» Environmental Science Program Home «

Environmental Science Overview

Environmental Science

Career/Program Overview

RCTC offers an Associate in Science (AS) degree in Environmental Science, which prepares students for jobs in the environmental sciences and includes excellent internship opportunities for our students.  The program provides students with foundational coursework to transfer into four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs in environmental science-related and biological fields of study.  Transfer agreements for the Environmental Science program have been established with Winona State University, University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and University of Minnesota-Crookston, each of which enables smooth transfer to BS programs in Environmental Science at four-year universities.  


Primary coursework includes:  Ecology, Biological Applications of GIS Technology, Environmental Science Internship, Survey of Life Forms, Zoology, Genetics, and Chemical Principles I & II.  General Education requirements include courses in Plant Biology, Environmental Biology, Concepts of Biology, Fundamentals of Statistics, Introduction to Sociology, Ethics, and Written and Oral Communication.

Program/Degree Options

RCTC offers an Associate in Science (AS) degree in Environmental Science.  It can be completed in two years.  This program has transfer agreements with four-year universities, including Winona State University, University of Minnesota-Crookston, and University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Program Start Date(s)

Students can begin the program course requirements any semester.  Some courses are offered once per year, some courses every semester, and some courses every other year.  Careful planning and consideration of scheduling and prerequisite coursework (if applicable) is important.  See http://www.rctc.edu/program/es/additional_information.html for course planning information.  Working with an academic advisor or program faculty is recommended.  Please contact Cory.Rubin@rctc.edu or Jennifer.Rubin@rctc.edu with questions about scheduling or planning your coursework.

Career Opportunities/Information

Graduates may seek employment opportunities as environmental science technicians, biological technicians, or forest and conservation technicians or continue their education for a wide range of opportunities and career tracks in environmental science. 

AS degree career options include:*

  • Environmental Science and Protection Technicians (27%),
  • Forest and Conservation Technicians (6%)

BS degree career options include:*

  • Biological Technicians (21%)
  • Environmental Scientists (9%),
  • Natural Sciences Managers (5%),
  • Middle School/High School Teachers (6-12%)
  • Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists (2.4%)

An additional career path following RCTC' includes training toward a Conservation Officer, which could include a two-year program such as Environmental Science at RCTC, as well as law enforcement for Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) license eligibility, which is also available at RCTC.

*Growth rate data obtained from positivelyminnesota.com, data.bls.gov, and careerinfo.net


Rochester Community and Technical College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

The Environmental Science program has articulation agreements to serve as the first two years of a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology (Environmental Science option) offered at Winona State University, in Environmental Sciences at University of Minnesota-Crookston, and in Environmental Science at University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

RCTC also has an articulation agreement with Pine Island Public Schools (PIPS), to earn credit at RCTC by successfully completing AP Environmental Science at PIPS.

For more information about these articulations: http://www.rctc.edu/program/es/additional_information.html.

For additional information about RCTC articulations: http://www.rctc.edu/catalog/articulations/

Miscellaneous Information

In addition, RCTC has an Ecology Club that is associated with the Environmental Science program.  The Club volunteers and coordinates service projects.  It is open to all RCTC students.  http://www.rctc.edu/studentlife/EcologyClub.html.

Additional Information

Program Website: http://www.rctc.edu/program/es
Program Plan: http://www.rctc.edu/catalog/programs
More Information: http://www.rctc.edu/contact

Overview content updated: 2016-06-01
Contact Information
(507) 285-7210 or 1‑800‑247‑1296
Rochester Community and Technical College
851 30th Ave SE :: Rochester, MN 55904-4999
Celebrating 100 years!    1915-2015    www.rctc.edu/100th
Rochester Community and Technical College, a member of Minnesota State.
RCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer.
Submit Website Feedback