If you’ve been called a natural leader and you’re also passionate about the environment, then you may have the perfect combination of skills and interests to pursue a career in environmental management. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that jobs in this field are on the rise, growing faster than average in response to growing public outcry over environmental issues like pollution and global warming, for instance. Many colleges and universities across the nation are now offering undergraduate degrees in environmental management via distance learning technologies. In this ranking, we explore the top 10 online bachelor’s in environmental management programs.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Net Price Below $10,000: 4 points
- Net Price Below $15,000: 3 points
- Net Price Below $18,000: 2 points
- Net Price Below $20,000: 1 point
Student to Faculty Ratio
- Less than 20:1: 1 point
- Less than 15: 1: 2 points
- Less than 10: 1: 3 points
Return on Investment (ROI) According to Payscale.com
- Top 500: 1 point
- Top 300: 2 points
- Top 150: 3 points
Flexibility of the Program (asynchronous course delivery, hybrid options, part-time/full-time schedule, etc. ) – 1 point per item
Online Student Support Network (faculty mentors/advisors, etc.)— 1 point per item
Concentrations/Specializations – 1 point per item (5-pt cap)
Accreditation (School-Wide and Program-Specific) – 1 point per item
“Wow” Factor – 1 point
Ranking the Best Online Bachelor of Environmental Management Programs
To develop this ranking of the top online environmental management bachelor’s degree programs, our editors conducted a thorough online search and identified 16 current programs. We then applied a tuition filter, eliminating colleges and schools with a net price of over $20,000. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above, sourcing data from College Navigator, PayScale.com, and each school’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable school was awarded the higher ranking.
Are you undecided as to what major to pursue? Check out our article 5 of the Easiest Online Bachelor’s Degrees. If you are looking for a way to find high-quality, online degree programs for the best price, check out our ranking of the Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degrees.
#10—SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Syracuse, New York
Online BS in Sustainability Management
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry’s online environmental management bachelor’s degree program is a degree completion option in Sustainability Management. Coursework is designed around the three pillars of sustainability: economics, society, and the environment. Required courses include Introduction to Sustainability Data Analysis, Climate Change & Sustainability, Analysis of Sustainable Systems, and Ecological Dimensions of Sustainability, for instance. Full-time students will complete the program within two years of study. A capstone course in sustainability management is also required. SUNY ESF is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the bachelor’s in environmental management online. U.S. News & World Report has placed the school among the top 55 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $19,549
#9—University of Arizona
Online BS in Environmental Science: Leadership, Sustainability, and Communication
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
The online bachelor’s in environmental management option from the University of Arizona is offered through the school’s College of Agriculture & Life Sciences. Technically a BS in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Leadership, Sustainability, and Communication, the program features course titles such as Quantitative Skills in Natural Sciences, Careers in Environmental Science, Introduction to Soil Science, and Ecosystem Health and Justice. The University of Arizona is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the bachelor of environmental management degree online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 55 public schools in the nation.
Net Price: $15,594
BS in Sustainability Management Online
Student to Faculty Ratio: 27:1
The online bachelor of environmental management degree program from Bellevue University is a comprehensive 127-credit hour option offered through the school’s College of Science and Technology. Required courses for the major include Environmental Sustainability, Current Trends in Energy Technology, Green Technologies and Natural Resource Conservation, and Leadership in Sustainability. The program is specifically designed to prepare students for success on the LEED Green Associate exam. Bellevue University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the environmental management bachelor’s online credential.
Net Price: $9,635
#7—University of Wisconsin Extended Campus
Online Bachelor of Sustainability Management
Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
The bachelor of environmental management online offering from the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus is a degree completion plan that can be completed entirely online. The curriculum for the program is interdisciplinary in nature and features course titles such as Economics in Society and Sustainability, Business Communications for Sustainable Management, and Climate Change and Sustainability. A real-world capstone experience is also required prior to graduation. UW- Extended Campus is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the online undergraduate credential in environmental management.
Net Price: $6,750
#6—Oregon State University
Online BS in Environmental Sciences: Environmental Policy and Economics
Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
The online bachelor of environmental management from Oregon State University is a BS in Environmental Sciences with an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Economics. Offered through the school’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, the program features core courses such as Natural Resource Economics and Policy, Introduction to United States Government and Politics, and Environmental Politics and Policy, for instance. To fulfill concentration requirements, students will take additional classes like Measuring Resource and Environmental Impacts, Rural Development Economics, Fisheries and Wildlife Law and Policy, and Environmental Political Theory. OSU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities to award the online environmental management bachelor’s degree. The university has been ranked among the top 65 public schools and the top 35 most innovative schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $18,625
New Castle, Delaware
Online BS in Environmental Science and Policy
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Wilmington University’s online bachelor of environmental management program is offered through the school’s College of Arts and Sciences. A BS in Environmental Science and Policy, this STEM degree program features core courses such as Geographic Information Systems Science & Technology, Environmental Compliance, Public Policy and Social Issues, and Energy and Environmental Policy, for instance. Students will also choose from among elective classes like Climate Dynamics, Technology in the Sciences, and Global Civilizations. A field experience opportunity is available for interested students. Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the bachelor’s in environmental management degree online.
Net Price: $13,814
#4—Drury University-College of Continuing Professional Studies
Online BS in Environmental Management and Assessment
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Drury University offers an environmental management bachelor’s degree program through its College of Continuing Professional Studies. A Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management and Assessment, the program requires foundation courses in math and science such as Introduction to Environmental Chemistry, Ecology, and Elementary Organic Chemistry. The remaining coursework pertains directly to the major and includes course titles such as Hazardous Materials, Conservation Theory and Management, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing, and Environmental Laws and Regulations. A senior seminar in Environmental Management and Assessment is also required. Drury University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission to award the bachelor’s in environmental management online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the top 20 regional universities in the Midwest and the 10 best value schools nationwide.
Net Price: $14,847
#3—University of Maryland Global Campus
Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Management
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
The online bachelor of environmental management program from the University of Maryland Global Campus is a highly versatile option. The program can be completed via a fully online or hybrid format, and students can concentrate their studies in either Toxicology and Hazard Control or Sustainability. Courses required for the major include Environmental Regulations and Policy, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Human Health and Disease, and Environment and Ecosystems Principles, for instance. Focus area courses include titles like Hazard Management in Emergency Response Operations, Air Quality Management, Pollution Prevention Strategies, and Stewardship and Global Environment Challenges. UMGC is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education to award the bachelor’s in environmental management online. It’s been ranked among the 20 most innovative schools by U.S. News & World Report.
Net Price: $13,672
#2—University of Florida
BS in Environmental Management Online
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
The University of Florida offers a robust online bachelor of environmental management degree program through its College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for the program include Agricultural Ecology, Introduction to Soils in the Environment, Principles of Agribusiness Management, and Natural Resource Policy and Economics. In addition to coursework, students will choose from an independent study option or a practicum experience. The University of Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the environmental management bachelor’s credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school among the 35 best national universities and the top 10 public schools nationwide.
Net Price: $11,313
#1—St. Petersburg College
Online BAS in Sustainability Management
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
The online bachelor of environmental management degree program from St. Petersburg College features focus area options in Government/Environmental Management, Green Building, Supply Chain/International Business, Eco-Tourism, Six Sigma Green Belt/Sustainability Improvements, or Interdisciplinary Approach. Major core courses include Sustainability in the Natural Environment, Sustainable Business Strategies, Legal Aspects of Sustainability, and Energy and Environmental Techniques. A senior capstone course in sustainability management is also required prior to graduation. SPC is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the online environmental management bachelor’s credential. The college has been ranked among the top 20 public schools in the nation as well as the top 65 regional colleges in the South.
Net Price: $3,477
About Online Bachelor of Environmental Management Degree Programs
Online environmental bachelor’s degree programs typically mirror on-campus programs in terms of the curriculum and quality of instruction. Usually, the only thing that differs is the content delivery. With online programs, students have the freedom to complete their coursework at home or anywhere they have an Internet connection. There’s usually no need to attend campus, and online students enjoy a lot more flexibility in terms of scheduling as well.
Types of Online Environmental Management Bachelor’s Degree Programs
Not all online bachelor of environmental management degree programs are alike, however. In this section, we’ll discuss some of the different types of degree options you’ll have to choose from when comparing programs.
Hybrid Versus Fully Online Programs
Most online environmental management bachelor’s programs are offered fully online, but some are hybrid programs. This means that students are required to attend campus to fulfill some degree requirements such as orientations, examinations, workshops, or class meetings, for instance. If your schedule is particularly demanding already or if you’re adverse to travel, you may need to avoid these hybrid degree programs. On the other hand, if you like the idea of completing some of your degree on campus, then a hybrid option may actually be preferable. Some students benefit from the heightened interactivity this blending learning concept can provide.
Synchronous Versus Asynchronous Offerings
Earlier, we mentioned that online bachelor of environmental degree programs differ from their traditional counterparts in terms of their content delivery. This delivery takes one of two forms: asynchronous or synchronous content delivery. Asynchronous content delivery provides the most amount of flexibility, allowing students to complete coursework on their own time. Synchronous content delivery is more rigid, requiring students to log in to their virtual classrooms at specific times of the day and week to view streaming lectures and participate in real-time class discussions, for instance. Some bachelor of environmental management degree programs combine elements of both asynchronous and synchronous content delivery.
Part-Time Versus Full-Time Scheduling Options
While most on-campus bachelor’s in environmental management programs require that students enroll on a full-time basis, their online alternatives are usually more flexible. Designed for working students and those with families. Online environmental management bachelor’s options often welcome part-time students. If you’re considering a part-time course load, keep in mind that it may take you longer to complete your degree.
Just as schools that cater to online students offer part-time tracks, they also provide options for students who can take on heavier course loads. Accelerated tracks, for instance, allow students to take more classes simultaneously, thereby fulfilling degree requirements in a shorter time frame. Accelerated bachelor’s to master’s degree programs are sometimes offered as well. These joint degree programs allow students to earn both an undergraduate and graduate degree within just five years.
Admissions Criteria for Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Management Degree Programs
The requirements for admission into an online environmental management bachelor’s degree program are typically similar to those of a traditional on-campus degree program. This means you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent at a minimum. Schools will look at your transcript in order to evaluate your grade point average (GPA).
Most colleges and universities will also require that you take a college entrance examination such as the SAT or ACT. In some instances, you may need to earn a minimum score on these examinations in order to gain entry to the program.
Other admissions requirements for online bachelor of environmental management degree programs may include letters of reference, personal statement, and writing samples. Keep in mind that specific admissions criteria will vary by school. It’s best to speak to an admissions counselor at the school you’re considering for the most accurate information about your application and eligibility. You may also be able to find details about admissions requirements on the school’s website.
Bachelor’s in Environmental Management Online Degrees: Curriculum
The curriculum for an online bachelor in environmental management degree program will vary depending on the school you choose to attend. Still, there’s enough overlap from program to program to give you a general idea of what to expect from your coursework.
General Education Component
The vast majority of undergraduate degree programs require that students fulfill a general education component. Online bachelor of environmental management programs are no exception. General education classes provide students with foundational knowledge in the major academic disciplines, including humanities, sciences, mathematics, and language arts, for example. While specific course titles will vary from school to school and program to program, we’ve provided some examples of general education classes below for your reference:
- English Composition
- World History
- Introduction to Sociology
- College Algebra
- General Biology
- American Literature
- Art History
- General Psychology
Major Core Courses
For most online environmental management bachelor’s degree programs, the bulk of the curriculum is made up of core courses directly related to the major. In environmental management, these courses will address topics such as environmental law, environmental policy, leadership and the environment, sustainability, and environmental ethics, for example. Some sample core course titles are listed below:
- Environmental Regulations and Policy
- Environment and Ecosystems Principles
- Assessing Environmental Science
- Interactions of Hazardous Materials
- The Politics of Managing the Environment
- The Economics of Environmental Management
Experiential Learning Component
In addition to coursework, most online bachelor’s in environmental management programs will include some type of experiential learning component. These elements of the curriculum expose students to real-world situations and environments in which skills in environmental management must be applied. Some examples of experiential learning components include fieldwork experiences, internships, and practicums.
Most online bachelor of environmental degree programs will also require a capstone element at the culmination of the program. This element gives students the opportunity to integrate their learning and demonstrate their newfound knowledge of the subject matter. Examples of capstone elements include comprehensive examinations, scholarly papers, and research projects. Some programs may require more than one capstone element.
Frequently-Asked Questions About Online Environmental Management Bachelor’s Degree Programs
It’s normal to have many questions about your online environmental management bachelor’s degree options. After all, enrolling in such a program is a big commitment and an investment of both time and money. Below, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about these undergraduate offerings. Keep in mind, though, that only an admissions counselor can answer questions about specific schools and programs.
Q: Are online bachelor’s in environmental management programs legitimate?
A: For the vast majority of these programs, the answer is yes. Distance learning technology has advanced significantly over the last decade, and most online programs are now as high-quality as on-campus offerings. Still, it’s always a good idea to check for regional or national accreditation before considering a school for your online environmental management bachelor’s degree.
Q: Will a bachelor’s in environmental management online prepare me for a graduate program in the field?
A: In most cases, yes. Keep in mind, though, that some programs are more vocational in nature, meaning they’re better suited for students who plan to enter the workforce after graduation.
Q: How long does it take to earn a bachelor’s in environmental management degree online?
A: Approximately three to four years. Completion times will vary depending on specific degree requirements, enrollment status, and course loads.
Q: What is the tuition cost for an online bachelor of environmental management degree program?
A: Tuition costs vary by school. In most cases, annual program costs will fall between $10,000 and $20,000.
Career Questions About Online Bachelor of Environmental Management Degrees
Q: What can I do with an online bachelor’s in environmental management degree?
A: An online environmental management bachelor’s degree will open the door to many opportunities in a variety of industries, including government, education, science, and non-profits, for example.
Q: How much will my salary be with an online environmental management bachelor’s degree?
A: Your salary with a bachelor of environmental management will vary depending on your job title, employer, and years of experience in the field. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that environmental specialists and environmental scientists made a mean annual wage of just over $71,000 in 2018.
Q: Is a bachelor’s degree in environmental management degree required to work in the field?
A: For the most part, yes. A bachelor’s degree in environmental management or related field is usually required for positions in this field. Some job titles may even require a graduate degree in environmental management.
Q: Should I pursue a master’s degree after completion of my bachelor of environmental management online degree?
A: The decision to pursue a graduate degree in environmental management is a personal choice, but there are benefits. These credentials can provide a competitive edge when applying for some advanced jobs in the field or when vying for promotions, for example.
Q: What professional organizations exist in environmental management?
A: There are many professional organizations and associations that extend membership to environmental management students and professionals. Some of these include:
- Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences
- National Association of Environmental Professionals
- Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide
- Green America
- American Planning Association
- Congress for the New Urbanism
- American Water Resources Association
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