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 three 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.

Top U.S. Schools with Environmental Engineering Programs

1. Stanford University in Stanford, California

Stanford University ranked first in the nation for its undergraduate programs in environmental and environmental health engineering by U.S. News & World Report in 2012. 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

In 2012, the undergraduate engineering program at the University of Michigan ranked sixth among schools offering doctoral degrees in engineering by U.S. News & World Report. The university was also named a best value public college in 2012 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

The University of Illinois ranked 31st in the world from 2011-2012, according to Times Higher Education. 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.

List of 10 Good Schools for Environmental Engineering

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 From 2009-10, 90% of students enrolled in a bachelor's program found jobs upon graduation 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 fifth by U.S. News & World Report in 2012 Baltimore, MD
Stanford University Summer research opportunities for undergraduates Stanford, CA
University of Illinois Minority engineering program provides scholarship assistance, mentoring and internship options Urbana - Champaign, IL
University of Michigan Graduate students can participate in the annual Engineering Graduate Symposium Ann Arbor, MI
University of Texas Students can apply for trainee positions in the Indoor Environmental Science and Engineering program Austin, TX
Virginia Tech Ranked seventh among graduate environmental engineering programs in 2012 by U.S. News & World Report Blacksburg, VA

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