After receiving one of the 5 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Environmental Science, you will be able to work in a high-level leadership role in the environmental science field. Courses will train students to analyze environmental technologies, study different plants and ecosystems, work in nature, understand waste management, and much more!


What is an Environmental Science degree?

An environmental science degree teaches students how to work in the outside environment. Classes in an environmental science program are meant to educate students on how the outside environment works and how to engage and fix its issues.

Lower level classes will discuss the environmental science basics such as handling soils, water, and the earth as a whole. Upper division classes will discuss toxicology, environmental law and policies, sustainability, and how to maintain a sustainable environment.

Check out our methodology page to see a detailed explanation of what data we use and how we apply it to these programs.

How much can you earn with an Environmental Science Master’s degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, currently almost 90,000 people work in the environmental science industry. Job opportunities in environmental science are projected to grow by 11 percent within the next eight years, opening up over 9,000 more jobs.

The average salary of someone working in environmental science is about $69,000 a year.

Of course, your earning potential is dependent upon your education, what industry you work in, and in what city you choose to work.

What is required for an Environmental Science Master’s degree?

All the programs mentioned in the list have ranging requirements depending on which program you choose. Some schools require you to submit GRE scores, while others do not. Specific programs may also require letters of recommendation to be admitted into the program. Students will need to complete courses within the minimum grade point average required by the university.

Certain programs mentioned on this list may also offer an internship program for students, but it may not be necessary for completion of the degree.

Here are the Best Online Master’s in Environmental Science!

  1. Duke University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $53,500/$53,500
    Earnings Potential98
    Online Presence69
    Online Program Quality79
    Student Satisfaction83
    • Career resources for students
    • Online tour available for future students
    • Networking events opportunities for students
    • $1,211 in students fees
    • Cost of books not included in tuition
    • Tuition expected to increase within the next year
    100%OSR Score

    At Duke University students will be able to work individually and in groups through environmental science projects. Students will learn about policy analysis, economic analysis, leadership development, and more! These different specialized topics will prepare students for a rewarding career in helping the environment.

  2. University of Wisconsin--Madison

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $10,533/$34,783
    Earnings Potential70
    Online Presence71
    Online Program Quality83
    Student Satisfaction77
    • No extra student fees
    • Enrollment advisors available to speak with future students
    • Live chat available on school website to learn about the program
    • Must have 3.0 GPA for admission
    • Textbooks not included in tuition
    • Must write personal statement to be admitted into program
    97%OSR Score

    This program will educate students on how to build a future that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Classes will discuss topics such as effective communication techniques, waste management, laws of sustainability, and supply chain management. This program focuses on how environmental science policy works in society and will also prepare students to work in this field.

  3. University of Houston--Clear Lake

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $6,718/$19,270
    Earnings Potential74
    Online Presence68
    Online Program Quality79
    Student Satisfaction71
    • Academic advising available
    • Voted one of the Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report
    • 63rd Best Regional University – West by U.S. News & World Report
    • 3.0 GPA minimum for admission
    • Three letters of recommendation needed
    • Books not included in tuition
    95%OSR Score

    This program is designed to train students into leaders in the science community. Students will be able to gain real-world experience during their time in this program. Classes will cover learning how to work for nonprofits and government agencies focused on working in the environmental science field.

  4. Arizona State University

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $10,792/$27,372
    Earnings Potential78
    Online Presence100
    Online Program Quality88
    Student Satisfaction76
    • Voted on Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Report
    • Ability to pick concentration to study
    • Transfer credits accepted
    • GRE scores required for admission
    • $50 technology fee
    • Student services fees
    94%OSR Score

    This degree program will focus on resource management in the environmental science field. Courses will discuss toxicology, environmental law, and the chemistry of hazardous materials. These intensive courses will help students toward a career in water laws, environmental policy, and soils and groundwater.

  5. University of Maryland-University College

    Tuition in State/Out of State: $7,296/$12,336
    Earnings Potential47
    Online Presence67
    Online Program Quality41
    Student Satisfaction76
    • Military tuition discount
    • Career and internship assistance from faculty for students
    • Up to six transfer credits accepted
    • $50 application fee
    • $15 technology fee
    • Tuition and fees are subject to change
    78%OSR Score

    At the University of Maryland students will be educated on topics such as environmental hazards, analyzing community health and safety, using technology and software, and developing plan strategies. These classes will cover all the basic topics environmental science professional should know for working in this field. Students will be able to use these skills when they become employed in the environmental science career field.

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