How Hard Is An Environmental Science Degree?


An Environmental Science degree is a field of study focused on the interaction and relationship between humans and the natural world. In this degree program, students gain expertise in a wide range of areas such as ecology, atmospheric science, soil science, geology, hydrology, and more. Environmental Science is often considered a challenging field as it involves a diverse set of disciplines that require not only theoretical knowledge but also practical skills. In this article, we will explore how hard it is to obtain an Environmental Science degree, provide some tips for students to help them succeed in this field, and also provide alternatives for those who may be questioning if an Environmental Science degree is right for them.

Difficulty Level of Environmental Science Degree

Environmental Science degree programs require a rigorous and challenging academic schedule that requires diligence and hard work. Here are some factors that contribute to the difficulty level of an Environmental Science degree:

  • Coursework and Curriculum: Environmental Science courses cover a wide range of scientific disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, and geology. Students often encounter complex concepts and theories that require a strong science background.
  • Fieldwork, Research, and Projects: Environmental Science programs often require students to conduct research, collect data, and analyze results. Fieldwork can be physically demanding and require long hours outdoors.
  • Schedule and Time-management: Environmental Science students often have a full academic workload and may need to schedule time for fieldwork, research, and lab work outside of their coursework.
  • Overall Difficulty Level: Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field that requires a balance of scientific knowledge, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Students must be dedicated, focused, and hardworking in order to succeed.

Tips to Succeed in Environmental Science Degree

Environmental Science degrees require hard work and dedication to succeed. Here are some tips to help students navigate the challenges of this degree program:

  1. Choose a Concentration: Environmental Science is a broad field, and it may be helpful for students to choose a concentration that aligns with their interests and career goals. This can provide a more focused and cohesive academic experience.
  2. Stay Organized and Manage Time Effectively: With a heavy workload, time management is crucial to success. Students can benefit from using organizational tools like calendars, planners, and to-do lists to stay on top of coursework, projects, and fieldwork.
  3. Build Professional Relationships: Networking with professors, peers, and professionals in the environmental science field can provide valuable opportunities for mentorship, internships, and job prospects.
  4. Take Advantage of Resources: Environmental Science departments often provide resources like tutoring, study groups, and academic advisors. Students should take advantage of these resources to help them succeed in their coursework.

Alternatives to Environmental Science Degree

For students who are considering alternatives to Environmental Science, here are some related fields that may be of interest:

  1. Sustainability Studies: Sustainability Studies is an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the intersection of social, economic, and environmental issues. This field explores strategies for promoting long-term sustainability and resilience in both natural and human communities.
  2. Environmental Engineering: Environmental Engineering is a technical field that focuses on designing systems to address environmental challenges related to air, water, and soil pollution. This field often requires strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  3. Ecology and Conservation Biology: Ecology and Conservation Biology are related fields that explore the relationships between organisms and their environment. These fields often require extensive fieldwork and research to understand the natural world.

While Environmental Science can be challenging, every major has its own unique difficulties and opportunities. If you’re curious about other fields that might be of interest to you, check out our article on “Is Sociology Hard?”

Interesting facts

– Environmental science is a highly interdisciplinary field that combines elements of biology, chemistry, physics, and geology, making it a challenging but rewarding degree to pursue.
– Coursework in environmental science often involves complex formulas and mathematical modeling, requiring a strong foundation in math and computer science.
– Many environmental science programs require students to complete fieldwork and research projects, which can be physically demanding and time-consuming.
– Despite the challenges, a degree in environmental science can lead to fulfilling careers in fields such as sustainability, resource management, conservation, and environmental policy.
– If you’re wondering whether pursuing a math degree might be a better fit for your interests and career goals, check out this article on “Is a Math Degree Worth It?” for more insights and perspectives.


How long does it take to earn a degree in environmental science?

Typically, it takes 4 years to earn a bachelor’s degree in environmental science.

Is it necessary to have strong math skills to succeed in an environmental science degree program?

Yes, math skills are an important component of this field and are necessary to understand scientific concepts and complete calculations.

What job opportunities are available with an environmental science degree?

Graduates can pursue a wide range of careers, including environmental consulting, resource management, conservation, environmental policy, and more.

Is a master’s or doctorate degree required for advanced positions within the field of environmental science?

In some cases, an advanced degree may be required for certain positions, but this varies depending on the specific job and employer.

Are there any alternative degree programs to environmental science that focus on sustainability?

Yes, there are alternative programs such as sustainability studies and environmental engineering.

What skills do I need to succeed in an environmental science degree program?

You will need strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills, as well as the ability to work independently and in teams.

How much does it cost to earn a degree in environmental science?

The cost varies depending on the institution, but tuition for an undergraduate environmental science degree can range from around $5,000 to over $60,000 per year.

Are scholarships available for students pursuing an environmental science degree?

Yes, there are several scholarships available for students pursuing degrees in environmental science and related fields.

What are some potential environmental issues that an environmental science degree can help address?

Climate change, pollution, deforestation, overfishing, and water scarcity are just a few examples of the many environmental issues that environmental science professionals work to address.

Can I pursue an environmental science degree online?

Yes, there are many online environmental science degree programs available, offering flexible options for students who need to balance work, family, and education obligations.

Real experience

Lila had always been fascinated by nature and the environment. She loved to explore nature trails, photograph wildlife, and learn about the intricate ecosystems that make up our planet. So when it came time to choose a college major, environmental science seemed like the perfect fit.

At first, Lila was captivated by her coursework. She delved into biology, geology, chemistry, and math, learning about the interconnected systems that sustain life on Earth. She enjoyed the hands-on fieldwork, collecting soil and water samples, analyzing data, and conducting experiments.

But soon, Lila began to feel overwhelmed. Her class workload was heavy, with long hours spent reading and studying. She felt isolated and alone, struggling to keep up with the rigorous coursework.

Determined to persevere, Lila sought out advice from her professors and fellow students. She began to collaborate on research projects, working with other students to share knowledge and ideas. She also sought out leadership roles in environmental and sustainability groups on campus, building networks and relationships that helped support and motivate her.

Years later, as Lila stood at a podium to deliver the keynote address at a prestigious environmental conference, she reflected back on her journey. It had been difficult and challenging at times, but she was grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow. Her environmental science degree had led her to a career where she could make a real difference. She had helped communities manage their natural resources, advised corporations on sustainability initiatives, and even led a campaign to protect a national forest from logging interests.

Looking out at the crowd, Lila felt a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment. She knew that her degree had been challenging, but it was worth it. She encouraged the young professionals in the audience to persevere, to seek out support and guidance, and to know that their hard work would pay off in the end.


Despite its challenges, an Environmental Science degree can be a rewarding and fulfilling field of study for students who are passionate about making a difference in the world. Students who are interested in Environmental Science can navigate the difficulties of this program by staying organized, building relationships, and taking advantage of resources. However, if Environmental Science does not seem like the right fit, there are many related fields that may be of interest, such as Sustainability Studies, Environmental Engineering, and Ecology and Conservation Biology.

Additionally, for students who are interested in combining their passion for the environment with their passion for agriculture, a Sustainable Agriculture Degree program may be worth investigating further. Regardless of the path, finding an area of study that aligns with your interests and goals will allow you to thrive academically and professionally.

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