About the Undergraduate Program

The Bachelor of Science & Honors Bachelor of Science degree programs in Environmental Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The undergraduate curriculum is founded on a sound background in basic sciences (chemistry, physics, biology) and mathematics (calculus, differential equations), and strengthened with engineering science fundamentals (engineering mechanics, fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer). Upper division coursework in environmental engineering includes analysis and design of water and wastewater treatment systems, hazardous substance management and regulations, air pollution control technologies, and fate and transport of chemicals in the environment. All students participate in a capstone-design experience meant to foster interaction and communication between different engineering disciplines while applying environmental engineering principles to a real-world problem.

Program Educational Objectives

Alumni of the environmental engineering program will be work-ready engineers prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary to solve contemporary environmental engineering problems.  Within a few years of graduation, environmental engineering alumni will have:

  1. gained employment in the field of environmental engineering or matriculated in an environmental engineering or related graduate or professional program;
  2. created value by analyzing and designing sustainable solutions to problems involving pollution abatement and prevention in water, air and soil;
  3. successfully communicated or defended designs and decisions through reference to fundamental concepts of math, science, and engineering;
  4. facilitated collaboration and built strong professional relationships by working successfully in multi-disciplinary teams and effectively communicating with a diverse group of stakeholders;
  5. actively participated in professional development activities that demonstrate a commitment to sound professional and ethical practices, and the protection of human health and the environment; and
  6. achieved Engineer in Training (EIT) certification by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and gained experience relevant for professional licensure.

Student Outcomes

The graduates of the environmental engineering undergraduate program must demonstrate that they have: 

  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.

Major Requirements, Sample Plan, and Course Offerings 

Major requirements, a sample plan, and a full list of course offerings for the Environmental Engineering undergraduate major are published in the university's Course Catalog, updated annually. 

What Can I Do With a Degree in Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineers manage our environment for the benefit of humanity and nature. They provide engineering solutions to problems with our land, air and water resources. In many respects, an environmental engineer is similar to a traditional civil engineer, but with more emphasis on chemistry and environmental processes, and less emphasis in areas such as structures and transportation.

In both public and private practice, environmental engineers work in interdisciplinary teams to manage environmental problems through application of scientific, engineering, and social skills. These include issues of air pollution and control, water supply and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, solid and hazardous waste disposal, control of hazardous substances, pollution in surface and ground waters, public health, and the ecological health of our environment.

The environmental engineering degree program at Oregon State is one of only several in the nation and the only such separate degree program in the Pacific Northwest. The interdisciplinary curriculum provides unique skills for application to environmental problems. Research results developed by our active faculty are fed back directly into the classroom to maintain state-of-the-art training.

The environmental engineering program is an interdisciplinary degree program with a broad basis in the physical, chemical, and biological sciences in addition to course work in environmental, civil, and chemical engineering. Students may also elect an environmental engineering option within the civil engineering, chemical engineering, or environmental science degree programs. A minor in environmental engineering is available to all undergraduate students and includes 29 quarter credits of environmental engineering and related course work.

Civil and environmental engineers are employed by several groups: public agencies (departments of public works, county engineering offices, departments of transportation, federal and state agencies); engineering consulting firms; industries; utilities; construction firms; the military; the Peace Corps, etc. Environmental engineers often work for public agencies charged with environmental protection, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, or state departments of environmental protection.

Additional Opportunities

Among the many unique opportunities open to Oregon State environmental engineering students is the Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP). The program offers students a high quality, paid industrial experience and related academic activities while pursuing a degree at Oregon State. We also encourage students to seek registration as a professional engineer. This process begins by successfully passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (FE exam), which is normally held in April and late October. 

More Information

More information about the program can be found on the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering Advising Page. You may also review the Schedule of Classes and the Academic Regulations found in the Oregon State University Catalog. It is intended to aid students in planning and completing programs leading to a degree. The guide provides information regarding the undergraduate curriculum, professional practice, advising, admissions policies.