Online Master's in Environmental Science

Using physical and natural science to study the environment

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Next Start Dates

August 17, 2020
October 19, 2020
January 11, 2021

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Masters in Professional Science

Analyze the environment using physical and natural sciences

Expand critical thinking, data analysis, and research skills

Establish a career in the growing environmental science industry

M.S. in Professional Science: Environmental Science

Do you want to take the next step in your education and work toward a career in environmental science? Our Master’s of Environmental Science will prepare you for careers with various public agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Geological Survey, and the Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as opportunities in the private sector with environmental and engineering firms.

  • 100% online. Environmental Science students who take a full course load can complete the degree requirements in as few as 12 months!
  • World-class faculty experienced in online teaching.
  • Small class sizes allow for personalized attention. That’s something you won’t find at larger, online universities!
  • Affordable and flexible. Take the classes whenever works for you. We offer five start dates per year!
  • Unlike similar programs, no GRE is required.

Who should pursue a Master’s in Environmental Science?

The M.S. in Professional Science: Environmental Science track, is aimed at:

  • Recent graduates of science degrees who want a career working for environmental agencies and non-profits
  • Government employees who seek new employment opportunities and promotions
  • Those who want additional skills to advance in their careers
  • Anyone who has a background in Geology, Soil Science, or Earth Science

Job Outcomes of the Master’s in Environmental Science program

Graduates of the Master’s in Professional Science: Environmental Science track, can become:

Environmental Engineer

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 27%

Median Salary:



Environmental Scientist

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 11%

Median Salary:



Physical / Geoscience Technician

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 16%

Median Salary:



Source: Burning Glass Technologies. “Labor Insight™ Real-Time Labor Market Information Tool.” Updated March 11, 2020.

M.S. in Environmental Science Degree requirements:

30 credits earned
3.00 minimum cumulative graduate-level grade-point average


Professional Skills Core

PROF 510 Communication for Environmental Professionals
Course Description: 

This course will provide students the opportunity to develop vital professional skills in oral and written communication while preparing them to communicate clearly about science, policy, and technology issues with demographically diverse and geographically dispersed audiences. Content will address mass media and public understanding of science; organizational communication issues such as structure and communication networks; rhetoric, advocacy, and strategic message development; the role of public opinion and public policy; innovation and decision making; crisis communication and conflict management; emerging communication technologies; and inter-organizational and cross-disciplinary communication.


PROF 515 Ethical Practice and Policy
Course Description: 

This course will investigate some of the ethical dimensions of a life in professional science, examining dimensions of environmental and natural resource science and policy in the context of globalization, global change, and climate change. Students critically evaluate the ethical dimensions of common scientific practice and policy issues related to sustainability and natural resources.

PROF 505 Strategic Management of Innovation
Course Description:

The course is designed to help students understand the strategic, organizational, and human issues that can either help or hinder you (and the organizations, both private and public, you work for) in efforts to develop and implement science-based solutions to environmental and natural resource challenges. It combines the study of those principles needed to manage scientific innovation with an emphasis on how environmental innovation fits within an organization’s strategy and business model, and why they matter, and how one creates an innovative learning organization, drives change within an organization, and drives the adoption of the innovations the organization creates.

Environmental Science Planning Core

ENSC 505 Water and Soil Resource Management

This course will cover a range of topics relating to soil and water management, such as basic soil and water interactions, salinity and sodicity issues, soil erosion, chemical transport, and water use efficiency. Processes that degrade soil and water resources (e.g. erosion, salinity, alkalinity and sodicity, as well as acidification, water repellence, and degradation of soil structure) are examined, and their measurement, avoidance and management discussed. Broader issues in soil and water conservation are also covered. 



ENSC 610 Environmental Analysis: Atmosphere, Soil, and Water

This environmental science course covers a broad range of analytical techniques related to soil, air, and water systems. Sample preparation procedures and sampling methods are covered, as are key soil chemical processes, air quality sampling, water sampling, and how they are quantified. The application of techniques is discussed using case studies and environmental problem-solving.  The influence of air, water, and soil pollution on environments locally and globally will be also be discussed.


GISC 505 GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Solutions

This course is intended to introduce students to GIS and remote sensing software and tools used to solve real-world environmental problems. Students will learn concepts and data sources and formats used in environmental research they may encounter in careers in environmental science. This course introduces the fundamentals of cartography, photogrammetry, geographic information science, and remote sensing through maps and spatial analysis used to answer various environmental and ecological issues. This course will also introduce students to use map and data outputs in the decision-making process that can impact environmental assessments and determinations.


SNRM 520 Quantitative Reasoning and Scientific Thought

This course provides managers with a basic quantitative literacy to enhance their ability to evaluate and interpret current ecological literature, and to implement management procedures that help advance understanding of the systems they manage. Topics include ecological study design, use of models in ecology, and advanced statistical approaches such as information-theoretic and Bayesian methods.

SUST 510 Climate Dynamics

Climate change is the defining environmental issue of the 21st century. Sustainability scientists and natural resource managers should be able to follow the emerging science and communicate it to a wide variety of audiences. This course begins with the science of climate and climate change and the anthropogenic contributions to that change. The course then examines the technical and economic challenges society faces with regard to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and strategies to increase the resilience of natural and human communities. Throughout the course, we will examine the historical and emerging responses to aspects of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Environmental Research Capstone

PROF 590 Capstone I

This course guides students through the creation of a capstone project. Students from all degree tracks solve real-world problems through the application of the variety of skills and knowledge acquired during their master’s experience. Students work to develop projects that demonstrate transdisciplinary thinking, analyze complex systems, and develop and communicate solutions to posed problems. Note: Must be scheduled by an advisor in accordance with an academic plan.


PROF 690 Capstone II

This course is the culminating experience of obtaining the M.S. of Professional Science degree at Unity College. Students will work to solve real-world problems through the application of the variety of skills and knowledge acquired during their master’s experience. Collaborators work to demonstrate transdisciplinary thinking, analyze complex systems, and develop and communicate solutions to posed problems. Students will complete their capstone projects in their fields of interest. Note: Must be scheduled by an advisor in accordance with an academic plan.

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Research and Capstone Projects

Student research lies at the heart of our degree programs.