Top Schools for Environmental Engineering

Learn about programs in environmental engineering, through which students learn how to conduct research and solve problems that affect our natural world. Read about the degree options at four high-profile universities, and find a list of other schools in the U.S. that provide training for environmental engineers.

School Overviews

Aspiring environmental engineers can find relevant undergraduate and graduate programs at Stanford University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. All three schools have received high rankings from The Princeton Review, Times Higher Education or U.S. News & World Report for their overall institutional quality and/or their undergraduate engineering programs.

1. Stanford University in Stanford, California

School Highlights: Summer research opportunities for undergraduates.

Stanford University ranked 2nd in the nation for its undergraduate programs in environmental and environmental health engineering by U.S. News & World Report in 2015. USN&WR also ranked Stanford among the top five national universities for the same year.

In Stanford's School of Engineering, students can find 65 research labs and programs, including the Biobased Composites Lab and the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. The civil and environmental engineering program includes an environmental engineering major with courses in sustainable building management, watersheds, environmental planning techniques and air quality management. Master's and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs are also available for environmental engineering students.

2. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

School Highlights: Tied for #4 best environmental engineering schools.

In 2015, the undergraduate engineering program at the University of Michigan ranked 4th among schools offering doctoral degrees in engineering by U.S. News & World Report. The university was also named as #5 best value public college in 2015 by The Princeton Review.

Students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering can find undergraduate, master's and Ph.D. programs in environmental engineering. Students seeking a bachelor's degree can specialize in water quality and health, environmental fluid dynamics, earth systems or environmental policy. Graduate students can earn a dual Master of Science (M.S.) in Engineering in Environmental Engineering and an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment.

3. University of Illinois in Urbana - Champaign, Illinois

School Highlights: Ranked #3 in environmental engineering in the nation.

The University of Illinois ranked #3 in the nation for environmental engineering in 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report. The university's College of Engineering is composed of 12 departments, including the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Undergraduates can pursue training in environmental engineering through the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program. Graduate programs in environmental engineering and environmental science can lead to a master's or Ph.D.

Students at the College of Engineering have access to more than 60 research centers and eight engineering research labs, as well as the largest engineering library in the nation. Areas of research include global emission inventories, groundwater remediation, stream restoration and air quality.

Top Environmental Engineering Schools

School Name Distinction Location
California Polytechnic State University Three environmental engineering labs San Luis Obispo, CA
Carnegie Mellon University In the Green Design Institute, students work with companies and government agencies on environmental issues and research Pittsburgh, PA
Colorado School of Mines Ranked #56 nationally for engineering schools in 2015 Golden, CO
Georgia Institute of Technology Civil and environmental engineering program is the second largest in the U.S. Atlanta, GA
Johns Hopkins University Environmental undergraduate program ranked #8 by U.S. News & World Report in 2015 Baltimore, MD
University of Illinois Minority engineering program provides scholarship assistance, mentoring and internship options Urbana - Champaign, IL
University of Texas Students can apply for trainee positions in the Indoor Environmental Science and Engineering program Austin, TX
Virginia Tech Ranked #10 among graduate environmental engineering programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report Blacksburg, VA

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