Environmental Engineering

Grainger College of Engineering


What is Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineers apply basic principles of science to achieve healthy, prosperous, and equitable communities. They also enhance the ecosystems that support these communities. They use mathematical and computational tools to do this.

Environmental engineers focus on such matters as:

  • Ensuring clean air, safe drinking water, and sanitation for all
  • Designing systems for sustainable environmental resource management
  • Protecting people from natural and human-made hazards
  • Integrating atmospheric science principles with infrastructure planning and design
  • Developing new technologies and infrastructure to mitigate and adapt to climate change
  • Developing new technologies to address emerging challenges to air, water, and land resources
  • Designing sustainable and resilient infrastructure that promote strong communities while protecting the environment

Career Options

  • Public Health Engineer
  • Sustainability Engineer
  • Wastewater Engineer
  • Drinking Water Engineer
  • Water Resources Engineer
  • Energy Auditor
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Health & Safety Specialist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Natural Resource Specialist

Post-Graduation Success1

Insufficient survey data is available for employment information.

Insufficient survey data is available for grad school attendance.

Insufficient survey data is available for average starting annual income.

Sample employer destinations: Insufficient survey data is available for sample employer destinations.

Sample grad school destinations: Insufficient survey data is available for sample grad school destinations.

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong math and science coursework and performance
  • Calculus preferred and physics expected (if available at high school)
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interest in improving society through engineering
  • Demonstrated understanding of and interest in the engineering major selected

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

Years to degree: N/A

First-Year retention rate: N/A

Four-year graduation rate: N/A

Six-year graduation rate: N/A

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $17,976
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $41,126


  • Tuition: $39,736
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $63,226


  • Tuition: $42,868
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $66,358