Environmental colleges offer a variety of majors and degree programs, including environmental science, biology and environmental policy. Students can find such programs at two-year community colleges, four-year public and private universities and even online colleges. Read on for an overview of environmental colleges and a list of considerations you should make when choosing a school.
Generally designed to train field technicians, two-year associate degree programs in environmental studies often give students the option to obtain technical certifications from organizations such as the National Environmental Health Association. In four-year bachelor’s degree programs, students can select a minor to add to their degree program, such as biology or geology.
Students in master’s and doctoral degree programs can also tailor their education to their career goals. Common specializations include environmental education, ecosystems, sustainability and conservation biology. These advanced degree programs are intended for students planning careers as scientists and/or educators.
There are a host of things to consider when searching for an environmental college, from tuition and fees to program breadth and faculty. Below is a deeper dive into the main factors aspiring environmental scientists should think about when finding the best college for them.
It’s important to ensure that your school has all the required courses and technical training you’ll need to be successful in your career. By researching the curriculum, you can assess whether or not a school has the program breadth you’re looking for. Many college websites provide a full list of required and elective courses, as well as options for selecting minors and specializations and information about environmental research centers on campus. Many programs also include internships with environmental agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Researching a school’s faculty can also give you an idea of which school to choose. If you have an interest in a certain area of environmental science, you can check to see if the faculty members in the program have expertise in that area. Department websites sometimes provide the names and bios of faculty members, including information about their recent scholarly publications and research activities.
Obtaining a degree from an unaccredited school can be detrimental to your career, so make sure the schools you vet are accredited by a well-known agency. There are a variety of accrediting agencies in the U.S., and many schools are accredited according to the region where the school is located. Some well-known agencies include the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Tuition and fee tables can help you determine whether or not your chosen school is within your budget. If money is a concern, a public college or university may be the better option. When considering the cost of your education, don’t forget to factor in anticipated salary after graduation. If you’re going into a career field with a low base salary, it may not make sense to attend an expensive private college, especially if you have student loans.
A quality career services office can prepare you to enter the job market. Career advisors can help you search for jobs and internships, write resumes and cover letters and coach you on standing out at career and networking events. Academic support is also important to student success. An academic advising center should have knowledgeable advisors who can help you choose a major, select the right courses and stay on track in your degree program.
Environmental science is a popular area of study at U.S. colleges and universities, offered at hundreds of schools across the nation. Graduates go on to careers as environmental technicians, policy advisers, researchers and professors.
|College Rank||College Name||#Programs||Tuition||Total Enrollment||City||State|
|1||University of Georgia||11||$6,676||38,822||Athens||Georgia|
|2||North Carolina State University at Raleigh||10||$5,153||40,165||Raleigh||North Carolina|
|3||University of Colorado Boulder||10||$7,672||36,946||Boulder||Colorado|
|4||Columbia University||10||#N/A||27,257||New York||New York|
|5||University of California-Berkeley||9||$11,220||39,175||Berkeley||California|
|6||Johns Hopkins University||9||$42,280||25,376||Baltimore||Maryland|
|7||University of Oklahoma Norman Campus||8||$3,849||30,642||Norman||Oklahoma|
|8||Colorado State University-Fort Collins||8||$6,307||33,712||Fort Collins||Colorado|
|9||Iowa State University||8||$6,408||31,501||Ames||Iowa|
|10||University of California-Irvine||8||$11,220||29,200||Irvine||California|
|11||Yale University||8||$40,500||12,893||New Haven||Connecticut|
|12||Cornell University||8||$41,325||21,437||Ithaca||New York|
|13||University of Southern California||8||$42,162||40,515||Los Angeles||California|
|14||University of Idaho||7||$3,874||15,087||Moscow||Idaho|
|15||Oklahoma State University-Main Campus||7||$4,303||26,807||Stillwater||Oklahoma|
|16||Portland State University||7||$7,653||29,524||Portland||Oregon|
|17||Oregon State University||7||$6,228||28,188||Corvallis||Oregon|
|18||Northern Arizona University||7||$6,514||28,561||Flagstaff||Arizona|
|19||University of Oregon||7||$7,551||27,078||Eugene||Oregon|
|20||University of Cincinnati-Main Campus||7||$8,805||38,041||Cincinnati||Ohio|
|21||University of Delaware||7||$9,670||23,239||Newark||Delaware|
|22||University of California-Davis||7||$11,220||33,786||Davis||California|
|23||University of California-Santa Cruz||7||$11,220||18,412||Santa Cruz||California|
|24||Michigan State University||7||$12,769||52,567||East Lansing||Michigan|
|26||Southern Methodist University||7||$34,990||12,513||Dallas||Texas|
|27||George Washington University||7||$42,332||29,887||Washington||District of Columbia|
|28||University of Wyoming||6||$2,496||14,902||Laramie||Wyoming|
|29||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||6||$5,128||32,426||Chapel Hill||North Carolina|
|30||SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry||6||$5,270||2,939||Syracuse||New York|
|31||University of Arizona||6||$8,364||42,779||Tucson||Arizona|
|32||University of Washington-Seattle Campus||6||$9,746||49,554||Seattle||Washington|
|33||University of California-Riverside||6||$11,220||22,067||Riverside||California|
|34||University of Minnesota-Twin Cities||6||$11,650||64,349||Minneapolis||Minnesota|
|35||University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||6||$12,440||44,453||Ann Arbor||Michigan|
|36||University of Vermont||6||$12,888||15,923||Burlington||Vermont|
|37||University of St Thomas Saint Paul||6||$31,504||12,164||Saint Paul||Minnesota|
|38||Tulane University||6||$39,850||14,037||New Orleans||Louisiana|