Masters in Environmental Science
What Do You Learn in a Masters In Environmental Science?
A Master of Science in Environmental Science is a complex degree. Typically, students complete this type of degree study to learn about the interactions between the biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere, as well as the way in which they interact with people and projects. Students may study environmental problems and the issues faced by nature while also working to develop solutions and policies aimed at helping to restore or prevent further problems.
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Environmental Science Courses May Include
Many times, students study the natural and unnatural processes that occur and how they interact with the planet and environment as a whole. This type of degree path may allow students to select numerous electives to focus their education in areas that interest them specifically. This program may include courses such as the following.
This course typically covers a number of topics in the field of environmental safety. Topics may include the proper use of equipment and safety gear. Learning of chemical and physical hazards to the environment as well as the adverse effects of chemical exposure may also be discussed.
Sustainability, Climate Change, and Society
Many aspects of sustainable development are usually covered in this course. This may include environmental, economic, and social aspects, including how these affect water, food, climate change, and the roles that humans play in creating sustainable development through institutions and relationships.
Toxicology and Risk Assessment
The environmental toxicology of chemicals and pollutants are the typical main topics in this course. Biochemical reactions, toxicity testing methods, and dose-response assessment are also usually topics in this course. Estimating risk to the environment and the perception of those risks may also be included.
This course typically looks at federal and state environmental regulations and how they are handled and enforced and what is done regarding certain environmental issues. Examples in topics may include air pollution, waste generators, and hazardous products and chemicals.
Sources of Contamination
This course typically looks at the various types of contaminants to soil, water, and air as well as how they get there, what may be done about them, and the effects these contaminants have on the population and the environment. How to measure levels of contaminants and interpret results of data collection are also common topics.
This course typically covers environmental compliance and how it applies to various industries throughout the country and world. Topics often covered include land filling, waste generation, and writing proposal requests.
Top 25 Universities Graduating Students with a Masters in Environmental Science
The following are the top 25 schools for a master’s degree in environmental science based on the number of students graduating from the program during the 2019/2020 school year, as noted by data from NCES.
|College / University||Graduates||Acceptance Rate|
|University of California-Santa Barbara||75||30%|
|University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||34||23%|
|University of Idaho||27||78%|
|University of Hawaii at Hilo||26||52%|
|University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign||26||59%|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||24||5%|
|George Mason University||22||87%|
|University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus||20||67%|
|University of Illinois Springfield||20||77%|
|California State University-Fullerton||19||53%|
|University of Wisconsin-Green Bay||18||85%|
|Oregon State University||17||82%|
|The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga||17||82%|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||16||45%|
|University of South Florida||16||48%|
|The University of West Florida||15||31%|
|University of Massachusetts-Boston||15||76%|
|University of New Haven||14||83%|
|Florida Gulf Coast University||13||67%|
|The University of Texas at Arlington||13||83%|
|Oklahoma State University-Main Campus||12||70%|
|University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus||12||80%|
- Some of the nation’s most affordable tuition rates, from a private, nonprofit, NEASC accredited university
- Qualified students with 2.5 GPA and up may receive up to $20K in grants & scholarships
- Multiple term start dates throughout the year. 24/7 online classroom access
5 Most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about a Masters in Environmental Science
Find Funding for a Masters in Environmental Science
The cost of a master’s degree ranges widely from one university and program to the next. However, NCES data shows that, during the 2019/2020 school year, students paid on average $19,792 for their graduate degree. For many people, that means obtaining funding to help cover the costs.
Several funding options may be available. Many graduate students may wish to take a closer look at several of these funding options to find the best combination of financial support to help them continue their degree.
One starting point for finding funding may be through the use of scholarships. These are awarded without the need to repay them, in many cases. They may be complex to locate. Students typically need to apply to them by meeting all of the criteria required and then hope to be awarded the funds. While it may take some time, it may be worth it to many students. Take a closer look at some potential scholarships for environmental science majors. These may change at any time.
Who Can Apply: Semper Solaris was founded March 2012 and is a residential solar power installation company based in San Diego, California. This $2,000 scholarship will go to a student who can best offer creative creative insights into the future of renewable energy.
Deadline: April 15
Who Can Apply: Students must be presently pursuing studies at an accredited community college, junior college, undergraduate or graduate school situated within the United States. The award is also open to those who hold GEDs and high school graduates whose college programs are set to commence before the scholarship deadline.
Deadline: October 31
Who Can Apply: Arizona State University awards a $1,000 Friends of History Scholarship to an undergraduate student who has a declared major in history.
Deadline: July 1
Who Can Apply: This scholarship is available for international and U.S. college sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students who have a strong desire to pursue a career in environmental control as it relates to the pulp, paper and allied industries. Students must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.
Deadline: February 15
Federal loans are backed by the U.S. federal government. That means that the lenders offering them typically need to meet specific requirements and offer competitive terms and conditions. There are options available for graduate students, though they are typically a bit different than those offered to undergraduate students.
Be sure to consider the terms and conditions for these loans to determine if they fit your needs.
Here is a look at some of the options for graduate degree programs through federal student loans:
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans: These are available to graduate schools and professional students. Unlike direct subsidized loans, which are made available to undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need, direct unsubsidized loans often do not have a need based requirement. More students may be eligible for them.
- Direct PLUS Loans: These are made available to professional or graduate level students. They are designed to pay for educational expenses that are typically not paid for through other loans. Eligibility for these loans is not based on financial need. However, some require a credit check to be performed, and borrowers may not qualify without meeting other requirements in some cases.
- Direct Consolidation Loans: These loans enable a student to combine all of their undergraduate and graduate level federal debt into one new loan. This consolidation loan is typically provided after a student completes their education.
Private Student Loans
Private student loans are provided by third-party organizations and are not backed by the U.S. federal government. The biggest difference here is that lenders may be able to set more of their own terms and conditions. This may make it a bit harder for the borrower to know what to expect.
Before selecting a private loan, be sure to focus on the details of the loan, including if it requires a credit check, employment history, a GRE score, or a maintained GPA. In addition to this, some private student loans have repayment requirements to meet during school and may not offer the same options for forbearance or refinancing.
Is environmental scientist a good career?
Working as an environmental scientist may be a career choice for some people completing this master’s program. These individuals typically conduct research and perform investigations with the goal of identifying, minimizing, or eliminating the course of hazards and pollutants to the environment. Sometimes they also focus on public health. They may use their knowledge of various scientific disciplines to do this including synthesizes, studying, collection, and reporting. They may work with air, food, soil, water, and other environmental factors.
The tasks performed as an environmental scientist may include providing scientific or technical guidance and coordination to various organizations, including environmental programs, government agencies, industry, or even the public. They may also review and implement environmental technical standards, policies, and regulations that help to meet specific requirements. Many times, they also collect, analyze, and report environmental data. This may include emissions information, pollution levels, or metrological or mineralogical data, including soil and water samples.
These professionals take all of that data and then communicate to various organizations and the public through workshops, conferences, public hearings, or other ways. The advice they offer may help to create standards or regulations for the industry.
Day-to-day tasks may include compiling environmental and climate data, advising others about management or conservation of the environment, and developing sustainability plans. They may also conduct research on the impact of various factors and private technical information to the public.
To complete this work, many people need to have at least a bachelor’s degree. Some employers may want a person to have a master’s degree and 5 or more years of experience in the field. Some of the skill building may happen on the job, but many employers expect people to already have some of these skills.
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension – Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
2020 Median Salary for Environmental Scientist
The following is the median salary for those working as an environmental scientist in 2020 based on state, according to Bureau of Labor Statistic information.
|North Dakota||$59,670||New Hampshire||$71,060|
Is environmental restoration planner a good career?
An environmental restoration planner is a person who typically collaborates with field and biology staff to implement the restoration and development of new products. They use complex scientific data to create practical strategies for monitoring, restoration, and management of environmental factors.
Those who work in this field typically develop environmental restoration projects, including schedules and budgets. They then may direct others in environmental planning, including biologists, geologists, and energy engineers who wish to develop restoration strategies for various projects. These professionals may also create habitat management and restoration plans and strategies, such as providing insight on weed control or native tree restoration. To do this type of work, they may conduct site assessments to certify the habitat or to ascertain the type of restoration needed based on the damage present.
The day-to-day work of an environmental restoration planner may include planning and creating natural resource conservation and restoration programs, advising other people and organizations about conservation and environmental management, and performing inspections of natural environments. They may also work to analyze environmental data and collect environmental samples to create plans.
To do this type of work, many employers expect these specialists to have a master’s degree in environmental sciences or a related field. They may have very little skill building on the job but rather need to rely on their education to help them to do this type of work.
- Critical Thinking – Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening – Giving full attention to what other people are saying, understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Complex Problem Solving – Identifying complex problems and reviewing information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
2020 Median Salary for Environmental Restoration Planner
The following is the median salary for those people working as an environmental restoration planner in 2020 based on each state, developed from data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|North Dakota||$59,670||New Hampshire||$71,060|