Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineers protect the natural environment and the health of people as influenced by the environment. The field began as a part of civil engineering by providing the water supply for municipalities but has grown to encompass a broad view of the interaction of humans with the environment. The environmental engineer applies principles from all of the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, geology, and biology) to understand the natural environment and to build systems that protect that environment. Areas of environmental engineering include air quality, water quality, water resources, and contaminant process engineering.

The environmental engineering student obtains a broad background in mathematics and all the sciences, along with their application to the several areas of environmental engineering. This flexible curriculum allows the student to elect 18 semester hours of approved technical coursework to emphasize the areas of environmental engineering of most interest to the student. In addition, courses in the humanities and social sciences are included.

To excel as an environmental engineer, a student should have an aptitude for mathematics and science, an abiding interest in protecting the natural environment and public health, and the motivation to study and prepare for environmental engineering practice. Environmental engineering graduates of the University may seek a wide variety of employment opportunities with private consulting firms, industry, and government agencies at the local, state, and national levels. Those who plan to pursue graduate work in engineering, or in other professions such as business, medicine, law, or journalism,have an excellent base on which to build.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the environmental engineering program should attain the following outcomes:

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • 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
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • 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
  • 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
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the environmental engineering program should address environmental engineering problems within a greater societal context. They should:

  • Exhibit character and decision-making skills embodying professionalism and ethical behavior
  • Apply knowledge, strong reasoning, and quantitative skills to design and implement creative and sustainable solutions
  • Engage in lifelong learning to meet evolving engineering challenges facing society
  • Exhibit strong communication, critical thinking, interpersonal, and management skills as leaders and contributors in the environmental engineering profession

Portable Computing Devices

Students entering Environmental Engineering are required to have a laptop at their disposal. Laptops do not need to be brought to campus on a daily basis, but individual courses may require that a laptop be brought to class or lab sessions. For a list of minimum system requirements, see the Cockrell School of Engineering website.


Each student must complete the University’s Core Curriculum. In some cases, a course required for the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering may also be counted toward the core curriculum; these courses are identified below. To ensure that courses used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences and visual and performing arts requirements of the core curriculum also meet ABET criteria, students should follow the guidance given in ABET Criteria.

In the process of fulfilling engineering degree requirements, students must also complete coursework to satisfy the following flag requirements: one independent inquiry flag, one quantitative reasoning flag, one ethics flag, one global cultures flag, one cultural diversity in the US flag, and two writing flags. The independent inquiry flag, the quantitative reasoning flag, the ethics flag, and one writing flag are carried by courses specifically required for the degree; these courses are identified below. Students are advised to fulfill the flag requirements with a course that meets other requirements of the degree. Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule.

Math, science and engineering electives are chosen from a list of approved courses maintained in the undergraduate office.

Environmental Engineering
EVE 103First-Year Seminar1
EVE 302Foundations of Environmental Engineering3
EVE 310Sustainable Systems Engineering3
EVE 312Environmental Engineering and Science3
Approved environmental engineering elective15
Approved environmental engineering design elective3
Architectural Engineering
ARE 323KProject Management and Economics3
BIO 311CIntroductory Biology I3
CH 301Principles of Chemistry I (part I science and technology)3
CH 302Principles of Chemistry II (part I science and technology)3
CH 204Introduction to Chemical Practice2
CH 328MOrganic Chemistry I3
Civil Engineering
C E 311KIntroduction to Computer Methods3
C E 311SProbability and Statistics for Civil Engineers3
C E 319FElementary Mechanics of Fluids3
C E 356Elements of Hydraulic Engineering3
Engineering Mechanics
E M 306Statics3
GEO 303Introduction to Geology3
M 408CDifferential and Integral Calculus (mathematics; quantitative reasoning flag)4
M 408DSequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus4
M 427JDifferential Equations with Linear Algebra (quantitative reasoning flag)4
PHY 105MLaboratory For Physics 302K, 303K, and 317K1
PHY 105NLaboratory For Physics 302L, 303L, and 317L1
PHY 303KEngineering Physics I (part II science and technology)3
PHY 303LEngineering Physics II3
Other Required Courses
E S 333TEngineering Communication (writing flag; ethics flag)3
M E 310TApplied Thermodynamics3
or M E 326 Thermodynamics
or CH 353 Physical Chemistry I
Approved mathematics or science elective3
Approved engineering elective6
Remaining Core Curriculum Courses
RHE 306Rhetoric and Writing3
E 316LBritish Literature 13
or E 316M American Literature
or E 316N World Literature
or E 316P Masterworks of Literature
American and Texas Government 26
American History 26
Social and behavioral science 33
Visual and performing arts 33
UGS 302First-Year Signature Course 43
or UGS 303 First-Year Signature Course
1. Some sections of the English humanities courses (E 316L, 316M, 316N, 316P) carry a global cultures or cultural diversity flag.
2. Some sections carry a cultural diversity flag.
3. Some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag.
4. In UGS 302 all sections carry a writing flag; in UGS 303 some sections carry a writing flag.
Total Hours125

Technical Electives

Technical electives in environmental engineering are listed in four areas of specialization below. Six semester credit hours must be selected from one of the technical areas along with an approved environmental engineering design elective. Approved environmental engineering design electives are chosen from a list of approved courses maintained in the undergraduate office. The remaining environmental engineering electives can be taken from any area or combination of areas. Courses not listed can be approved by the undergraduate advisor.

Area 1, Climate and Energy

Architectural Engineering 346N, Building Environmental Systems

Architectural Engineering 346P, HVAC Design

Architectural Engineering 370, Design of Energy Efficient and Healthy Buildings

Architectural Engineering 371, Energy Simulation in Building Design

Architectural Engineering 372, Modeling of Air and Pollutant Flows in Buildings

Architectural Engineering 377K, Studies in Architectural Engineering

Civil Engineering 369L, Air Pollution Engineering

Civil Engineering 369R, Indoor Air Quality 

Area 2, Sustainable Water Systems

Civil Engineering 342, Water and Wastewater Treatment Engineering

Civil Engineering 346, Solid Waste Engineering and Management

Environmental Engineering 350, Environmental Chemistry for a Sustainable World

Area 3, Water Resources and the Environment

Civil Engineering 374K, Hydrology

Civil Engineering 357, Geotechnical Engineering

Civil Engineering 358, Introductory Ocean Engineering

Civil Engineering 374N, Topics in Natural Water Systems Engineering 
Civil Engineering 374U, Topics in Urban Water Systems Engineering

Area 4, Contaminant Fate and Transport

Chemical Engineering 319, Transport Phenomena

Civil Engineering 342, Water and Wastewater Treatment Engineering

Chemical Engineering 322, Thermodynamics