COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

Environmental engineers are the technical professionals who identify and design solutions for environmental problems. Environmental engineers provide safe drinking water, treat and properly dispose of wastes, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances. They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land, and develop new and improved means to protect the environment.

Although many people are concerned about the state of our environment, environmental engineers are the people who do things to protect it from damage and to correct existing problems. Environmental engineers possess the scientific and technical knowledge to identify, design, build, and operate systems that make modern society possible.

The environmental engineering field and environmental engineering education are multi-disciplinary. They involve traditional engineering components such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and engineering design. But environmental engineering education and practice also includes a range of other disciplines, such as biology, microbiology, ecology, public health, geology, meteorology, economics, political science, and computer science. To address the spectrum of issues facing the environment, environmental engineers are broadly educated and technically trained.


CEE offers both thesis and non-thesis options for the Master of Science with a major in environmental engineering. Either option must be approved by the student’s major professor. Both options require completion of a set of core courses related to the student’s selected concentration.

Thesis Option

A minimum of 30 credit hours of approved graduate courses, including 6 credit hours of thesis and 24 credit hours of coursework. A minor may be selected but is not required.

Non-Thesis Option

A minimum of 30 credit hours of approved graduate courses is required, which may include a three-hour special problems course to be completed under the direction of the student’s major professor. A minor may be selected but is not necessarily required. All non-thesis MS students are required to take a culminating written examination. The written exam is offered twice a year once each in the fall and spring semesters.

Concentrations (Optional)

Water Resources Engineering

Where do Environmental Engineers Work?

Environmental engineers work in many places such as

  • engineering consulting firms that design and construct water pollution-control systems,
  • industries that need to treat their air or wastewater discharges,
  • private and municipal agencies that supply drinking water,
  • companies that treat and dispose of hazardous chemicals,
  • companies that operate treatment facilities for municipalities or industries,
  • government agencies that monitor and regulate waste discharges,
  • universities that teach and conduct research on environmental control,
  • private and government laboratories that develop the new generations of pollution-control systems,
  • international agencies that transfer knowledge and technology to the developing world, and
  • public-interest groups that advocate environmental protection.

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus
Distance Education

Options Available

  • Knoxville Campus
    • Thesis
    • Project
    • Course only without comprehensive exams
  • Distance Education
    • Course only without comprehensive exam

Which department am I in?

Tickle College of Engineering

Study options

Full Time (30 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$31,798.00 per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

24 January 2022


Tickle College of Engineering

124 Perkins Hall,



37996, United States

Online/Distance (30 credit hours)

Tuition fees
US$21,420.00 per year
USD $714

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

24 January 2022

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To qualify for the degree, a student must maintain a graduate GPA of a B average (3.00) or above in the 30 semester credit hours comprising the Master of Accountancy program.

For international students

For the Master of Science with a major in environmental engineering, normally a bachelor’s degree in a field of engineering is required.

An applicant requesting admission to the Graduate School may be required to submit results of the TOEFL or IELTS. Minimum score requirements for admission to the Graduate School are:

  • a total score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL (iBT),
  • a 6.5 overall band score on the IELTS.

Application Deadline: Spring: June 15

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


About University of Tennessee

Internationals get to participate in exciting hands-on experiences that are invaluable for future careers.

  • Tennessee’s flagship university
  • 80% of graduates in employment or further study in 6 months
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Up to USD 18,000 per year in financial aid

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