The best schools for environmental engineering offer top-quality academic programs. Unlike Civil, Automobile, and other popular engineering majors, environmental engineering is not available at every college, and its popularity among degree programs is about average.
In this piece, we have highlighted the top colleges in the world that feature degree programs in environmental engineering. Enrolling in one of these institutions will offer you the opportunity to learn from the best
What is Environmental Engineering?
Environmental engineering is the creation of systems and infrastructure for waste disposal, water supply, and pollution management of all kinds. These initiatives safeguard public health by halting the spread of disease, and they maintain environmental quality by preventing the deterioration and contamination of resources such as air, water, and land.
A wide range of academic fields, including chemistry, ecology, geology, hydraulics, hydrology, microbiology, economics, and mathematics, are used in the topic of environmental engineering.
Environmental engineering focuses on a number of particular fields.
- Wastewater management
- Solid waste management
- Coastal engineering
- Geophysical engineering
- Ocean engineering
- Ecosystem engineering
- Sustainable Energy
Why you Should Attend the Best Environmental Engineering School
The following are reasons why one should attend the best environmental engineering school:
- The joy of discovering how to use natural resources sustainably and how to work together to protect and restore the environment.
- Since you will be extremely well-versed in interdisciplinary disciplines like math, physics, chemistry, and biology, you will have a variety of professional prospects.
- Possibility of working on your own as a consultant or in a dependency situation.
- You will be able to work as a professional wherever in the world because of globalization and the value of this vocation.
What are the Best Schools for Environmental Engineering?
There are many different college programs accessible to students interested in environmental engineering degrees; however, the 15 best schools for environmental engineering are listed below.
- University of California – Berkeley
- Stanford University
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
- University of Texas – Austin
- Cornell University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Virginia Tech
- Purdue University – West Lafayette
- Pennsylvania State University – University Park
- Yale University
- Duke University
- Rice University
#1. University of California – Berkeley
A minor in environmental engineering is available from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, and it can be coupled with a major in a related field, such as civil engineering or biological sciences.
Students can study quantitative environmental engineering approaches through the minor, which also helps them get ready for graduate school at Berkeley or abroad. Despite only having a minor available, UC Berkeley is the best school for studying environmental engineering.
Similar to Stanford, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers undergraduate students a thorough education that will prepare them for a professional future. The program places a lot of emphasis on sustainability and safeguarding basic essentials for human life.
Stanford University is a top-tier institution for any subject but is particularly well-known for engineering. Stanford is a private research university close to the Silicon Valley tech and start-up scene. Both the civil engineering and environmental systems engineering undergraduate programs prepare students for a career in the environmental engineering profession.
#3. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan features engineering majors in civil or environmental. A minor in environmental engineering is also a possibility for students. All of the programs focus on water and atmospheric systems as they train students for jobs in engineering.
#4. Georgia Institute of Technology
The environmental engineering bachelor’s of science degree at Georgia Tech trains students for careers involving the preservation of the environment’s air, water, and land resources as well as human health.
Georgia Tech, a highly regarded public engineering school with campuses in Atlanta and Atlanta, Georgia, provides students with a strong foundation for their future careers and links to numerous employers seeking to hire Georgia Tech alumni.
#5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In MIT’s undergraduate program in civil and environmental engineering, students learn how to address global issues like food insecurity and climate change and how artificial intelligence and machine learning might be able to offer solutions.
The highly regarded private research university MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts will train students to become well-rounded engineers equipped to help solve the world’s engineering problems.
Check out MIT acceptance rate here
#6. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign
The Civil and Environmental Engineering department at the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago prepares students to manage water, land, and air pollution by using sustainable engineering techniques.
Professors of environmental engineering at UIUC also place a strong emphasis on cooperating with educators from other countries to provide students with a global perspective.
#7. University of Texas – Austin
The environmental engineering program at the University of Texas at Austin is dedicated to minimizing the impact that humanity has on the planet’s natural environment. The program’s participants learn the important role engineers play in solving environmental issues.
#8. Cornell University
Students in the private Ivy League research institution’s Civil and Environmental Engineering program can major in either civil or environmental engineering. The program emphasizes research and innovation in these areas strongly and has teachers and resources of the highest caliber.
#9. Carnegie Mellon University
The Civil Engineering program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is structured to meet the individual needs of its students. The program can be customized by students to meet their unique requirements and professional aspirations.
When they register in the Integrated MS/BS Program at Carnegie Mellon, undergraduate students can also study toward their MS.
#10. Virginia Tech
All undergraduate students enrolled in the Civil and Environmental Engineering program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia, must earn a degree in civil engineering, which also includes significant environmental engineering topics.
In actuality, general engineering is the program into which all engineering students are first accepted; after their first year, they can apply to the civil engineering program.
#11. Purdue University – West Lafayette
Prior to selecting their specialty major, Purdue University’s first-year engineering students in West Lafayette, Indiana, must complete a year of foundational engineering coursework.
Students may then choose to major in Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue, where they will acquire cross-disciplinary problem-solving abilities from an integrated systems viewpoint to assist in resolving key environmental problems.
#12. Pennsylvania State University – University Park
Students pursuing a BS in civil engineering at Penn State University, University Park, study environmental engineering, geotechnical and materials engineering, structural engineering and mechanics, transportation engineering, and water resources engineering. Following that, Penn State provides a graduate program in environmental engineering.
#13. Yale University
The undergraduate environmental engineering program at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, adopts a broad perspective on the field and strives to integrate it with human health, green design and pollution prevention, carbon sequestration and climate change, and the development of alternative energy sources.
Additionally, faculty research and related extracurricular activities are encouraged for undergraduate students majoring in environmental engineering.
#14. Duke University
Undergraduate environmental engineering courses at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina emphasize practical design, data science, computing, research, and entrepreneurship to help students become skilled problem-solvers for society.
Enrolling in the 4+1: BSE+master’s degree program at Duke allows students to complete both their BSE and Master’s degrees in five years.
#15. Rice University
Undergraduates interested in environmental engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas, have the choice of pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Bachelor of Arts with a Major in Civil Engineering, or a Minor in Energy and Water Sustainability.
These programs enable students to follow the route of their choice, combine engineering studies with other interests, and study environmental engineering within demanding and flexible curricula.
Best Environmental Engineering Universities in Europe
European colleges and universities are a fantastic choice for anyone looking to earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in environmental science. They maintain strong academic standards and provide an environment where overseas students can succeed while providing low (or even free) tuition.
The top universities in Europe for environmental engineering are listed below:
- University of Cambridge, UK
- University of Oxford, UK
- ETH Zurich, Switzerland
- Imperial College London, UK
- EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland
- PSL Research University Paris, France
- Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France
- Technical University of Munich, Germany
- LMU Munich, Germany
- University College London (UCL), UK
Best Schools For Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Programs
Environmental engineers work to benefit both the environment and people. The highest engineering degree offered at these prestigious undergraduate institutions is a PhD.
- Florida International University
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
- Georgia Institute of Technology
- Stanford University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- University of Texas at Austin
- Virginia Tech
- Carnegie Mellon University
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Best Graduate Environmental Engineering Schools
- California State University-Fullerton
- University of Florida
- Michigan Technological University
- Arizona State University Campus Immersion
- Clarkson University
- Clemson University
- Colorado School of Mines
- Johns Hopkins University
- Lamar University
- Manhattan College
Are there Environmental Engineering Degrees Online
Technology is the driving force behind change in our world more than ever before, and there is no sign of a slowdown in sight. The victim of this transition throughout history has been the environment, which we have robbed and degraded to the point where our own lives are now at risk.
Fortunately, there are hints that things could be shifting. Our life and behavior are influenced by sustainability, which is a topic of discussion. Even large business has started to succumb to it, that is relying more and more on environmental engineers to coordinate, manage, and lessen the effects of their operations on the environment.
Because of the increased concern, it is expected that through 2022, the field of environmental engineering will grow 15% yearly.
Online environmental engineering programs are becoming more and more popular, and as their popularity rises, so does the selection of available courses. The top colleges that offer environmental engineering master’s degrees are listed here.
A renowned learning environment and a research hub for many academic and professional sectors, Columbia University is located in New York City. It has invested more than $1 billion in research since 1901, produces 350 new discoveries each year, and boasts 84 Nobel laureates among its faculty, students, and alumni.
The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at the university first opened its doors in 1864 as a mining and metallurgy school. Nine departments within the engineering college now offer undergraduate and graduate programs.
A Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Engineering degree is available from the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, with a focus on environmentally sustainable primary material mining, processing, and disposal.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 and the completion of 30 total credits are prerequisites for admission. Nanotechnology, environmental biology, solar systems engineering, and catalysts for emissions control are a few of the fundamental courses available.
A highly regarded university with an international focus is Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. With more than 50,000 academics involved in learning, teaching, and research-related activities, it is one of the top research universities in the nation.
The university has more than 200 foreign research agreements and 5,000 domestic collaborators, and its researchers are well-connected and cooperative.
The environmental engineering degree at Griffith, which is now available both on and off campus, is the first of its kind to be provided in Queensland. For full-time students, it will take 1.5 years to finish the online Master of Environmental Engineering degree; for part-time students, it will take 3 years. The degree can only be granted after completing 120 credits in total.
Environmental hydrology and hydraulics, site restoration and rehabilitation, hazardous waste management, and cleaner manufacturing are a few of the courses that are offered.
North Carolina State University
As a land-grant institution that first concentrated on engineering and agriculture, North Carolina State University (NC State) has evolved into a public research university. It takes great satisfaction in being a titan in science, technology, math, and engineering.
With an annual contribution of $6.5 billion, or the equivalent of 90,000 new jobs, the institution is one of the key economic drivers in the state. For new sponsored research in FY18, NC State received $334 million.
In terms of creativity and research, the university’s engineering college is among the top in the nation. Its online engineering program offers a Master of Environmental Engineering with specializations in solid waste management, pollution and remediation, groundwater hydrology, and air quality. It is a non-thesis program that calls for 30 graduate engineering credits.
Old Dominion University
Doctoral research-focused Old Dominion University (ODU) is located in Norfolk, a seaside city. ODU provides Virginia’s economy with $2.6 billion yearly and received $49 million in research funding in 2017. 117 full-time faculty members who have won awards teach at the Batten College of Engineering and Technology and assist students in becoming successful professionals.
A Master of Science in Environmental Engineering is one of the Master’s degrees in engineering offered online by ODU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. With over 30 years of experience in remote education, it has a 96% student satisfaction rating. 30 credits must be earned to graduate with a master’s in environmental engineering from ODU.
You can enroll in classes on groundwater flow, physicochemical treatment procedures, environmental engineering biology, and carbon-free clean energy, among others.
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde (Strathclyde) is a research institution that gives its students access to a dynamic learning environment. An esteemed international hub for engineering research is run by experts from Strathclyde.
Only one engineering department in Scotland, the department of civil and environmental engineering, has received the Athena SWAN silver award, which honors the department’s dedication to advancing women’s careers in engineering, mathematics, science, technology, and medicine.
A Master of Science in Environmental Engineering is available online through Strathclyde, and it is strongly related to portfolios for infrastructure investment, environmental protection, land contamination control, and urban redevelopment in Scotland and around the globe.
The online Master’s degree can be earned in three years and requires 60 credits per year of study. Students can enroll in courses in environmental geochemistry, site investigation and risk assessment, environmental forensics basics, and water and wastewater treatment design, to name a few.
How to Become an Environmental Engineer
A career as an environmental engineer can be attained by following the stages outlined below:
Complete a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering
Obtain a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from an authorized program. Prerequisites including science studies, arithmetic, and engineering principles are frequently covered in the coursework for the field.
Coursework on water treatment, pollution mitigation and control technologies, air quality management, and environmental rehabilitation are covered as you dive deeper into your major. After completing your four-year degree program, you will be qualified to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is necessary to take before starting a job.
Take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam
The FE exam is given by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and the FE Environmental test is tailored to environmental engineering.
Although the FE test is the initial step toward professional certification, it might not be necessary for your jurisdiction. Applications of mathematics, engineering concepts, environmental chemistry, legal principles, and additional environmental engineering-specific topics are covered on the exam.
Gain work experience through an internship or entry-level role
You can gain the necessary work experience for the Principles and Practice of Engineering test through internships and even entry-level positions.
The final exam before professional certification, the NCEES may require you to have several years of work experience before taking the exam. As you develop in your profession, having your entry-level experience on your CV will be quite beneficial.
Take the Principles and Practices of Engineering exam for licensing
Take the PE exam offered by NCEES. The professional engineer’s qualification is required for many environmental engineers who work for federal, local, and state consulting firms and government agencies in order to offer services to the general public. By giving you more credentials to demonstrate your knowledge, your license will also increase your work prospects.
Consider obtaining your graduate degree
You may decide to obtain a master’s degree in environmental engineering. Some institutions offer five-year programs that allow you to finish your bachelor’s and enter your master’s program simultaneously.
Although it’s not necessary, a graduate degree in environmental engineering or a related field might lead to additional job opportunities and higher earning potential. In addition, several states require an altogether different state license from the NCEES professional certification in order for engineers to offer their services to the general public.
How much does it cost to Enroll in an Environmental Engineering Program?
According to the most recent US Census data, the cost of enrolling in an environmental engineering school is $11,392.
A rewarding career is in environmental engineering. There are numerous employment options in the industry, many of which offer competitive compensation. Environmental engineers make an average salary of $96,820, which is relatively higher than the salaries of most other professions, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
One of the best alternatives to environmental engineering is Marine Biology.
FAQs on Schools for Environmental Engineering
University of Cambridge, UK
University of Oxford, UK
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Imperial College London, UK
EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland
PSL Research University Paris, France
Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France
Technical University of Munich, Germany
LMU Munich, Germany
University College London (UCL), UK
The average yearly pay for environmental engineers is $96,820. Typically, salaries range from $59,820 to $153,200.
Environmental engineers are employed by municipal engineering and public works departments, local health departments, national and regional environmental agencies, and other public sector organizations. They work for engineering consulting organizations, building contractors, water and sewerage utility providers, and manufacturing sectors in the private sector.
An environmental engineer is frequently required by businesses. These experts can help with the design of filtration systems that would stop water and air pollution, as well as the contamination of ecosystems with artificial organisms. Engineering, math, chemistry, ecology, and biology are just a few of the topics in which environmental engineers excel.