Each of the specialty areas in Environmental Engineering and Science requires a subset of the core courses listed here. For details, see the sections on the specialty areas below.
For details about each specialization area, click on its name, or simply scroll down to browse through all of the areas.
The sections below provide detailed information about each of the seven specialization areas in Environmental Engineering and Science.
*The Aquatic Biology/Ecology Specialty Area is not currently offered.
Students interested in pursuing sustainability-focussed degrees may also be interested in the cross-cutting programs of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems (SRIS), Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability (EWES), and Societal Risk Management (SRM). Students are eligible to receive M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Engineering by meeting additional criteria (as described at the bottom of this page).
This area concentrates on the fundamental mechanisms that control the chemistry and physics of air quality and contaminant emissions. Consideration is given to gas and particle phases and their interactions in atmospheric, industrial, and laboratory systems. Students with strong engineering, chemistry, physics, and math backgrounds are suited for this specialty. Employment opportunities for graduates with MS degrees include those in industrial air quality control and process groups, environmental consulting firms, and governmental agencies. Ph.D. students can find employment in these areas as well as in research and academic institutions.
Note: Students entering this option without CEE 446 (or its equivalent) will be required to complete it during their graduate studies
Aerosol and atmospheric science, air quality process engineering, and atmospheric chemistry are important facets of air quality studies. Thus example electives listed below are divided into these areas, with an additional fourth area of related engineering science courses. This breakdown is for convenience only. Students should select appropriate electives from any of these groups in accordance with research and career objectives and in consultation with their advisor. Students may also select courses not listed below in consultation with their advisors.
Note: Air Quality Engineering and Science students often find more flexibility in the job market when they have supplemented their studies with courses from other environmental options. Courses such as CEE 449, CEE 437 and CEE 443 are therefore highly recommended.
This specialty area provides advanced study in assessing, monitoring, and managing aquatic ecosystems to students with backgrounds in biology, ecology, or the environmental sciences. Students should have completed course work in analytical and organic chemistry, calculus, and ecology. Students pursuing a Master’s of Environmental Science have the option of selecting a treatment process or management emphasis in advanced courses. Students pursuing a PhD select course work supporting their research from engineering or an interdepartmental concentration in environmental resources management. Graduates typically find employment in state or federal agencies or other governmental positions and are qualified for a variety of positions with consulting organizations.
*The Aquatic Biology/Ecology Specialty Area is not currently offered.
This program is designed to provide advanced study to students interested in the chemical mechanisms that govern important natural and engineered environmental processes. Emphasis is placed on establishing molecular-level mechanisms that control the environmental fate of organic and inorganic contaminants. This specialty is well suited for students that possess strong backgrounds in chemistry and engineering. Students elect either the option in atmospheric and air pollution chemistry or the option in water and interfacial chemistry. Career opportunities for graduates include teaching, research, and management of environmental chemistry issues in industry, consulting organizations, and government.
Elective Courses: In consultation with their academic advisors, students choosing the atmospheric and air pollution chemistry option should select at least two 500-level courses to complete their programs. Students choosing the water and interfacial chemistry option should select at least one 500-level course besides CEE 598EC to complete their program. Some courses have prerequisites other than the above core courses. Examples of elective courses that can be taken for study in this emphasis area are as follows:
The environmental information technology (EIT) area of specialization combines fundamental principles of environmental engineering with information technology principles such as computer programming, software design, numerical simulation, optimization, artificial intelligence, information and decision support systems, and visualization. The student may orient the program in a number of different directions, depending on interests, career goals, and academic background. Career opportunities at the M.S. and Ph.D. level include environmental software development and/or applications in consulting firms and industry. At the Ph.D. level, additional opportunities exist in academia, government, and industry research laboratories.
These courses provide fundamental background in the principles of environmental engineering, numerical methods, and computer programming and software development. While not required, students are strongly encouraged to take both CEE 442 and 444.
In consultation with their advisors, students will select at least 8 credit hours of information technology courses from the "Courses in IT" list at http://cee.uiuc.edu/research/it/ITCourses.htm. Students should select appropriate electives in accordance with research and career objectives to meet the normal EES degree requirements, including at least 8 hours of 500-level CEE courses. Some CEE courses with environmental emphasis that are typically taken by students in this specialization are listed below.
For more detailed course descriptions, see the course listings elsewhere on this site or the University of Illinois course catalog.
This specialty area focuses on several fundamental sciences associated with managing water resources and environmental systems and their integration into useful techniques for engineers and planners. Applications include, but are not limited to: reservoir design and operation, flood plain management, river basin management, environmental and water resources policy analysis, watershed restoration and management, remediation and monitoring design, planning for future municipal and industrial water supply needs, sustainability concerns (e.g., energy and water tradeoffs) and crafting total maximum daily load (TMDL, or 303(d) programs). The student in this specialty area acquires an understanding of topics such as hydraulics, hydrology, water quality modeling (both ground and surface water), optimization and decision support, statistics, and environmental and natural resources economics. These graduates are especially well-suited for work for government agencies, consulting engineering firms, and environmental advocacy organizations, as well as academic organizations.
This program is designed to educate students about the source, regulation, transport, fate, effects, control, and remediation of hazardous or unwanted chemicals in the environment. The fundamentals of chemistry, physics (e.g., transport), microbiology, process and system design, and system management are emphasized. Graduate students may be able to participate in ongoing research as part of the program. MS graduates are prepared to work for consulting firms, industry, and governmental agencies or to continue study for the PhD degree.
Required Advanced Courses: Students should select at least two 500-level elective courses consistent with career objectives and in consultation with an advisor. Some 500-level courses have 400-level prerequisites that students may need to take. Examples of courses that can be selected for study in a particular emphasis follow:
The following list contains examples only. Courses not listed may also be selected in consultation with an advisor.
This area concentrates on the fundamental chemical and microbiological mechanisms found in unit operations employed in water quality control and in natural systems, such as soil, groundwater, and surface water. Undergraduates with strong backgrounds in chemistry, mircobiology, and biochemistry are best suited for this specialty. Graduates typically find employment in research laboratories, industrial environmental control groups, consulting firms, and governmental regulatory agencies. Electives are chosen to strengthen the basic science area.
Courses shown are typical only. Courses not listed may also be taken as electives.
This specialty area concentrates on the fundamentals, design, and operation of biological, chemical, and physical unit processes for the treatment of water and wastewater. Applications of water and wastewater treatment come from the municipal, industrial, and hazardous waste sectors. Because of the emphasis on design and operations in this specialty, the student in this specialty area needs a background in hydraulics. These graduates are especially well suited to work for consulting engineering firms designing water quality control processes. Employment opportunities also are available in the operation of water treatment and wastewater treatment systems, in various governmental agencies, and in process research and development.
Courses shown are typical only. Other courses may also be taken as electives.