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An accelerated environmental science degree can be a great choice for a working adult who wants a career change or boost. Whether you’ve started working with an associate’s degree or certificate, or you need an online program that gets you out the door and onto the job market faster, there are options for you.

So in reality, how long does it take to get an environmental science degree? It really depends on where you start. A full bachelor’s degree is generally four years, of course. But if you’ve already got an associate’s degree, there are many degree completion programs online that can allow you to finish the bachelor’s in as little as a year. Other online programs use accelerated courses, as short as 5-8 weeks, to help speed you along. Multiple start dates, and continuous onboarding, means that for many online programs you get rid of the lag time of summer and winter to finish faster.

Featured Schools

Methodology: Ranking the Best Accelerated Environmental Science Degree Programs

Speed is important, but so is quality, so the editors at Bachelor’s Degree Center feature legitimate, accredited schools. These programs are ranked according to current IPEDS and Niche data, including cost, potential salary, and student satisfaction.

1. Bellevue University

Bellevue University offers the best accelerated environmental science degree for students who are interested in learning online. The university allows students to transfer many of their credits from other eligible schools and provides them with a degree that can be completed in much less time than similar degrees from other universities. With a Sustainability BS that is earned online, students have the best of both worlds and are able to work while they attend school.

Bellevue University has been around for over 25 years and offers valued, accelerated degree programs that students can earn either online or on campus. In addition to offering accelerated programs that can be completed much sooner than similar programs, the university makes sure that each degree is as affordable as possible. Students can also rely on faculty members to have the experience and skills they need to be effective educators.

What We Like: Every student graduates knowing they have what they need to be effective at whatever job they choose.

Degree: Sustainability Management BS

Bellevue University

2. American Public University

American Public University provides students with an accelerated environmental science degree they can rely on if they plan to be successful. With this degree, students can have up to 82% transfer credit. Students are capable of exploring all of the career options that are available with an environmental science degree. With an online Environmental Science BS, students are capable of finding a job while they are still in school and gaining valuable experience long before they graduate.

American Public University is well-known for providing the highest quality online degree programs at affordable prices. The online learning platform makes it easy for students to access many of the university’s resources without ever leaving their homes. The university also takes pride in having many award-winning faculty members on staff.

What We Like: By enrolling at the university, students are able to explore numerous career opportunities before they ever graduate.

Degree: Environmental Science BS

American Public University

3. University of Maryland Global Campus

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers an accelerated environmental science degree program that can be taken in the campus or online. No matter which direction they choose, the accelerated program offers condensed lesson plans that allow students to pursue a degree that will give them all of the necessary skills they will need to work in most environmentally-based careers. With an online BS in Environmental Management, they will be able to take on large projects and succeed at seeing them through to completion.

The University of Maryland Global Campus offers top-of-the-line degree programs with advanced technological resources. Accelerated programs allow students to complete their degree programs in less than 18 months and move on to the next phase of their career. Every faculty member employed by the school is successful in their own right and capable of providing students with a unique perspective.

What We Like: Students can expect to achieve great things by earning their online degrees online from this university.

Degree: Environmental Management BS

University of Maryland Global Campus

4. Virginia Wesleyan University

Virginia Wesleyan University offers many of the best accelerated environmental science degree programs available to students who want to attend school online while they work. With this accelerated degree program, the student can complete their coursework and graduate in less than 12 months. Most Bachelors of Arts degree programs takes 18 months to two years to complete. By enrolling online for their BA in Environmental Studies, they have the option to take a course load that is condensed into fewer lessons so they can finish much faster and begin taking on more responsibilities at work.

Virginia Wesleyan University has a reputation for offering quality degree programs in the classroom. Now, they offer those same quality degree programs online for students who can’t afford to leave work to attend school. Faculty members offer their full support and give students everything they need to increase their earning potential and create a solid career path.

What We Like: Even before they graduate, they will begin to explore new opportunities and work through every challenge.

Degree: Environmental Studies BA

Virginia Wesleyan University

5. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University’s Environmental Science BS gives students a chance to earn an accelerated environmental science degree online so they are able to take full advantage of every job-related opportunity. The university allows students to transfer up to 90 credits, giving them a chance to complete their degree in a timely fashion. By learning online, they can begin to use their new skills almost immediately. Many students who choose an online BS in environmental science are already employed and taking care of their families. The only way to go to school and continue to work is through using an online learning platform.

As a well-known Christian school, Grand Canyon University is sought after by students who value an education that is based on their faith and religious values. By enrolling in the university’s online programs, students get the best of both worlds and a curriculum that can be completed in much less time than a traditional degree program.

What We Like: Students can turn to the experienced faculty for both guidance and advice as they begin to take on new challenges and opportunities.

Degree: Environmental Science BS

Grand Canyon University

6. Maryville University

Maryville University offers online accelerated environmental science degree programs to students who want to transfer into the program. The school is transfer-friendly, which means students may be able to transfer the bulk of their existing credits to their new program. This means that they will graduate much faster, using an affordable online BS in Sustainability degree program. They can begin to look for work long before they graduate, allowing them to start their career much sooner.

Maryville University has won numerous awards for both core college values and advanced academic curriculums. Faculty and staff are both experienced and professional, giving students a chance to learn their lessons from a different perspective. With the advanced online learning platform, students are able to learn whenever it is most convenient for them.

What We Like: Flexible schedules mean more comprehension and less wasted time driving to and from the campus.

Degree: Sustainability BS

Maryville University

7. Columbia Southern University

Columbia Southern University offers an online accelerated environmental science degree program that provides technical skills as well as managerial abilities for students who are already employed in their chosen career field. The university allows students to transfer 90 credits from their old degree program, making it possible for them to graduate much sooner and begin to apply what they are learning. Online degree programs offer the same quality education as those taught on campus, giving students every advantage possible.

Columbia Southern University offers online programs that are second to none when it comes to being flexible and affordable. Accelerated degree programs can be completed in 18 months or less and when it is most convenient for the student.

What We Like: Flexibility is key with online programs. Students can study from anywhere and at any time. They are able to work or care for their families and study when they are best able to absorb the content being presented.

Degree: Environmental Management BS

Columbia Southern University

8. Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University offers online accelerated environmental sciences degree programs for students with a desire to work with our natural resources. The accelerated degree program can be completed in approximately 18 to 24 months, depending on which degree is chosen. Students have the option to transfer up to 90 credits from other schools if they are eligible. With an online environmental science BS, students can work on their degree without leaving their job or visiting the campus.

Southern New Hampshire is one of the most respected universities in the country when it comes to online learning and advanced degree programs. Students are given every advantage and allowed to work according to a flexible schedule. With the assistance of their professors, they are able to earn their degrees and take on new challenges that will allow them to succeed.

What We Like: Almost all of their degree programs are available over an online learning platform, making them both convenient and affordable.

Degree: Environmental Science BS

Southern New Hampshire University

9. Unity College

Unity College offers the best online accelerated environmental sciences degree programs in the New England area. Accelerated online degrees offer both convenience and efficiency. Students are able to learn in an environment where they are most comfortable and have the flexibility to continue working in the process. They also have the advantage of learning more in a shorter amount of time. This allows them to use what they are learning in their online BS in environmental studies while they are on the job.

Unity College has gone to great lengths to ensure that its degree programs are academically sound and able to give students all of the tools they will need to succeed. The college accepts up to 90 transfer credits to ensure that each student is capable of earning the degree they want.

What We Like: The advanced online learning platform and valuable resources make it possible for the student to move forward with their careers before they receive their diploma.

Degree: Environmental Studies BS

Unity College

10. Everglades University

Everglades University is able to provide students with an online accelerated environmental science degree they can use to explore employment opportunities in the environmental management field. Students are able to learn valuable skills they will be able to use both in the office and out in the field. With an online BS in environmental management, each student has the ability to pursue employment opportunities at the highest level and enjoy the rewards that come with those positions.

Everglades University is one of Florida’s top online schools. Every degree program they offer meets or exceeds the level of academic excellence that is expected from a top-tier school. Faculty members work diligently to ensure each student has everything they need to succeed both in their careers as well as life in general.

What We Like: No stone is left unturned when it comes to helping students meet and overcome their challenges.

Degree: Environmental Management BS Online

Everglades University

What If I Already Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

If you already have a bachelor’s in a related field and want to move into a different environmental science career, a certificate program might be your best option. There are a lot of advantages to using an environmental science certificate or an online environmental science certificate program to get that extra career lift. Certificates take a lot less time and money than a whole new bachelor’s degree or a master’s and they are stackable – you can add up several certificates for different areas or levels of expertise. That can add some real job market influence and make you a lot more appealing to employers. Certificates are much more affordable than a full four-year bachelor’s degree or 2-3 year master’s degree. Some certificate programs are as cheap as a few hundred dollars for an entire program. Considering the mountain of student loan debt many professionals are paying off, a low cost for a real career boost seems like a smart investment.

Just like bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a certificate in environmental science program comes in all kinds of forms. Some certificate programs may take five courses, while others may take 10 or even 15. Some specializations in environmental science certificates may include:

  • Climate & Renewable Energy Finance
  • Climate Solutions and Sustainable Energy
  • Communications for Conservation
  • Community Environmental Studies
  • Conservation Action
  • Environmental Management
  • Global Stability
  • Sustainable Lands Management
  • Understanding Climate Change

Many environmental science certificate programs are available online from reputable, accredited colleges and universities. The advantages of taking an environmental science certificate online are very real for working adults or career-changing professionals. With no commute and flexible classes, an online certificate in environmental science is much more convenient for working around a current job and family obligations.

What Are Some Careers Related to Environmental Science?

“Environmental scientist” is a job title, but most of the careers with an environmental science degree are not quite so obvious. A bachelor’s in environmental science can be the starting point for a wide range of careers in a wide range of industries and fields. The careers in environmental science list includes:

  • Ecologist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Environmental Policy and Management
  • Horticulturist
  • Meteorologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Soil Scientist
  • Wildlife Manager
  • Zoologist

That’s a wildly incomplete list of environmental science careers. Depending on your area of focus in environmental science, you could find yourself working for:

  • Education
  • Government
  • Laboratory Science
  • Nonprofits
  • Private Industry

With a bachelor’s in environmental science, you could find yourself working in a government office for sustainability or public safety and health, like OSHA. You could be hired by a private company to help them craft policy and improve their impact on the earth. You could help raise money for a nonprofit, or you could spend most of your time outside, testing soil or air or water.

While some environmental science careers can be obtained with a master’s, any environmental science careers list will include jobs that you need a master’s or doctorate for. That’s why a bachelor’s in environmental science can often be a stepping stone to more schooling and expertise.

What are some possible future career fields in environmental science? Future career fields in environmental science could include jobs involving robotics and nanotechnology, creating virtual environments to study the natural world, and using technologies in development and not even invented yet to rebuilt better against climate change.

Related Rankings:

25 Best Bachelor’s in Environmental Science

15 Best Online Bachelor’s in Environmental Science

10 Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Environmental Science

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