Master of Science in environmental and sustainability engineering

The Master of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Engineering aims to advance environmental engineering and sustainability to enhance human well-being through the development, application, and dissemination of relevant knowledge.

The curriculum is arranged into four themes: 

  1. Systems & Resources
  2. Treatment & Sensing Technologies
  3. Bio-chemical-physical Processes
  4. Environmental Exposure and Risk

Systems & Resources  topics within this area vary in scale and include: modeling of groundwater, surfacewater, and air systems; engineered systems such as drinking water distributions systems; and interactions between the environment and urban systems (e.g. stormwater management).

Treatment & Sensing Technologies  topics within this area focus on the mitigation and quantification of pollutants loads to the environment, including humans, within all media (air, water, soils).

Bio-chemical-physical Processes  topics within this area focus on fundamental process that control the fate and transport of pollutants, including remediation techniques.

Environmental Exposure and Risk  topics within this area focus on identifying, quantifying and reducing risk.


Admission to this program is contingent upon admission to the Graduate School.

The M.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Engineering will admit students with bachelor's degrees or the equivalent in engineering and other qualified science programs if there is a demonstrated aptitude for quantitative analysis. The degree program is suitable for new or recent graduates, as well as experienced professionals. Students will be required to have significant mathematics-based science capabilities. As noted above, field/professional experience will be viewed positively in the application review process.

Minimum GPA of 3.0 for regular admission. Applicants with a GPA below 3.0 will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis.

Program requirements and curriculum

The M.S. in Environmental and Sustainability Engineering requires a minimum of 30 credits under one of two degree plans approved by the College of Engineering:

Plan A: minimum of 24 credit hours of course-work in combination with a minimum of 6 credits of thesis.

Plan C: minimum of 30 credits of course-work.

MS students may take a maximum of 3 credits of CE 7990 and a maximum of 3 credits of CE 7996. Registration in CE 7990 and/or CE 7996 must be approved by a faculty advisor and the graduate program director.

The program  is designed to provide graduates a core of systems, treatment, process, and exposure/risk skills in research and applied situations.

The graduation requirement is completion of the M.S. courses with an overall GPA of 3.00 or higher.  All core classes in the program must be completed with a 3.00 score or better. And all course work must be completed in accordance with the regulations of the Graduate School and the College of Engineering.

Students must take at least 1 course from each of the 4 foundational areas described below. Other courses may satisfy foundational area requirements if approved by Graduate Program Director.

Water resources foundational area:

CE 6130 Open Channel Hydraulics
CE 6150 Hydrologic Analysis and Design
CE 6190 Groundwater

Chemistry foundational area:

CE 5220 Environmental Chemistry
CE 6160 Principles of Atmospheric Chemistry and Applications
CE 7160 Advanced Principles of Atmospheric Chemistry and Applications

Biology foundational area:

CE 7280 Applied Environmental Microbiology

Statistics foundational area:

CE 7070 Risk and Reliability in Civil Engineering
CE 7080 Civil Engineering Research Methods

Other civil & environmental engineering course options include:

CE 5230 Water Supply and Wastewater Engineering
CE 5410 Energy, Emissions, Environment (E3) Design
CE 5510 Geotechnical Engineering I
CE 5520 Geotechnical Engineering II
CE 5995 Special Topics in Civil Engineering I
CE 6170 River Assessment and Restoration I
CE 6270 Sustainability Assessment and Management
CE 6580 Geoenvironmental Engineering I
CE 6910 Pharmaceutical Waste: Environmental Impact and Management
CE 7170 Advanced River Assessment and Restoration I
CE 7190 Groundwater Modeling
CE 7220 Industrial Waste Treatment
CE 7240 Advanced Air Pollution Engineering
CE 7311 Sustainability of Urban Environmental Systems
CE 7500 Engineering Properties of Soils
CE 7580 Environmental Remediation
CE 7990 Directed Study
CE 7995 Special Topics in Civil Engineering II
CE 7996 Research
CE 8999 Master's Thesis Research and Direction

Students may also take up to 9 credits from electives (as approved by advisor), such as:

CHE 7200 Advanced Transport Phenomena
ME 5300 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
ME 7310 Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
IE 6210 Applied Engineering Statistics
IE 6270 Engineering Experimental Design
BIO 5100 Aquatic Ecology
MAT 5070 Elementary Analysis
MAT 5770 Mathematical Models in Operations Research
MAT 5870 Methods of Optimization