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Environmental Engineering

Degree: BS

Campus: Columbus

College: Engineering

To be considered for this major, freshmen applying to the Columbus campus are strongly encouraged to submit their complete admission application by November 1. 

Environmental engineering is the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of constructed facilities for the protection of human health and safety and the preservation of wildlife and the environment. It includes water supply and resources, environmental systems modeling, environmental chemistry, wastewater management, solid waste management, hazardous waste management and remediation, atmospheric systems and air pollution control, and environmental and occupational health. Graduates of environmental engineering programs are found in engineering and administrative posts in industry, construction, research, government and consulting firms. 

The Pre-Major Program

All students entering the College of Engineering enroll in the pre-major program. As pre-majors, students will:

  • complete foundational course work, including the Fundamentals of Engineering course sequence, calculus and, for most majors, physics or chemistry
  • explore the college's 14 majors and learn how several engineering majors can lead to similar career outcomes
  • select and apply to three majors, usually in their second semester (or during the semester in which eligibility courses are completed)

Admission to the major programs is based on an applicant's academic performance (cumulative GPA) and their responses to three essay questions. Learn more about the pre-major program at go.osu.edu/engineeringpre-major.

All engineering students have a similar first-year plan of study, the college core, that provides fundamental courses in math, science and engineering. View a sample first-year plan of study.

In addition to the college core, engineering students also take select core courses, major courses and general education courses.

Environmental engineering students can select courses from a variety of departments, including chemistry; environmental engineering; entomology; food, agricultural and biological engineering; earth sciences; mechanical engineering; industrial, systems and welding engineering; and environment and natural resources.

Engineering students have several opportunities for global education, including service learningsemester abroad, international internships, engineering-specific study abroad programs or the Global Option in Engineering program

Whether it be installing solar panels on Haitian schools, researching biomedical optics in China, devising solutions for sustainable food production in Honduras, or setting speed records on the Isle of Man, Ohio State engineering students venture beyond classrooms and labs to find success in every corner of the globe. 

Students work with Engineering Career Services to find both paid internships and co-op jobs across the United States and around the world. About 75% of engineering students participate in a co-op or internship before they graduate. 

Honors and scholars offer students an opportunity to pursue academic rigor (Honors) or foster passion through community (scholars). Engineering students can enhance their experience by getting involved with one of the following engineering-based programs.

Engineering Honors

The Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors (FEH) Program is an optional course sequence that is offered to University Honors-designated engineering students. This accelerated program is designed to challenge students and provide them with a foundation in engineering principles that are necessary for success throughout their academic careers.

Engineering Scholars

Engineering Scholars contemplate the adoption of socially responsible practices within engineering as a means to minimize health risks and environmental impact and maximize efficiency, feasibility and sustainability.

Humanitarian Engineering Scholars learn about and engage in engineering activities that impact underserved areas by addressing pressing problems. 

At Ohio State, engineering students conduct research alongside top faculty from across the university—doctors, physicists, designers, artists and experts in many other fields—to advance our knowledge and improve the world around us. Students enjoy multiple outlets to share their work, including Ohio State's annual Denman Undergraduate Research Forum each spring. Learn more about engineering research.

Environmental engineering research topics:

  • drinking water membrane treatment
  • interactions between energy and environmental systems and policy
  • mitigation of acid mine drainage
  • coal combustion byproduct reuse
  • contaminant transport in groundwater and surface water
  • ecological engineering mechanisms that control the interaction between the atmosphere and the land surface
  • 3D modeling of coastal and ocean surfaces

Environmental engineering students choose from more than 80 engineering student organizations, including American Academy of Environmental Engineers, Bio-Environmental Design Team, EcoCAR 3, Engineers for a Sustainable World and Society of Environmental Engineers.

Environmental engineering graduates find employment in a variety of organizations, including engineering consulting firms, manufacturing companies, and federal, state and local governments. For those who wish to continue their education, multiple graduate programs leading to MS and/or PhD degrees in environmental engineering are offered in schools throughout the United States.

Some employers of environmental engineering graduates include ArcelorMittal, Beaver Creek Hydrology, Burgess & Niple, MWH Global Inc., Ohio EPA, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Co.

Many graduates work with Engineering Career Services to find their first job.

Beginning annual salaries for recent environmental engineering graduates average $54,271.