Environmental science and engineering is an interdisciplinary field of study that primarily examines the interaction of humans and the environment and focuses on the chemical, physical, and biological processes that make up this interaction. There are different dual degree options available to be paired with a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Engineering, but one of the most common is the program combined with a Master of City and Regional Planning. The combination of these two degrees can prepare you for a career as a land use planner, an environmental policy expert, or an urban planner.
Although the specific coursework you will take will depend on the program you attend, there are some common subjects that most dual degree programs in these subjects include. To meet the requirements of your dual degree, you will need to take classes for the Master's in Environmental Science and Engineering (MSEE) degree and classes for the Master of City and Regional Planning degree. Below are some common classes for both parts of the dual degree program.
Air Pollution Chemistry and Physics
For the MSEE part of your dual degree program, you will most likely need to take a course in air pollution chemistry and physics. This class will give you a thorough understanding of different kinds of air pollutants, the chemical processes that cause them, and what effects they have on the environment. You will also study how to measure and analyze air pollution. Some courses might also examine air quality regulations on a global and local scale.
Environmental engineering is also a common course you will take. For this class, you will study the way that chemical, physical, and biological processes affect different engineered environmental systems. Most courses of this kind will focus on wastewater treatment, controlling air pollution, and waste management.
Another type of course you will take for the environmental science and engineering portion of your dual degree will be that of environmental assessment. A course on this topic focuses on the different federal and state regulations and laws that affect making environmental assessments. You will also learn different assessment methods, including qualitative and quantitative analysis, how to read tables, graphs, and MIS documents. Some courses might require you to create your own environmental assessment.
Planning History and Theory
For the master's in city and regional planning part of your dual degree program, you will most likely need to take a course about planning history and/or theory. The scope of this course is wide and will cover the evolution of city planning, including how economic, political, and social factors have affected planning. This course will also cover concepts related to planning theory that could include feminist theories, racial aspects of planning, and ethics of planning.
Urban Development Planning, or Structure
Courses about urban development, planning, or structure aim to cover a large topic: how exactly cities function and how they are built. This kind of course will also cover the different elements that affect how a city is designed, which includes social, economic, and environmental factors. Additionally, you may study the different theories about urban planning and how to solve different planning problems.
You will likely need to take a course regarding planning methods. This course covers the different methods of planning, including how to collect data, how to create a design study, how to analyze data, and how to present your final results. You could also cover topics related to grant writing and project management skills.
Common Admission Requirements
Before you even begin this coursework, you will need to meet some common admission requirements to enter a dual environmental science and engineering and city and regional planning program. You will need to have a bachelor's degree, preferably in a science-related field such as engineering, chemistry, or biology. Some programs might also want to see prerequisite coursework in physics and chemistry. Additionally, you will likely need to submit your GRE test scores. Other application materials will typically include transcripts and letters of recommendation.
Dual environmental science and engineering and city and regional planning programs entail a common set of coursework that covers topics related to environmental engineering and city planning. To apply to this type of program, you will need to meet certain requirements that prove you are ready for the rigors of the program.