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SNHU environmental science grad Kyle Lorenzen walking in a dense forest

Environmental Science Degree Online Bachelor of Science (BS)

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Register By: May 04 Classes Start: May 06

Earn an Environmental Science Degree

  • $330/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 key stewards of our planet. They analyze environmental issues related to everything from climate crisis to changes in biodiversity. They are the champions of sustainability and protecting Earth's health.

Southern New Hampshire University’s Bachelor of Science (BS) in Environmental Science degree online program provides a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences. It focuses on current environmental issues and explores areas of the environment, including natural resource conservation, wildlife ecology and water quality management.

Throughout the program, you'll take lab courses complete with custom lab kits for an authentic experience in testing hypotheses and analyzing data. You'll also be provided with opportunities to participate in experiential learning courses and internships that align with your career goals. These experiences will help you offer data-driven solutions to innovate how we measure, monitor, mitigate and manage the key environmental issues of today and tomorrow.

SNHU's online environmental science program also partners with SNHU’s campus Arboretum to provide a unique integrated learning experience. SNHU’s Arboretum was even the proud recipient of the 2020 Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Effective Practice Award.

“We were able to win the OLC Effective Practice Award for work that we were doing with our [online] learners in the environmental science program, using our arboretum space here on campus,” said Arboretum Administrator Michael Weinstein.

“…delivering a lot of real in-place environmental learning but doing it virtually through our network of environmental monitors and camera traps,” he said.

The Arboretum encompasses over 24 acres of wetland ecosystems and some of the last remaining native forestland near central Manchester. As a living classroom, the Arboretum aims to inspire and develop citizens and leaders dedicated to understanding, appreciating and sustaining our environment.

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What You'll Learn

  • How humans and the natural world interact
  • Technology, lab and field-based research methods
  • Problem solving, critical thinking and data analysis skills
  • Communication skills for practical and sustainable solutions
  • Creative actions to address environmental issues

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How You'll Learn

At SNHU, you'll get support from day 1 to graduation and beyond. And with no set class times, 24/7 access to the online classroom, and helpful learning resources along the way, you'll have everything you need to reach your goals.

Environmental Science Degree Online

Ideal for Learners Who are Passionate About the Environment

"As the climate crisis persists, organizations across the world will be required to adopt sustainable practices and policies — resulting in continued demand for environmental scientists and advocates," said Tyra Davey, associate dean of science at SNHU. "Our online environmental science program offers the hands-on research, lab and field experience needed for students to help restore the health of our planet."

Concentration Options

As an environmental science major, you have the option of customizing your degree through the 30 free elective credits or by adding on a data analytics in science or natural resources and conservation concentration.

Career Outlook

The future is bright for careers in environmental science.

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.

2023 SNHU online environmental science degree graduate Daniel Sylvester clad in cap and gownDaniel Sylvester 23', who graduated with both his Bachelor's in Environmental Science online and a Bachelor's in Biology on campus, decided to work in the chemistry field after graduating.

"I think that people in the life sciences and biotech industry have a shared value and appreciation of life, and environmentalism is definitely something the people who work here value, even if the work itself is in an industrial manufacturing environment," said Sylvester.

"A second major in something I’m passionate about makes a good impression in general," he said. "I also feel very capable of breaking into environmental labs later in my career, which I plan on doing."

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 Health and Safety Specialist

Explore environmental health risks and work to create spaces that are safe and healthy for people and the planet. Adhere to EHS policies and procedures.


Conservation Land Manager

Work to protect habitat and biodiversity. Oversee the management of land and natural resources and be ready to roll your sleeves up.


Soil and Water Conservationist

Discover, develop, implement and improve ways to use land that sustains its productive capacity. Conserve water supplies for future generations, identify potential problems to the ecology or environmental health and mitigate them.

Park Ranger

Protect and manage federal and state parks and forests, ensuring the safety of campers and the environment. Enforce park rules, fire safety and search and rescue.

You may also wish to explore SNHU's online BS in Geoscience, which takes a holistic approach to understanding our Earth system.

Job Growth and Salary

With an environmental science degree, you will have many chances to apply your education to the workforce. Environmental expertise is valuable in many types of businesses, with a good outlook for job growth over the next decade.

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Job Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of environmental scientists and specialists is predicted to grow by 6% through 2032, which is faster than the national average for all professions.1

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Salary

The median annual wage for environmental scientists and specialists was $76,480 in May 2022, which is higher than the median annual wage of $46,310 for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1

Understanding the Numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors — like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Start Your Journey Toward an Online Environmental Science Degree

LeWard Johnson, a 2021 graduate of SNHU's environmental science program

What Students Are Saying

LeWard Johnson '21

"One of the major skills I’ve gained from the environmental science program is being able to utilize the scientific method. In my career with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a life scientist in the water division, using the scientific method is critical when conducting investigations and analyzing data. Being able to write a scientific paper, conduct experiments and collect data are also some useful skills that help me while conducting fieldwork."

Courses & Curriculum

A degree in environmental science helps you build the competencies needed to be a leader in conserving and managing Earth's resources. To do so, it combines the natural and physical sciences (like biology, chemistry and physics) with real-world scientific lab work and fieldwork.

120 Credits

8-Week Terms

100% Online

No Set Class Times

The program can also help you build a number of key skills, including:

  • Communication and presentation techniques
  • Data analysis processes
  • Critical thinking abilities
  • Field methods and technologies
  • Research strategies
  • Planning and advocacy tactics

Our environmental science major boasts 30 free elective credits. This is ideal if you're a transfer student who doesn't want to repeat courses. It also allows you to add a minor that complements your major and fits your career goals. 

Another special feature of the environmental science degree is the opportunity to engage in experiential learning, which is essential to gaining the skills and professional experience needed to become a marketable candidate in the workforce. Using your free electives, you'll have the opportunity to take several experiential learning courses, with topics including:

  • Animal behavior: The key component of conservation biology (the study of Earth's biodiversity) is animal behavior. In studying animal behavior, you'll gain hands-on research skills that are valuable in the field of environmental science.
  • Citizen science: This topic encompasses the involvement of the public in scientific research to help address societal needs and accelerate science, technology and innovation. You'll contribute to solving real-world problems by formulating research questions, conducting scientific experiments and more.
  • Research experiences in science: Extend your knowledge of the scientific method by engaging in research projects you design. The corresponding hands-on research and presentation skills you'll gain are vital in the fields of environmental science or geoscience.
  • Certifications and licensures: Select a certification or license of your choosing with help from your instructor — then use the course time to study for it. Note: It's up to you to choose a certification or license for which you qualify. 
  • Grant writing in science: This topic provides useful experience in writing grants — a skill valuable across any discipline and profession. Since many non-profit, state and municipal entities rely on grants to support their programs and/or research, this funding can be the key to getting a project off the ground.

Curriculum Requirements & Resources

Degree-Specific Courses

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.

General Education

All undergraduate students are required to take general education courses, which are part of SNHU's newly redesigned program, The Commons. The goal of The Commons' curriculum is to empower you with some of the most in-demand skills, so you can succeed not only in your academic career, but in your personal and professional life too.

Technology Resources

We provide cloud-based virtual environments in some courses to give you access to the technology you need for your degree – and your career. Learn more about our virtual environments.

Earn Math Credits

Save time and tuition with our Pathways to Math Success assessments. Depending on your scores, you could earn up to 12 math credits – the equivalent of 4 courses – toward your degree for less than $50 per assessment. For additional information, or to register for a Pathways to Math Success assessment, contact your admission counselor or academic advisor today.

University Accreditation

New England Commission of Higher Education 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.

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.

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 $990 $330 $9,900
Degree/Certificates (U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty)* $693 $231 $6,930

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, Course Materials ($ varies by course)

Frequently Asked Questions

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