Environmental engineers create solutions to ensure clean water, soil, and air for the health of humans and the broader ecosystem we inhabit. They design systems to treat tap water and wastewater, manage stormwater, and protect surface and groundwater sources. They develop technologies to reduce and clean up pollution, recycle waste products, prevent contamination of our water and food supply, and preserve natural resources and habitats.
Environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary field. Students who choose environmental engineering at Oregon State University will gain a solid background in chemistry, biology, microbiology, and physical processes, in addition to core engineering classes. Upper division coursework includes analysis and design of water treatment systems, hazardous substance management, air pollution control technologies, and the fate and transport of chemicals in the environment.
Our diverse faculty includes specialized expertise in areas such as bioremediation of chlorinated solvents and emerging contaminants, sustainable biological wastewater treatment, the environmental impacts of nanoparticles and microplastics, and the persistence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in wastewater systems.
Minor sample courses and curriculum
- Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
- Drinking Water Treatment Processes
- Fate and Transport of Chemicals in Environmental Systems
- River Engineering
- Bioremediation Engineering
My greatest achievement
Ken Williamson, B.S. civil engineering ’68, M.S. environmental engineering ’70 joined the College of Engineering as an undergrad, stayed for his master’s degree, returned as a professor, and eventually became a school head. Now, a decade into his ‘retirement,’ he’s a key industry partner.
- Environmental fluid mechanics
- Environmental microbiology
- Environmental modeling
- Multiphase phenomena
- Subsurface flow and transport
- Water and wastewater treatment
To become a CBEE graduate student you must be admitted to Oregon State University through both the Graduate School and the School of CBEE. The faculty in CBEE examine the material submitted to determine adequacy of academic background and to decide whether facilities in the School are adequate for the expressed aims of the student. The Graduate School will determine whether the general university conditions for admission have been met. Applicants will be notified by the Graduate School as to the action taken. A critical consideration in the decision is whether the applicant's academic objectives can be satisfactorily fulfilled. CBEE does not have the capacity to accommodate all applicants who meet the minimum admission requirements. Applicants to the school of CBEE graduate program must meet the OSU Graduate School's CBEE minimum admission requirements listed below, and submit a complete application package in order to be considered for admission https://gradschool.oregonstate.edu/admissions/process .
International students interested in the Master of Engineering (MEng) program should apply through Master's International Direct.
Only complete applications will be reviewed and considered for admission.
CBEE only accepts students for the fall term. We do not allow admissions for winter or spring terms.
- Application deadline for MS and PhD programs: December 15, 2022.
- Applications deadline for MEng program: May 1, 2023.
The School of CBEE application process is highly competitive and we normally make no more than 5 offers of support (assistantships) per year. Applicants with a very strong record and particular aptitude for graduate research may be offered a term by term assistantship which provides a stipend and tuition remission. We cannot guarantee that you will always be awarded funding. These are offered the first of April for the upcoming school year and are chosen from the accepted applicants. Graduate assistants may work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year. If you are not awarded funding you should be prepared to be a self-supporting student. Also, due to the limited number of assistantships available, MEng students are not funded in this manner. Applicants to the School of CBEE do not need to complete a separate application in order to be considered for assistantships. A complete application consists of all the materials listed on the Graduate Application.
Grade Point Average
The School of CBEE requires a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4-point scale). The GPA is based on the last 90 graded quarter (60 semester) credit hours of the first baccalaureate degree plus all work complete thereafter. For International students, the GPA is based on the last 2 years of undergraduate courses.
The GRE is not required for application/admission into our programs.
The CBEE minimum TOEFL is 580 (237 computer, 92-93 iBT with a minimum score of 18 on each section). TOEFL must be less than two years old. The IELTS is accepted as well. The minimum score is 6.5. Language Proficiency tests are not required for US citizens or those who received their undergraduate degree from an English speaking country institution.
Applying for Admission
1. Materials that must be submitted electronically
- Application for Graduate Admission: online application form Graduate Application. (International students interested in the Master of Engineering (MEng) program should apply through Master's International Direct.)
- Application Fee by credit card (part of online application)
- Statement of Objectives: (part of online application)
- Recommendation Letters: You must provide the names and email addresses of three professional references as part of the degree-specific portion of the online application. The references will be sent instructions on how to submit their letters and you will receive an email with a link to manage those reference requests after submitting the application.
- TOEFL: You must self-report your scores as part of the online application. You must also request that TOEFL send your scores to OSU. Scores must be no older than 2 years at the time when your graduate studies start.
2. Send the following to the Graduate School:
- Certification of Finances (International Students only)
- Transcripts: Upload or mail a photocopy of all official transcripts to Graduate Admissions for application review (grade slips, kiosk and web printable transcripts or reports will not be accepted for use in evaluation) of all previous academic work, undergraduate and graduate.. One official copy of your final transcripts must be submitted to the Graduate School in order to complete the acceptance process. International applicants must provide a certified English translation of their academic transcripts.
“Every day is different, and you’re able to get involved in every aspect. You may be writing a research paper, performing an economic analysis, or in the lab running experiments.” – Lauren Crandon, Ph.D. environmental engineering ’18, research engineer at OnTo Technology. Read about Lauren’s experience at Oregon State.
Jackie Wells is a master’s degree student in environmental engineering. She is working on a rain garden system to remove contaminants from stormwater. Jackie is advised by Tyler Radniecki, associate professor of environmental engineering.
Experiences of Nonbinary Students in Engineering
In a recent episode of the SWE Diverse podcast, Andrea Haverkamp (Ph.D. environmental engineering ’21) talks about her research project exploring the experiences of transgender and gender-nonconforming students in engineering and computer science, such as their sources of community support and collective resilience in the face of adversity.
Oregon State University scientists find tiny tire particles can harm aquatic life
Researchers at Oregon State University recently discovered that tiny plastic particles sloughed off during driving can inhibit growth and cause adverse behavioral changes in organisms found in freshwater and coastal estuary ecosystems. Stacey Harper, professor of environmental and molecular toxicology and environmental engineering, and Susanne Brander, assistant professor of ecotoxicology, discuss the findings with OPB.
Oregon wastewater data shows far more people have COVID than is apparent through testing
Wastewater sampling suggests that a new omicron variant is silently causing far more infections than are showing up in state testing numbers.
OSU research enables a key step toward personalized medicine: modeling biological systems
A new study by the Oregon State University College of Engineering shows that machine learning techniques can offer powerful new tools for advancing personalized medicine, care that optimizes outcomes for individual patients based on unique aspects of their biology and disease features.
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.
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:
- gained employment in the field of environmental engineering or matriculated in an environmental engineering or related graduate or professional program;
- created value by analyzing and designing sustainable solutions to problems involving pollution abatement and prevention in water, air and soil;
- successfully communicated or defended designs and decisions through reference to fundamental concepts of math, science, and engineering;
- facilitated collaboration and built strong professional relationships by working successfully in multi-disciplinary teams and effectively communicating with a diverse group of stakeholders;
- 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
- achieved Engineer in Training (EIT) certification by passing the Fundamentals of Engineering exam and gained experience relevant for professional licensure.
The graduates of the environmental engineering undergraduate program must demonstrate that they have:
- 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.