nuclear power, and economies.
Waste is a major issue in nearly all aspects of society and understanding it is essential when considering the environment and sustainability. This class will focus on how waste is produced, how to reduce this pollution and how to clean it up once it is released. In addition to the physical science, we will examine the impact of waste on the economy, society and public health.
Natural Resources and Conservation Concentration
Select four of the following:
Natural Resources and Conservation Concentration
This course builds on information presented in BIO 101. Topics include: principles and history of evolutionary theory, taxonomy, and systematic examination of the five Kingdoms of organisms: Bacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia.
Laboratory course to follow topics presented in BIO 102. This course gives students hands-on experience with laboratory techniques, and in-depth investigation and comparison of organisms. Students will observe the structure and function of cells, tissues, and organs. They will also examine evolutionary connections between the five Kingdoms of organisms?
This course will discuss the anatomy, classification, adaptive physiology, ecology, and evolution of the major phyla of invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Virtual lab exercises and demonstrations will be used to support lecture material.
This course will examine the physiology, genetics, taxonomy, and evolution of plants. Lab exercises, field work, and demonstrations will be used to support lecture material.
This course will introduce the student to the field of animal behavior. To gain a full understanding of the complexities of this subject, students will study aspects that influence innate behaviors, such as genetics, population biology, evolution and learned behaviors, such as learning theory and cultural transmission. The course examines theoretical and conceptual issues in animal behavior using experiments and case studies to highlight examples. We will focus on many important biological activities such as mating, the role of kinship, cooperation, communication, aggression, and play. In addition to identifying major patterns and processes of animal behavior, we will discuss the observational and experimental techniques used to study behavior and explore the major conceptual models guiding past and current research in this field. The course is offered as an upper level science course aimed at environmental science and psychology majors. No prerequisite is assigned but students are strongly urged to take general biology and introduction to anatomy and physiology prior to the course.
The class is designed to be a two week intensive field based class in the Pacific Northwest. Students will travel throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho studying the interactions between humans and the environment. Unlike a traditional classroom setting, students will be actually experiencing the topics covered first hand. Some places that will be covered and experienced on the trip are as follows: channeled scablands, Mt. Rainer National Park, Grand Coulee Dam, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Pacific Ocean, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, and the Oregon Trail. This course can be taken more than once.
Free Elective Credits: 29
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Tuition rates are subject to change. Changes are generally implemented in June each year.
Additional Costs Books (course by course).
Students are responsible for providing their own internet access.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...