Master’s Degrees for Helping the Environment

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If knowledge really is power, than an advanced degree in the right subject can help you literally make the world a better place. To attain high-level roles in a number of “green,” environmentally-friendly careers, you will need a graduate degree.  Some of the best master’s degree programs for nature lovers

Biology

Biology is the core life science. At the master’s degree level, biology programs often include concentrations or specializations like neurobiology, microbiology, cell and molecular biology, bioinformatics and computers in biology, ecology, zoology and wildlife biology and other academic tracks. These degree programs can be research or non-research in nature, though which type of program you choose will strongly influence the courses you take and the subject matter you learn.

When you earn a master’s degree in biology, you prepare yourself for any number of green jobs. You could use this education to become a conservation scientist, a limnologist or an environmental scientist. Whether you want to work in research or influence public policy on the environment, a biology background can help you succeed.

Chemistry

Understanding chemistry is an important part of understanding environmental impacts – and, of course, how to fight environmental threats. An environmental chemist can use their degree – and the knowledge they obtained while getting it – to solve problems like chemical contamination of soil and bodies of water. They also develop methods of managing hazardous waste without putting the environment at risk or study the effect of chemicals on certain ecosystems, like freshwater environments.

Master’s degrees in chemistry or chemical sciences may offer concentrations such as biological chemistry or biochemistry, environmental or green chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physical or analytical chemistry and materials. Regardless of which concentration you pursue, you may take at least some advanced chemistry coursework in each subject as you work toward your degree.

Environmental Science

Naturally, an environmental science degree can help you prepare for a career as an environmental scientist. However, so can other degree paths, like natural science, chemistry, biology and even physics. What sets environmental science degree programs apart?

Environmental science is a multidisciplinary field of study. Rather than choosing biology, chemistry or physics and focusing mainly – if not exclusively – on that one academic subject, an environmental science master’s degree program thoughtfully combines graduate-level work in subjects that range from biochemistry to environmental law and politics. In addition to a broad core program of courses, some master’s degree programs in environmental science also offer concentrations such as environmental monitoring, environmental planning and ecological management.

Environmental Engineering

Engineering is, at its simplest, problem-solving. A master’s degree in environmental engineering will help you develop innovative solutions to the biggest threats facing the environment today and for the future. Coursework often includes research into environmental chemistry, natural resources and hazardous substances.

Students can often choose specializations in sustainable energy, water resources and quality control, green engineering and product design, sustainable waste management, alternative chemicals and materials, public health and the environment, environmental nanotechnology and many other concentrations.

A graduate degree does more than prepare you for a single job. With the right master’s degree, you could not just secure an entry-level role in an environmentally-friendly career, but ultimately move into the kind of leadership positions that shape how society will interact with the environment for years to come.