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Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Environmental Conservation

Majors Overview November 14, 2015

This article talks about master’s degree programs in environmental conservation and their coursework and job and wage outlook.

Master’s Programs in Environmental Conservation

A master’s degree in environmental conservation is devised to prepare enrolled students for careers as hydrologists, environmental engineers, or geoscientists. Program coursework involves exploration of environmental science, public policy, and biology, among various issues related to pollution.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. Some schools also offer accelerated programs where students are allowed to earn their undergraduate and master’s degrees in environmental conservation simultaneously.

Concentrations that program graduates can choose from include environmental health, forest science, public policy, industrial health, and urban development. Coursework depends on the specific choice that students make from among a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.), Master of Science (M.S.), or a joint degree.


Program coursework may cover topic areas such as biology, climatology, the atmospheric sciences, and biological diversity, augmented by supporting coursework that could cover math, economics, and the social sciences. Other core coursework may cover subject areas such as:

•Plant Physiology
•Ecological patterns
•Environmental modeling
•Water Resources
•Conservation of species
•Agriculture and the environment

Job and Wage Outlook

Employers for positions such as an environmental engineer, hydrologist, and geoscientist usually require candidates to hold a 4-year degree (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Oil exploration and natural gas are among the most common employment areas for the majority of geoscientists.

In May 2012, hydrologists and geoscientists brought in respective average annual wages of $75,530 and $90,890. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, a job growth of 10% has been predicted for hydrologists. Over the same period, geoscientists are expected to see a 16% growth (BLS).

In May 2012, environmental engineers earned median annual wages of $80,890. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, these professionals are expected to witness a 15% job growth (BLS). An increased grasp of conservation and environmental issues, along with new environmental regulations, fuels the projected growth.

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