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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Environmental Education

Majors Overview August 9, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in environmental education and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education and licensing choices.

Information on Environmental Education Programs

Students enrolled in master’s degree programs in environmental education are trained in the development of curricula aimed at teaching students about aspects of natural science, such as their local ecosystems. Online courses are available in some schools, whereby students get the choice of completing coursework as permitted by their schedules. Students enrolled in many programs are trained for initial teacher certification, and students who seek a teaching license should ensure that the program they wish to enroll in meets their state’s requirements for licensing. These programs impart a grasp of sustainable practices, ecology, and current issues in environmental science. Students learn various ways of teaching the subject, and student teaching experiences are in the program coursework at many schools. Schools also include learning about state and national teaching standards as well as writing grant proposals.

Master’s Programs in Environmental Education

The curricula in environmental education master’s degree programs often augment classroom instruction with field experiences. Aspiring and current instructors and program developers can learn to design and implement curricula focusing on budgeting the resources of educational centers and local ecosystems. Coursework is available in all academic levels. Courses teach students about budgeting the resources of educational centers as well as ways of adapting classroom instruction for outdoor settings. Practicums or internships, where students can teach in summer camps and other alternative settings, mark the culmination of many programs. Students enrolled in some programs are allowed to choose how to prepare for their initial teaching licenses.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree and meet an undergraduate GPA standard. Applicants may also be required to have completed undergraduate courses in topics like ecology, biology, or botany. A resume of relevant work experience may also be a requirement at some schools.


Program coursework combines the study of environmental science or agriculture courses with instructional methods. Students may also learn about designing research projects. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Environmental leadership
•Field instruction
•Environmental sustainability
•Outdoor education theory
•Curriculum development

Career Choices

Program graduates may pursue careers in environmental education centers, zoos and aquariums, public school systems, and botanical gardens, among others. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•School teacher
•Sustainability Coordinator
•Environmental outreach director
•Environmental program director

Continuing Education and Licensing Choices

A state teaching licensure is compulsory for environmental educators who seek employment as teachers in K-12 public school systems. The completion of a state-approved teacher education program and possession of a bachelor’s degree are requirements for licensure, in addition to the passage of a series of written exams devised to evaluate their subject-area knowledge and teaching skills. A science education doctorate is available to program graduates who seek careers in research or college level teaching jobs. Students enrolled in some of these terminal Ed.D., and Ph.D. degree programs are allowed to choose a research specialization within environmental education.

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