Environmental Engineering BS Program
The Florida Board of Governors approved the bachelor of science in environmental engineering program in Spring 2021.
More information: Contact Dr. James Mihelcic. Email or 813-974-9896.
Supported by public sentiment for protecting natural resources and human health and by-laws aimed at curtailing environmental damage, there is renewed awareness amongst American and global youth that attracts them to careers where they can have a positive impact on the environment.
The 120-credit undergraduate B.S. in Environmental Engineering program at the University of South Florida is designed to prepare graduates for high-demand, well-paying jobs in Florida, the U.S., and beyond. Graduates will have employment opportunities with industry, engineering design firms, local/state/federal governments, and nongovernmental organizations, along with numerous opportunities to advance their education at the Master’s or Ph.D. levels. Florida requires environmental engineers to provide economic and social opportunities for an increasing population, reliable water and wastewater systems, management of nutrient pollution that has adversely impacted our springs, lakes and both coasts, improved urban air quality, protection of public health, Everglades and Brownfield restoration, and other infrastructure improvements.
Our B.S. in Environmental Engineering degree will meet national ABET engineering accreditation requirements and emphasize the themes of (1) infrastructure, (2) sustainability, (3) health, (4) data science, and (5) global citizenship. Graduates will support several critical infrastructures identified by the White House, so vital that their breakdown would have a debilitating effect on security, economic development, public health, and safety (Presidential Policy Directive PPD-21).
Program EducationAL Objectives and Student Outcomes
The three Program Educational Objectives for our BS Environmental Engineering programs are:
- Graduates apply their technical and civic knowledge and a systems approach in developing smart, sustainable, and inclusive solutions for critical infrastructures that protect public health and well-being and the environment while promoting safety.
- Graduates engage meaningfully and effectively with diverse local, state, and global stakeholders and communities to develop environmental engineering solutions.
- Graduates behave ethically and responsibly, continue their professional development, and participate fully in their profession and society.
In addition, our BS Environmental Engineering has seven Student Outcomes that prepare students to enter the professional practice of engineering. At the time of graduation, students will have an ability 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
USF’s environmental engineering graduate program is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and is a recognized leader in environmental engineering education and research. In terms of education excellence, several of our faculty wrote a widely adopted undergraduate environmental engineering textbook (Environmental Engineering: Fundamentals, Sustainability, Design, John Wiley & Sons) (a 3rd Edition will be released in 2021). They have also written a second more specialized book on how to perform environmental engineering in low and middle-income countries (Field Guide in Environmental Engineering for Development Workers: Water, Sanitation, Indoor Air, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Press, 2009).
Our professors’ educational excellence is recognized by several best paper awards made by the Environmental Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education and Outstanding Educator Awards made to several of our faculty from the Association of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (AEESP).
Our faculty have also received the Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science Education (E4) Award from American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists (AAEES) for significant contribution to the environmental engineering profession in the area of educating practitioners.
Dr. James R. Mihelcic, BCEEM
Samuel L. and Julia M. Flom Endowed Professor
Dr. Qiong Zhang
Vasant Surti Faculty Fellow
Our students compete very well for national and regional scholarships and our senior capstone design teams regularly win recognition in Florida and nationally in competitions through innovative designs that partner with real local partners.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment of environmental engineers and environmental health/safety engineers is very strong and will continue to grow over the next 10 years. Florida job growth is especially strong. Our program also provides students with a route to work as a health and safety engineer after graduation. In 2018, Bankrate.com rated environmental engineering in the top 25% of 162 college degrees based on earning potential and employment and U.S. News & World Report Money has ranked environmental engineering as one of their top 3 Best Engineering Jobs and stated that “top companies in the environmental sector are expanding their global reach.”
The Curriculum at USF
Our 120-credit curriculum is forward thinking and designed to meet all national ABET engineering accreditation requirements, which “include a) Mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics, calculus-based physics, chemistry (including stoichiometry, equilibrium, and kinetics), earth science, biological science, and fluid mechanics; b) Material and energy balances, fate and transport of substances in and between air, water, and soil phases. c) Hands-on laboratory experiments, and analysis and interpretation of the resulting data in more than one major environmental engineering focus area, e.g., air, water, land, environmental health. d) Design of environmental engineering systems that includes considerations of risk, uncertainty, sustainability, life-cycle principles, and environmental impacts and e) Concepts of professional practice and project management, and the roles and responsibilities of public institutions and private organizations pertaining to environmental policy and regulations.”
The lower-level portion of the degree program includes common course prerequisites (e.g., math, chemistry, physics, and general education courses). This coursework is supported by more specialized coursework and several unrestrictive/general electives as follows.
- BSC 2010 Biology I Cellular Processes (3 credit hours)
- BSC 2010 Biology I Cellular Processes Laboratory (1 credit hour)
- EGN 1113 Introduction to Design Graphics (3 credit hours) [ETD 1320 Introduction to Computer Aided Drafting (3 credit hours) is an acceptable substitute]
- GLY 3850 Geology for Engineers (3 credit hours) [ESC 2000 Introduction to Earth Science (3 credit hours) or GLY 2010 Dynamic Earth: Introduction to Physical Geology (3 credit hours) are acceptable substitutes]
- CGN 4122 Professional and Ethical Issues (3 credit hours)
- CWR 4202 Hydraulics (3 credit hours)
- CWR 4202L Civil Engineering Hydraulics Laboratory (1 credit hour)
- CWR 4540 Water Resources Engineering I (3 credit hours)
- CWR 4812 Capstone Water Resources/Environmental Design (3 credit hours)
- ENV 2061 Engineering Sustainable and Healthy Environments (2 credit hours)
- EGN 3000 Foundations of Engineering (0 credit hours)
- EGN 3000L Foundations of Engineering Lab (3 credit hours)
- EGN 4453 Numerical and Computational Tools I in Civil and Environmental Engineering (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4001 Environmental Systems Engineering (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4004L Environmental Engineering Laboratory (1 credit hour)
- ENV 4053C Chemical Fate and Transport in the Environment (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4071 Environmental Site Assessment (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4102 Air Pollution Fundamentals (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4417 Water Quality and Treatment (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4612 Green Engineering for Sustainability (3 credit hours)
- ENV 4620 ENVISION Sustainable Communities (3 credit hours)
We suggest a student select electives from the following list to supplement their environmental engineering knowledge and better prepare for engineering practice.
Basic and Environmental Sciences
- CHM 2210 Organic Chemistry
- EVR 4027 Wetland Environments
- ENV 4082 Environmental Field Sampling
- GLY 4734 Beaches and Coastal Environments
- CCE 4031 Construction Management
- CWR 4541 Water Resources Engineering II
- CWR 4625 Ecological Engineering
- ENV 4351 Solid Waste Engineering
- SUR 2101C Engineering Land Surveying
- TTE 4003 Transportation and Society
- GEO 3164C Research Methods in Geography
- GIS 3006 Mapping and Geovisualization
- GIS 4035C Remote Sensing of the Environment
- GIS 4043C Geographic Information Systems
Health and Safety
- HSC 3503 Principles of Toxicology
- HSC 4213 Environmental and Occupational Risk Analysis
- HSC 4430 Occupational Health and Safety
- EEL 4283 Sustainable Energy
- ENV 2073 Global Warming: Science and Politics of a Contemporary Issue
- EVR 2217 Energy, Environment and Sustainability
- ECH 4783 Sustaining the Earth: An Engineering Approach
- GEO 4340 Natural Hazards
- HSC 4211 Health, Behavior and Society
- HSC 4624 Foundations of Global Health
- PHC 4250 Crisis Leadership in Disasters
Students are able to take 3-6 credit hours of these electives through education abroad programs. The specific education aboard course(s) must be approved in advance by the Department.