2024 Best Online Master of Environmental Management Programs

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We only have one planet, and earning your Master of Environmental Management degree online could be your next step in helping to protect and sustain the Earth.

Best Online Master of Environmental Management Programs

Through an online environmental studies masters program, you can have the opportunity to develop further skills in the analysis and understanding of our ecosystem. This includes striking an important balance between human and environmental functions.

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With many areas of focus, earning a master’s degree in environmental management could help you advance your career in one of several related fields.

Online Master of Environmental Management Programs

Online Master of Environmental Management Programs

A master’s degree in environmental management combines the stewardship of our planet with the concepts of business, law, economics, and science.

While there are many areas of concentration offered in environmental management graduate programs, these degrees will also cover several general areas of education. These can include:

  • Basic economics
  • Sustainability management
  • Environmental sciences like biology and organic chemistry
  • Data analysis
  • Overview of current environmental challenges
  • Problem solving
  • Statistical analysis
  • Human resource management

Overall, you will cover topics about our planet, including the land, sea, and air. You will have the opportunity to dive deep into not only the science of our environment but also the politics, economics, and problems that impact sustainability.

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In addition, your on-campus or online environmental management degree program will likely cover the mathematical and scientific side of conservation as well as the political, legal, and social ramifications of our impact on the planet. The skill sets and expertise you can develop through an environmental management program could be applicable in a variety of careers, depending on the focus of your studies.

You may choose to work directly with the land, air, water, and wildlife, or you may wish to pursue a role as an advocate, researcher, or educator. You might also have the opportunity to custom-tailor your studies to allow you to pursue specific career paths. From policy reform to hands-on technical positions, there are many important roles in environmental management.

Common Environmental Management Master’s Specializations

Common Environmental Management Master’s Specializations

Many environmental management graduate programs provide specializations or concentrations. These are specially-focused programs that allow for more in-depth learning of certain areas under the environmental management umbrella.

Here are some common environmental management masters specializations:

  • Business and Environment. This type of program focuses on the relationship between businesses and natural resource usage and conservation.
  • Climate Change and Environmental Health. This program emphasizes climate changes as well as how to gauge the wellbeing of our environment overall.
  • Environmental Policy. This program is designed for students who want to analyze and enact policy that benefits our environment.
  • Energy and Environmental Resources. “Green energy” is a hot topic around the world, and this course helps identify how our environmental resources can contribute to or are impacted by energy production and consumption.
  • Water Resource Management. As the name implies, students in this specialization will concentrate on conservation, use, and clean up of various types of waterways.

This is just a sample of potential specializations within an environmental management master’s program. Each school can offer their own concentrations or specialization coursework.

Environmental Policy and Management Careers & Salaries

Environmental Policy and Management Careers & Salaries

Given the wide range of specialty areas offered in environmental management graduate programs, there’s a variety of post-graduation career opportunities in this field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are some careers associated with the field of environmental management. 

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Natural Sciences Managers $137,900
Environmental Engineers $96,820
Hydrologists $84,030
Environmental Scientists and Specialists $76,530
Conservation Scientists and Foresters $63,750
Public Relations Specialists $62,800
Hydrologic Technicians $62,280
Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians $48,390
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators $47,880
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians  $47,370

The graduate specialization you choose can help prepare you for opportunities within natural or environmental sciences.

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Depending on your interests and course of study, you may wish to work directly in the field to investigate, analyze, and conserve Earth’s resources. Some graduates choose to work with businesses, with government entities, or in educational roles.

MS in Environmental Management Curriculum & Courses

MS in Environmental Management Curriculum

When earning your master’s degree in environmental management, you’ll have the opportunity to explore many different courses.

While each school will have their own curriculum, here are some examples of courses you may encounter:

  • Corporate Sustainability Strategy and Management: This course explores the reciprocal role between large industrial and manufacturing corporations and the environment.
  • Environmental Data Science: In this course, you’ll fine-tune your ability to collect data in various ecosystems.
  • Statistics and Data Analysis in the Environmental Sciences: Reviewing and analyzing collected data can provide significant detail about environmental health and human impact, as studied in this course.
  • Environmental Economics and Policy: Natural resources are a key part of our economy, and this course examines the policy that protects them.
  • Global Food Challenges: Environmental conservation and business can impact lands that have traditionally provided food sources, as this course reveals.
  • Climate Change Policy and Perspectives: Climate change impacts all aspects of the planet, and this course helps consider various types of impact as well as how to regulate change.
  • Land Use Law and Environmental Planning: This course continues to examine how humans interact with the environment by diving into the legal aspects of land use.
  • Organic Pollutants in the Environment: In this course, you’ll examine how planetary systems are impacted by their own naturally occurring processes and how these can be altered by human activity.
  • Climate and Society: This course tracks the relationship between various human cultures and the environment.
  • Biogeochemistry: In this course, you’ll combine your knowledge of biology, geology, and chemistry to appreciate how our environment responds to change.

You may also be required to complete courses that focus on a specific ecosystem or geographical area as part of your specialization.

Master of Environmental Management (MEM) Admissions Requirements

Master in Environmental Management Requirements

When researching environmental studies masters programs, it’s beneficial to review the application and admissions requirements.

While each school will have unique admissions requirements, here are some typical criteria:

  • GRE or GMAT scores (only some schools require them)
  • Transcripts for all undergraduate work
  • Bachelor’s degree in environmental management or related field
  • Professional experience in the field
  • Personal statement

Schools may also require the completion of an online application, interview, or statement of intent as well.

Environmental Management Masters Programs Accreditation

Environmental Management Masters Programs Accreditation

When selecting an environmental management graduate program, you may wish to consider a school that’s regionally accredited and recognized by CHEA, or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Schools with regional accreditation are noted for their educational excellence and rewarding and challenging curricula.

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Attending an accredited school can also be an eligibility factor for financial aid opportunities as well as membership in certain professional organizations. Additionally, employers may require applicants to hold an accredited degree for certain roles.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Master in Environmental Management Financial Aid

If you are interested in receiving financial assistance for tuition costs, you may wish to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Doing so can determine your eligibility for needs-based federal aid, such as student loans and work-study programs.

Additionally, you can see if the school you plan to attend provides scholarships for students. These may be based on previous academic performance or achievements in an environmental field. Your employer or local civic organizations may also offer educational assistance or tuition reimbursement programs. You can also see if you qualify for grants from sponsors in environment-related fields.

What Can You Do with an Environmental Management Masters Degree?

Environmental Management Masters Degree

The opportunities that can become available with a master’s degree in environmental management are plentiful, given the range of fields of study. The path you choose will likely be impacted by your interests, talents, and degree specialization.

Some graduates pursue careers in the legal and political areas of environmental science, providing data that can form public policies. Others want to become directly engaged in impacting change, often working as scientists or technicians in the field. Common positions include natural sciences manager, environmental scientist, conservation specialist, and environmental engineer.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Environmental Management Master’s Degree Online?

Environmental Management Master's Degree Online

A masters degree generally takes 1 to 2 years to complete with full-time study. How long it takes to complete a master’s degree in environmental management ultimately depends on the credits required by the program as well as any field work or thesis project components.

A 36 credit hour program may be completed in 1 year if you maintain full-time enrollment year round. Part-time enrollment may extend the amount of time necessary to complete your degree. In addition, some schools require a final thesis project to demonstrate cumulative knowledge. This could increase the length of your studies as well.

What’s the Difference Between an MBA vs. Masters in Environmental Management?

There may be some overlap between an MBA in Environmental Management and a masters in environmental management, but the focus of each program is different.

MBA in Environmental Management Masters in Environmental Management
  • Provides an understanding of environmental sciences
  • Connects environmental concerns and business practices
  • Focuses on relationship between business, industry, and environment
  • Includes business-focused courses, such as economics, business planning, and policy development
  • Provides opportunity to specialize in a particular ecosystem
  • Business is only one area of potential study
  • Offers many areas of focus for hands-on environmental expertise
  • Includes science-based courses that explore human and environmental impact

Each school may provide their own unique focus as well. As a Master of Business Administration, an MBA will focus on broader business and leadership skill sets. Concentration courses can apply those skill sets to the field of environmental management specifically.

Is a Masters in Environmental Management Worth It?

Masters in Environmental Management Career

Yes, a masters in environmental management is worth it for many students. Earning your master’s degree in environmental management can help you develop the skills necessary to navigate a career in environmental or natural sciences. You may choose to specialize in a particular ecosystem as well.

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Some professionals in this field help build public policy. Others consult with businesses regarding environmental health and impact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of environmental scientists and specialists is expected to increase 8% over the next ten years. Natural science managers are also projected to have steady job growth.

Universities Offering Online Masters in Environmental Management Degree Program

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

American Public University

American Public University

American Public University offers a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management. This online program consists of 36 credits. Courses start monthly and are 8 to 16 weeks long. Students can choose a concentration in General Studies, Global Environmental Management, Environmental Sustainability, Fish and Wildlife Management, or Environmental Planning.

APUS is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Columbia University

Columbia University

Columbia University offers a Master’s in Earth and Environmental Engineering. The program aims to equip students to address the massive impacts of population overgrowth, climate change, resource mismanagement, and environmental degradation and pollution. All 30 required credits can be completed online, ensuring flexibility for working professionals.

Columbia University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University

John Hopkins University offers a Master of Science in Environmental Planning and Management. The program aims to provide students with the nuanced skills needed to bridge the gap between environmental science and public policy and effect real change. Graduates often pursue roles in environmental consulting, research, policymaking, and even environmental law.

The Johns Hopkins University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Samford University

Samford University

Environmental issues are increasingly impacting individuals and business, non-profit, and government sectors. Knowing this, Samford University offers a Master of Science in Environmental Management. This degree is typically highly marketable and widely useful. The program consists of 36 credit hours that can be earned 100% online. Full-time students can typically complete the program in 1 year.

Samford University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Connecticut

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut offers a Master of Science in Energy and Environmental Management. The program integrates studies in planning and management, environmental law, and geographic information systems alongside real-world practicum experience.

Key courses cover topics like natural resource management, energy regulation, sustainable planning, data and statistical analysis, and geographic modeling. All required courses can be completed 100% online.

The University of Connecticut is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of Denver

University of Denver

The University of Denver offers a Master’s in Environmental Policy and Management. The program has a flexible online learning model to allow students to complete their coursework at their own pace. The degree can often be finished in just 18 months. The curriculum includes studies in environmental law and regulations, management and reporting systems, and leadership strategy for environmental strategy.

The University of Denver is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

University of Houston – Clear Lake

University of Houston Clear Lake

The University of Houston—Clear Lake offers a Master’s in Environmental Management. Graduates of the program often pursue environmental careers in industry, government, consulting, and nonprofit sectors. The program consists of 42 credit hours and offers a mix of online and on-campus evening classes. New students are admitted 3 times a year.

The University of Houston-Clear Lake is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Maryland Global Campus

The Master of Science in Environmental Management program at the University of Maryland Global Campus is a fully online degree program designed for mid-career professionals. The curriculum covers environmental systems, energy law and policy, risk assessment, natural resource economics, environmental technologies, and communications and reporting.
The University of Maryland Global Campus is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

University of Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Madison

The University of Wisconsin offers a Master of Science in Sustainable Management. This 34 credit program combines the flexibility of online classes with the resources of a traditional on-campus program. The program aims to help students succeed in environmental planning careers regardless of their professional and educational backgrounds.

The University of Wisconsin is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Webster University

Webster University

At Webster University, students in the Master of Science in Environmental Management program can complete their degrees fully online or at the Fort Leonard Wood campus. The curriculum covers project management, environmental law, regulation and compliance auditing, risk management, air, land, water, and waste management, and more.

Webster University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your Master in Environmental Management Degree Online

Master in Environmental Management Degree Online

Whether you’re looking to experience a new career path or build upon your existing role in the environmental field, getting your master in environmental management degree online could be a strategic move. After that, you may even want to consider looking into the PhD in environmental management online programs that a number of universities offer.

Environmental management expertise is applicable in a broad range of industries, and it’s a fascinating field for those who wish to help our planet thrive. You can take a look at the options available to you and compare accredited master’s in environmental management programs that offer specializations that fit your interests.

If you’re wanting to take the next step in your educational and professional journey, why not start exploring accredited universities today?

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Jason Collins
Jason earned his bachelor's degree in English Literature from Loyola Marymount University with a minor in history. A life-long learner with a love of philosophy, history, and science, Jason works in professional development, career enrichment, and improved business practices.