Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) offers a BS degree in Environmental Engineering (BS EnvE). The curriculum is designed to provide students with fundamental knowledge of scientific disciplines and engineering principles that are used to address emerging environmental issues such as sustainable air, water, and land resources; human health; and environmental restoration. In the first and second years, students take courses in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, English composition, and introductory engineering. The third year incorporates advanced engineering topics, including solid and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and laboratories in engineering materials, hydraulic engineering, and environmental monitoring and process engineering. The fourth year is elective based, allowing students to select courses from specific focus areas, including biological processes, sustainability, air pollution, and water resources, in addition to technical and design electives. A senior-level capstone design course serves to integrate principles from a range of disciplines. The curriculum is intended to provide students with the flexibility to develop tailored sequences of electives to meet individual education and career objectives, while ensuring a comprehensive engineering design experience.

Specific course requirements for the BS EnvE degree are listed in the Degree Requirements page. Although students are not required to take courses during the indicated semester, all prerequisites must be satisfied. In addition to Institute academic requirements for graduation with a BS degree, the following requirements must be satisfied for the BS EnvE:

  1. A letter grade of C or better must be earned in MATH 1501 and 1502, PHYS 2211, CHEM 1310, and COE 2001.
  2. The total number of quality points earned in CEE courses used to satisfy degree requirements must be at least twice the number of credit hours in those courses. If a course is repeated, the most recent grade will be used in applying this rule. No CEE courses may be repeated for the purpose of satisfying this rule if the original grade was a C or higher.

Program Objectives

Graduates will pursue a diverse range of careers that build on their engineering education. During the initial years of their careers, graduates will:

  1. apply technical proficiency in the principles and methods essential to modern environmental engineering practice.
  2. demonstrate understanding of global, societal, environmental, and sustainability issues related to environmental engineering.
  3. exhibit effective communication, teamwork, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills.
  4. engage in ethical and responsible practice while pursuing professional growth.

Cooperative Plan

Since 1912, Georgia Tech has offered a five-year Undergraduate Cooperative Program to those students who wish to combine career-related experience with classroom studies. The program is the fourth oldest of its kind in the world and the largest optional co-op program in the country.

Students alternate between work assignments and classroom studies until they complete four or five semesters of work. Co-op students with an environmental engineering major complete the same coursework on campus that is completed by regular four-year students. Most co-op students begin the program as freshmen or sophomores and are classified as full time students regardless of whether they are attending classes on campus or are full time at an employer's location.

Students who participate in the program have the opportunity to develop career interests, become more confident in their career choices, and develop human relations skills through their work experience. Graduates of the program receive a bachelor's degree with a Cooperative Plan Designation.

The Undergraduate Professional Internship Program is for environmental engineering students who do not participate in the Cooperative Program, but want some career-related experience before graduation. Students generally work for one semester, usually in the summer, with an option for more work experiences. Students must have completed at least 30 hours of coursework at Georgia Tech before they can participate in the program. For more details, see: www.upi.gatech.edu.

In addition, there is a Work Abroad Program (www.workabroad.gatech.edu), which complements a student's formal education with paid international work experience directly related to environmental engineering. Participating students typically are juniors and seniors. The international work assignments are designed to include practical training, cross-cultural exposure and learning, and the acquisition of needed skills. This program satisfies requirements for the International Plan, which is available to environmental engineering students.

For more information about all of the programs in the Division of Professional Practice, view www.profpractice.gatech.edu.

International Plan

The International Plan is a challenging and coherent academic program for undergraduates that develops global competence within the context of a student's major. It is a degree-long program that integrates international studies and experiences into any participating major at Georgia Tech. It helps to prepare Georgia Tech graduates professionally and personally for successful lives in the twenty-first century.

The International Plan is not intended to replace current international programs; it supplements them. Existing study abroad opportunities continue to be offered. It is also not intended to be an add-on to the current degree programs. It is intended to be another curriculum path to earn a degree in which international competence is integrated into the program of study. The plan can be completed within the normal timeframe of four years of undergraduate study.

The overarching model for the International Plan has four components:

  1. International coursework: Three courses to include one from each of the following categories:
    1. International relations
    2. Global economics
    3. A course about a specific country or region
  2. International experience: Two terms abroad (not less than 26 weeks) engaged in any combination of study abroad, research, or internship
  3. Second language proficiency: All students in the program are expected to reach at least the proficiency level equivalent to two years of college-level language study. Students who use the language to study, conduct research, or participate in an internship during their international experience are expected to attain a higher level of proficiency. Language proficiency is determined by testing (not course credits).
  4. Culminating course: A capstone course in the major designed to tie the international studies and experiences together with the student's major

Completion of the International Plan is recognized by a designation on the student's diploma indicating completion of the degree with global competence.

For additional information about the International Plan visit www.oie.gatech.edu/internationalplan.

Research Option

The Research Option is intended for students who seek a concentrated research experience, culminating in an undergraduate thesis, integrated into their undergraduate studies in environmental engineering. In order to graduate with a BS EnvE – Research Option degree, the students must:

Complete at least nine units of undergraduate research (over at least two, preferably three terms). Research may be for either pay (CEE 2698 or CEE 4698) or credit (CEE 2699 or CEE 4699). Research for credit may be used towards the BS EnvE approved elective requirements. Write an undergraduate thesis/report of research on their findings. This is usually done during the graduating term. The thesis will be published in the Georgia Tech Library.

Take two 1-hour classes: LCC 4701: Undergraduate Research Proposal Writing (typically taken during the first or second semester of research) and LCC 4702: Undergraduate Research Thesis Writing (taken during the thesis-writing semester).

At least six of the nine required hours of research should be on the same topic. A research proposal must be approved by a faculty advisor and one other faculty member. This proposal will be completed in LCC 4701 which serves as a prerequisite for LCC 4702. Completion of Research Option is noted on the student's transcript.

Joint BS/MS Degree Program

The joint BS/MS program is designed to attract the best-of-the-best undergraduate students and is especially intended for students who demonstrate an interest in, and ability for, additional education beyond the bachelor's degree.

Students will be eligible to apply for the program after completion of 30 semester credit hours at Georgia Tech and appropriate progress in their degree program. As a practical matter, students should apply for the program at least three semesters prior to graduation in order to take graduate-level courses prior to receiving their BS degree. Students must have a Georgia Tech GPA of 3.5 or higher for admission into the BS/MS Program in Environmental Engineering.

This program is available only to those completing a Bachelor's degree with majors of Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering.

The key components of this program are intense interaction among students and faculty, including mentoring and undergraduate research, and careful advising and course planning to enable students to begin challenging coursework in their fourth year of study.

Students in the joint BS/MS program remain undergraduates until they meet the requirements for the bachelor's degree, at which point they will receive the BSEnvE degree. Their status will then be changed to graduate status. Graduate school application fees and the GRE requirements are waived.

Once admitted, a GPA of at least 3.0 must be maintained to remain in the program. Additionally, students in the BS/MS program are eligible to use the Graduate Course Option even if their cumulative grade-point average is below 3.5 at the time they complete their bachelor's degree.