Environmental Engineering

Major: Environmental Engineering
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering (BSENE)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 191.5
Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.1401
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

Environmental engineering is concerned with the design of systems, policies and processes to protect human, animal, and plant populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors, including toxic chemicals and wastes, pathogenic bacteria, and global warming, and to design systems that enable a more sustainable society.

Environmental engineers design systems, processes and policies to minimize the effect of human activities on the physical and living environment so that we can all live more healthy and sustainable lives. Environmental engineers work to meet human needs for resources in ways to minimize impact on the ecosystem and adverse effects on health.  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 biochemistry). 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.


The mission of the undergraduate environmental engineering program at Drexel University is to graduate outstanding engineers who can identify, evaluate and solve complex environmental problems, and who desire to continue their education on a lifelong basis.

Program Educational Objectives

Environmental engineering graduates will become professionals who analyze, design, construct, manage or operate facilities or systems to protect or enhance the environment of people and other living things, or advance knowledge of the field.

Student Outcomes

The department’s student outcomes reflect the skills and abilities that the curriculum is designed to provide to students by the time they graduate. These are:   

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in  global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Additional Information

The Environmental Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

For more information about this major, contact the program head:
Charles Haas, PhD
LD Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering
Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering

You can also visit the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department and the BS in Environmental Engineering page.

Degree Requirements

General Education/Liberal Studies Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
PHIL 315Engineering Ethics3.0
UNIV E101The Drexel Experience1.0
General Education Requirements **15.0
Engineering Core Courses
BIO 141Essential Biology4.5
CAEE 361Statistical Analysis of Engineering Systems3.0
Chemistry Requirements ***3.5-7.5
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I
General Chemistry I
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
Engineering (ENGR) Requirements
ENGR 111Introduction to Engineering Design & Data Analysis3.0
ENGR 113First-Year Engineering Design3.0
ENGR 131Introductory Programming for Engineers3.0
or ENGR 132 Programming for Engineers
ENGR 210Introduction to Thermodynamics3.0
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
ENGR 231Linear Engineering Systems3.0
ENGR 232Dynamic Engineering Systems3.0
Mathematics Requirements 4.0-10.0
Algebra, Functions, and Trigonometry
and Calculus I
Calculus and Functions I
and Calculus and Functions II
Calculus I
MATH 122Calculus II4.0
MATH 200Multivariate Calculus4.0
Physics Requirements
PHYS 101Fundamentals of Physics I4.0
PHYS 102Fundamentals of Physics II4.0
PHYS 201Fundamentals of Physics III4.0
Environmental Engineering Requirements
BIO 221Microbiology3.0
CAEE 202Introduction to Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering3.0
CAEE 203System Balances and Design in CAEE 3.0
CAEE 212Geologic Principles for Infrastructure & Environmental Engineering4.0
CHE 211Material and Energy Balances I4.0
CHEM 230Quantitative Analysis4.0
CHEM 231 [WI] Quantitative Analysis Laboratory2.0
CHEM 241Organic Chemistry I4.0
CHEM 242Organic Chemistry II4.0
CIVE 240 [WI] Engineering Economic Analysis3.0
CIVE 320Introduction to Fluid Flow3.0
CIVE 330Hydraulics4.0
CIVE 430Hydrology3.0
CIVE 431Hydrology-Ground Water3.0
ENVE 300Introduction to Environmental Engineering3.0
ENVE 302Environmental Transport and Kinetics3.0
ENVE 410Solid and Hazardous Waste3.0
ENVE 421Water and Waste Treatment II3.0
ENVE 422Water and Waste Treatment Design3.0
ENVE 435Groundwater Remediation3.0
ENVE 460Fundamentals of Air Pollution Control3.0
or ENVE 465 Indoor Air Quality
ENVE 485Professional Environmental Engineering Practice1.0
ENVE 486Environmental Engineering Processes Laboratory I2.0
ENVE 487Environmental Engineering Processes Laboratory II2.0
ENVE 491 [WI] Senior Project Design I3.0
ENVE 492 [WI] Senior Design Project II3.0
ENVE 493 [WI] Senior Design Project III3.0
ENVS 230General Ecology3.0
ENVS 401Chemistry of the Environment3.0
Technical Electives12.0
Total Credits191.5-201.5

Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Sample Plan of Study 

4 year, one co-op

First Year
CHEM 101*3.5CHEM 1024.5BIO 1414.5VACATION
COOP 101**1.0CIVC 1011.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0 
ENGL 101 or 1113.0ENGR 131 or 1323.0ENGR 1133.0 
ENGR 1113.0MATH 1224.0MATH 2004.0 
MATH 121***4.0PHYS 101***4.0PHYS 1024.0 
UNIV E1011.0   
 15.5 16.5 18.5 0
Second Year
CAEE 2023.0CAEE 2033.0CAEE 2124.0CHEM 2312.0
ENGL 103 or 1133.0CIVE 2403.0CHE 2114.0CIVE 3304.0
ENGR 2204.0ENGR 2103.0CHEM 2304.0ENVE 3023.0
ENGR 2313.0ENGR 2323.0CIVE 3203.0PHIL 3153.0
PHYS 2014.0ENVS 2303.0ENVE 3003.0General Education elective3.0
 17 15 18 15
Third Year
CHEM 2414.0CHEM 2424.0  
CIVE 4303.0General Education electives6.0  
ENVS 4013.0Technical elective3.0  
General Education elective3.0   
 16 16 0 0
Fourth Year
ENVE 465 or 4603.0CIVE 4313.0ENVE 4223.0 
ENVE 4851.0ENVE 4103.0ENVE 4353.0 
ENVE 4913.0ENVE 4213.0ENVE 4872.0 
Technical electives6.0ENVE 4862.0ENVE 4933.0 
 ENVE 4923.0General Education elective3.0 
 Technical elective3.0  
 13 17 14 
Total Credits 191.5

5 year, 3 co-op

First Year
CHEM 101*3.5CHEM 1024.5BIO 1414.5VACATION
COOP 101**1.0CIVC 1011.0ENGL 102 or 1123.0 
ENGL 101 or 1113.0ENGR 131 or 1323.0ENGR 1133.0 
ENGR 1113.0MATH 1224.0MATH 2004.0 
MATH 121***4.0PHYS 101***4.0PHYS 1024.0 
UNIV E1011.0   
 15.5 16.5 18.5 0
Second Year
ENGL 103 or 1133.0CIVE 2403.0  
ENGR 2204.0ENGR 2103.0  
ENGR 2313.0ENGR 2323.0  
PHYS 2014.0ENVS 2303.0  
 17 15 0 0
Third Year
CHE 2114.0CIVE 3304.0  
CHEM 2304.0ENVE 3023.0  
CIVE 3203.0PHIL 3153.0  
ENVE 3003.0General Education elective3.0  
 18 15 0 0
Fourth Year
CHEM 2414.0CHEM 2424.0  
CIVE 4303.0General Education electives6.0  
ENVS 4013.0Technical elective3.0  
General Education elective3.0   
 16 16 0 0
Fifth Year
ENVE 465 or 4603.0CIVE 4313.0ENVE 4223.0 
ENVE 4851.0ENVE 4103.0ENVE 4353.0 
ENVE 4913.0ENVE 4213.0ENVE 4872.0 
Technical electives6.0ENVE 4862.0ENVE 4933.0 
 ENVE 4923.0General Education elective3.0 
 Technical elective3.0  
 13 17 14 
Total Credits 191.5

Co-op/Career Opportunities

Environmental Engineers pursue careers with many different industries, such as chemical, pharmaceutical and manufacturing, in groundwater and hazardous waste remediation, in water or wastewater treatment, in air pollution abatement and control, and in mining. Some also join environmental consulting firms which serve several engineering areas. In addition, some students go to graduate school. The breadth of an environmental engineering education prepares the student to follow many career paths.

Co-op Experiences

Past co-op employers of Environmental Engineering majors have included:

  • Exelon, Philadelphia, PA
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Philadelphia, PA
  • Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sun Co., Philadelphia, PA
  • Aqua America, Bryn Mawr, PA
  • Fairmount Park Commission, Philadelphia, PA
  • Weston Solutions, West Chester, PA
  • CDM Consultants, Philadelphia PA and other offices

Accelerated Degree

The Accelerated Program of the College of Engineering provides opportunities for highly talented and strongly motivated students to progress toward their educational goals essentially at their own pace. Through advanced placement, credit by examination, flexibility of scheduling, and independent study, the program makes it possible to complete the undergraduate curriculum and initiate graduate study in less than the five years required by the standard curriculum.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Accelerated Degree Program

Drexel offers a combined BS/MS degree program for our top engineering students who want to obtain both degrees in the same time period as most students obtain a bachelor's degree.

For more information on this program, visit the Department's BS/MS Accelerated Degree Program page.


The Department is well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities:

  • The department computer labs are in operation: a computer-assisted design (CAD) and computerized instructional lab; and a graduate-level lab (advanced undergraduates can become involved in graduate-level work)
  • External labs are used for surveying, building diagnostics, and surface and ground-water measurements
  • Molecular microbiology laboratory to conduct PCR and qPCR analyses, as well as classical measurements
  • Analytical equipment for chemical contaminants
  • Instrumentation for characterization of indoor and outdoor atmospheric aerosols

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.
Robert Brehm, PhD (Drexel University). Teaching Professor. International infrastructure delivery; response to natural catastrophes; risk assessment and mitigation strategies; project management techniques.
Shannon Capps, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant 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.
Eugenia Ellis, PhD, AIA (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Professor. Natural and electric light sources and effects on biological rhythms and health outcomes; ecological strategies for smart, sustainable buildings of the nexus of health, energy and technology.
Yaghoob (Amir) Farnam, PhD (Purdue University). Assistant 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) L. D. Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Engineering and Department Head, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Water treatment; risk assessment; bioterrorism; environmental modeling and statistics; microbiology; environmental health.
Ahmad Hamid, PhD (McMaster University). Professor. Engineered masonry; seismic behavior, design and retrofit of masonry structures; development of new materials and building systems.
Simi Hoque, PhD (University of California - Berkeley). Associate 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). Assistant 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.
Joseph P. Martin, PhD (Colorado State University). Professor. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; hydrology; transportation; waste management.
James E. Mitchell, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. Architectural engineering design; building systems; engineering education.
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.
Nariman Mostafavi, PhD (University of Massachusetts - Amherst). Assistant Teaching Professor. Simulation tools for analyzing urban metabolism; environmentally responsive design; urban resilience; engineering economics; industrial ecology.
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). 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). Assistant Professor. Laboratory testing of geomaterials; geotechnical aspects of natural hazards; soil-structure-interaction; geotechnical engineering.
Michael Ryan, PhD (Drexel University) Associate Department Head of Graduate Studies. Assistant 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 waste water 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.
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. 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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