2022 Best Bachelor’s Degree Program in Environmental Science

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Click here to find out more about the ranking methodology that we used to compile this list.

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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student-teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire a bachelor’s degree in environmental science but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best bachelor’s in environmental science programs.

What institution did we omit from this list? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

  1. Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Stanford takes a novel approach with its BS in environmental systems engineering program. This curriculum tightens learners’ focus on coastal environments and urban environments. At the end of the program, learners will finish a capstone course specific to their focus area.

  1. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Harvard University’s environmental science and public policy degree program takes a multi-disciplinary approach. Learners tackle current environmental issues from an array of perspectives. The curriculum is divided into introductory classes, foundational classes, junior seminars, and advanced classes.

The bachelor’s degree program at Harvard University looks at environmental issues nationally and globally.

  1. Yale University, New Haven, CT

The School of Forestry and Environmental Studies was established in 1900 and boasts one of the oldest graduate forestry programs in the country. Yale University gives learners the choice of getting a BS or a BA degree in environmental studies. The BA is for learners interested in environmental issues from an interdisciplinary aspect; the BS is for learners who want to focus on the science aspect of the major.

  1. MIT, Cambridge, MA

MIT is one of the most selective undergraduate institutions, only welcoming eight percent of its candidates.  MIT’s degree program gives learners room to investigate in its bachelor of science (BS) in earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences. It incorporates classroom learning with hands-on labs, field experience, and research projects.

  1. Duke University, Durham, NC

The bachelor’s (BS) in environmental sciences gets learners up to speed with all the science fundamentals. After refresher classes in chemistry, calculus, biology, statistics, and physics, learners dive into the core of environmental studies. From a wide selection of classes, key concepts include environmental toxicology; introduction to bioacoustics; global fisheries conflicts; and terrestrial field ecology.

  1. Dartmouth University, Hanover, NH

Along with the bachelor’s in environmental studies degree, Dartmouth has three related minors: environmental studies, environmental science, and sustainability. This degree program goes beyond the basics; it incorporates issues in environmental racism, journalism, law, and more. Learners take classes such as spatial ecology and conservation, native peoples in a changing global environment, getting to a low carbon society, and arctic environmental change.

  1. Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Amherst College is a coeducational liberal arts institution that remains one of Massachusetts’s landmark institutions. The environmental studies bachelor’s (BS) degree program at Amherst College takes the form of 10 primary classes. First, learners finish six core classes. Then, they select four electives from two environmental studies categories—natural sciences and social sciences. This degree program leaves learners lots of room to specialize.

  1. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

The BS in environmental science is designed for learners who love biology, chemistry, and earth sciences. This degree program packs more of a punch in the hard sciences. Beyond the core, learners can focus their study on climatology, conservation, or biogeochemistry. Classes range in subject areas from microbial ecology to aquatic ecosystems.

  1. Columbia University, New York, NY

At Columbia University, learners choose between an environmental science major or an earth science major. This degree is earth-based in its focus; learners study international climate and hydrologic processes. The pinnacle of the bachelor’s degree program comes in the form of a senior research thesis. While working with a faculty member, learners design and implement a research project. Past learners have studied the impact of sea-level rise, the surface morphology of lava flow, and more.

  1. University of California-Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

A hands-on degree program from the start, the BS in environmental science at UCLA, is designed to give learners real-world experience. Learners get a foundational knowledge of the hard sciences and later weave in specific topic areas such as renewable energy, GMOs, and climate change. Some highlight electives include California’s ocean, continental drift and plate tectonics, humid tropics, and leadership in water management.

  1. Washington University – St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Washington University’s BS in sustainability degree program is grounded in science but focuses more on the complex dynamics surrounding sustainability. Out of the 30-unit requirement of core classes, learners will take some of the following: global sustainability, environmental law: applications toward sustainability, environmental ethics, and nature and the American literary imagination.

  1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

UNC at Chapel Hill offers a BS and a BA in environmental science. The BA degree program excels in its concentration areas. Learners will have amazing electives to select from regardless of their concentration. The BS in environmental science contains its concentration area, which is quantitative energy. Learners will utilize analytics, informatics, or business to approach issues of sustainability. This degree program will consist of the study of GIS, smart cities, environmental systems modeling, and more.

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