Environmental Science

What Is Environmental Science?

Environmental Science is the study of how natural and unnatural phenomena affect the environment and planet Earth. It incorporates lessons and principles from biology, physical science, and information science to study these effects. In addition, a portion of environmental science is dedicated to forming and testing hypotheses related to solving environmental problems. Subjects studied under the umbrella of environmental science include: global climate change, alternative energy systems, forestry, and natural resource management. The best colleges for environmental science feature strong biology, forestry, and physical science departments.

The Environmental Science Degree

Many universities offer programs in environmental science and the subject is considered a generalist degree. Environmental science studies both natural and man-made environments as well as their interactions with different phenomena. The environmental science major encompasses traditional sciences like biology, ecology, and geology in addition to social sciences such as economics and sociology. An environmental science degree is available at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD levels.

Environmental Science vs. Environmental Engineering

The fields of environmental science and environmental engineering are both concerned with studying man’s effects on the earth and environmental problems. The main difference between the two fields of study is where they operate in the process of creating a solution to these environmental issues. 

The environmental scientist performs research and experiments to generate a hypothesis about the effects of human phenomena on the environment. Once that data is collected and the hypothesis is made, an environmental engineer utilizes his or her knowledge to devise a solution to resolve the environmental problem. Both environmental science and environmental engineering work together in the process of discovering an issue and planning to fix it.

Would I Make a Good Environmental Scientist?

Because a large portion of an environmental scientist’s workload is studying effects on the planet, your first qualification should be a concern for the environment and a desire to create a livable future. It’s helpful to have knowledge of issues like climate change and sustainability as well as a passion for finding solutions to these problems to ensure a stable environment for the next several generations. The problems facing our environment can be challenging and environmental scientists need to be up to that challenge.

Environmental scientists spend a large portion of their days in the laboratory. In order to join this profession, you’ll need to be comfortable in a lab environment. This means that you’ll have to be familiar with lab equipment and safety procedures as well as the scientific method. In addition, environmental scientists spend a lot of time in the field so you’ll also need to be able to work while spending large portions of time outdoors. If you enjoy camping or exploring, that will come in handy on days when you’re in the field.

Associate Level

For students at the community college level, an associate degree in environmental science provides a foundational education in the field. Courses at the associate degree level cover topics like environmental issues, environmental protection regulations, and natural resources. In addition, students learn about how the scientific method is applied to the field. Through classroom lectures and lab exercises, students learn about problems currently facing the environment and hypothesize about possible solutions to them. 

Many students who earn an associate degree transfer to a college or university to complete a 4-year degree but some graduates enter the workforce in an entry-level position. Examples of classes at the associate degree level include: environmental ethics, environmental compliance, resource management, and environmental history.

Examples of Environmental Science Careers at the Associate Degree Level Include: Environmental Consultant, Environmental Lab Technician, and Environmental Advocate.

The average salary for these positions ranges from $41,000 (Environmental Lab Technician) to $48,000 (Environmental Consultant).

Baccalaureate Level

With environmental issues becoming a more pressing concern with each passing year, most colleges and universities offer a bachelor’s degree in environmental science. These programs feature a curriculum focusing on physical and environmental sciences. To provide a well-rounded education, these programs also include a number of liberal arts classes. 

The environmental science bachelor’s degree focuses on comprehensive issues like water shortages and provides lessons in deeper topics related to the field such as the role of overpopulation in environmental problems and management of national parks. Classes combine lectures with lab work, often performed outdoors in the field. A typical bachelor’s degree in environmental science takes four years to complete. 

Examples of classes at the baccalaureate level include: air pollution & control, soil biogeochemistry, waste management, environmental health policy, and wetland ecosystems.

Examples of Jobs for Environmental Science Majors at the Bachelor’s Degree Level Include: Landscape Ecologist, Geologist, Biologist, Restoration Ecologist, Conservation Assistant, Environmental Field Restoration Supervisor, Sustainability Consultant, Recycling Officer, and Marine Biologist.

The average salary for these positions ranges from $47,000 (Landscape Ecologist, Recycling Officer) to $67,000 (Geologist, Sustainability Consultant).

Graduate Level

For students who want to continue their education beyond the bachelor’s level, many graduate schools offer master’s degrees in environmental science. Although master’s programs in the field feature in-depth classes in the subject, they are equally focused on independent research. All master’s degree students choose a topic in which to specialize such as ecology, hydrology, and toxicology. Outside of the classroom, students conduct research and perform lab experiments on this topic, eventually culminating in a master’s thesis at the end of the program. If a student’s thesis passes review, it can then be published by the college or university press. A typical master’s degree program in environmental science can be completed in two to three years. Examples of classes at the master’s degree level include: paleoclimatology, geohydrology, geochemistry, and ecology.

Students who wish to teach environmental science at the university level or attain a high ranking research position can continue their graduate studies and earn a PhD in environmental science. All coursework at the PhD level is designed around a student’s chosen field of interest such as global warming, air pollution, natural resource management, or wildlife concentration. In order to earn a PhD, students must pass a comprehensive exam, compose a research dissertation, present it before faculty, and pass an oral examination.

Examples of Environmental Science Jobs You Can Get With a Master’s Degree in Environmental Science Include: Hydrologist, Ecologist, Environmental Scientist, Zoologist, Environmental Lawyer, and Environmental Engineer.

The average salary for these positions ranges from $54,000 (Environmental Scientist) to $79,000 (Hydrologist) to $113,000 (Environmental Lawyer).

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Colleges

University of California-Los Angeles

The University of California in Los Angeles, better known as UCLA, is one of 10 campuses in the UC system. With 109 academic departments and more than 125 majors offered, as well as an average of one billion dollars funded for research every year and...

“…

First of all, UCLA is in one of the most amazing cities by far! Los Angeles has so much to offer within its grasps and if you think Los Angeles is boring then that is your fault. I would give UCLA a 9 out of 10 just because it is so diverse and...

” – Katie
University of California-Berkeley

Founded in 1868, the University of California at Berkeley is the flagship of the University of California system of higher education, with a campus overlooking the San Francisco Bay. UC Berkeley is known for its academic excellence, student activism...

“…

Berkeley is a great school chock full of award-winning, book-publishing, enthusiastic professors who really know their stuff. If you take classes you're really interested in, you'll learn more. Don't forget about office hours, tutoring sessions, and...

” – Karina from Los Angeles, CA
University of Florida

One of the few land-, space-, and sea-grant institutions in the US, the University of Florida is a public research university founded in 1853. It is the eighth largest single-campus university in the United States. U.S. News & World Report have...

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This is the best school in the state hands down, and is also a powerful name amongst all colleges in the nation, both private and public.

” – Jerry from San Antonio, FL
Yale University

Yale University is a large research institution chartered in 1701, making it the third-oldest institution of higher education in the US. On top of the numerous academic undergrad degrees at Yale College, students also have access to Multidisciplinary...

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It is hard to limit yourself to only 4 or 5 courses with all that Yale has to offer. It isn't unheard of for very ambitious students to pile on 6 or even 7 at a time! Many classes will push you hard to master the material, but there are always a...

” – Yale '12
Columbia University in the City of New York

Founded in 1754, Columbia University is a private research university located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The urban Ivy League campus houses 17 libraries and 20 schools, which offer upwards of 350 majors, as well as the Cathedral of St. John...

“…

It can be the best four years of your life and make all your dreams come true. However, there are MANY obstacles that will try and stop you from achieving this. In this end, it all depends on how forward-thinking, mature, in-the-moment you are and...

” – ESTEBAN from Fullerton, CA
Texas A & M University-College Station

Opening its doors on October 4, 1876, Texas A&M University’s College Station campus was the first institution of higher education in Texas. A&M is home to 17 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 133 undergraduate degree...

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The professors are willing to help out if you have problems with the material covered in classes.

” – Amanda from houston , TX
Boston University

Boston University is a private, non-profit university with a heavy emphasis on research. BU’s main location is right in its name—Boston, MA—but the university has flagship locations around the world, including in London, Sydney, and Washington, DC...

“…

This is a great school if you're looking for something in a very urban environment. It was not the right fit for me for numerous reasons, including the lack of a normal campus, grade deflation and lack of school spirit. It's a good school, but I don...

” – Anonymous from NH
Arizona State University-Tempe

Arizona State University, located in Tempe, Arizona, is a large public university founded in 1886, making it the first higher education institution in the state. ASU also has campuses in downtown Phoenix, in Glendale, a Polytechnic in Mesa, in Lake...

“…

The ASU Tempe campus is huge, so there is always something to do. The weather is nice compared to other places, except it gets super hot here for a long time in summer. Beautiful campus, good professors if you ask other students before registering...

” – Anonymous student
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an institution in the UNC system and the first public university to confer degrees. A member of the Association of American Universities, UNC Chapel Hill is considered a Public Ivy and houses a...

“…

UNC is prestigious for its academic environment. While many lecture classes may easily contain 300+ students, there are plenty of one-on-one opportunities with professors and teaching assistants outside of class. There are also a wide selection of...

” – Olivia from Roxboro, NC
University of Arizona

Founded in 1885, the University of Arizona is a 4-year public institution in Tucson and the first university established in the Arizona territory. Arizona features 21 colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees. In addition to classroom...

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Not all of the learning you do is academic. Much of my first year was personal growth learning. Just be expected for both.

” – Alexis from Phoenix, AZ
University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is a high-research institution located in Los Angeles, California, where it’s been educating students since 1880. The university is comprised of two campuses, the main University Park and the Health Sciences...

“…

All of the faculty and staff at USC are highly educated and extremely knowledgeable in their field. Most of the professors perform research in addition to teaching, but this doesn’t prevent them from creating an excellent learning environment. As...

” – Elizabeth from Pasadena, CA
Brown University

Brown University is a private Ivy League research university that was founded in 1764. The university offers more than 40 academic departments. The campus is home to program housing for students who share similar interests, plus substance-free...

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Brown’s educational experience is excellent and lives up to its Ivy League reputation. With about 6000 undergraduates, Brown’s size strikes the perfect balance between a small college with informal classes and professors who know your name and a...

” – Edward from Livonia, MI
University of Washington-Seattle Campus

The University of Washington is a selective institution located in Seattle, WA, with two satellite campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. At this Public Ivy, sustainability is a major focus and the school has made The Princeton Review Green College Honor...

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Paying attention in class is very important - I notice a lot of students get away with surfing Facebook or MSN in class because undergrad classes are so large. If you take notes and use the wealth of knowledge that your TA's have, you'll do well.

” – Jessica from Seattle, WA
University of Pennsylvania

Founded in 1740 by Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania is a private Ivy League institution in Philadelphia. UPenn hosts 12 schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 90 academic fields of study. Additionally, UPenn’s Gothic-style...

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I think it's the perfect school for me.

” – Katherine from Murrieta, CA
Michigan State University

Founded in 1855, Michigan State University is a large public research institution in East Lansing, Michigan, with a multicultural student population representing more than 140 countries. MSU offers more than 200 areas of study through 17 degree...

“…

currently i am enrolled for 14 credits. Monday and Wednesday and Friday i have college algebra from 10:20-11:10 and then on Monday and Wednesday i have Cse101(computer class) from 12:40 to 2:30. my math class is only challenging because i cant...

” – christy from Plymouth, MI
Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a 4-year private research institution in the Chicagoland area. Northwestern is home to 12 colleges and schools and is renowned for its Medill School of Journalism, Kellogg School of Management, and Bienen School of Music...

“…

I learned more fall quarter--yes quarter (one of the few downsides of my school is that everyone is gone in mid-August!)--than I ever thought I would during my freshman year. Once I became a radio-television-film major (RTVF), I knew that...

” – B from RVA
Ohio State University-Main Campus

Originally founded as a land-grant university in 1870, Ohio State University is a public institution in Columbus and the third-largest campus in the nation. OSU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom...

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You won't believe the opportunities you have here at Ohio State. There are over 160 academic programs available. I enrolled with an undeclared major, but wasn't nervous about it because ultimately whatever you go into you will be successful. The...

” – David from Perrysburg, OH
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a public institution in central Illinois and the flagship campus of the U of I system. UIUC is home to 15 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 150 areas of...

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I've learned things so far in every course I've taken and have met really great professors and instructors. You learn a lot from the people as well. They're from all over the world.

” – Kristen from Chicago, IL
University of California-Davis

The University of California in Davis is a public institution in northern California and one of the largest universities by enrollment in the UC System. UC Davis is home to four colleges conferring undergraduate degrees and six professional schools...

“…

University of California, Davis has so much to offer to students of very versatile majors and career goals. Davis offers learning in every aspect of life, from the class room to curricular activities and in the job circuit. Davis dwells on...

” – Ellie from Aguanga, CA
University of Georgia

The University of Georgia is a land- and sea-grant public research university in Athens, GA. Founded in 1785, University of Georgia is one of three public universities to hold the title of the oldest public university in the US. With 17 different...

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I am currently taking 16 credit hours this semester. Even though it has been hard work, I definitely feel like I am learning as much as I possible can. Free tutoring is offered for several courses, and other help is available for any course. My...

” – Sarah from Athens, GA
Florida State University

Florida State University is the oldest institution of Higher Education in Florida. Located on 1,633 acres of land in Tallahassee, FSU is a space- and sea-grant research university offering more than 300 degree programs. The campus is home to the only...

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There are many different programs at FSU so you will be surrounded with experienced and helpful faculty. The university is strong in the liberal arts and hard sciences, but they also have a number of other outstanding programs including criminology...

” – Alesha from Shalimar, FL
University of Miami

Founded in 1925, the University of Miami is a private research institution in south Florida. The U encompasses 11 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 180 fields of study. Away from the classroom, the Miami campus is home to...

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The Cool thing about UM is the diversity of the school and the city of Miami. I've met people from every corner of the country and the world and that's the best part about college, of course learning in class but also learning from those who are not...

” – Jude from Miami, FL
San Diego State University

San Diego State University is a public research institution located in San Diego, California. What began as an all-female college for elementary school teachers now consists of 8 colleges that offer 95 undergraduate programs plus a variety of...

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With such a large university, there are so many interesting classes and majors.

” – Sheyenne from Fallbrook, CA
Indiana University-Bloomington

Founded in 1820, Indiana University-Bloomington is the largest university in the state and the flagship campus of the IU system in southwest Indiana. IU encompasses 16 colleges and schools hosting over 200 undergraduate majors. As a school with a...

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The quality of the education you get here is really reliant on which specific classes you take. I've had some really challenging, forum-based classes where I felt like I learned a lot, including a lot more beyond just the curriculum. I believe some...

” – Alicia from West Chester, OH
University of California-Irvine

The University of California in Irvine was founded in 1965 in the town and state of the same name, and is the youngest member of the Association of American Universities. This high-research institution offers 92 majors and 86 minors and the campus is...

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Being that I have only been at UCI for one year so far, I feel that I am really learning a lot from my professors and from the students that I have surrounded myself with. No matter where you are at, it is the people you are around that you can...

” – Emi from Temecula, CA
Baylor University

Founded in 1845 by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, Baylor University is a 4-year Christian institution and the oldest continuously-operating university in Texas. Baylor offers bachelor’s degrees in 128 academic fields of study. As a...

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Perhaps my favorite thing about Baylor is the opportunity I have had as an honor student to have the interdisciplinary major called University Scholars. If you have high enough SAT's and enough AP classes and a good application essay, you can be...

” – Meaghan from Keller, TX
University of Oregon

With a campus along the Willamette River, the University of Oregon is a 4-year public university in Eugene and the flagship campus of the UO System. The UO is home to nine colleges hosting more than 300 degree-granting academic programs. To provide a...

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I went to a top-rated, public high school and thought I was going to coast in college. I am taking 2 chemistry classes, math and English and am really being challenged. I have also been able to get the help I needed from professors and affordable...

” – Alexandra from San Diego, CA
Washington State University

Founded in 1890, Washington State University is the state's first land-grant university. Washington State University offers more than 200 fields of study, including 96 undergraduate majors, 86 minors, and more than 140 graduate and professional...

“…

I am definitely learning a lot at Washington State. All students are required to take a class from several categories, which include intercultural studies, sciences, etc. These requirements give students the opportunity to take a class that they...

” – Meigan from Kent, WA
University of Maryland-College Park

Founded in 1856, the University of Maryland-College Park is a 4-year public research university in Maryland’s Capital Region and the flagship campus of the UMD system. UMD hosts 12 colleges and schools granting undergraduate degrees in 92 academic...

“…

At the University of Maryland, you learn so much more than just facts and truths from textbooks and lectures. While the classes are extremely informational, and the professors and T.A.s are all very knowledgeable on their subjects, the real learning...

” – Anonymous from PA
Northeastern University

A private research institution located in Boston, Northeastern University was founded in 1898. Northeastern is home to nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 90 academic majors. Additionally, the university operates a...

“…

I'm learning so much from Northeastern. I'm currently a psychology major and a music industry minor. I absolutely love it here because there is so many diverse majors and minors that I can do. One of the greatest things here is that I can always see...

” – Xiangling from Staten Island`, NY
University of Houston

The University of Houston is a public research institution and the third-largest university in Texas. UH is home to 16 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in 108 fields of study. A diverse campus, UH has been designated an Hispanic-...

“…

No matter what major you'll get into, you'll definitely learn a lot. There a many professors who care if you're actually learning or not and they will try to engage you as best as they can with the amount of students they have. I'm in the Honors...

” – Gregory from Houston, TX
University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 by members of the Congregation of Holy Cross. It is one of the nation’s top religious schools and holds mass multiple times a day. U.S. News & World Report rates the school as #18 in National...

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In and out of the classroom, you are guaranteed to learn...A LOT. From going to conferences and listening to lectures by distinguished professors at many different universities to the actual learning in the classroom (and the fabulous & intelligent...

” – Lindsay from Downers Grove, IL
Central Michigan University

Originally founded as a teachers college, Central Michigan University has grown to become a 4-year public research institution. CMU encompasses eight colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in over 200 academic programs. In addition, CMU is home to...

“…

Central Michigan University is a big university with a small campus feel. Within my first year I connected with so many professors. They help quite me with studying, reviewing and any questions I had regrading an assignment. The community is so...

” – Sierra from Redford, MI
University of South Florida-Main Campus

The University of South Florida is a public research university located on Florida’s Gulf Coast, offering more than 180 majors and concentrations. Ranked on multiple lists for its research efforts, USF’s Office of Undergraduate Research at the Tampa...

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Besides your core classes that apply directly to your major, students must meet “Gordon Rule” requirements in order to graduate. These classes have broadened my horizon tremendously. I never would have taken Anthropology, World Regional Geography, or...

” – Julie from Deland, FL
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA
Boston College

Boston College is a 4-year Jesuit Catholic University and the first institution of higher learning founded in the city of Boston. BC is home to eight schools and colleges conferring degrees in over 50 fields of study. As a Catholic university, Boston...

“…

Boston College is more than a school, is a supportive community. The administration and students truly care about each other and try to help each other as much as possible. I cannot image a better environment to grow mentally, personally, and...

” – Andrea from Jackson Heights, NY
Auburn University
Auburn University, AL
Auburn University

Auburn University is a 4-year public research institution and the second largest university in Alabama. Auburn encompasses 15 colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees in over 140 academic majors. Outside of the classroom, Auburn is home to...

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I'm in the engineering program and I am learning tons about software and how computers work. I highly recommend Auburn to anyone who is looking for an engineering school.

” – Marissa from Stafford, VA
Temple University

Temple University, founded in 1884, is a public, four-year high research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Home to more than 37,000 students, Temple offers more than 600 academic programs in 17 schools and colleges, on several...

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Whether it is a boring topic or not the faculty at Temple University makes sure that you learn the information in a fun or interesting manner.

” – Brooke from Philadelphia, PA
University of Virginia-Main Campus

Founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819, the University of Virginia is a public institution in Charlottesville. UVA encompasses 12 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 70 fields of study. For artistically-inclined students, UVA...

“…

The great thing about UVA is that it is a public research university - meaning its resources attract the big names in most fields of study. This is great for you, the student, because you get to learn under such academics as Rita Dove and Larry...

” – Jessica from Chester, VA
Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is a 4-year public school in south Texas and the largest campus in the TSU system. TSU hosts nine colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in 98 academic majors. Every year, Texas State unveils a Common...

“…

The professors all have a passion for their craft, so no matter what class your in you will learn immense amounts of information with ease. I usually do not like political science, but my professor is so into it that it is difficult not to get fired...

” – Samantha from Sugar Land, TX
Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a private institution in Baltimore and the first research university in the United States. Hopkins confers degrees and certificates in over 260 academic programs. Additionally, Hopkins is home to the Hopkins Applied...

“…

I just finished my first semester of graduate school at JHU. Although I was expecting JHU to be difficult (and it was), I found that my first semester went very well. My advisor, fellow students and professors were very welcoming and walked me...

” – Samantha from Leavenworth, KS
University of South Carolina-Columbia

The University of South Carolina is a 4-year public research institution in the state capital of Columbia. South Carolina encompasses 12 colleges conferring undergraduate degrees. Additionally, U of SC is home to the first freestanding academic...

“…

At the University of South Carolina in Columbia, there are a multitude of classes to choose from. From the Psychology of Sex to the Philosophy of Contemporary Moral Issues, this University has many classes that will tickle your fancy. Being the...

” – Emily from Ladson, SC
Oregon State University

Oregon State University is an international public institution located in Corvallis, OR. Originally Corvallis Academy, 150 years and more than 200 degree offerings later, OSU is one of only three universities in the US to have a land-, sea-, space-...

“…

only school to offer ecologocal engineering at an undergraduate level

” – James from Cedar Knolls, NJ
Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College

The Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, more commonly known as Louisiana State, is the most comprehensive university in the state. This public university is located in Baton Rouge and is a designated land-, space-, and...

“…

My case is quite different since I went to a college-like high school. LSU uses some of the same books and publishers my high school did. Regardless, some courses can be challenging, and the tests usually make you analyze and infer information. You...

” – Hannah from New Iberia, LA
Colorado State University-Fort Collins

Colorado State University is a land grant university located in Fort Collins at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Business Administration, Kinesiology, and Human Development are popular fields of study at this flagship university. A Student Recreation...

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I rated this an amazing 5 stars out of 5 because I am learning a lot in my prerequisite classes. Interesting things I would have never known about if I wasn't required to take those classes. These prerequisite classes make students very well-rounded...

” – Gianna from Pueblo West, CO
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, also known as Virginia Tech, is a 4-year public research university in western Virginia. Virginia Tech encompasses nine colleges offering bachelor’s degrees in 110 academic majors. To promote...

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For prospective engineering students, look no further than Virginia Tech. The school has one of the finest engineering programs in the country and as such all graduates leave with a slight advantage in their job hunt. It is a very rigorous program...

” – Benjamin from Jeffersonton, VA
Emory University

Emory University is a liberal arts institution located in Atlanta, Georgia, with a second campus in Oxford. The 600-acre campus in the Druid Hills neighborhood is home to four undergraduate and seven graduate colleges, as well as over a dozen...

“…

I'm actually a student at Emory's sister school, Oxford College of Emory. The classes are difficult and require a lot of studying outside of the classroom. You will find that students at Oxford are not only learning, but also learning to apply their...

” – Urooj from Spring, TX
University of Iowa

Founded in 1847, the University of Iowa is a 4-year public research institution in Iowa City, often considered one of the nation’s top college towns. Iowa grants undergraduate degrees in over 200 academic majors, minors, and certificate programs. The...

“…

The faculty at the University of Iowa is very qualified and interacts well with their students to provide them with a great educational experience. In a school the size of Iowa, both discussion sections and lectures are the predominant forms of...

” – Lorena from La Grange Park, IL
Rice University

Originally founded as the William Marsh Rice Institute for the Advancement of Literature, Science, and Art, Rice University is a 4-year private institution in Houston. Rice encompasses six colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over...

“…

Rice does a cool thing with general education. Instead of requiring certain courses in several areas, they require 12 hours in each of three distribution lists. This means that if you're a humanities major you don't have to take Chemistry or...

” – Scott from Crown Point, IN
University of San Diego

The University of San Diego is a private research university affiliated with the Roman Catholic church. USD offers 42 different bachelor's degrees and 54 minors, in addition to various study abroad programs, and more than half of the student body...

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great academics
small class sizes will work with me (20-30)
professors care about their students

” – Yasamin from El Cajon, CA
George Mason University

George Mason University is a public research university with three regional locations and an international campus in Songdo, Korea. It is considered to have the “Highest Research Activity” and ranks among the Best Southeastern Schools according to...

“…

Here at George Mason University a.k.a GMU or Mason, classes are small and the professors are shockingly always available to answer questions by email or in person. Lecture halls are usually semi-big but then they are divided into Labs where you are...

” – Tahina from Richmond, VA
DePaul University

DePaul University is a private, non-profit institution located in the heart of Chicago, IL, featuring campuses both in the business district and Lincoln Park. DePaul is the nation’s largest Catholic university, founded by the Vincentians more than...

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I have just recently transferred to DePaul University in June of this year. I have taken 3 summer classes and found I am able to graduate almost 6 months early due to the University's flexible and accomodating class requirements. In three months I...

” – Ashley from Chicago, IL
Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Rutgers University is a public research university, one of the first nine original colonial colleges, and a land grant institution, as well. The largest university in New Jersey, Rutgers maintains 29 schools and colleges between its three campuses...

“…

Rutgers University is an excellent school because it offers various majors and minors to accommodate every student. Their Pharmacy, Engineering, as well as Business schools are widely acclaimed and their challenging programs drastically prepare you...

” – Lawrenceville, NJ
University of Denver

Founded in 1864, the University of Denver is the oldest private university in the Rocky Mountain Region. DU confers bachelor’s degrees in over 100 academic fields of study and every major enables students to take courses across different subjects...

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It isn't hard to learn a lot if you go to classes and pay enough attention to your environment. It's also easy to learn a lot of lessons outside of the classroom by volunteering for events and getting involved with on-campus groups.

” – Michelle
Pace University

Originally founded as a one room accounting school, Pace University is a 4-year research institution in Manhattan. Pace is home to six colleges and schools conferring bachelor’s degrees in over 65 academic majors. In addition, the Manhattan campus...

“…

Pace University has an amazing staff. Professors are dedicated to helping students during class and outside of the classroom setting. The class size is just right to be able to learn and focus.

” – Nichole from Brooklyn, NY
The University of Texas at San Antonio

The University of Texas at San Antonio is a 4-year public research institution and the largest university in the San Antonio region. UTSA encompasses nine colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees as well as an Honors College. Between...

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What is there to learn about U.T.S.A. ? For starters, how great the college is! I love the size of the college, not so big but then again not so small. I learned that U.T.S.A. offers a variety of degrees from the Arts to Engineering majors. I have...

” – Beatriz from Austin, TX
California State University-Fullerton

California State University-Fullerton is a 4-year public research institution in Orange County and a campus of the Cal State system. Cal State Fullerton has the largest student body out of any California State University school and has been...

“…

The classes at Cal State University, Fullerton are fairly easy. I had expected college to be a lot more difficult, but CSUF has proved otherwise. Although the classes are not difficult, they have allowed me to grow intellectually. The professors...

” – Janet
Drexel University

Named for a prominent 19th century philanthropist, Drexel University is a 4-year private research university in Philadelphia. Drexel offers bachelor’s degrees in over 80 academic majors with an emphasis on experiential learning. Additionally, the...

“…

Drexel offers a plethora of classes and programs. Campus is clean and stacked to the brim with state of the art tools to assist in your education. The teachers are very knowledgeable, well educated and invested in your success.

” – Kathrine from Willingboro, NJ
Iowa State University

Iowa State University is a public, land-grant university located in Ames, IA. The 1,813-acre campus features 6 undergraduate colleges offering 100+ majors, as well as residence hall, apartment-style, and Greek-life housing options for more than 35...

“…

There are some classes I have taken that I have looked back on and wondered what the heck I learned. But, for the most part, the courses are challenging and apply to real life scenarios. The teachers here are wonderful people who are always happy to...

” – Hannah from Ames, IA
University of Rochester

The University of Rochester is private, research university highly ranked in the National Universities list by U.S. News & World Report. It operates under the mission "Learn, Discover, Heal, Create—and Make the World Ever Better" and students can...

“…

The curriculum at the University of Rochester is what really makes it special. There are no general education requirements. The only required course for all majors is a writing class, which is offered in many subject areas to allow you to explore a...

” – Eloise from Rochester, NY
University of San Francisco

Founded by Jesuits in the mid-nineteenth century, the University of San Francisco is a private Catholic university and the first university established in the city. The 55-acre urban campus located near Golden Gate Park is home to 49 academic majors...

“…

The University of San Francisco can be summed up in a word: diverse. From the students who go there to the classes that are offered, there are hardly any days that are the same. USF is a school where you will be challenged to the very core of what...

” – Warren from Los Angeles
North Carolina State University at Raleigh

North Carolina State University is a public land-, sea-, and space-grant research university located in the state capital, Raleigh, home of the annual state fair and Winterfest. The largest university in the Carolinas by enrollment, NC State is home...

“…

I am an engineering student with lots of challenging classes including calculus 2, physics and chemistry. Introductory classes are an average of 100 students until you get into more specialized areas. Teachers vary in teaching ability but in the end...

” – Daniel from Marvin, NC
Fordham University

At Fordham, the Jesuit University of New York, you’ll receive a rigorous education in one of the world’s greatest cities. Fordham students choose from three undergraduate colleges—Fordham College at Rose Hill, Fordham College at Lincoln Center, and...

“…

Fordham is an academically competitive institution in the heart of New York, with a thorough and challenging core. That being said, there is a campus in the Bronx that allows for a traditional college atmosphere, and a campus at Lincoln Center in...

” – Emma from Harmony, PA
American University

American University is a research institution located in a residential neighborhood of Washington, DC. AU has eight schools on its carbon-neutral campus featuring more than 160 programs. American University is also home to many research centers...

“…

American University has a wonderful, intensive general education program. It gives a great foundation and helps you to become a well-rounded student. In addition, the School of International Service (SIS) has an excellent International Relations...

” – Molly from Eaton, OH
Florida Atlantic University

With campus a short distance from the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Atlantic University is a 4-year public university in southeast Florida. FAU houses 10 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 170 fields of study. In addition to...

“…

the professors and their possible assistants are very helpful and prove the students with office hours and personal email addresses that they are able to be contacted at any given time. the library, which is three stories high, is available from...

” – T from Fort Lauderdale, FL
University of California-Santa Barbara

University of California in Santa Barbara is a leading research institution in the city and state of the same name. UCSB is a member of the Association of American Universities, home to the National Center for Ecological Analysis, as well as an...

“…

The Professors that I have encountered have all been very insightful and truly knowledgeable in their fields. Every course I have taken has had a lot of required reading which seemed horrible; however, every reading has proved to be very helpful for...

” – Jennifer from Huntington Park, CA
Brigham Young University-Provo

Brigham Young University-Provo is a private research institution located in Provo, Utah, and founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. BYU offers study abroad programs through their satellite campuses in more than 20 sites...

“…

Absolutely! My classes are even more challenging than all of the AP classes I took in high school. Plus, BYU has the benefit of being able to combine secular and religious education, so all that I'm learning in every class, ranging from chemistry to...

” – Merridee from Redding, CA
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis is the result of a merger between Indiana University and Purdue University and offers degrees from both institutions. IUPUI hosts 17 schools granting degrees in over 350 areas of study. Additionally...

“…

I am learning so much from being at IUPUI. Learning new things from my major as well as new ways do do things from subjects I have already taken in high school. Aside from the classroom learning, I have learned so much about others background since...

” – Ian from Gary, IN
University of Delaware

The University of Delaware is a 4-year public university in northern Delaware and one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the country—noting signers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution in its first graduating...

“…

Pulling an all nighter never seemed so exciting before. One computer science class, and I felt like I could tackle and computer programming question out there. Most classes are similar in the amount of learning that goes on. Everywhere you turn...

” – David from Fairfield, CT
University of California-Riverside

The University of California-Riverside is a public institution on 1,200 acres of land in Southern California’s Inland Empire. A part of the UC system, UCR is home to colleges of Humanities, Engineering, and Natural Sciences conferring undergraduate...

“…

Academics at UCR is fast paced because it is on the quarter system, but that doesn't make it easier. Students are expected to learn the material and learn it fast. There are several ways to get help and to further understanding in a subject...

” – Kimberley from Tracy, CA
Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University stands among the world's most renowned educational institutions, and we tap into our diverse community and world-leading digital technologies across business, engineering, the sciences, the humanities and the arts to chart...

“…

It's expensive, but the culture and opportunities are top-notch for anyone willing to work hard and delve deep into their studies-whatever they may be. Sports aren't huge. Also, the plays and other performances are unbelievably outstanding.

” – -M
University of North Texas

The University of North Texas is a public institution featuring a main campus in Denton. Ranked as a Tier One research university, UNT is home to an Office of Research and Innovation, as well as the Institutes of Research Excellence, which include...

“…

The faculty and staff here at UNT are the biggest resource to students, but you have to be active in using them as your resources! Professors are impressed by those who take time to talk to them during their office hours, so do it! If you are having...

” – Leslie from Denton, TX
Portland State University

Originally founded to educate returning World War II veterans, Portland State University is a 4-year public institution in the heart of Portland. The PSU campus encompasses eight colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 120...

“…

When you begin registering for classes the first thing you will notice is the unbelievably huge list of classes to choose from. There is literally something for everyone at this school. Not only that, there are multiple professors teaching the...

” – Christina from Gresham, OR
Nova Southeastern University

Founded by a group of local businessmen over breakfast, Nova Southeastern University is a 4-year private university in southeast Florida and an Hispanic-serving institution. NSU is home to 18 colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in...

“…

The instructors here are well versed in their research areas and are willing to work with students on problem areas.

” – Alexandra from Davie, FL
Miami University-Oxford

Founded in 1809, Miami University is a 4-year public research institution in southwest Ohio and the state’s second oldest university. Miami of Ohio confers bachelor’s degrees in over 120 fields of study. For recreation, Miami is home to a unique...

“…

1. Don't wear a lanyard with your ID on it. 
2. Wait until the class starts to buy books- the bookstore website doesn't always offer the right ones, you don't always need them, or you might end up dropping the class and have a totally useless book....

” – Lauryn from WI
United States Military Academy

The United States Military Academy is located in West Point, NY, with a "mission to educate, train, and inspire the Corps of Cadets for a career of professional excellence and sevice to the Nation as an officer in the United States Army." West Point...

“…

One of the premier institutions in the entire country with an unparalleled education in all aspects of life. Moral, ethical, physical, mental, leadership developing lifestyle four four years to create some of the best individuals in the U.S.

” – Taylor from Chesapeake, VA
University of Wisconsin-Madison

From its main campus located atop a hilltop in Wisconsin’s state capital, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a 4-year public institution and the flagship campus of the UW system. Founded in 1848 at the same time that Wisconsin achieved statehood...

“…

UW-Madison is a university prized for its small town feel with a huge social experience. Never is there a dull moment on campus. Your academics and extra curricular activities will be memories you'll never forget.

” – Louie from WI
University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is a public research university that houses 14 schools and colleges, and more than 100 undergraduate majors. Centered around Horsebarn Hill, the university features a floriculture greenhouse, animal barns, and Dairy Bar...

“…

At UConn, first and second year curriculum consists of an ecclectic approach where you will study topics from many different fields. In my first year, I learned a lot of new material and reviewed a bunch of things I already knew. The new things I...

” – Alyssa from Orange, CT
Appalachian State University

Originally founded as a teachers college, Appalachian State University is a 4-year public university in the Blue Ridge Mountains region of North Carolina. As a campus of the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian is home to six colleges...

“…

Since I have not started classes there yet, I can't speak for how much I will learn. However, at orientation the students who led us around on tours and helped advise us on our schedules talked only about how much they learned from their professors...

” – Reece from Davidson, NC
San Jose State University

San Jose State University is the oldest public university on the west coast, and is the founding campus of the 23-campus California State University System. Located on 154 acres in downtown San Jose, SJSU offers more than 145 areas of study with an...

“…

I have taken English 1A, Latino Identity (psycology), Remedial Math, and Intro to Sociology. English 1A is the GE English class required for undergrad students. My teacher, Mr. Mujal, was amazing. It was a small class of 25, and he made sure everyone...

” – Tatiana from San Francisco, CA
Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University is a four-year public research institution in Flagstaff, Arizona, which is consistently named among the nation’s best college towns. A variety of award-winning student resources and support are available to all students...

“…

The books can only tell you so much but when you bring good teachers in, who know the books and know the material, you get the most out of your classes. Here, there are great teachers who don't just stick to boring lectures with a billion power...

” – Jeffrey from Phoenix, AZ
University of California-Santa Cruz

Founded in 1965, the University of California-Santa Cruz is a public institution and part of the University of California System. UCSC offers undergraduate degrees in 65 academic majors within departments of Arts, Humanities, Physical Sciences...

“…

My professors made sure that I not only understood the subject matter, they also made us utilize what we learned into different problems. You learn a lot about yourself when you experience a different environment.

” – S. Garcia from LA
University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus

Founded in 1890, the University of Oklahoma is a 4-year public institution in central Oklahoma. OU offers bachelor’s degrees in 170 academic fields of study. In addition to classroom space, the OU campus hosts the National Weather Center featuring a...

“…

The University of Oklahoma has been a great experience for me, although the campus is huge and there are thousands of students, don't assume that you'll just be a number to your professor. The professors are very friendly and supportive if you need...

” – Kacey from Wagoner, OK
San Francisco State University

Originally founded as a teacher training college, San Francisco State University is a 4-year public institution and a Bay Area-based campus of the California State University System. SF State offers bachelor’s degrees in 77 fields of study and...

“…

Classes that are offered here at state are interesting. ALL professors here at state are passionate about their discipline and they are very helpful! We have great and supportive departments. I am a Biology major at state with hopes of attending UCSF...

” – Kirsten from San Francisco, CA
Marshall University

Established in 1837 and named for former Chief Justice John Marshall, Marshall University is a 4-year public research institution in southwestern West Virginia. Marshall is home to seven undergraduate colleges conferring bachelor’s degrees in 57...

“…

marshall university's campus is small enough to engage with your professors, yet large enough to meet all standards of diversity. its quaint charm also matches its southern hospitality. from the classroom to sporting events roaring with thundering...

” – Bria from Beckley, WV
Villanova University

Founded in 1842 by the friars of the Order of Saint Augustine, Villanova University is a 4-year research institution in the Philadelphia area and the oldest Catholic school in Pennsylvania. Villanova is home to six colleges and schools conferring...

“…

villanova is a medium-sized school with large-scale opportunities and resources. they value community, academics, sports, and the arts. there is something for everyone, and anything is possible here.

” – Lauren from East Brunswick, NJ
CUNY Hunter College

Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, CUNY Hunter College is a public college and the largest school in the City University of New York System. Hunter is home to six colleges and schools conferring degrees in over 170 fields of study. In addition...

“…

The professors here at Hunter are very knowledgeable and are also very diverse. Most of the professors that I have had so far are very fair and are also very helpful. Just make sure you read your syllabus before hand so that you are never behind...

” – Oluwadara from Brentwood, NY
University of Arkansas

Situated on a hilltop overlooking the Ozark Mountains, the University of Arkansas is the flagship campus of the UA system and the largest university in the state. Arkansas is home to six colleges and schools hosting undergraduate degree-granting...

“…

The University of Arkansas strives to make your college experience unique by recognizing individual students instead of losing them in the crowd. Set on a beautiful campus, the University of Arkansas offers an extensive variety of student groups...

” – Blake from Fayetteville, AR
Montclair State University

Montclair State University is a 4-year public institution in northern New Jersey and the second largest university in the state. Montclair State is home to 11 colleges and schools conferring over 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees and the...

“…

Each one of my courses has its own challenges and keeps me on my feet. Class size arent huge at all and you can have one on one discussions with the professor during their office hours. It is a great learning institution and your professors will...

” – Neftali from Passaic, NJ
California State University-Fresno

California State University-Fresno is a 4-year public school and the second largest university in the Cal State system. Fresno State encompasses eight colleges and schools offering undergraduate degrees. In addition, Fresno State has been designated...

“…

Yes indeed I am learning a lot! I am from the coast and I did not know much about agriculture, although here with my peers I have learned plenty. This campus has a variety of classes that you can attend. I have taken classes that range from Drama to...

” – Virginia from San Clemente, CA
Colgate University

Established in 1819, Colgate University is a selective 4-year private liberal arts institution in central New York State and one of the oldest universities in the northeast. Colgate confers bachelor’s degrees in 56 academic majors and the campus is...

“…

Colgate is a tight-knit family. Teachers want you to succeed and truly understand the material. My experience has been extraordinary.

” – Alia from Florida
Chapman University

Chapman University is a private, liberal arts institution in Orange, California, that offers 110 areas of study through 11 schools and colleges. Chapman is also home to several independent research centers, as well as creative research centers...

“…

Chapman University is an up-and-coming school, as seen through not only the expansion of campus facilities but the growth in student resources. Chapman will continue to grow for the simple reason that people with not just higher SAT scores but higher...

” – theCollegeKid
Elon University

Elon University is a selective, liberal arts institution located in central North Carolina. The 656-acre Greensboro campus hosts six schools and a number of academic ceenters, which include the Center for Enviornmental Studies, the Doherty Center for...

“…

Elon is one of the few colleges that present an environment that makes it easier to learn new, interesting things. Just being on campus and walking around provokes your brain to analyze situations and acquire information automatically but there are a...

” – Xadiex from Knightdale, NC
Washington University in St Louis

Founded in 1853 and named for George Washington, Washington University in St. Louis is a 4-year private research university. WashU encompasses seven colleges and schools conferring undergraduate degrees in over 90 areas of study. For artistically...

“…

Given that this is a top private university in the States, only the best professors and educators are hired to lecture at the school. Outside of the classroom, many research based major programs allow you to attend seminars, symposiums and events to...

” – Female Student from Atlanta, GA
Kennesaw State University

One of the top 50 largest public schools in the United States, the third-largest university in the state, Kennesaw State University is a 4-year institution with two campuses in the Atlanta metro area. KSU is home to 13 colleges granting degrees in...

“…

There are good teachers and bad. Study hard it helps you make good grades! Don't take a class your not interested in early unless you are a morning person.

” – Aisha from Mcdonough, GA
Ball State University

Originally founded as a teacher’s college, Ball State University is a public institution in eastern Indiana. Ball State is home to seven colleges conferring undergraduate degrees in more than 120 academic majors. Throughout the year, Ball State...

“…

The professors that I have had thus far are so great about giving you the facts that have to do with their class based upon the literature in the class in a manor that keeps you listening and holds your attention.

” – Rebecca from Kokomo, IN
Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University is a 4-year public research university and the flagship campus of the TTU System. Texas Tech encompasses 12 colleges and schools and is the only Texas college to feature an undergraduate university, law school, and medical...

“…

The professors are amazing; they teach the curriculum very clearly and are available during office hours for additional help. The university also offers free tutoring in every major, which is very helpful as well. Being at Texas Tech has helped me...

” – Kamaron from Lewisville, TX
Bucknell University

Bucknell University is a highly selective, private liberal arts college located in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. As one of the nation's preeminent liberal arts universities and Division I schools, Bucknell offers a world-class learning experience where...

“…

Be ready to spend a lot of time on campus!
Bucknell is not in a major metropolitan area and students tend to spend most of their time on campus or in the downtown area that borders campus. Despite the rural area, Bucknell brings good

” – A Senior Guy
Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851 by the Society of Jesus, Santa Clara University is a Jesuit Catholic university in Silicon Valley and the oldest institution of higher education in California. SCU offers undergraduate degrees in more than 50 academic majors and...

“…

The faculty offer much more than what textbooks can do. Not only that, but just seeing all different types of people from different backgrounds builds the social aspect as well as the classroom aspect. It's also very easy to get to know people since...

” – Bao from San Jose, CA
Loyola University Chicago

Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is a Catholic, Jesuit university located in the city of Chicago. Loyola has four campuses in the Chicago area–the main Lake Shore Campus along Lake Michigan, Water Tower Campus in the heart of downtown, the...

“…

The classes here tend to be very difficult. There are high standards that every student is held to. Studying should be a main priority if attending Loyola. Loyola focuses on getting every student to take various core classes to expand ones knowledge...

” – Fernando from Berwyn, IL
University of Massachusetts-Amherst

The largest public university in New England, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the original campus in the UM System. UMass is a land-grant university with the “Highest Research Activity" and the U.S. News & World Report ranks the UMass...

“…

If you take the right Gen Ed classes, they can be very interesting. Definitely try to take classes that interest you or you will very likely be bored out of your mind. However, I so far get the impression that most professors and instructors are...

” – Samantha from Springfield, MA