What is Environmental Engineering?

The environmental engineering program provides undergraduate students with the background necessary to bridge the gap between understanding challenging societal problems in the air, water, land, and subsurface environments, and preventing and solving them in a sustainable manner. The discipline of environmental engineering is in constant flux due to the manner in which human society and the economy have interacted with the natural environment since the industrial revolution. Students in our program are introduced to the tools of green engineering design as they are being developed on the cutting edge of sustainability research.

Upper-level coursework in environmental engineering includes analysis and design of water and waste water treatment systems, water resources, air pollution control technologies, solid waste and hazardous substance management and regulations, and sustainability.

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank, GPA and co-curricular activities. (Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program.) Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA. 

Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college preparatory subjects:

  • English (4 units)
  • Mathematics, including algebra, geometry and either pre-calculus or calculus (4 units)
  • Science, including Chemistry and Physics (3 units)
  • Social Sciences (3 units)
  • Electives (5 units)

Successful environmental engineers have a strong foundation in math and science. Skills in calculus and chemistry are particularly important. Engineers are problem solvers and enjoy thinking "outside the box" to develop creative solutions to problems. 

In 2010 the American Academy of Environmental Engineers published the following forecast: You can be a researcher, a designer, a planner, an operator of pollution control facilities, a professor, a government regulatory agency official, a manager of programs, or be involved in professional society work. (Employers) can be private consulting engineering firms, universities, private research firms, testing laboratories, government agencies of all types (federal, state and local), or all types of major corporations and private businesses.

Transfer students in good standing from accredited colleges and universities will be considered for admission to the college at the first, second and third-year levels. The degree requirement of professional practice experience normally precludes acceptance beyond the third-year level. For further detailed information such as required grade point average, please refer to the Transfer Students page

Students changing majors from outside programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as outside transfers.

Application Deadlines

Freshmen must begin the program during fall semester. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. High school students who wish to be considered for scholarships must apply by December 1 of their senior year. 

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.