Is Environmental Science Hard? Everything You Need To Know About the Field

Eva Hagan - Author

Jan. 29 2024, Published 3:52 p.m. ET

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The discipline of environmental science studies the relationships between the biological, chemical, and physical components of the environment, according to Environmental science also studies how human interaction with the environment contributes to issues such as climate change. This field often combines knowledge from natural sciences fields, such as biology and chemistry, with fields such as law, economics, and public policy.

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A degree in environmental science can lead to many careers, such as work in government agencies, corporations, and even wildlife research. Environmental scientists are also essential in leading us toward a sustainable future and lessening the effects of climate change. But before jumping into the career path, you may wonder, is environmental science hard?

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Is environmental science hard?

Getting a degree in environmental science requires a lot of science coursework, which can be challenging but will set you up with many possible career options.

According to Forbes, an environmental science degree requires studying a combination of biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and ecology. Students will gain knowledge of sustainability, climate change, and the intersections between human and environmental health.

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Some schools offer to earn a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in environmental science. A BA program may include more policy and law courses alongside the science courses for the degree, whereas the BS is often more technical and research-heavy. Key things to remember when considering a program are your strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. Even if you have skills to build, your motivation is a big determinant of success.

An environmental science degree can lead to a variety of career options. According to ThoughtCo, the most common careers for an environmental science major include, but are not limited to, environmental scientist, teacher, environmental consultant, environmental lawyer, park ranger, sustainability analyst, hydrologist, and wildlife biologist.

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Is AP Environmental Science hard?

AP Environmental Science is a high school course that teaches students about subjects such as Earth’s natural systems, species, environments, and sustainability. Best Colleges considers it one of the harder AP (Advanced Placement) courses because of its pass rate: Only 51 percent of test takers passed in 2021.

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According to, the course material of AP Environmental Science is designed to mimic a college laboratory class, with a corresponding exam with the potential to receive college credit. However, class credit largely depends on the college you plan to attend.

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The difficulty of an AP Environmental Science course also depends on your previous science coursework, where Best Colleges recommends that students have experience with a life science course, a physical science course, a laboratory science course, an Earth science course, and an algebra class. It is still possible to succeed in the class without these prerequisites. However, the material heavily relies on information learned in these courses.

If you are passionate about the natural environment and are considering studying it in college. In that case, AP Environmental Science is a great course to give you the knowledge you need to succeed in later courses, per Best Colleges.

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