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Environmental Science Overview

Environmental Science

Career/Program Overview

RCTC offers an Associate in Science (AS) degree in Environmental Science.  This two-year program will prepare students for certain jobs in the environmental sciences, as well as provide students with the foundational coursework to transfer into a four-year college or university Bachelor’s degree program in an environmental science-related field.


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 articulates with Winona State University, Bachelor in Science (BS) Degree in Biology (Environmental Science option).

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.  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 conservation technicians. 

AS degree career options include:*

  • Environmental Science Technicians (17.4%)
  • Biological Technicians (13.8%)
  • Conservation Scientists (5.2%)

Upon completion of a bachelor’s degree or beyond, career options may include: 

BS degree career options include:*

  • Environmental Scientists (11.2%),
  • Foresters (2.6%),
  • Soil and Plant Scientists (10.1%),
  • Natural Sciences Managers (8.6%),
  • 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 for 2010-2020 obtained from Minnesota’s career, education and job resource: iSeek.org


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

The Environmental Science program has an articulation agreement to serve as the first two years of a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Biology (Environmental Science option) offered at Winona State University (WSU). RCTC also has an articulation 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/courses.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

Last Updated: October 7, 2014

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