2023 Best Bachelor’s in Environmental Science Programs

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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 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 bachelor’s in environmental science programs.

What institution did we forget? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Stanford offers a BS in environmental systems engineering. This coursework narrows your focus on coastal environments, freshwater environments, or urban environments.  For the bachelor’s degree, learners will finish a capstone class specific to their focus area. These vary commonly in content—everything from drafting an urban sustainability policy to working with regional companies to develop a disaster resilience plan to collaborating with international partners in international sustainability projects.

  1. Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Arguably the best institution in the world, Harvard University, looms as the pinnacle of higher education. Established in 1636, it is the oldest institution in the nation. Harvard University’s environmental science & public policy degree employs a multidisciplinary approach. Learners will tackle current environmental issues from different perspectives. The coursework is split into introductory classes, foundational classes, junior seminars, and advanced classes.

  1. Yale University, New Haven, CT

Yale University is one of the top schools in the nation. The School of Forestry & Environmental Studies was established in 1900 and boasts one of the oldest graduate forestry programs in the country.  Yale University has a BS or a BA in environmental studies. The BA is for learners interested in environmental issues from a multidisciplinary aspect; the BS is for learners who want to focus on the science aspect of the major.

  1. MIT, Cambridge, MA

MIT’s degree program gives learners room to investigate in its bachelor of science in earth, atmospheric, & planetary sciences. This degree incorporates classroom learning with real-life labs, field experience, and research projects.

  1. Duke University, Durham, NC

The BS in environmental sciences at Duke University covers all the science fundamentals. After refresher classes in chemistry, calculus, biology, statistics, and physics, learners will dive into the core of environmental studies. Once they finish their undergraduate classwork, they will undertake the capstone experience, which is a project-based class that incorporates another discipline, a semester of independent research, or field experience abroad.

  1. Dartmouth College , Hanover, NH

Along with the bachelor’s in environmental studies degree, Dartmouth College 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. Similar to other programs, Dartmouth College values real-life experience in this degree.

  1. Amherst College, Amherst, MA

Formerly an all-male school and one of the oldest in the state, Amherst College is a coeducational liberal arts institution that remains one of Massachusetts’s landmark institutions. The environmental studies bachelor’s degree 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 lots of room for learners to concentrate in areas of their choice.

  1. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

A historical emblem of our nation’s early beginnings, the University of Pennsylvania was one of the fourteen founding schools in the Association of American Universities. In fact, it was established by Benjamin Franklin! Learners may choose to major in earth science or environmental studies. Earth science places learners on a STEM path (with concentrations in paleobiology and geology), and environmental studies broadens learners’ scope to overlapping issues in our international environment.

  1. University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Situated in the heart of the “Windy City,” the University of Chicago is top-rated research institution. Undergraduates can select from 51 distinct majors. The University of Chicago’s Common Core coursework is known as one of the most academically rigorous in the country. The BS in environmental science is designed for learners who love STEM. Beyond the core, learners can focus their study on climatology, conservation, or biogeochemistry.

The marine biological laboratory semester is a highlight for environmental studies learners at the University of Chicago. Learners travel to Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to study marine biology; learners will take six classes in total during that semester, ranging in subject from microbial ecology to aquatic ecosystems.

  1. Columbia University, New York, NY

At Columbia University, learner can select either an environmental science major or an earth science major. This degree is earth-based in its focus; students will learn geological and tectonic processes, international climate change, and hydrologic processes, just to name a few things.

The pinnacle of the bachelor’s degree comes in the form of a senior research thesis. Past learners have studied the impact of sea-level rise, the surface morphology of lava flow, and more.

  1. Brown University, Providence RI

Brown University has forged several academic relationships with other research institutions. Some of these consist of the Marine Biology Laboratory, the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, and more. Brown University puts multidisciplinary study at the forefront of its environmental studies degree (an AB or an ScB degree). The program starts with a foundation set of classes from four paths: air/climate/energy, conservation science & policy, land/water/food security, and sustainability in development.

  1. UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

UCLA is a state research institution based in the Westwood district of LA. A real-life degree program from the start, the BS in environmental science at UCLA, is designed to give students real-world experience. Learners will get a foundational knowledge of the hard sciences and later weave in specific topic areas like renewable energy, GMOs, and climate change. After learners complete the core classes, they can concentrate in one of these six areas: atmospheric & oceanic sciences, conservation biology, environmental engineering, environmental health, environmental systems and society, geography studies, and earth & environmental science.

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

Washington University in St. Louis has a BS in sustainability. This degree program is grounded in science but focuses more on the complex subtleties surrounding sustainability. Learners will have the choice of concentrating in one of the following areas: sustainable environment and science, sustainable management and organizations, and sustainable communities and development. They will take 15 units of classwork in their area of choice.

  1. Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

Northwestern University is one of the top 10 institutions in the nation for its utilization of renewable energy sources. At Northwestern University, students can earn a BS in environmental engineering, which puts a real-life application to the degree. This degree program will lean heavily on mathematics, chemistry, and basic engineering.

  1. UNC at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

UNC at Chapel Hill delivers a BS and BA in environmental science. The BA degree program excels in its concentration areas, which are ecology and natural resources, environment and health, or water and climate. The BS in environmental science has one concentration area: quantitative energy. Learners will utilize analytics, informatics, or business to approach issues of sustainability. Coursework consists of the study of GIS, smart cities, environmental systems modeling, and more.

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