Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) program in environmental engineering will:

  • be productive and contributing members of the environmental engineering profession as practitioners, entrepreneurs, researchers or teachers;
  • be engaged in learning, understanding, and applying new ideas as the field develops;
  • pursue advanced studies, if qualified and interested; and
  • promote the safety, health, and welfare of the public and the environment through professional practice and civic leadership.

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a major in environmental engineering requires a minimum of 130 s.h. of credit. Students must have a g.p.a. of at least 2.00 in all college work used to satisfy degree requirements as well as on all coursework attempted at the University of Iowa.

All B.S.E. students are required to take the same collegiate curriculum. For information about these collegiate requirements, see the Bachelor of Science in Engineering, B.S.E. in the Catalog. Students completing the major in environmental engineering fulfill the collegiate statistics requirement by completing STAT:2020 Probability and Statistics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences. The focus area may require specific courses to count toward the General Education Component of the collegiate curriculum; see "Focus Area" below.

The major in environmental engineering requires the following coursework.

Collegiate Curriculum50
Major Requirements (including one 0 s.h. course)65
Focus Area15
Total Hours130

Major Requirements

Major requirements include a set of common courses (58 s.h.), five professional skills courses (4 s.h., including one 0 s.h. course), and one capstone design course (3 s.h.).

All of these:
CEE:1030Introduction to Earth Science (no lab required)3
CEE:3155Principles of Environmental Engineering (with lab)4
CEE:3371Principles of Hydraulics and Hydrology3
CEE:3430Water Treatment (with lab)4
CEE:4150Environmental Chemistry3
CEE:4157Environmental Engineering Design3
CEE:4158Solid and Hazardous Wastes3
CEE:4159Air Pollution Control Technology3
CEE:4374Water Resource Design3
BIOL:1411Foundations of Biology4
CHEM:1120Principles of Chemistry II4
CHEM:2210Organic Chemistry I (no lab required)3
ENGR:2510Fluid Mechanics4
ENGR:2720Materials Science3

Professional Skills

All of these:
CEE:1010Introduction to Careers in Environmental Engineering0
CEE:2010Civil and Environmental Engineering Professional Practice and Ethics1
CEE:3001Leadership Skills for Engineers1
CEE:3002Technical Communication in Civil and Environmental Engineering1
CEE:3003Project Management Skills1

Capstone Design Course

This course:
CEE:4850Project Design and Management in Civil Engineering3

Focus Area

Students must select focus area courses according to guidelines established by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Environmental engineering students may choose from a standard focus area developed by the department (environmental or public health) or create an individual focus area tailored to their interests. For a description of the standard focus area options and guidelines for tailored focus areas in environmental engineering, see Environmental Engineering Focus Areas on the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering website.

Focus areas in environmental engineering consist of content area courses and electives; carefully selected elective courses may contribute to earning a minor and/or certificate.


Students in the environmental focus area complete two content area courses (6 s.h.) and three additional electives (9 s.h.).

Environmental Electives

Two of these:
CEE:4107/CBE:4410Sustainable Systems3
CEE:4371Water Resources Engineering3

Additional Electives

Students complete 9 s.h. in additional electives. These electives may include any Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering course (prefix CEE) not already taken for the major numbered 3000 or above.

The following courses are additional suggested electives in the environmental focus area.

CPH:3500/GHS:3500Global Public Health3
ECON:3625/URP:3135Environmental and Natural Resource Economics3
ENGR:2120Electrical Circuits3
ENGR:2730Computers in Engineering3
ENGR:2995Introduction to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in Engineering3
GEOG:1050Foundations of GIS4
GEOG:3210/CPH:3400Health, Work, and the Environment3
LAW:8992Water Lawarr.
OEH:4240Global Environmental Health3

Public Health

Students in the public health focus area are required to complete the undergraduate certificate in public health in the College of Public Health. The public health focus area requires CPH:1400 Fundamentals of Public Health as part of the collegiate curriculum General Education Component.

Students in this focus area complete one required course (3 s.h.), three focus area electives (9 s.h.), and one additional elective (3 s.h.).

Required Public Health Course

This course:
CPH:1600Public Health Science: Inquiry and Investigation in Public Health3

Public Health Electives

Three of these:
CPH:1800Social and Psychological Determinants of Health: Changing Behavior, Improving Health3
CPH:2400The U.S. Health System in a Global Context3
CPH:3400/GEOG:3210Health, Work, and the Environment3
CPH:3500/GHS:3500Global Public Health3

Additional Elective

Students complete 3 s.h. in additional elective(s). This may include any Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering course (prefix CEE) not already taken for the major numbered 3000 or above.

The following courses are additional suggested electives in the public health focus area. Students can view courses applicable for the Certificate in Public Health in the College of Public Health section of the Catalog.

CPH:2200Climageddon: Understanding Climate Change and Associated Impacts on Health2
CPH:2220Building a Healthier Tomorrow: Public Health Methods to Minimize Disease and Pollutant Exposures3
CPH:4200Agriculture, Food Systems, and Sustainability3
CPH:4220/GHS:4530/OEH:4530Global Road Safety3
Courses that count toward the undergraduate Certificate in Public Health2-3

B.S.E./M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The College of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering/Master of Science program for environmental engineering undergraduate students who intend to earn a M.S. in civil and environmental engineering. B.S.E./M.S. students may attend the departmental graduate seminar and work on a master's thesis or research project while they are still undergraduates. They may count a limited amount of coursework toward both degrees. Once students complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree, they are granted the B.S.E., and they are expected to complete the M.S. one year later.

To be admitted to the degree program, students must have completed at least 80 s.h. and have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25. They must submit an application form to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with a letter stating their proposed area of specialization and the name of a department faculty member willing to be their primary M.S. advisor. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores are not required for the fast-track degree program.

Applications are due by May 15.

Environmental engineers apply engineering principles to design systems that control pollution and protect public health. Environmental engineers restore air, soil, and water quality at contaminated sites, and develop systems that convert waste into clean energy. Environmental engineering addresses the complex food, energy, and water issues of the 21st century. On average, 93-98 percent of graduates are employed in their field of study or pursuing advanced education within seven months of graduation.

Engineering Career Services develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students in the College of Engineering. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including engineering career fairs and other programming related to career development.

Engineering Career Services offers individual advising and class presentations on résumé and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, job offer evaluation, and much more. Engineering Career Services partners with the Pomerantz Career Center to facilitate on-campus interviewing, postgraduation outcome collection, and the University's online recruiting system, Handshake.