Appendix C - Environmental

Within the School of Civil Engineering, graduate study in Environmental Engineering is available to qualified post-baccalaureate students with engineering or science degrees. A diversity of course offerings and faculty research interests provides wide flexibility in formulating a program of study attuned to a student’s professional goals.  General pre-requisites for the Master’s program include: (1) math through differential equations, (2) one year college chemistry, (3) one year college physics, (4) CE 340 (Introduction to hydraulic engineering) and CE 350 (Introduction to environmental engineering) or equivalent.  Strong applicants who meet most but not all of these pre-requisites may be admitted conditionally with the specification that all these pre-requisites are met prior to graduation.

Masters Options

At the master’s level, both a non-thesis and a thesis option are available.  The 30-credit requirement for a master’s degree is satisfied by completing 30 course credits (non-thesis option) or 21 course credits plus a thesis (9 credits) for the for thesis-option.  Many non-thesis students gain 3 course credits through an independent study project overseen by a faculty member.  These projects may involve laboratory, computational, and/or scientific literature review work.  The M.S. thesis option is available to those students who gain approval from an advising faculty member.  Choice between these options is strongly dependent upon the student’s own professional and personal interests, the ability of the student and faculty member to reach mutual agreement on a thesis topic, and availability of resources for conducting thesis research.  Student research may involve experimental work in the laboratory or field, or may focus on theoretical or computational studies.  Each master’s student selects three faculty members who will serve on the student’s examination committee.  This committee will be asked to review and approve the student’s Plan of Study (i.e., list of courses), and conducts the “final exam”.  In the case of a non-thesis master’s student, the exam generally consists of a conference of the committee to review the students’ record in the absence of the student.  In the case of a thesis student, the final exam generally consists of a presentation by the student on their thesis work, discussion of the thesis, and a question and answer session.  In either case, the exact format of the exam remains the discretion of the examining committee.

A Professional Masters Concentration (CE-LEM) is also available in the MSCE program.  You can find more details about the concentration and the required coursework at:


PhD Requirements

The doctoral degree requires 48 course credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree in addition to an acceptable dissertation.  Up to 30 credits of a master’s degree program may be applied towards the PhD degree.  Due to the diversity in student’s professional goals within the program, there is no requirement to take a qualifying exam.  The preliminary exam and final exam are administered according to the rules stated in the School of Civil Engineering Graduate Program Handbook.  Prior to the oral preliminary exam, the plan of study must be submitted and the student prepares and submits a research proposal to the examining committee, the content of which is generally the main discussion point of the oral exam. It is at the discretion of the examining committee whether the student will be asked written questions.  Responses to any written questions may be discussed during the oral exam.  Because publication of any PhD thesis research in peer-reviewed science and engineering journals is highly encouraged and valued, the main chapters of the PhD thesis may be composed of text and figures consistent with journal article content, and may include submitted manuscripts.

Environmental Engineering and Related Course Offerings

In addition to the catalog courses listed below, new courses with “59700” designators are routinely offered within the environmental engineering program.  Students are encouraged to evaluate whether these additional courses would help address their specific education and research needs.

CE Environmental Engineering Courses

CE 45600 Wastewater Treatment
CE 55000 Physico-Chemical Processes of Environmental Engineering
CE 55400 Aquatic Chemistry
CE 55500 Microbial Degradation of Organic Pollutants
CE 55700 Air Quality Management
CE 55800 Sampling and Analysis of Air Pollutants
CE 55900 Water Quality Modeling

Related Courses in CE (partial list)

CE 440 Urban Hydraulics
CE 540 Open Channel Hydraulics
CE 542 Hydrology
CE 544 Subsurface Hydrology
CE 545 Sediment Transport
CE 546 Computational River Hydraulics
CE 547 Transport Processes in Surface Waters
CE 549 Computational Watershed Hydrology
CE 641 Statistical Hydrology
CE 642 Advanced Hydrology
CE 593 Environmental Geotechnology

Related Courses on Campus (partial list)

ABE 52600 Watershed Systems Design
ABE 56500 Agricultural Systems Engineering
ABE 59100 GIS Applications Using ArcView
ABE 60100 Applied Finite Element Analysis
AGRY 54000 Soil Chemistry
AGRY 54400 Environmental Organic Chemistry
AGRY 56000 Physical Properties of Soils
AGRY 58200 Environmental Fate of Pesticides
ATMASTER’S 55100 Atmospheric Chemistry
BCHM 56100 General Biochemistry I
BCHM 56200 General Biochemistry II
CHM 56300 Organic Chemistry
CHM 57700 Physical Chemistry
CHM 57800 Physical Chemistry
CHM 51000 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
FOR 50100 Limnology
FOR 50200 Watershed Hydrology, Ecology & Mgmt
FOR 54000 Wetlands Ecology
STAT 51100 Statistical Methods
STAT 51200 Applied Regression Analysis