Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

The BS in Environmental Engineering degree program is designed to provide students with comprehensive training in environmental engineering fundamentals. The program has been designed with the goal of receiving accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Accreditation can be sought once the program has had its first graduates; the program was launched at the start of the 2018-2019 Spring Semester.

Goal of the Program

The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for environmental engineering careers and graduate studies. It is guided by the vision of offering the environmental engineering degree with the strongest chemical engineering flavor or any program in the country. The program benefits from the relatively unique context of a department that integrates environmental engineering and chemical engineering.


The department takes pride in the mentoring of undergraduate students. Each student who declares environmental engineering as a (potential) major is assigned an academic adviser from the full-time department faculty. Typically, the same adviser follows the student's academic progress and serves as a mentor from the freshman year through graduation.


Graduates of the BS in Environmental Engineering program are expected to be able to:
  • apply knowledge of mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics
  • apply knowledge of calculus-based physics
  • apply knowledge of chemistry (including stoichiometry, equilibrium, and kinetics)
  • apply knowledge of an earth science
  • apply knowledge of a biological science
  • apply knowledge of fluid mechanics
  • formulate material and energy balances
  • analyze the fate and transport of substances in and between air, water, and soil phases
  • conduct laboratory experiments and analyze and interpret the resulting data in more than one major environmental engineering focus area, e.g., air, water, land, environmental health
  • design environmental engineering systems that include considerations of risk, uncertainty, sustainability, life-cycle principles, and environmental impacts
  • apply advanced principles and practice relevant to the program objectives
  • understand concepts of professional practice, project management, and the roles and responsibilities of public institutions and private organizations pertaining to environmental policy and regulations

Degree Requirements

The BS in Environmental Engineering degree program is designed to provide students with comprehensive training in environmental engineering fundamentals. The degree requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of 126 units as indicated in Table 3. From the courses listed in Table 3, the humanities and social sciences courses (except Engr 450X courses) may be taken pass/fail. A sample year-by-year curriculum is shown in Table 4.

The program of study consists of 26 units of physical and biological sciences (i.e., biology, chemistry and physics); 21 units of mathematics and engineering computing; 43 units of core environmental engineering courses; 21 units of humanities, social sciences and technical writing; and 15 units of environmental engineering and science electives.
Environmental Engineering Electives
The environmental engineering electives permit students to tailor their studies toward specific goals. Some of these 15 units may be taken in other engineering departments, and one is explicitly required to be from a set of natural science options. Students in collaboration with their advisers design a course of study (subject to certain requirements) for the environmental engineering and science electives. Specific requirements for the environmental engineering electives are:
  • All courses must be at the advanced level (300-or-higher) and must be in engineering or the physical sciences. Exceptions to this requirement are ESE 230, MEMS 202, MEMS 253 and 255, Biol 2970 and Chem 262.
  • At least 9 units must be EECE courses
  • At least 3 units must satisfy the requirement of a natural science elective. Current options to satisfy for this elective are Biogeochemistry (EPSc 323), Introduction to Soil Science (EPSc 413), and Hydrology (EPSc 428).
  • Up to 6 units of EECE 300/400 (Independent Study) and/or EECE 423 (Senior Thesis) can be counted.
  • There is no restriction on the number of Engineering Topics units that must be earned from the Environmental Engineering Electives. However, all students must earn a total of 45 Engineering Topics units across all courses. In almost all cases this requirement can be satisfied by meeting all of the BSEnvE degree requirements. It is the responsibility of each student to ensure they accumulate 45 Engineering Topics units. Engineering Topics units are denoted by the designation EN/TU in the course listings book. For example, EECE 311 (Green Engineering) has designation EN/TU 3 which means it carries three units of Engineering Topics.

Engineering Mathematics B (ESE 319) is strongly recommended for students considering graduate studies

Environmental Humanities or Social Science Elective

In addition to the overall requirement of 18 units of humanities and social sciences, the BS in Environmental Engineering requires that 3 units be selected from a menu of options that is focused on environmental humanities or social sciences. Current options for this elective are:
  • Introduction to Environmental Policy (Pol Sci 2010)
  • Introduction to Environmental Ethics (Phil 235F)
  • Topics in Politics: Environmental Justice (Pol Sci 340)
  • Ecological Economics (EnSt 310)
  • Environmental Problem Solving (EnSt 357)
  • Ecofeminism: Environmental Social Movements and Anthropology (Anthro 3616)
  • Anthropology of Water (Anthro 4287)
  • Environmental Policy (Econ 451)
  • Intro to Environmental Law and Policy (EnSt 461)
  • Interdisciplinary Environmental Clinic (EnSt 539)

The lists above are the courses currently approved as environmental engineering electives. Students interested in counting a course towards the environmental engineering electives that is not on these lists should first discuss with their academic advisor and then petition the EECE Undergradutate Committee through Dr. Janie Brennan.