Graduate students with a passion for analyzing, understanding, and protecting the environment might find that earning a Masters in Environmental Science degree may help to prepare them for a variety of potential career paths in a fast growing field. While a Bachelor’s degree might be adequate for some entry-level jobs, earning a master's degree in Environmental Science may be required for career advancement. Graduates aspiring to academic careers will need a doctoral degree in the field. Those pursuing advanced degrees may do well to major in a specific natural science such as chemistry, biology, physics, or geology, rather than a broader environmental science master’s degree.
MS in Environmental Science tend to be research focused, and usually require students to take full course-loads each semester. However, one or two classes may be fulfilled with an “independent research seminar” in which the student devotes time towards their research project. Typically, an M.S. in environmental science also requires the completion of a thesis, which is often a significant piece of original, independent research that is published by the student at the end of their program.
Usually, a Master's degree in Environmental Science might be obtained in 2-3 years (perhaps longer if working while attending school). One’s admittance to the program of choice may require a few basic steps; application fee, letter of interest, references, transcripts, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. It is wise to verify this with each school.
FUN FACT: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that more businesses are expected to consult with environmental scientists and specialists in the future to help them minimize the impact their operations have on the environment
What is Environmental Science?
Considered an interdisciplinary field of study, environmental science is the science that examines the interactions between the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms of the environment. It includes their effects on all types of organisms, especially to human impact on the environment and human well-being.
Graduates holding a Masters in Environmental Science degree might be considered as Environmental Scientists, who are experts in one or more of the natural sciences and apply their knowledge to environmental and human-health issues. These professionals work with businesses, governments, and other organizations such as non-profits and research institutes to clean up polluted areas, advise on policy issues and best practices, and teach individuals, businesses, and institutions how to effectively and efficiently use natural resources.