Environmental Engineering

Major: Environmental Engineering
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MS); 90.0 (PhD)
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.1401
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2081

About the Program

Programs in environmental engineering are available with specializations in air pollution, hazardous and solid waste, subsurface contaminant hydrology, water resources, water and wastewater, and sustainability treatment.

Environmental engineering is concerned with protecting human, animal, and plant populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors, including toxic chemicals and wastes, pathogenic bacteria, and global warming.
Environmental engineers also try to minimize the effect of human activities on the physical and living environment so that we can all live more healthy and sustainable lives. This field builds on other branches of engineering, especially civil, chemical, and mechanical engineering. It also builds on information from many of the sciences, such as chemistry, physics, hydrology, geology, atmospheric science, and several specializations of biology (ecology, microbiology) and public health. Students who elect to study environmental engineering will become familiar with many of these areas because maintaining and improving the environment requires that problems be evaluated and solutions found using a multidisciplinary approach.

For more information about this program, visit the MS in Environmental Engineering web page.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general entrance requirements for all environmental engineering applicants, entrance to the MS in Environmental Engineering program requires an undergraduate engineering degree from an ABET-approved institution. Students lacking this credential will be required to complete additional undergraduate courses to incorporate related elements of the functional equivalent of the ABET engineering BS degree. Typically, courses must be taken in computer programming, differential equations, linear algebra and fluid mechanics.

For additional information on how to apply, visit Drexel's Admissions page for Environmental Engineering.

Degree Requirements (MS)

The MS in Environmental Engineering program requires 45.0 credits of coursework. Both a theses and a non-thesis option are available. It is possible to finish the MS degree on either a part-time or full-basis. The degree consists of a set of core courses, a sequence in one of several areas of emphasis (treatment process, human risks, water resources, environmental modeling, and air quality) and completion of cognate and elective sequences. After the first term of study, a detailed plan of study is developed with the student's graduate advisor.

Students entering the program without an ABET accredited BS degree in engineering will be required to take additional undergraduate coursework depending on their background and their career objectives.

Core Courses
ENVE 660Chemical Kinetics in Environmental Engineering3.0
ENVS 501Chemistry of the Environment3.0
An approved course in statistics such as ENVE 750, ENVS 506 or BMES 5103.0
An approved policy course such as EOH 560, PLCY 503 or ENVP 7743.0
An approved life science course such as ENVE 516 or ENVS 5113.0
Specialization Courses *10.0-13.0
Cognate Discipline **12.0
Electives or Thesis8.0-11.0
Total Credits45.0-51.0

Degree Requirements (PhD)

Applicants to the doctoral program are judged on the basis of academic excellence and the alignment of their research interests with those of the faculty in the School. To be awarded the PhD, students must complete a major research project publishable in peer-reviewed journals. The degree requires a total of 90.0 credits; credits earned toward a master's degree may apply toward the 90.0 credits. There is no prescribed coursework—students must take courses needed to complete their research under guidance of an academic advisor. There is a one-year residency requirement. Students must successfully pass the candidacy examination, the proposal defense, and a PhD dissertation and oral defense.

Prospective PhD student are welcome to contact the Department to discuss their research interests.

Dual Degree

Dual MS Degree

The university encourages students with broad interest to consider a dual-master's option. Students can simultaneously work on two master's degree, applying to both programs a limited number of credits (a maximum of 15.0 to each). Applicants interested in a dual degree should apply for just one program; once enrolled at Drexel, the student may then request admission to the second program. The graduate advisors from both degree programs must approve the student's enrollment, and they must approve the transfer of credits from one program to another. Applicants considering two degrees are encouraged to contact the appropriate academic departments.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Dual Degree Program

The BS/MS dual degree is an accelerated program providing the academically qualified student an opportunity to simultaneously earn both BS and MS degrees (two diplomas are awarded) in program areas of his/her choice in five years, the time normally required to finish a bachelor's degree alone. Because both degrees are completed in the time usually required for the bachelor's degree, both degrees may be completed at the undergraduate tuition rate.

The five-year completion period is possible because fewer undergraduate credits are required for the combined degrees (180.0 credits instead of 192.0 credits). Also, co-op experience may be adjusted (two co-op periods instead of three) giving the BS/MS student two additional quarters to take courses. If needed, students may also take evening courses while on co-op.

The program combines the practical work experience of Drexel undergraduate cooperative education with the graduate credentials of an advanced degree. Students may earn both degrees in the same major, or may complete their master's degree in a different field. With both an undergraduate and graduate degree and practical work experience, BS/MS graduates enter the work force with specialized knowledge and training.

Students interested in the Environmental Engineering BS/MS program, may contact Dr. Charles N. Haas at haas@drexel.edu for more information.


The Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering is well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities:

  • Analytical instrumentation for measuring biological and chemical contaminants in air, water and land
  • Field sampling equipment for water and air measurements
  • Molecular biology capability
  • Computational facilities including access to multi-processor clusters, and advanced simulation and data analysis software

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Faculty

Abieyuwa Aghayere, PhD (University of Alberta). Professor. Structural design - concrete, steel and wood; structural failure analysis; retrofitting of existing structures; new structural systems and materials; engineering education.
A. Emin Aktan, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) John Roebling Professor of Infrastructure Studies. Professor. Structural engineering; health monitoring of large infrastructure systems; infrastructure evaluation; intelligent systems.
Ivan Bartoli, PhD (University of California, San Diego). Associate Professor. Non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring; dynamic identification, stress wave propagation modeling.
Robert Brehm, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. International infrastructure delivery; response to natural catastrophes; risk assessment and mitigation strategies; project management techniques.
S.C. Jonathan Cheng, PhD (West Virginia University). Associate Professor. Soil mechanics; geosynthetics; probabilistic design; landfill containments; engineering education.
Peter DeCarlo, PhD (University of Colorado). Assistant Professor. Outdoor air quality, particulate matter size and composition instrumentation and measurements, source apportionment of ambient particulate matter, climate impacts of particulate matter.
Eugenia Ellis, RA, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic State University). Associate Professor. Extended-care facilities design, research on spatial visualization, perception and imagination.
Patricia Gallagher, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute). Associate Professor. Soil mechanics; geoenvironmental; ground improvement; sustainability.
Patrick Gurian, PhD (Carnegie-Mellon University). Associate Professor. Risk analysis of environmental and infrastructure systems; novel adsorbent materials; environmental standard setting; Bayesian statistical modeling; community outreach and environmental health.
Charles N. Haas, PhD (University of Illinois-Urbana) L. D. Betz Professor and Department Head, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Professor. Control of human exposures to and risk assessment of pathogenic organisms; water and waste treatment; homeland security.
Ahmad Hamid, PhD (McMaster University). Professor. Engineered masonry; seismic behavior, design and retrofit of masonry structures; development of new materials and building systems.
Y. Grace Hsuan, PhD (Imperial College). Professor. Durability of polymeric construction materials; advanced construction materials; and performance of geosynthetics.
Joseph B. Hughes, PhD (University of Iowa) Dean of the College of Engineering and Distinguished Professor. Biological processes and applications of nanotechnology in environmental systems.
L. James Lo, PhD (University of Texas at Austin). Assistant Professor. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and airflow simulation; Indoor Environmental Quality; Building control integration with building information management systems.
Roger Marino, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Fluid mechanics; water resources; engineering education; land development.
Joseph P. Martin, PhD (Colorado State University). Professor. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; hydrology; transportation; waste management.
James E. Mitchell, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs. Professor. Architectural engineering design; building systems; engineering education.
Franco Montalto, PhD (Cornell University). Associate Professor. Effects of built infrastructure on societal water needs, ecohydrologic patterns and processes, ecological restoration, green design, water interventions.
Joseph V. Mullin, PhD (Pennsylvania State University) Associate Department Head. Teaching Professor. Structural engineering; failure analysis; experimental stress analysis; construction materials; marine structures.
Mira S. Olson, PhD (University of Virginia) Graduate Studies Advisor. Associate Professor. Environmental remediation; contaminant and bacterial transport in porous media and bacterial response to dynamic environments.
Michael Ryan, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Microbial Source Tracking (MST); Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA); Dynamic Engineering Systems Modeling; Molecular Microbial Biology; Environmental Statistics; Engineering Economics; Microbiology
Christopher Sales, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor. Environmental microbiology and biotechnology; biodegradation of environmental contaminants; microbial processes for energy and resource recovery from waste.
Yared Shifferaw, PhD (Johns Hopkins University). Assistant Professor. Computational and experimental mechanics; structural stability; optimization; health monitoring and hazard mitigation; sustainable structures; emerging materials; thin-walled structures and metallic structures.
Kurt Sjoblom, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Laboratory testing of geomaterials, geotechnical engineering, foundation engineering.
Sabrina Spatari, PhD (University of Toronto). Associate Professor. Research in industrial ecology; development and application of life cycle assessment (LCA) and material flow analysis (MFA) methods for guiding engineering and policy decisions; specific interest in biomass and bioenergy, biofuels, and urban infrastructure.
Robert Swan Associate Teaching Professor. Geotechnical and Geosynthetic Engineering; soil/geosynthetic interaction and performance; laboratory and field geotechnical/geosynthetic testing.
Michael Waring, PhD (University of Texas-Austin) Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Programs; Director of Architectural Engineering Program. Associate Professor. Indoor air quality and building sustainability; indoor particulate matter fate and transport; indoor chemistry and particle formation; secondary impacts of control technologies and strategies.
Jin Wen, PhD (University of Iowa). Associate Professor. Architectural engineering; Building Energy Efficiency; Intelligent Building; Net-zero Building; and Indoor Air Quality.
Aspasia Zerva, PhD (University of Illinois). Professor. Earthquake engineering; mechanics; seismology; structural reliability; system identification; advanced computational computational methods in structural analysis.

Emeritus Faculty

Harry G. Harris, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Structural models; dynamics of structures, plates and shells; industrialized building construction.
Richard Weggel, PhD (University of Illinois) Samuel S. Baxter Professor Emeritus; Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Emeritus. Coastal engineering; hydraulics engineering; hydrology.
Richard Woodring, PhD (University of Illinois) Dean of Engineering Emeritus. Professor Emeritus. Structural engineering, reinforced concrete.
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