How do I Earn an Environmental Management Degree?

Carol Francois

An environmental management degree program is available from an increasing number of universities and community colleges. This type of degree leads to opportunities to work in government agencies, environmental assessment firms, conservation authorities, and other organizations dedicated to the management of environmental resources. The number of opportunities in this field has grown exponentially in the past few years and is forecast to continue to grow at an above average rate.

One critical element required to successfully earn an environmental management degree is the level of effort by the student.
One critical element required to successfully earn an environmental management degree is the level of effort by the student.

When applying for admissions to an environmental management degree program, read the requirements with care. Although the details vary by institution, almost all schools require candidates to successfully complete high school courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and English. The number of applicants for this type of program is increasing, resulting in higher academic requirements to obtain admissions.

When selecting a school for an environmental management degree, take the time to review the course offerings and internship opportunities. Although the degree programs will be comparable, some schools have a strong physical sciences requirement, while others may focus on communication skills. Take the time to review the options and make sure that you go to a school that focuses on your strengths.

Internship and cooperative job placement opportunities are critical to gaining valuable experience in environmental management. Most schools offer these opportunities as a course that is used toward your grade point average. Review the details and look specifically for information about the level of support provided by the school to locate a successful, relevant placement.

An environmental management degree is typically the same tuition as a bachelor of arts degree. Talk to your academic adviser about scholarships, student loans, bursaries, and grants to help reduce this cost. Financial issues are a primary concern for most students, and effective management of this aspect of student life increases your chances of earning an environmental management degree.

The coursework for an environmental management degree is moderately heavy. There is a significant amount of reading and essay writing required in this program. In addition to the communication courses, physical sciences play a large part in environmental management. As a result, students must also complete courses in environmental science, botany, biology, and geology.

The most critical element required to successfully earn an environmental management degree is the level of effort by the student. Students are expected to be dedicated, hard working, and focused. Be prepared to apply yourself to the best of your abilities. The types of positions you qualify for and career streams available are greatly influenced by your level of effort in school.

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Discussion Comments


@irontoenail - That actually works even if you want to take environmental management courses in order to work for a non-profit or the government. I imagine knowing the current laws is very helpful when trying to force companies into cleaning up their act.

It isn't always companies that need the help, for that matter. The average home is also quite wasteful when it comes to environmental resources and I think that we are going to see more and more campaigns aimed towards getting the average person to try and reduce their environmental footprint.

The people who are going to be working out those campaigns will be people with environmental management degrees. It's definitely going to be a growth industry in the future.


@croydon - The problem is that, without government regulation, there is no reason for a company to care that they are using up too much water, because their stockholders only want short term gain.

What I think is going to happen is that the government will impose stricter regulation on industry and people with environmental management degrees will suddenly become hot property, because they will have a skill set that everyone needs to stay in business.

In fact, I think it would be worth combining their degree in environmental management degree with a law degree, because understanding the laws around environmental regulation is important to the job.


This is such a crucial area of expertise at the moment, I really hope that it becomes a booming industry, although I suspect that it will remain somewhat niche.

I actually think that it should just be required that everyone doing business degrees should be required to do some environmental management training. I know it sounds like I'm just a bleeding heart liberal, but it's common sense not to dirty your own nest and I feel like that's what a lot of companies are doing.

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