Online Environmental Management Graduate Programs & Schools

Conveniently study to bridge ecosystem and human health with policy decisions in one of the many Environmental Management Graduate Programs online. Tap into personal and professional concerns about water pollution, air quality, and climate change. Then, work to gain the confidence to lead initiatives.

Why earn a graduate degree in Environmental Managementwritten by Rana Waxman

Environmental Management Graduate Programs Online: Overview

There are a wide range of Environmental Management Graduate Programs online at the Masters, Doctorate and certificate levels. A grad degree in EM could help participants learn to problem solve and make business savvy decisions when it comes to local and global environmental challenges.

Most programs are flexible enough to choose a focal area in line with one’s career visions. At the same time, core courses could build overall proficiency in environmental sciences, business and sustainable policies. Independent research often develops expertise that might make a positive ecological footprint for future generations.


When surveyed, 50% of Industrial Ecologists reported they had a Masters degree, 21% a Doctoral degree.i

Curriculum for Online Environmental Graduate Programs

Online environmental management graduate programs offer varying curricula, but a few possible required courses are listed below.

7 Courses You Need to Take

  1. Climate Change Science: Students might start out with an overview of the basic processes of the climate system, then study the changes throughout time. Other key topics cover the predictive models used to assess climate changes. The various impacts of climate change to regions and ecosystems could be highlighted as well.
  2. Management Economics: This course usually explores the economics of ecologically sustainable growth. Students could study the markets, supply and demand, environmental assessment,
  1. renewable resources and price incentives for environmental up turns. Participants could learn to apply cost-benefit and microeconomic analyses to solve problems like pollution.
  2. Environmental Law and Policy: Often addressed in this course are the basic legislative, executive, and judicial points of view about environmental protection. Students might learn about domestic and international policies as well as how they are enforced. Further topics could help students learn about energy law, conservation and how environmental conflicts are resolved.
  3. Water Resources Management: This course often takes a deep look at how water resources are planned, distributed and managed. Students might examine the biophysical processes such as aquatic ecosystems, flooding, water scarcity, health, climate change, energy, and new technologies. Other topics could delve into policy constraints, business opportunities, and economic realities of local and global water levels.
  4. Ecosystem Science: Coursework could discuss sustainable stewardship. Students might study various ecological patterns and processes through topics such as biodiversity, food web and species interactions.
  5. Ecological Sampling: Other aspects might deal with the principals of ecological sampling, hypothesis testing and basic statistical tools. Through these topics, participants might learn to develop ecosystem-friendly plans to protect and conserve species, communities, and people.
  6. Environmental Statistics: This course covers statistical analysis used in environmental modeling. Topics might include finite population parameter estimation, spatial sampling techniques and survival analysis.

Online Environmental Science Masters Degree Programs

Individuals ready to pursue a Masters in Environmental Management online could study hot button issues such as global warming, deforestation, soil erosion, landfills and more. Students could learn to critically assess these challenges through the lens of science, management and policy.

Some students might complete their online Masters degree in environmental management in two or three years. Many schools require students to complete the program within five or six years. That stated, both the number of required credits and the student’s enrollment status impact completion time.

Most Masters in environmental management programs comprise 36 credits, however requirements could range from 30 to 48 credits. Some programs are designed for part-time learners, while others are offered only full time.

Program format might also affect the time required to earn the degree. Independent and self-motivated students might lean towards an individually paced program. These tend to deliver coursework asynchronously, without set class times.

Distance students who prefer more direct instruction and contact with classmates, might enjoy a cohort-based program. These may entail some synchronous classes with real-time lectures delivered via video conferencing.

Online MBA in Environmental Management

Want to build overall business skills to respond to environmental problems? An online MBA in Environmental Management is a Master of Business Administration with a focus on environmental topics and sustainable business strategies.

Online MBA students could learn to meet the challenges of energy, economics, and the environment through a variety of strategic planning tools. The Environmental Management MBA at partner school, The University of Arizona Global Campus mixes a foundation of traditional business theories like operations, project management, and finance with environmental management topics.

To achieve an MBA in Environmental Management at The University of Arizona Global Campus, students may need to complete three (3) three (3) credit EM specific courses in addition to the core MBA courses a capstone project. See below for examples.

  1. Environmental Law and Compliance: This course could start off with an analysis of The Solid Waste Disposal Act/Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). Other topics might familiarize students with an environmental manager’s duties as well as U.S. environmental laws.
  2. Energy, Environment and Economics: As the title suggests, this course could have students learn about the links between energy resources, environmental and economic issues. Other material might cover the impact of energy supply and end-use with an eye to problem solve. Students could also study approaches to resolve technical, economic, strategic, environmental, socio- and geopolitical problems of the energy industries.
  3. Business Strategy: This type of course could holistically cover the ‘sustainable enterprise.’ Students might study the challenge of corporations that compete in the global economy and have to respond to technology, demographics and environmental concerns. Both sustainability practices and strategic management concepts might also be discussed.

Online MS in Energy Policy and Climate

Do you want to develop deeper insight into climate science and sustainable energy systems? An online Master of Science in Energy Policy and Climate could address not just the challenges of today, but also potential future impacts.

Distinct courses might help students refine their expertise in energy law and policy making. For instance, at partner school, John Hopkins, students might take a required class in Climate Change Policy Analysis. The course might examine various regulatory and market-based tactics available in the U.S. for national-level policy such as cap and trade and carbon taxation.

Moreover, students might study to gain a working knowledge of primary energy technologies, such as fossil fuel-based systems and renewable energy options. A course in energy and climate finance could go into more detail about the economic theory behind market-based environmental policy instruments.

A choice of electives from a school’s list of online courses could round out interests and goals.

Here are 4 sample topics.

  1. Wind Energy -Science, Technology and Policy
  2. Cities and Climate Change
  3. Climate Change and Health
  4. Renewable Energy

A final research project may enable students to develop in-depth skills in a topic related to climate change science or policy. Online learners might work closely with experts in their field of study as well as improve professional writing and presentation skills.

Online MS in Environmental Health & Safety Management

Are you an fascinated by issues such as industrial hygiene and occupational safety? Woven into an online Master of Science program at partner school, Rochester Institute of Technology, students could focus on environmental health and safety management (EHS).

Online RIT students could study key business processes and how companies work towards sustainability through integrated EHS management systems. Participants could take a full curriculum of core courses, professional electives, and cap their studies with a choice of exam, thesis or project. See below for 5 elective topics.

  1. Air Emissions Management
  2. Occupational Safety
  3. Mechanical and Electrical Controls and Standards
  4. EHS Law
  5. EHS Accounting and Finance

Online Environmental Management PhD Programs

Do you want to conduct original research about environmental issues? A PhD in Environmental Management is a terminal research degree. At a research level, environmental management attends to the critical environmental issues facing the global community today.

An online Environmental Management PhD Program could also provide graduate research students with the opportunity to acquire key policy and management skills. In some programs, participants might carry out research in conjunction with the agencies responsible for managing and implementing environmental policy.

In some universities, a Doctor of Philosophy Degree may require three years full-time study and completion of a written thesis. PhD students typically must make a distinct contribution to the knowledge within their specific discipline. Ideally, this results in the publication of original research findings in peer-reviewed journals of international standing.

Online Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management

Do you want to study a specific aspect of environmental management? An online Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management is a non-degree award. It usually targets one theme in just a few courses.

This way, you might study to infuse a resume with new managerial skills or technical know-how. Things like compliance management strategies and practices, for example. Most certificates are short-term (a year full-time or less), and schools sometimes allow (some or all) credits to transfer into an appropriate Masters program.

Go Green! – Earn an Environmental Degree Online

Wonder what you might do with an online degree in environmental management? Go green. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has developed a definition of “green jobs” that is used in their data collection.ii

Per the BLS, these green careers are in either of two avenues: (1) businesses that produce goods or provide services that benefit the environment or conserve natural resources, (2) those where employees’ duties involve making their establishment's production processes more environmentally friendly or use fewer natural resources. ii

While no degree guarantees employment, there are many potential career paths that could meld a concern for environmental issues with other talents. Use the information to help you choose an online environmental management degree program.

What to Expect From an Online Environmental Management Program?

Some online environmental management graduate programs are self-directed with asynchronous classes. Students in these programs usually watch recorded videos and lectures on their own time and from wherever they have Internet.

Other programs may use cohort-based or instructor-guided options. These use synchronous classes that include real-time web conferencing. Lectures may also be uploaded for distance students onto the course management system.

Tips to Smoothly Apply to Environmental Grad Schools

Prepare to apply to Environmental Management Graduate Programs online. Check out each school’s admission information ahead of time.

One of the possible perks to online programs is the ‘rolling admissions’ which means you may not have to wait until ‘next year’ to get started. However, the next program start date could be close at hand.

Here are 5 tips to help you smoothly fill out an application. Remember that each school sets its own standards, so this is not a one-size fits all guide.

  1. Check for program-specific coursework and GPA requirements. A school might state that applicants need certain undergraduate (or graduate) level courses or a GPA average
  2. Have transcripts ready. Masters level programs require a Bachelors degree and possibly, a major related to the graduate program. Certificates could follow suit though some may be designed more as add-ons to a Masters degree. PhD programs in environmental management could require students to gain sponsorship from a faculty member. Applicants may also need a Masters degree with a slant towards research
  3. Make sure to have some recommendation letters or, just the approval and contact info for references. Some schools may email the recommendation form directly to them directly
  4. Have a current Resume or Curriculum Vitae on hand
  5. Know what to include in a statement of purpose so you could cover the appropriate bases

Choose Environmental Management Graduate Programs Online 

Use the exact match environmental grad school finder to locate Environmental Management Graduate Programs online that could be perfect for you. Set filters for program level, then instantly get results from partner schools. Pick a great program, then contact schools directly and instantly with the on-page form.

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