Environmental Engineering

Program Director

Associate Professor Maria Chrysochoou


Anagnostou, Bagtzoglou, Li, Liu, Wang

Associate Professors

Abboud, Chrysochoou, Agrios

Assistant Professors

Astitha, Kirchhoff, Mellor, Vadas

Environmental Engineering is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the scientific and technological aspects of environmentally related processes and systems. Environmental engineers play a critical role in assessing the impacts of existing contamination problems, devising strategies for managing polluted ecosystems, developing new guidelines for the treatment and disposal of wastes, and modifying manufacturing and other activities to minimize the generation of pollutants. Environmental engineers apply scientific principles to these areas in order to improve environmental quality, to protect public health, and to promote the advancement of sustainable development.

The Graduate Environmental Engineering Program at UConn goes beyond the traditional scope and addressing the pressing challenges of water management, climate change and associated natural hazards, and the need for renewable energy sources. Environmental Engineering faculty have multidisciplinary backgrounds and conduct research in areas as diverse as contaminant fate and transport, groundwater hydrology and geophysics, air pollution, climate change and natural hazards, water resources management and public health, microbial fuel cells and solar energy. The graduate programs offered thus reflect this multidisciplinary nature, incorporating elements of these areas in the course offered and potential topics for research.

The graduate program offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Environmental Engineering. Student plans of study are flexible, comprehensive in nature, and are designed to meet the needs of the individual student. We offer three focus areas of study: (i) contaminant fate and resource recovery, (ii) atmospheric processes, and (iii) hydrogeosciences and water resources management.


Admission to Degree Programs

In addition to the basic admission requirements of the Graduate School, applicants must submit Graduate Record Examination scores with their application. Sound undergraduate preparation in science and/or engineering is required for entrance to the degree programs. Admission is offered on a competitive basis to highly qualified individuals who show promise for distinguished professional and/or academic careers.

Students with non-engineering degrees that are admitted to the MS program have to take the following courses, or demonstrate proficiency in:

–           ENVE 3120 Fluid Mechanics

–           MATH 2410Q Differential Equations

Additional undergraduate ENVE courses (up to 3) as determined by the Graduate Admissions Committee

The remedial courses will NOT count towards the graduate degree.

The M.S. Program

Beyond those of the Graduate School, the following requirements apply:

  • Must hold an accredited undergraduate degree in engineering or related field with a minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum GRE: Verbal – 150 Quantitative – 155 Analytical – 4.0

The two-year M.S. in Environmental Engineering has as its primary objective the development of students’ understanding of the subject matter through an emphasis on either research (Plan A) or a comprehensive understanding of a more general nature (Plan B). All MS students are required to take ENVE 5310 Environmental Transport Phenomena and ENVE 5311 Quantitative Methods for Engineers.

Plan A requires a minimum of 21 credits of coursework in Environmental Engineering or related area and a minimum of 9 credits of Master’s Thesis Research (GRAD 5950), with a MS Thesis submission in the form of a publication-ready manuscript and oral defense required for graduation. A total of 30 credits are required for plan B Master’s, with a minimum of 27 credits of coursework in Environmental Engineering or related area. The remaining credits may be used towards additional courses or towards a research project as Graduate Independent Study in Environmental Engineering (ENVE 5020).

All M.S. students have to maintain a GPA of 3.0 to maintain their status in the program. Failure to meet this standard triggers a probationary of period of one semester, after which the student is subject to dismissal.

The Ph.D. Program

Beyond those of the Graduate School, the following requirements apply:

A M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering or related field is desired for admission to the Ph.D. program. Direct admission into the Ph.D. program with only a B.S. degree is possible with the following provisions:

  • GPA of 3.5 or higher OR
  • Demonstration of previous research experience

If a student is admitted to the Ph.D. program with only a B.S. degree, at least 30 credits of coursework are required. If the student has a M.S. degree, the minimum requirement is 15 credits. However, if the M.S. degree is in a field other than Environmental Engineering, the ENVE Graduate Admissions committee will determine the minimum number of credits required for coursework. All Ph.D. students have to maintain a GPA of 3.0 to maintain their status in the program. Failure to meet this standard triggers a probationary of period of one semester, after which the student is subject to dismissal.

All Ph.D. students are required to take a General Examination. The General Exam is taken after a minimum of two and a maximum of four semesters after admission into the Ph.D. program. The purpose of the General Exam is to test student mastery of core environmental engineering concepts and student ability to integrate concepts across disciplinary areas. Additional information is provided in the Graduate Student Handbook available on our website http://enve.engr.uconn.edu.

A dissertation proposal outlining the proposed research for the dissertation and has to be compiled and approved before the research is well underway. It is recommended that the dissertation proposal is submitted for approval in the following semester after a student passes their General Exam, but the maximum time is one year after the General Exam.

Finally, the dissertation submission and oral defense follow the requirements of the Graduate School. In addition, students are required to have three journal papers before scheduling the oral defense: one published, one in review and one ready for submission. The Environmental Engineering Program Director will sign off on the completed requirements prior to scheduling the oral defense.


Students in the Environmental Engineering program have access to numerous state-of-the-art laboratories and facilities through the School of Engineering and associated University departments and institutes. These resources include instructional labs in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Hydraulics Lab, Environmental Monitoring Lab, Environmental Engineering Lab) as well as various research labs (Geoenvironmental Lab, Environmental Physics Lab, Geophysics Lab, Contaminant Fate Lab, BioEnergy Production Lab and Water Quality Lab). In addition, several ENVE faculty members are affiliated with the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering (CESE). The mission of CESE is to develop technology-based solutions to existing and emerging environmental concerns – particularly regarding the management of hazardous wastes and the advancement of pollution prevention technologies. CESE contains well equipped analytical chemistry and environmental chemistry laboratories focused on methods development and advanced analyses.

Leave a Reply