Environmental research

Environmental Science

Bachelor of Science

Graduates of this program pursue careers studying and managing environmental systems, ensuring compliance with environmental laws, advising policymakers and working with industry to lessen environmental impact.



We will prepare you to find innovative and sustainable solutions to today’s critical environmental challenges, including pollution and climate change. Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable faculty will engage you in the process of creating new scientific knowledge that, in turn, will enable you to impact a rapidly changing world.

An online bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Arizona empowers you with a diverse and practical skillset in science, communication, critical thinking and leadership, enabling you to tackle any issue affecting our land, air and water systems.

Our graduates work on the sustainable management of land and water resources; the environmental impact of resource extraction, agriculture and urbanization; and the remediation and restoration of disturbed environments.

Career Level: Undergraduate
Degree: Bachelor of Science
College: College of Agriculture & Life Sciences

Cost & Eligibility

Per Unit Cost: $525
*Residents of some U.S. Territories may not be eligible. Please see our Eligibility & State Authorization page for more information.

The core curriculum for this degree program includes:

  • ENVS 200 & 201: Introduction to Soil Science & Soil Laboratory - Learn about the fundamentals of our soil, vital to terrestrial life and a critical component of many environmental issues. Understanding soil management is key to sustainable environmental stewardship. In this course and corresponding lab, you will consider soils as complex systems with unique functions and behaviors arising from chemical, physical and biological components in both classroom, laboratory and field settings. 
  • ENVS 210: Fundamentals of Environmental Science and Sustainability - Discover how we can solve environmental challenges facing humanity, including climate change, pollution, loss of biodiversity, and water shortages. This course focuses on collaborative activities and active learning to help you grasp the physical, biological, and human processes as well as economics, ethics and policy, underlying major environmental issues.
  • ENVS 270: Critical Zone Science - The critical zone extends from the top of the vegetation canopy through the groundwater table, supporting life on Earth with air, water and soil. However, human activity alters the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere, thus changing the structure of function of Earth’s ‘living skin.’ This course integrates core concepts of geology, hydrology, ecology and soil science to provide a foundational understanding of the critical zone and its role in addressing environmental problems.
  • ENVS 275: Data Analysis in the Life and Environmental Sciences - This course teaches you the fundamental skills and statistical approaches necessary to solve environmental issues. Using Excel software, you will explore and visualize real-world data to derive meaningful and useful interpretations. Additionally, you will learn how to effectively interpret, visualize and analyze biological and environmental data.
  • ENVS 305: Pollution Science - Ascertain how pollutants behave in our environment. You will be introduced to abiotic and biotic scientific processes in soil and water that affect the fate and transport of pollutants. This course lays the groundwork for understanding strategies behind mitigating the effects of pollution on human health and the environment, as well as risk assessments for managing pollution and contamination.
  • ENVS 420: Environmental Physics - Get a grasp on how solar energy, atmosphere, oceans, terrestrial environment, and biosphere interact with each other at global and regional scales. You will evaluate the dynamic nature of Earth's systems, evaluating their evolution over geological times as well as projected future changes to the climate and ozone layer. This course emphasizes conceptual understanding of mechanisms, data sets and modeling techniques, using elementary math and physics principles for a comprehensive understanding of our environment’s physical aspects.
  • ENVS 425: Environmental Microbiology - Study the interface between human activities and microbiology, from the diversity of microorganisms to microbial interactions with pollutants and the fate of microbial pathogens in the environment. You will learn about microbiological techniques and microbial environments, detection of bacteria and their activities in the environment, microbial biogeochemistry, bioremediation, and water quality.
  • ENVS 462: Environmental Soil and Water Chemistry - This course introduces the principal chemical constituents and processes occurring in soils and sediments so you can better evaluate and address environmental issues. You will learn the conceptual framework for understanding chemical reactions in heterogeneous natural systems as well as applying chemical thermodynamics and kinetics to unravel biogeochemistry of earth.
  • ENVS 480: Environmental Assessment for Contaminated Sites - Advance your knowledge of assessing contaminated sites, waste places, and disturbed sites to ensure efficient and effective remediation and restoration programs. In this course, you will be trained in standard assessment approaches used in analyzing the socioeconomic and biophysical conditions of the impacted sites, and exposed to fundamental law, regulations, and policies.
  • ENVS 195A: Careers in Environmental Science - Gain valuable insight into the field of environmental science with guest presentations, University of Arizona career services visits, and interactive lecturers. This course is designed to help environmental science majors and students exploring major options broaden their understanding of diverse environmental science occupations, the job application process, and career pathways.
Student taking a UA Online course


Earning your Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science will build core skills, including:

  • biology
  • communication skills
  • environmental laws and regulation
  • global climate change
  • planning
  • project management
  • renewable energy
  • research

Explore career opportunities that graduates holding a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science have pursued

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Soil, Air and Water Emphasis

Want to expand your knowledge about our ecosystems? This path in our environmental science program emphasizes strategies to help you solve difficult issues faced by civilization in its stewardship of Earth’s physical resources. Course topics include: environmental chemistry, environmental physics, environmental microbiology, biostatistics, geographic information sciences and professional development for environmental careers.

Graduates work as scientists, technicians, consultants and project managers. Some of these jobs may require an advanced degree or certification, but with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science focusing on soil, air and water, you’ll be well on your way to a successful career.

Examples of classes that you will take are:

  • ENVS 316: Soil Fertility and Plant Nutrition
  • ENVS 426: Environmental Soil and Water Chemistry

The following courses are prerequisites for this degree and are not offered in a fully online format. Students enrolled in this program will need to transfer in or obtain equivalent credit concurrently for these courses:

·      CHEM 151: General Chemistry I (4 units)

·      CHEM 152: General Chemistry II (4 units)

·      MIC 205A: Introductory Microbiology (3 units)

·      CALCULUS (3-4 units) Core Class

Soil, Air and Water Emphasis Icon

Leadership, Sustainability and Communication Emphasis

Learn how to advocate for our environment! This path in our environmental science program teaches you environmental laws, regulations and policies so you can devise policies in response to pollution, waste management, biodiversity, natural resource management and climate change.

Course topics include: fundamentals of environmental science and sustainability, environmental justice, communicating science and environmental ethics.

Graduates work in government, private and public sectors focusing in sustainability, advocacy and policy.

Examples of classes that you will take are:

  • ENVS 270: Critical Zone Science
  • ENVS 310: Ecosystem Health and Justice

The following courses are prerequisites for this degree and are not offered in a fully online format. Students enrolled in this program will need to transfer in or obtain equivalent credit concurrently for these courses:

·      CHEM 151, General Chemistry I (4 units)

·      CHEM 152, General Chemistry II (4 units)

·      MIC 205A, Introductory Microbiology (3 units)

Leadership, Sustainability and Communication Emphasis Icon
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