Undergraduate Study - Environmental Engineering

Professor John Fortner 
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Environmental engineers work to solve environmental and public health problems. Traditional fields in the discipline include drinking water safety, groundwater protection, wastewater treatment, reduction of indoor and outdoor air pollution, and solid and hazardous waste disposal and clean up. Our program typically takes a broad view of environmental engineering and we are at the forefront of extending the discipline into new and vital areas by integrating engineering with human health, green design and pollution prevention, carbon sequestration and climate changes, and the development of alternative energy.

Beyond coursework, undergraduate students are involved with faculty research or related extracurricular activities. Research topics have included production of microalgae biofuels, low-energy water desalination techniques, green water treatment techniques, and emerging disinfection technologies. Our Engineers without Borders extracurricular group has designed and constructed water supply systems for rural villages in Honduras and Cameroon (http://www.yale.edu/ewb/).

Competing technical, social, and legal interests concerning the use of environmental resources present a complex challenge to environmental engineers. Therefore, in addition to engineering, chemistry, biology, and geology, our engineering students also take courses in economics, policy, and management. Students who graduate with a Yale degree in Environmental Engineering will be ready for leadership positions in industry and government agencies, as well as for graduate study in engineering, science, business, law, and medicine.

Students may pursue their degree at various levels of technological intensity. This level of technological intensity determines the number of credits received and whether a student will graduate with a B.S. or a B.A. degree.

B.S. in Environmental Engineering: This is the most technically comprehensive degree program. It provides rigorous preparation for graduate study and for a career as an environmental engineer in consulting firms or industry.

B.A. in Engineering Sciences (Environmental): This degree is designed for students who are interested in careers in law, business, medicine, or public service. The B.A. degree is useful for students wishing to pursue careers in which environmental science and technology play an important role, but are not the main focus.

For detailed curriculum information, visit Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Curriculum Information