Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering Major

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Environmental engineers are responsible for designing processes and infrastructure to ensure society has access to safe water, clean air and healthy ecosystems. They apply knowledge from physics, chemistry, biology and the social sciences to problems in a variety of areas including water and wastewater treatment and ecosystem remediation, analysis of chemical fate and transport in the natural environment, and modeling of hydrologic and atmospheric flows. As climate change creates new challenges, such as in the form of droughts and intense weather events, the field of environmental engineering evolves to meet society’s needs. As an environmental engineering student at UC Davis, you will gain skills that enable you to design sustainable solutions for society.

Real-World Outcomes

UC Davis environmental engineering majors are well prepared to put their skills to work with a variety of municipal, state and federal agencies and private companies throughout California, the nation and the world.

Advisory Board

  • Stephen McCord, Ph.D., P.E., President, McCord Environmental Inc. (Davis, CA)
  • Michael Falk, Ph.D., P.E., Senior Professional Associate, HDR Inc. (Folsom, CA office)
  • Yun Shang, Ph.D., P.E., Program Manager, East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), Oakland, CA 94607,
  • Jennifer Teerlink, Ph.D., Senior Environmental Scientist, California Dept. of Pesticide Regulation, Environmental Monitoring Branch, Surface Water Protection Program (Sacramento CA)
  • Elizabeth Scheehle, Chief, Research Division, California Air Research Board (CARB)


As an environmental engineering major, you will begin your study with an extensive series of foundation courses in science and mathematics, and two introductory courses specific to civil and environmental engineering. At the upper division level, you will take advanced courses in specific topics in environmental and water resources engineering. These courses will include subjects such as water and wastewater treatment, analysis of chemical fate and transport in natural environments, modeling of hydrologic and atmospheric flows, and water resources management.

Degree Worksheets & Check Offs

Engineering students are required to complete degree requirements in effect the academic year they graduate or the academic year prior to the year of graduation. For example, students who plan to graduate during the 2018-2019 academic year must meet requirements for 2017-2018 or 2018-2019.

At a Glance

  • Lower Division STEM (70-71 units)
    Courses in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and Engineering
  • Other Lower Division (8-9 units)
    Courses in Geology, Atmospheric Science, and Programming.
  • Upper Division Engineering Subjects (48 units)
    Courses in foundational engineering concepts and in-depth topics in environmental sciences
  • Environmental Engineering Electives (8 units)
    Courses in risk & uncertainty planning and water resources
  • Upper Division Composition (0-4 units)
    One upper division English course or pass out by taking the English Composition Exam
  • Senior Design (8 units)
    A large-scale group project taken consecutively in the final Winter and Spring quarters at UC Davis. Under faculty supervision, students are lead through the process of brainstorming and designing an engineering project in Environmental Engineering.
Can I double-major in both Civil and Environmental Engineering?
View our Double Major Worksheets here.