Woman getting her environmental engineering degree conducting research.

Top 5 Environmental Engineering Degree Programs

Environmental engineers help keep the world safe by monitoring the environmental impact of building projects, pollution, and businesses. As an environmental engineer, you would be providing safe water supplies, developing new ways to reduce pollution, finding better solutions for waste management, and coming up with plans to reduce the potential for contaminants that harm the environment. You’ll work with business owners, government employees, construction workers, and act as a consultant for innovative solutions to keep the Earth safe.

Environmental engineers also look for ways to reduce public health threats, improve and enforce the laws on sanitation and construction, waste disposal, recycling, industrial hygiene, and environmental sustainability. It might not seem like an important role at first glance, but environmental engineers are often the first step in preventing harm to the environment in today’s growing world.

There is a high demand for trained professionals in this career field—and it pays well! If this is something you’re interested in pursuing, then you need a degree. There are many different parts to consider before you decide on a school and degree program. To give you an idea of what programs are best for this degree path, we’ve compiled a list of the top five environmental engineering degree programs.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT has a program dedicated to Civil and Environmental Engineering that combines fundamental science and novel engineering. This means that you’ll learn how natural and human systems work, combined with training in materials, logistics, and design in order to keep the environment safe. The goal of the MIT environmental engineering degree path is to create a safer, smarter infrastructure to benefit everyone.

Faculty and students at MIT work together for testing, building, and scaling solutions that deal with the increasing pressures surrounding climate change, food security, global urbanization, and even preventing pandemics. Not only will you learn how to protect the environment, but you’ll also be coming up with ways to keep people safe and healthy. At MIT, you can become part of a team that’s responsible for designing environmentally-conscious “smart cities,” which are aimed at maintaining a healthy relationship between humans and nature.

University of Southern Carolina

USC is focused on providing training for individuals who are interested in industry training rather than a research-focused Ph.D. program. This means that USC helps prepare you for a career as an environmental engineer that works in the field to monitor safety laws and the environmental impact of building projects, cities, and waste management. You’ll receive necessary education for a career in the field instead of becoming a researcher who works behind the scenes.

At USC, the degree program is only for a Bachelors in Science. You’ll participate in some research on campus, learn the fundamentals of being an environmental engineer, and develop innovative practices through comprehensive training. The program is focused on modern solutions in order to keep up with today’s constantly-growing world and give you the skills required to get a job as soon as you graduate.

Stanford University

Stanford has a highly-accredited Civil and Environmental Engineering program that gives you cutting-edge training. The job market for environmental engineers has grown a lot in recent years, and even though the need for people to fill those positions is great, you have to have training that makes you a top candidate for a field or research-related position.

Stanford gives you the skills necessary for the job market by focusing on advancing research and education for natural and artificial environments with an emphasis on long-term sustainability. In Stanford’s program, you can earn a Bachelors or Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, so you’ll be well-qualified to join the job market when you graduate.

University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship between man-made and natural environments. Their website states that “management of environmental resources to protect human health and the systems that support life is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society.” If you’re looking for a program that is truly dedicated to recognizing and addressing these challenges, UC Berkeley's program is one you should consider.

In this degree program, you’ll gain the skills necessary to deal with current and future environmental issues. The three biggest areas of focus are on air quality engineering, environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology, and water-quality engineering. UC Berkeley helps you become a top contender in the field through specialized education and training, which is extremely valuable in such a competitive job market.

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech is another great school to receive training in environmental engineering. Whether you want to work in the field maintaining and developing sustainability practices or become a researcher, Georgia Tech will prepare you for the future. The unique part of Georgia Tech’s program is that it allows flexibility in scheduling and classes to give you a tailored curriculum that meets your specific goals.

The Bachelors in Science program provides you with necessary knowledge of scientific and engineering principles to address growing environmental issues. Here, you’ll take math, physics, chemistry, and biology classes to understand the fundamentals. After the introduction courses, you’ll choose a focus area from choices like air pollution, water resources, and sustainability. Graduates from Georgia Tech often go on to work in international development, nonprofits, industry, government, end up starting their own businesses. or working in getting leadership positions. At a school like Georgia Tech, you’ll get the education and skills that make you more qualified than most other programs.

Last Updated: April 24, 2019