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Information on Master of Science (MS) Degree Program in Environmental Engineering

Majors Overview September 7, 2015

This article talks about Master of Science (M.S.) degree programs in Environmental Engineering and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Environmental Engineering

Coursework in an MS in Environmental Engineering program is devised to teach students about identifying business model and infrastructure problems that can have an adverse effect on the environment. The curriculum involves investigating potential changes in the implementation of practice and design. Coursework may include real projects that involve issues such as waste disposal and water pollution control. Students typically take two years to complete programs.

Program graduates can gain expertise in the study of real-world environmental problems and development of ways of preventing new ones from arising. They can seek jobs in the field or provide consulting services to companies related to how their industrial processes may impact the environment.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering from a school accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET, Inc.). Some programs may also consider students who have majored in natural science, physical science, or advanced mathematics.


Students typically take two years to complete these programs. Coursework combines classroom lectures with fieldwork, whereby students can gain hands-on experience in solving environmental problems. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Aquatic autotrophy
•Modeling environmental systems
•Energy analysis
•Water quality analysis
•Wastewater Microbiology
•Environmental Hydrology
•Solid waste treatment design
•Atmospheric pollution
•Environmental Toxicology

Career Choices

Program graduates can seek careers with a focus on enhancing the quality of the environment. They can seek jobs with engineering consulting firms, the government, industries, international agencies, universities, or groups of public interest. They may choose from possible job options such as:

•Urban planner
•Environmental affairs consultant
•Environment Analyst
•Field Engineer
•Structural engineer

Job and Wage Outlook

In 2012, environmental engineers brought in an average annual wage of $80,890 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Professionals employed in oil and gas extraction industries earned the highest wages. Over the 2012 – 2022 decade, these engineers have been predicted to see a faster than average job growth (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education can attend graduate certificate classes to gain specialization qualifications. Certificate courses can cover subject areas such as systems of renewable energy, compatibility environmental studies, water quality engineering, and processes in environmental studies. Program graduates seeking an advanced degree can enroll in a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering or a doctorate program in a sub-specialization of engineering, such as civil or chemical engineering.

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