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Online Master’s Degrees in Sustainable Engineering

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Featured Master’s Programs in Sustainable Engineering

Arizona State University

The Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU offers an online master of science in engineering in sustainable engineering that provides students with an understanding of how to integrate social, political, and environmental factors to find solutions for an organization or company. ​The program is ideal for graduate-level students and professionals, students with a background in engineering science, and students who want a flexible online program.

The 30-credit program instills in students the knowledge of environmental considerations, and how they can be integrated into technology design. Courses include ​advanced earth systems engineering and management, industrial ecology, introduction to systems engineering, and earth systems and industrial ecology.

Students gain an understanding of sustainable engineering principles, learn to work with complex technological systems, and become experts at man-made system modeling and adaptive behavior. They also develop technical and communication ​skills to understand and explain the sustainability implications of engineered systems.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s (or master’s) degree in engineering or a related field from an accredited institution, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, and GRE scores, among other requirements. At the end of the program, graduates can pursue opportunities in biochemical, environmental, architectural, and systems engineering.

  • Location: Tempe, AZ
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two to three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,022 per credit

University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin offers an online master of engineering in sustainable systems engineering that helps students understand the economics, science, policies, and engineering of future clean energy systems and sources. Since all courses are available online, it can be an ideal choice for working professionals and engineers.

​The 30-credit program provides students with foundational knowledge in policy, science, and economics of energy systems and sources. The curriculum includes courses in ​core competencies of sustainability, sustainable approaches to system improvement, renewable energy systems, sustainable systems engineering, electromechanical energy conversion, and sustainable facilities and energy resources.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree from an ABET-accredited institution (or the equivalent) and a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students develop skills and knowledge that make them proficient in energy efficiency and renewable energy production and graduates are prepared to take up leadership roles in the clean energy revolution and various engineering industries.

  • Location: Madison, WI
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,300 per credit

University of California, Los Angeles

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering designed an online master of science in engineering where students can complete a certificate of sustainable water engineering. The sustainable water engineering program helps students how to find solutions to problems such as drought, contamination, and climate change, and how to provide clean water to society.

To complete the program, students must take at least nine courses. A few classes include surface hydrology, geochemical modeling, groundwater hydrology, aquatic chemistry, environmental nanotechnology, and hydro-climatology.

Students gain an in-depth understanding of surface water hydrology and learn how to solve practical and quantitative problems considering the reaction and transport of chemicals in the environment. They are also introduced to the fundamental principles of nanotechnology and key aspects of the climate system, including atmospheric and surface radiation processes.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, math, or physics, a GPA of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate study, as well as GRE test scores. The last requirement can be waived for well-qualified applicants. Graduates can pursue opportunities in various engineering industries and become well-qualified engineers.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $4,200 per course

University of Southern California (Related Program)

The USC Viterbi School of Engineering offers an online master of science in green technologies that provide students with a thorough understanding of green systems and the environment, sustainability and society, and energy technology and efficiency. Through the program, students are exposed to the supply and demand sides of alternative energy sources and carbon waste management.

The 27-credit curriculum explores topics on industrial ecology, sustainable infrastructure systems, energy and process efficiency, energy and the environment, renewable energy in power systems, environmental and regulatory compliance, and sustainable design and construction.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, hard science, or math from an accredited university, an acceptable grade point average, and GRE test scores, among other documentation. Graduates can pursue opportunities in electrical engineering, oil and gas, clean energy, geosciences, environmental engineering, and industrial engineering, among other fields.

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA
  • Accreditation: Senior College and University Commission of the Accrediting Commission for Schools and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (18 to 24 months); part-time (30 to 36 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,199 per unit

Columbia University (Related Program)

Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering (EEE) offers an online master of science degree in earth and environmental engineering. The program focuses on the processing of water, minerals, and energy and the recycling of used materials. ​The program is ideal for engineers and scientists who wish to pursue a career in environmental management.

The 30​-credit program is designed to teach students to find better engineering solutions for a more sustainable planet. Students study aquatic chemistry, surface and colloid chemistry, the production of inorganic materials, nanotechnology, the corrosion of metals, chemical process analysis, and ceramics and composites. They learn to develop solutions to complex problems such as urbanization, industrialization, population growth, climate change, waste production, and environmental degradation.

Admission requirements include an undergraduate degree in engineering, math, science, computer science (or a related field) from an accredited institution, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and GRE scores, among others. On completion of the program, graduates can take up opportunities in environmental management and environmental development.

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: Within 60 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,196 per credit

The University of California, Riverside (Related Program)

The online master of science in environmental engineering offered by UC Riverside focuses on leadership and technical skills. It is designed to help engineers become innovative leaders.

The 32-credit curriculum includes 16 credits of core classes and 16 credits of specialization classes. The core courses cover technology innovation and strategy for engineers, engineering in the global environment, principles of engineering management, and introduction to systems engineering. Students can choose from one of the following seven specializations: bioengineering, chemical engineering, data science, electrical engineering (power systems), environmental engineering (water), materials at the nanoscale, and mechanical engineering.

While many of the specializations can open up roles in sustainable engineering, the environmental engineering program most closely follows this path. Students in this track explore the science and engineering principles of providing clean water.

Courses include water chemistry in natural and engineered systems, advanced treatment systems, biological treatment processes, and physical and chemical separation processes. At the end of this specialization, they may take up roles as wastewater process engineers, hydrologists, or air quality engineers and consultants.

The program requires students to have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science, technology, or math (or a related subject) GRE/FE scores, and a satisfactory GPA, among other requirements.

  • Location: Riverside, CA
  • Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 13 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $3,814 per quarter

North Carolina State University (Related Program)

North Carolina State University offers an online master of environmental engineering program that does not have any on-campus residency or thesis requirement. Students will have the option to choose from several concentration areas such as air quality and air pollution, environmental process engineering, coastal engineering, energy systems, water resources, and modeling and systems analysis.

Admission requirements for the program include an undergraduate degree in environmental or civil engineering from an accredited institution or its equivalent, an overall grade point average of 3.0, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students, among other requirements.

Comprising 30 credits, the program includes courses such as introduction to numerical methods for civil engineers, biological principles of environmental engineering, chemical principles of environmental engineering, engineering principles of air pollution control, principles of air quality engineering, hydraulics of groundwater, and water resources engineering.

Upon completion, graduates will be ready to take up roles such as environmental consultants, water treatment or wastewater project managers, air quality inspectors, green building engineers, or environmental exposure and risk analysts.

  • Location: Raleigh, NC
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Within 72 months
  • Estimated Tuition: Residents of North Carolina ($505.28 per credit); nonresidents ($1,504.56 per credit)

Johns Hopkins University (Related Program)

Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering offers an online master’s degree in environmental engineering, teaching students about the most current technologies used for promoting effective solutions to the multidisciplinary and complex challenges that threaten today’s environment through waste and pollution in the water, soil, and air. The faculty of the program includes experienced professionals who prepare students for designing and leading projects in real-world settings.

Students will also have the option to choose from optional focus areas: environmental and occupational health focus area; energy policy and climate focus area; ocean and coastal engineering focus area; and energy sciences and policy focus area.

To get accepted into the program, applicants must have a bachelor’s degree issued by a program accredited by ABET, a minimum grade point average of 3.0, official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, and proof of proficiency in English via TOEFL or IELTS scores for international students.

Students need to complete a minimum of ten courses to complete the program. As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as principles of environmental engineering, principles of water and wastewater treatment, water supply and wastewater collection, radioactive waste management, solid waste engineering & management, and environmental biotechnology.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Expected Time to Completion: Within 60 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $4,755 per course

Professors to Know in Master’s Programs in Sustainable Engineering

Jennifer A. Jay, PhD University of California

Dr. Jennifer A. Jay is a professor in the civil and environmental engineering department at UC Riverside. She teaches courses in aquatic chemistry, climate change, chemical fate and transport in the environment, connections between food and environment, and food: a lens for environment and sustainability. Her research efforts examine aquatic chemistry and environmental microbiology. She has published her research in prominent journals such as Water Research, Applied Geochemistry, and Environmental Pollution.

Notably, Dr. Jay won the Presidential Early Career Award and the Northrop Grumman Award. She completed her doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s in civil and environmental engineering—all at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Haizhou Liu, PhD University of California, Riverside

As an associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering, Dr. Haizhou Liu teaches chemical and environmental engineering at UC Riverside. His research efforts focus on water chemistry, water reuse, metal behavior, electrochemistry, environmental remediation, and catalysis. His research has been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, and Water Research Foundation.

Dr. Liu has published his research in prominent journals, such as Environmental Science and Technology, Chemical Communications, and Water Research. He received numerous awards such as the National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award and the Environmental Chemistry C. Ellen Gonter Award by the American Chemical Society. He completed his doctorate and master’s in environmental engineering from the University of Washington, and a bachelor’s in the same subject from Sichuan University.

Kelly T. Sanders, PhD University of Southern California

Dr. Kelly T. Sanders serves as an assistant professor at the University of Southern California, where she teaches energy and the environment and introduction to environmental engineering. Her research centers on easing tensions between natural and human systems using technical and market intervention. She has published her research in Environmental Science & Technology, Environmental Research Letters, and Sustainability.

Dr. Sanders was honored with the Orange County Engineering Council Outstanding Educator Award and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Regional Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Social Responsibility Award. She has a doctorate in civil, architectural, and environmental engineering and a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

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