Environmental Engineering Major

In Environmental Engineering, students learn to solve complex environmental problems through the integration of the physical, chemical, and biological sciences with tools in mathematics, planning, analysis, and design.  It is a joint program between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Engineering at Cornell.

In this major, students address important environmental and development issues, such as: the water treatment processes, the transport of contaminants in natural aquatic systems, the design and management of environmental and water resource systems, environmental fluid mechanics, and hydraulics and hydrology.

The EnvE program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.  Students may seek engineering professional licensing after graduation.

Employment Fields

  • Engineering
  • Soil/Water Conservation
  • Researcher
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering

Employers of Recent Graduates

  • National Science Foundation
  • US Geological Survey
  • Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation
  • New York City Watershed Agricultural Council
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
  • Water Resources Engineer
  • Home Energy Advisor
  • Graduate/Professional Education MS, MEng, PhD Environmental Engineering

Sample Classes

BEE 3299 Sustainable Development

Sustainable development is the dominant economic, environmental and social issue of the 21st century. This course develops the concepts of sustainable development as an evolutionary process, demanding the integration of the physical sciences and engineering with the biological and social sciences for design of systems. Topics include the nature of ecosystems, global processes, sustainable communities, and industrial ecology, renewable energy, and life cycle analysis.

BEE 3710 Physical Hydrology for Ecosystems

This is an introduction to physical hydrology with an emphasis on roles and interactions between hydrological processes and, ecological, biogeochemical, and human systems.

BEE 4730 Watershed Engineering

This course teaches basic design and analysis as practiced for water control and nonpoint source pollution prevention. While there are discussions of the origins of design approaches including their theoretical bases, this is not a theory course. Most of the course is dedicated to practicing applied design. Assignments are generally representative of real-life engineering problems and will involve as much hands-on experience as possible. Some example topics include risk analysis, water conveyance, nonpoint source pollution control, stream restoration, storm water management, and erosion control.

    More about Environmental Engineering from the Department