Online B.S. in Environmental Science and Climate Change

Make a difference in a changing world

Make your dream a reality!

It takes five minutes to apply, and no essay or recommendations are needed!

Next Start Dates:

March 30, 2020
May 4, 2020
May 25, 2020
July 6, 2020

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Get ahead with an Online GIS degree at Unity College!

Start finding solutions

Get ready for a vibrant career implementing solutions to the world’s environmental issues.

Do work that matters

Explore careers that make a difference.

Preparation for graduate degrees in engineering

Get exposure to implementing green technologies and lay the groundwork for advanced degrees.

Cross-disciplinary science skills

Receive a rigorous cross-disciplinary science education (biological, physical, and social sciences) with the ability to analyze and interpret data.

100% Online: B.S. Environmental Science and Climate Change

Today’s scientists must be prepared to assess environmental problems and provide solutions. Through transdisciplinary learning, linking the social, physical, and natural sciences, Unity College environmental science students will be poised for a vibrant career implementing solutions to the world’s environmental issues. Learning through the lens of climate change adaptation and mitigation, this program will allow students to step into enriching careers that make a difference.

This degree program prepares you for a career as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) inspector, environmental consultant, environmental engineer (with graduate school), civil engineer, or urban or regional planner. In addition to the core scientific studies, this bachelor’s degree helps to improve your critical thinking, analytical skills and communication skills which are valuable assets in all industries.

Online Environmental Science and Climate Change Degree Program Highlights:

  • One-on-one academic and professional advising Our world-class faculty and trained staff strive to make your professional and academic goals a reality.
  • Unity College is an accredited institution by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
  • Learn about solutions to environmental issues from a transdisciplinary perspective.
  • Study when and where you want and finish your degree while still working full-time.
  • Get professional skills training by doing a concentration in Environmental GIS, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Business, or Wildlife Ecology, or Emergency Disaster Management.
  • Make professional connections with leaders in your field.
  • Get job placement assistance through our career development department.
  • Eight start dates per year

Courses in this online degree are taught by expert practitioners

Many are leaders in the field and hold positions at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, the Nature Conservancy, and other prominent government and nongovernment organizations.

Career Goal Concentrations

This degree program offers a diverse selection of concentration areas to focus your study toward your career goals. Students work with an academic advisor to determine which area best meets their career goals. Current concentration areas available to students include:

Renewable Energy

This specialization will allow students to apply their environmental science degree to understanding the growing field of renewable energy. This is a degree that prepares a student nicely to move into a graduate degree in engineering. You’ll be exposed to the exciting world of creating and implementing green technologies, such as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass power. Students will be expected to complete a minimum of 9 credits in courses such as: Introduction to Green Energy: Politics and Implementation, Alternative Energy Technologies (with Lab), and Renewable Energy: Science, Technology and Management.

Environmental GIS

This specialization will allow students to apply their environmental science degree to understanding the growing field of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Students will gain valuable technical skills in cartography, GIS data analysis, and geospatial data collection (remotely sensed imagery from satellites, aircraft, and drones, social media, telemetry, GPS, etc.). Courses include: Introduction to GIS for Environmental Solutions, Maps and Graphics for a Changing World, and Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis.

Other concentration options: Sustainable Business, Emergency Disaster Management, and Wildlife Ecology.

Job Outcomes of the Online B.S. in Environmental Science and Climate Change Degree

According to O-Net, the nation’s primary source for occupational information, the green economy is changing the world of work and is creating a high demand for green occupations. Graduates of the B.S. in Environmental Science and Climate Change will be prepared for numerous careers in sustainability and the environment:

Environmental Compliance Specialist

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 8.2%

Median Salary:


Environmental Technician

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 12.1%

Median Salary:


Environmental Engineer

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 8.4%

Median Salary:


Health and Safety Engineer

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 9.9%

Median Salary:


GIS Specialist

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 9.3%

Median Salary:


Energy Engineer

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 6.4%

Median Salary:


Solar Installer

Projected 10-year growth:

+ 104.4%

Median Salary:


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

Environmental Science and Climate Change Degree Requirements:

A minimum of 120 earned credit hours, 30 credits earned at Unity, and an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0. For complete degree requirements, view the Unity College B.S. in Environmental Science and Climate Change Checklist​ or the Unity College Distance Education Catalog.


Environmental Science and Climate Change Sample Courses:

BIOL 201 Organisms that Sustain the Earth: Understanding Plants

Plants, as the most prominent primary producers in terrestrial systems due to photosynthesis, are the base source of energy in the most ecosystems.  This course will introduce students to the factors that influence the growth, distribution and abundance of plants, the influence of plants on energy and nutrient flow, and key features of plant biology.  Students will experience the diversity of plants and how major taxa differ in form and function.  Case studies will illustrate the role of plants in ecosystem function, human culture, and animal ecology. 

BIOL 203 Ecological Principles: Applications to Conservation and Wildlife

In this course students will explore key concepts of ecology.  The course emphasizes concepts applicable to understanding and mitigating impacts of climate change, human activities, and invasive species on ecological systems, as well as other concepts underlying conservation ecology and management of wildlife species.  Through course activities focused around practical application of concepts, students will gain a basic understanding of evolution, autecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology. 

CHEM 101 Inorganic Chemistry 1

This course covers the fundamentals of inorganic chemistry, with an emphasis on modern and applied chemistry of atomic and molecular matter. Specific emphasis will be on atomic theory, bonding, nomenclature, stoichiometry, molecular structure and reactivity, orbitals and electron configurations, the periodic table, intermolecular forces, aqueous solutions, and basic chemical reactions.

COMM 303 Communicating to Stakeholders

This course teaches students how to communicate real-world issues and problems for a just end. Students will learn how different modes of communication such as storytelling can be used as an effective way to communicate an organization’s mission and builds empathy for its cause. Students will learn how to craft values-based communications to persuade stakeholders to support social justice issues such as sustainability, environmental law, and wildlife conservation. Students will learn concepts and skills to build public support for their organization’s mission, strategic initiatives, and fund-raising activities. This course will develop skills in written, visual, and oral communication. 

ENCJ 305 Natural Resource Law and Policy

This survey course addresses not only the creation and management of our natural and wildlife resources on federal public lands, with a focus on the National Parks, National Forests, and the National Resource Lands (Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulated lands), but also including the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Wilderness Preservation System. Students will learn how interest groups, citizens, and the courts influence the management of natural resources on these lands. After taking the class, students should be familiar with the major public land legislation such as the National Forest and National Park “Organic Acts” and the Wilderness Act; as well as laws that affect our public lands, but apply more broadly, including the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Through class work and their papers, students will also be familiar with different perspectives on some of the most important current issues facing our public lands.

ERSC 101 Geology and Our Environment

Desertification, acid rain, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, radon poisoning – what do these have to do with geology?  In this course students will explore how the geology of our environment influences ecological processes and environmental issues.   Students focus on the influence of geological processes, exploring both the large-scale events of natural disaster such as earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, and landslides, and less obvious influences of geology on pollution, soil loss, groundwater availability, distribution and effect of mining and petroleum exploration, and other environmental issues.  Issues will be explored through case studies with an emphasis on recognizing the role of geological process in solving or creating environmental issues. 

ESCI 301 Soil Analysis

This course involves detailed study of the biological, chemical, and geological components of soil, soil types, and soil health. Topics covered include principles and processes in soil chemistry, soil taxonomy, soil geography, and erosion. Additionally, students will explore the role of organic materials in soil health and type, general roles of soil properties on vegetative nutrient uptake, and the role of soil on nutrient and chemical cycles.  Throughout the course of the term, students will pursue a project related to soil’s influence on environmental health and sustainability.

ESCI 303 Hydrology, Wetlands, and Water Policy

The course is a systematic study of the function of wetlands, including the underlying hydrology and policies controlling their use. Specific topics include water pathway models, reservoirs, groundwater storage and utilization, general wetland ecology, and wetland policy and regulation. Students will additionally explore human impacts on hydrology and wetlands, and work in groups to prepare a wetland restoration plan.

ESCI 305 Environmental Remediation and Toxicology

This course is focused on the basic concepts of and science behind environmental toxicology, including processes related to remediation and contaminant mediation. Topics include the underlying biological processes such as bacterial metabolism, enzymatic activity, anaerobic and aerobic biodegradation, and an overview of remediation of inorganic contaminants. Students will additionally explore the fate and effects of chemicals in organisms in the environment, including air, water, and ground pollutants.

ESCI 401 Environmental Science Field Techniques Laboratory

In this course, students learn and apply various field and laboratory techniques used in environmental science.  Emphasis is placed on acquiring new skills and putting the skills to practice to improve abilities.  Skills will be focused on those used in both field (e.g., wetland delineation, aquatic macroinvertebrate sampling) and lab (e.g., sediment analysis, water chemistry techniques, software applications for analysis) settings, and include reference to those used in various professional scenarios.

EVPC 101 Professional Skills

In this course, students will develop professional skills and explore career pathways related to [wildlife conservation/business, etc.], including considerations of the role of social media, professional networks, and professional development. Students will establish expectations of being a successful online learner including time management, research and writing skills, technology, and community building. 

EVPC 490 Transdisciplinary Capstone

The Capstone course is the culminating course for students in Unity College bachelor’s degrees. In this course, students will develop a project that deals with a real issue and produce a final artifact reporting the project’s findings. During this process, students will demonstrate and apply learning from their degree program and their ability to communicate to a broad audience. The course will also cover other important topics that support a student’s career development and goals. All projects will be workforce-related products that students can use for their current or pitch to a future employer. 

MATH 403 Statistics for Science Professionals

Data collected by science professionals often requires forms of analysis not covered in entry-level statistics courses. This advanced statistics course introduces students to techniques currently used by ecologists and covers the components of experimental design that create effective research and monitoring programs. Students learn components that influence both the design-based and model-based inference of their work.  Experimental design focused on impact assessment and monitoring will be emphasized. The course also emphasizes regression-based approaches to data analysis. Students learn to conduct and interpret results from regression analysis, as well as model selection approaches based on information-theoretic and Bayesian approaches.


Unity College and all established programs are accredited. As a newly launched program, the BS in Environmental Science is pending approval.

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