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Kylie Lorenzen, who earned her bachelor's degree in environmental science in 2019, walking through a lush forest.

Environmental Science Degree Online

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Register By: October 23 Classes Start: October 25

Earn an Environmental Science Degree

  • $320/credit (120 credits)
  • Transfer up to 90 credits
  • Instructor-led labs with custom kits mailed to students
  • Analyze real environmental challenges
  • Get valuable hands-on experience
  • No application fee or SAT/ACT scores required

Online Environmental Science Degree Program

Environmental scientists are stewards of the planet. They analyze environmental issues related to everything from climate change to overpopulation to biodiversity. They are the champions of clean energy, clean air and a thriving, healthy planet.

Southern New Hampshire University’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Science degree online program gives you a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences. You will gain the education and hands-on experience you need to pursue your passion for the environment.

The program focuses on real-world environmental issues and scenarios and lab courses are conducted with custom lab kits mailed directly to students. In addition, students have the opportunity to volunteer, participate in internships, and take experiential learning courses to gain relevant and real-world skills. These hands-on experiences are designed to prepare you for your future in the field of environmental science by developing your skill to create sound solutions to the environmental problems of today and tomorrow.

Amy Hunt with the text Amy HuntAmy Hunt '21 was inspired by her passion for the environment to enroll in the online BS Environmental Science program and it has exceeded her expectations. "I gained so much knowledge in all areas of environmental science and why it’s so important for humans to protect, preserve, and acknowledge our role and responsibilities for conserving our planets resources both human and non-human," said Hunt.

Learn how to:

  • Propose practical solutions to complex environmental problems
  • Apply technological and field-based methods to environmental study
  • Design and execute projects that integrate the scientific method
  • Analyze intersections of the human and natural world

As an environmental science major, you have the option of customizing your degree through the 39 free elective credits, or by adding on a data analytics in science or natural resources concentration.

Ideal for Learners Who are Passionate About the Environment

"As more corporations strive to reduce their environmental footprint, the demand for environmental sciences is only going to grow," said Dr. Gwen Britton, vice president of product strategy at SNHU. Our online environmental science degree puts science directly in the hands of students to gain real-world experience.

Concentration Options

Career Outlook

The future is bright for careers in environmental science. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of environmental scientists and specialists is predicted to grow by 8% through 2029, much faster than the national average for all professions1.

A career in environmental science lets you apply your love of natural science in many ways. You will learn to protect the environment and human health.

Kylie Lorenzen with the text Kylie LorenzenKylie Lorenzen ’19, who became SNHU's all-time leading scorer as a four-year standout on the university's woman's basketball team, said she plans to use her degree to make a similar impact in the environmental field.

“The environment is something that is changing, and it affects everyone,” Lorenzen said. “It affects wildlife. It affects humans. It’s a big topic nowadays and usually, we just see the policy and government side, but there’s a lot that goes into … protecting and conserving what we have while also utilizing it and being sustainable in the same way.”

Careers in environmental science lend themselves to office, lab or fieldwork. You could work for local, state or federal agencies. You may work for nonprofit organizations to promote healthy environmental practices.

Careers in environmental science include:

  • Environmental scientist: Use your knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health
  • Environmental health and safety specialist: Explore environmental health risks
  • Conservation land manager: Work to protect habitat and biodiversity
  • Climate change analyst: Study the effects on ecosystems caused by the changing climate
  • Soil and water conservationist: Work to prevent erosion
  • Park ranger: Protect and manage federal and state parks and forests

SNHU’s environmental science degree online blends analytical skills, communication skills and critical thinking throughout the degree program. These skills can prepare you to succeed in the exciting and challenging career of your choice.

The median annual wage for environmental scientists and specialists was $73,230 in May 2020, which is notably higher than the median annual wage of $41,950 for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics1.

You may also wish to explore SNHU's online BS in Geoscience, which takes a look at complex environmental issues through a geological lens.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Environmental Science Degree

Courses & Curriculum

A degree in environmental science provides a strong foundation to protect the planet. Our program combines the natural and physical sciences, like biology, chemistry and physics, with real-world scientific lab work.

You can also choose to focus your degree even more with our concentration options - natural resources and conservation or data analytics in science.

Or customize your environmental science degree with the general curriculum track. Even without a concentration, you can choose from the geology or general sciences courses that you like best.

Kylie Lorenzen '19 said she has a new outlook on the world thanks to her environmental science courses.

“It’s something that inspires me,” she said. “I’m passionate about traveling … So, I’m really interested in other cultures around the world, and it’s something that’s important to me to protect and keep working at.”

With an environmental science degree, you will have many chances to apply your education to the workforce. Environmental expertise is valuable in all types of businesses. A minor in environmental studies is also offered for non-science students who would like to add another aspect to their learning.

SNHU’s bachelor’s in environmental science curriculum can help you build a number of key skills, including:

  • Oral and written communication
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Applied statistics
  • Ecological principles and field methods
  • Research methods

Due to shipping laws, lab courses requiring lab kits must be completed within the contiguous United States. New students living outside the lower 48 states may be eligible to transfer in lab credits from accredited institutions. If a currently enrolled student moves outside of the contiguous U.S., they may petition to take the labs at another institution for credit.

Our environmental science major boasts 39 free elective credits. That is ideal for transfer students who don’t want to repeat courses. This can also allow you to add a minor that complements your major or help you explore new interests.

Another special feature of the environmental science degree is the opportunity to engage in experiential learning. These classes let you explore special topics related to your major. You will also build key skills to help with career development. The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science offers 6 experiential learning topics:

  • Field experiences: This topic allows you to extend your knowledge even further. You'll conduct research and apply the scientific process. Hands-on research skills and engaging in primary research will help when entering the fields of environmental science or geoscience.
  • Citizen science: This topic allows you to engage in, and maybe lead your own citizen science efforts. Hands-on experience with crowd-sourcing scientific projects leads to leadership. That is important to have for a career in environmental or geoscience.
  • Research experiences in science: This topic allows you to extend your knowledge of the scientific process. You'll engage in research projects that you design. Having hands-on research skills and participating in research are great skills for working in the fields of environmental science or geoscience.
  • Certifications and licensures: This topic allows you to begin or continue studying for a certification or license exam. You will select a certification or license of your choosing, with help from your instructor. It is up to you to choose a certification or license for which you qualify. You will use the course time to work toward studying for the exam.
  • Animal behavior: This topic allows you to engage in a research practice that you design. The scientific process and animal behavior are the basis for this work. As with the other learning opportunities, hands-on research skills and engaging in primary research are great skills for the fields of environmental science or geoscience.
  • Grant writing in science: This topic provides useful experience in writing grants. This skill is vital for a career in the nonprofit sector. Securing grant funding can be the key to getting a project off the ground. The written communication skills developed in this topic will be helpful in any career path.

Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter with the text Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-HunterOnline learners also benefit through a partnership between the SNHU Arboretum and the online science programs, which recently received an Effective Practice Award through the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). This partnership provides increased access to undergraduate research and learning opportunities with access to 25-acre forested wetland. “Collaborations like this provide our students with great real-world and hands-on experiences that can truly make a difference in the application of their knowledge, their skills and their future successes, wherever their path may take them,” says Dr. Kelly Thrippleton-Hunter, technical program facilitator of science programs at SNHU.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

  • General education courses: All bachelor's students are required to take general education classes, if not obtained in prior coursework. Through these foundation, exploration and integration courses, students learn to think critically, creatively and collaboratively. This provides the edge employers are seeking.
  • Technology resources: We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to provide access to the technology you need for your degree and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.
  • Earn credits for what you already know: Did you know certain work and life experiences – like industry-recognized certifications, law enforcement training and math knowledge – could save you time and money at SNHU? Learn how you could get credit for work or life experience.

Tuition & Fees

As a private, nonprofit university, we’re committed to making college more accessible by making it more affordable. That’s why we offer some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation—and haven't raised our costs in a decade.

We also offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.

Online Undergraduate Programs Per Course Per Credit Hour Annual Cost for 30 credits 
Degree/Certificates $960 $320 $9,600
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $675 $225 $6,750

Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually. *Note: students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional Costs No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

University Accreditation

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.

References