Top Schools for Environmental Engineering

Aug 03, 2018

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.

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  • 0:01 School Overviews
  • 0:37 Stanford University
  • 1:30 University of Michigan
  • 2:14 University of Illinois
  • 3:03 California Polytechnic State
  • 3:34 Top Schools

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School Overviews

Environmental engineering programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels at many of the nation's top schools. Aspiring environmental engineers can find relevant undergraduate and graduate programs at Stanford University, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, California Polytechnic State University, and the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. All four schools have received high rankings from U.S. News & World Report for their overall institutional quality and/or their undergraduate engineering programs.

Stanford University in Stanford, California

School Highlight: This school offers 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 2017. U.S. News & World Report 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 programs are also available for environmental engineering students.

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan

School Highlight: This school was ranked #2 among the best environmental engineering schools.

In 2017, the undergraduate engineering program at the University of Michigan ranked 6th among schools offering doctoral degrees in engineering by U.S. News & World Report. 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 in Engineering in Environmental Engineering and an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment.

University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

School Highlight: This university ranked #5 in environmental engineering in the nation.

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.

California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA

School Highlight: The school has three environmental engineering labs.

In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked California Polytechnic State University first among undergraduate environmental engineering programs among schools that don't offer doctoral degrees. The school offers a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering. A blended M.S. and B.S. program is also available.

Top Schools

Other top environmental engineering schools include:

School Name Distinction Location
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 #44 nationally for engineering schools in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report 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 #7 by U.S. News & World Report in 2017 Baltimore, MD
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 2017 by U.S. News & World Report Blacksburg, VA

Aspiring environmental engineers may consider things such as a school's ranking, program specializations, and research opportunities when choosing a program.

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