Environmental Studies at PWSC

PWSC student studying near a glacier

Study Environmental Science Tuition Free at PWSC!

Have you ever been interested in marine or natural sciences? If so, then this could be a great opportunity for you! PWSC is offering free tuition and housing for student enrolled in the Natural Resource Technician or Marine Natural Resource Technician Occupational Endorsement Certificate (OEC) programs. This has been made possible by grant funding and will be available through 2026! 

Experience immersive semester-long programs focused on environmental sciences at Prince William Sound College (PWSC) in Valdez, Alaska. Set amidst some of the country’s most breathtaking scenery with easy access to ocean, mountain, and glaciated environments, students are exposed to hands-on learning in unique outdoor venues.

We invite students from around the country interested in pursuing or exploring biological or environmental sciences to join us for a semester-long journey of academic exploration and discovery beyond the traditional classroom setting. Here, students delve into the intricate world of natural science amidst breathtaking natural landscapes, making learning a truly engaging and unforgettable experience.

PWSC offers a terrestrial focus during the fall semester and a marine focus in the spring semester. After completing the semester students will have earned an accredited occupational endorsement certificate (OEC) in their respective field of study. An OEC gives graduates an immediate edge in the job market or prepares students for further study with transferable credits. Choose to complete one semester or stay for both semesters! Students who stay for both semesters can also continue on to complete an associate of applied science degree through PWSC.

During the spring semester: marine focus 

studying marine science in the field in coastal Alaska

In the spring semester, students gain specialized knowledge about the unique ecosystems of Alaska with an emphasis on marine environments. Students who may be interested in a career in oceanography or marine biology can study marine life and ocean processes by directly engaging with an Alaskan oceanic environment. Learning experiences are often held outdoors, and students may find themselves taking water samples, monitoring marine community development, aiding in mariculture research, and observing wildlife like sea otters and seabirds. Classes focus on experiential learning and building students into marine scientists and professionals through hands-on training. Students learn research methods by directly participating in research projects as well as having the chance to develop and carry out their own projects. Classes are developed with industry input into the skills and knowledge needed, ensuring the applicability of the program and training. At the end of the semester, students will have completed 16 credit hours and will receive an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Marine Natural Resource Technician accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Learn more about the OEC in Marine Natural Resources

 

During the fall semester: terrestrial focus

students standing in front of a glacier

In the fall semester, students gain a well-rounded and practical education in environmental sciences with a specific focus on Alaska's unique terrestrial ecosystems. The curriculum provides foundational course-work for students interested in understanding and conserving diverse and unique ecosystems. The availability of industry-recommended and elective courses allows students to tailor their education to their specific interests and career goals, for example a student can choose to complement their academic studies with a CPR and first aid course or a field-based course like backpacking. At the end of the semester, students will have completed 16 credit hours and will receive an Occupational Endorsement Certificate in Natural Resource Technician accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Learn more about the OEC in Natural Resources

 

Important FAQs:

 

Prince William Sound College (PWSC) is a campus of the University of Alaska Anchorage. All degree and certificate programs are accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

 

Request More Information:

Fill out this form to receive information or ask specific questions