Environmental engineers play a vital role in maintaining the quality of both public health and the natural environment. Environmental engineering encompasses the scientific assessment and development of engineering solutions to environmental problems impacting the biosphere, land, water and air quality. Environmental issues affect almost all municipal, commercial and industrial sectors, and are a central concern for the public, for all levels of government, and in international relations. These issues include safe drinking water, wastewater processing, solid and hazardous waste disposal, outdoor and indoor air pollution, human health and ecological risk management, prevention of pollution through alternative product or process design, and renewable and sustainable energy sources.

To address these challenges, environmental engineers often encounter challenging problems that must be solved in data-poor situations as members of multidisciplinary teams. Environmental problems require creative solutions blended with contributions from scientists, lawyers, business people and the public. Good communication skills, as well as technical proficiency, are essential for success in this arena. In addition, technology designed to address environmental problems is marketed globally, opening up increasing opportunities for international work in the environmental engineering field.


The mission of the Environmental Engineering Program is to provide a multidisciplinary undergraduate environmental engineering education that emphasizes mastery of principles and practices, inspires service for the global public good, endows a desire for lifelong learning and prepares students for broad and dynamic career paths in environmental engineering.


The faculty of the Environmental Engineering (EVEN) Program are drawn from the Departments of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Chemical and Biological Engineering; and Aerospace Engineering Sciences. The EVEN faculty, its Professional Advisory Board (representing prospective employers of its graduates) and EVEN alumni and current students have contributed to the creation of the program's mission and the educational objectives of the BS in environmental engineering degree.


To earn a bachelor's degree in environmental engineering, students must complete the curriculum in the undergraduate major program, as outlined below. For up-to-date program requirements, visit Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering webpage. In addition, students must meet the general undergraduate degree requirements of the College of Engineering and Applied Science

Note: This major cannot be combined with a BS in integrated design engineering with an environmental engineering emphasis.

Some variations may be possible; see undergraduate advisor to work on approval.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Courses
CHEN 1310Introduction to Engineering Computing3
CVEN 2121Analytical Mechanics 13
or MCEN 2023 Statics and Structures
or GEEN 2851 Statics for Engineers
CVEN 3227Probability, Statistics and Decision3
or STAT 4000 Statistical Methods and Application I
CVEN 3246Introduction to Construction3
or CVEN 4147 Civil Engineering Systems
or EMEN 4100 Engineering Economics
CVEN 3313Theoretical Fluid Mechanics3
or MCEN 3021 Fluid Mechanics
or CHEN 3200 Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics
or GEEN 3853 Data Analysis for Engineers
CVEN 3414Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering3
CVEN 4333Engineering Hydrology3
EVEN 1000Introduction to Environmental Engineering1
or AREN 1316 Introduction to Architectural Engineering
or ASEN 1000 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering Sciences
or BMEN 1000 Exploring Biomedical Engineering
or CHEN 1300 Introduction to Chemical and Biological Engineering
or COEN 1500 CEAS Design Lab: Engineering Your Life
or CSCI 1000 Computer Science as a Field of Work and Study
or CVEN 1317 Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering
or ECEN 1100 Exploring ECE
EVEN 3012Thermodynamics for Environmental Science and Engineering3
or AREN 2110 Thermodynamics
or GEEN 3852 Thermodynamics for Engineers
or MCEN 3012 Thermodynamics
or CHEN 3320 Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
EVEN 3550Sustainability Principles for Engineers3
EVEN 4404Water Chemistry3
EVEN 4414Water Chemistry Laboratory1
EVEN 4424Environmental Organic Chemistry3
EVEN 4434Environmental Engineering Design4
EVEN 4464Environmental Engineering Processes3
EVEN 4484Introduction to Environmental Microbiology3
EVEN 4494Contaminant Fate and Transport3
GEEN 1400Engineering Projects3
or ASEN 1400 Gateway to Space
or ASEN 1403 Introduction to Rocket Engineering
or ECEN 1400 Introduction to Digital and Analog Electronics
MCEN 4131Air Pollution Control Engineering3
Engineering Fundamentals Course3
Heat Transfer
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Hydraulic Engineering
Required Science Courses
CHEM 1221Engineering General Chemistry Lab1
or CHEM 1134 Laboratory in General Chemistry 2
CHEN 1201General Chemistry for Engineers 14
CHEN 1203General Chemistry for Engineers 2 12
or CHEN 1211 Accelerated Chemistry for Engineers
or CHEM 1133 General Chemistry 2
PHYS 1110General Physics 14
or PHYS 1115 General Physics 1 for Majors
PHYS 1120General Physics 24
or PHYS 1125 General Physics 2 for Majors
PHYS 1140Experimental Physics 11
Required Mathematics Courses
APPM 1350Calculus 1 for Engineers4
or MATH 1300 Calculus 1
or APPM 1345 Calculus 1 with Algebra, Part B
APPM 1360Calculus 2 for Engineers4
or MATH 2300 Calculus 2
APPM 2350Calculus 3 for Engineers4
or MATH 2400 Calculus 3
APPM 2360Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra4
or MATH 2130
MATH 3430
Introduction to Linear Algebra for Non-Mathematics Majors
and Ordinary Differential Equations
or MATH 2135
MATH 3430
Introduction to Linear Algebra for Mathematics Majors
and Ordinary Differential Equations
Humanities, Social Sciences and Writing 218
Required Technical Electives
Choose one lower-division and two upper-division technical electives, one of which must satisfy earth science requirement. 3
EVEN Areas of Specialization
Choose one from the department's areas of specialization List A and two from List B 4
Free Electives
Choose three credit hours of free electives to meet the minimum 128 credit hours required for the BS degree.3

Sample Four-Year Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
APPM 1350 Calculus 1 for Engineers 4
CHEN 1201 General Chemistry for Engineers 1 4
EVEN 1000 Introduction to Environmental Engineering 1
First-Year Engineering Projects course 3
COEN 1830 Special Topics (First-Year Seminar) 1
Humanities and social science elective 1 2
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
APPM 1360 Calculus 2 for Engineers 4
CHEN 1203 General Chemistry for Engineers 2 2
CHEM 1221 Engineering General Chemistry Lab 1
CHEN 1310 Introduction to Engineering Computing 3
PHYS 1110 General Physics 1 4
Humanities and social science elective 1 3
 Credit Hours17
Year Two
Fall Semester
APPM 2350 Calculus 3 for Engineers 4
PHYS 1120 General Physics 2 4
PHYS 1140 Experimental Physics 1 1
Select one of the following in Statics: 3
Analytical Mechanics 1  
Statics for Engineers  
Statics and Structures  
Humanities and social science elective 1 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
APPM 2360 Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra 4
CVEN 3414 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering 3
Select one of the following in Fluids Mechanics: 3
Theoretical Fluid Mechanics  
Data Analysis for Engineers  
Fluid Mechanics  
Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics (Select one of the following in Fluids Mechanics:)  
Technical Elective 2 3
Humanities and social science elective 1 3
 Credit Hours16
Year Three
Fall Semester
EVEN 4404 Water Chemistry 3
EVEN 4414 Water Chemistry Laboratory 1
EVEN 3550 Sustainability Principles for Engineers 3
Select one of the following in Engineering Economics: 3
Introduction to Construction  
Engineering Economics  
Select one of the following in Thermodynamics: 3
Thermodynamics for Environmental Science and Engineering  
Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics  
Thermodynamics for Engineers  
College-approved writing course 3 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
EVEN 4424 Environmental Organic Chemistry 3
EVEN 4484 Introduction to Environmental Microbiology 3
Engineering Fundamental Course 3
Heat Transfer  
Water and Wastewater Treatment  
Hydraulic Engineering  
Select one of the following in Probability and Statistics: 3
Probability, Statistics and Decision  
Statistical Methods and Application I  
Applied Data Analysis  
Environmental engineering design/technical elective I 4 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall Semester
EVEN 4464 Environmental Engineering Processes 3
EVEN 4494 Contaminant Fate and Transport 3
MCEN 4131 Air Pollution Control Engineering 3
Environmental engineering design/technical elective II 4 3
Select one of the following: 3
Technical elective II 2
Senior Thesis 5
Environmental engineering design/technical elective III 4
Humanities and social science elective 1 3
 Credit Hours18
Spring Semester
CVEN 4333 Engineering Hydrology 3
EVEN 4434 Environmental Engineering Design 4
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental engineering design/technical elective III 4
Technical Elective II 2
Select one of the following: 3
Technical elective III 2
Senior Thesis 5
Free elective 3
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours128

Learning Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives

The educational objective of the Environmental Engineering Bachelor of Science degree is to produce graduates who are capable of reaching the following career goals three to five years after graduation:

  1. Graduates will be employed in engineering, science or other professional careers.
  2. Graduates will respond to the needs of society by pursuing professional registration or other appropriate certifications.
  3. Graduates will be engaged in continual learning and advancing knowledge by pursuing advanced degrees or additional educational opportunities through coursework, professional conferences and training, and/or participation in professional societies.
  4. Graduates will apply critical thinking and creativity as they develop solutions that provide benefits to communities, the environment and/or public health.
  5. Graduates will conduct themselves ethically and professionally, while demonstrating that they value diversity and inclusion in work interactions and engagement with the public.

Student Outcomes

Upon graduation, students are expected to be able to:

  • Identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  • 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.
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • 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.
  • Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives.
  • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's Degree Program(s)

The bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) degree program options offer currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to receive a bachelor's and master's degree in a shorter period of time. Students receive the bachelor's degree first but begin taking graduate coursework as undergraduates (typically in their senior year).

Because some courses are allowed to double count for both the bachelor's and the master's degrees, students receive a master's degree in less time and at a lower cost than if they were to enroll in a stand-alone master's degree program after completion of their baccalaureate degree. In addition, staying at CU Boulder to pursue a bachelor's–accelerated master's program enables students to continue working with their established faculty mentors.

BS in Environmental Engineering, MS in Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering

Admissions Requirements

In order to gain admission to the BAM program named above, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.000 to earn either the EVEN or CVEN MS or a 3.25 GPA to earn the MCEN MS.
  • Completion of all MAPS requirements and no deficiencies remaining (students admitted to CU Boulder prior to Summer 2023 only).
  • Have at least junior status within the bachelor’s degree program.

Program Requirements

Students may take up to and including 12 hours while in the undergraduate program which can later be used toward the master’s degree. However, only six credits may be double counted toward the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. Students must apply to graduate with the bachelor’s degree, and apply to continue with the master’s degree, early in the semester in which the undergraduate requirements will be completed.

Please see the BAM degree program web page for more information.