What Courses Are Needed For Environmental Science Degree

Whether you want to do more than just recycle and buy carbon offsets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or you’re interested in how the earth’s water, mountains and land masses work together, you may want to consider pursuing a college degree in environmental science. Colleges across the country offer environmental sciences majors, starting with bachelor’s degrees all the way up to doctoral programs in the field.

Bachelor’s in Environmental Science Courses

Students just beginning their education in environmental science may enroll in an environmental science bachelor’s degree program, such as the one at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. The four-year program includes coursework in ecology, maps and mapping, values and the environment, introduction to environmental problems and environmental law and agencies. Students may choose from concentration courses in environmental conservation, fossil fuels, air and water pollution control, oceanography and ecology. All students complete general education courses at the beginning of their bachelor’s program, including English, mathematics, sociology, anthropology and communications.

Master of Environmental Science Courses

Master’s degrees in environmental studies, such as the one at the University of Pennsylvania, offer programs with core classes such as environmental biology, environmental law, environmental policy, environmental chemistry and environmental geology, plus optional concentration courses in topics such as urban environment, resource management, environmental advocacy and education, environmental health or environmental policy. Some schools, like Penn, require an initial “pro-seminar” course, such as “Contemporary Issues in Environmental Studies,” which is a way for students to review undergraduate foundational coursework in environmental science, participate in debates with their classmates and learn about the newest developments in environmental science technology.

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PhD in Environmental Science Courses

Although much time spent in a PhD program is dedicated to self-paced research and work on a thesis project, students in environmental doctoral programs also spend time in the classroom. Courses include environmental policy and economics, environmental microbiology, advanced environmental communication, writing skills for environmental professionals, eco-hydrolic modeling, legal issues in environmental problem solving, implementing environmental laws and programs, alternative and renewable energy law and policy and grant writing.