Environmental Engineering

Major: Environmental Engineering
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 45.0
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.1401
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2081

About the Program

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 Engineering MS graduates may include students with expertise in one or more of the following sub-disciplines:

  • air pollution,
  • hazardous and solid waste,
  • subsurface contaminant hydrology,
  • water resources,
  • water and wastewater, and
  • sustainability treatment

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.

Additional Information

For more information, visit the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering webpage.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MS in Environmental Engineering must have a minimum of a Bachelor of Science degree. The application package will include: 

  • undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • three letters of recommendation from faculty or professionals who can evaluate the applicant's promise as a graduate student
  • GRE scores (optional)
  • a written statement of career and educational goals.

Competitive applicants will possess an undergraduate GPA of 3.30 or higher and GRE scores above the 60th percentile.

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

Degree Requirements 

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 (15.0 credits)
ENVE 660Chemical Kinetics in Environmental Engineering3.0
ENVS 501Chemistry of the Environment3.0
Approved Statistics course3.0-4.0
Biomedical Statistics
Data-based Engineering Modeling
Approved Policy course3.0
Sustainable Water Resource Engineering
Public Finance and Cost Benefit Analysis
Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis
Methods of Policy Analysis
Approved Life Sciences course3.0
Fundamentals of Environmental Biotechnology
Evolutionary Ecology
Aquatic Ecology
Specialization Courses (select one area to complete) *9.0-12.0
Environmental Treatment Processes
Solid Waste Systems
and Env Engr Op-Chem & Phys
and Enviro Engr Unit Oper-Bio
and Hazardous Waste & Groundwater Treatment
Human Risks
Comfort Analysis and Indoor Air Quality
and Environmental Exposure Science
Risk Assessment **
Principles and Practice of Environmental and Occupational Health
Water Resources
Sustainable Water Resource Engineering
and Urban Ecohydraulics
and Environmental Life Cycle Assessment
Open Channel Hydraulics **
Analytical and Numerical Techniques in Hydrology
Environmental Modeling
Geographic Information Systems **
Environmental Life Cycle Assessment
Analytical and Numerical Techniques in Hydrology
and Data-based Engineering Modeling
Approved Advanced Math course:
Applied Engr Analy Methods I
Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
Numerical Engineering Methods
Air Quality
Comfort Analysis and Indoor Air Quality
and Principles and Practice of Environmental and Occupational Health
and Fundamentals of Air Pollution Control
Cognate Discipline Track ***12.0
Electives or Thesis9.0-6.0
Total Credits45.0-46.0

Students must take 4 courses in an approved specialization, such as environmental treatment processes, human risks, water resources, environmental modeling, or air quality.


 One of these is required.


Students must complete a course sequence of 12.0 credits aside from their specialization. This might include a second specialization course sequence or a sequence of elective courses as approved by the student’s advisor and the departmental graduate advisor in any of the following subjects: AE, CHE, CHEC, CHEM, CIVE, ENVE, ENSS, ENVP, ENVS, MATH, MEM (500-699).

Sample Plan of Study 

First Year
ENVS 5013.0ENVE 6603.0Cognate Discipline course3.0VACATION
Cognate Discipline course3.0Cognate Discipline course3.0Life Science course3.0 
Statistics course3.0Environmental Policy course3.0Specialization Track course3.0 
 9 9 9 0
Second Year
Cognate Discipline course3.0Elective or Thesis courses6.0  
Specialization Track courses6.0Specialization Track course3.0  
 9 9  
Total Credits 45

Dual MS Degrees

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.


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.
Ivan Bartoli, PhD (University of California, San Diego). Associate Professor. Non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring; dynamic identification, stress wave propagation modeling.
Shannon Capps, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Associate Professor. Atmospheric chemistry; data assimilation; advanced sensitivity analysis; inverse modeling.
S.C. Jonathan Cheng, PhD (West Virginia University). Associate Professor. Soil mechanics; geosynthetics; geotechnical engineering; probabilistic design; landfill containments; engineering education.
Yaghoob (Amir) Farnam, PhD (Purdue University). Associate Professor. Advanced and sustainable infrastructure materials; multifunctional, self-responsive and bioinspired construction materials; advanced multiscale manufacturing; characterization, and evaluation of construction materials; durability of cement-based materials.
Patricia Gallagher, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Professor. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; soil improvement; soil improvement; recycled materials in geotechnics.
Patrick Gurian, PhD (Carnegie-Mellon University). 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-Champaign) Program Head for Environmental Engineering; L. D. Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering. Water treatment; risk assessment; bioterrorism; environmental modeling and statistics; microbiology; environmental health.
Simi Hoque, PhD (University of California - Berkeley) Program Head for Architectural Engineering. Professor. Computational methods to reduce building energy and environmental impacts, urban metabolism, thermal comfort, climate resilience.
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). Distinguished University Professor. Biological processes and applications of nanotechnology in environmental systems.
L. James Lo, PhD (University of Texas at Austin). Associate Professor. Architectural fluid mechanics; building automation and autonomy; implementation of natural and hybrid ventilation in buildings; airflow distribution in buildings; large-scale air movement in an urban built environment; building and urban informatics; data-enhanced sensing and control for optimal building operation and management; novel data gathering methods for building/urban problem solving; interdisciplinary research on occupant behaviors in the built environment.
Franco Montalto, PhD (Cornell University). Professor. Effects of built infrastructure on societal water needs, ecohydrologic patterns and processes, ecological restoration, green design, and water interventions.
Mira S. Olson, PhD (University of Virginia). Associate Professor. Peace engineering; source water quality protection and management; contaminant and bacterial fate and transport; community engagement.
Miguel A. Pando, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Associate Professor. Laboratory testing of geomaterials; geotechnical aspects of natural hazards; soil-structure-interaction; geotechnical engineering.
Matthew Reichenbach, PhD (University of Austin at Texas). Assistant Teaching Professor. Design and behavior of steel structures, bridge engineering, structural stability
Michael Ryan, PhD (Drexel University) Associate Department Head of Graduate Studies. Associate Teaching Professor. Microbial Source Tracking (MST); Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA); dynamic engineering systems modeling; molecular microbial biology; phylogenetics; metagenomics; bioinformatics; environmental statistics; engineering economics; microbiology; potable and wastewater quality; environmental management systems.
Christopher Sales, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Associate Professor. Environmental microbiology and biotechnology; biodegradation of environmental contaminants; microbial processes for energy and resource recovery from waste; application of molecular biology, analytical chemistry and bioinformatic techniques to study environmental biological systems.
Robert Swan Teaching Professor. Geotechnical and geosynthetic engineering; soil/geosynthetic interaction and performance; laboratory and field geotechnical/geosynthetic testing.
Sharon Walker, PhD (Yale University) Dean, College of Engineering. Distinguished Professor. Water quality systems engineering
Michael Waring, PhD (University of Texas at Austin) Department Head, Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering. 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). Professor. Architectural engineering; Building Energy Efficiency; Intelligent Building; Net-zero Building; and Indoor Air Quality.
Aspasia Zerva, PhD (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Professor. Earthquake engineering; mechanics; seismology; structural reliability; system identification; advanced computational methods in structural analysis.

Emeritus Faculty

A. Emin Aktan, PhD (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). Professor Emeritus. Health monitoring and management of large infrastructures with emphasis on health monitoring.
Eugenia Ellis, PhD, AIA (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Professor Emerita. Natural and electrical light sources and effects on biological rhythms and health outcomes; ecological strategies for smart, sustainable buildings of the nexus of health, energy, and technology.
Ahmad Hamid, PhD (McMaster University). Professor Emeritus. Engineered masonry; seismic behavior, design and retrofit of masonry structures; development of new materials and building systems.
Harry G. Harris, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Structural models; dynamics of structures, plates and shells; industrialized building construction.
Joseph P. Martin, PhD (Colorado State University). Professor Emeritus. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; hydrology; transportation; waste management.
James E. Mitchell, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor Emeritus. Architectural engineering design; building systems; engineering education.
Joseph V. Mullin, PhD (Pennsylvania State University). Teaching Professor Emeritus. Structural engineering; failure analysis; experimental stress analysis; construction materials; marine structures.
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