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Environmental Engineering

Professor Martha Conklin working with students.

Environmental engineers are distinguished from other environmental professionals through their focus on problem solving, design and implementation of technological or management systems.

Environmental engineers search for creative and economical ways to use resources efficiently, limit the release of residuals into the environment, develop sensitive techniques to track pollutants once released and find effective methods to remediate spoiled resources. They serve as the vital link between scientific discovery, technological development and the societal need for protecting human health and ecological integrity.

In the coming decades, environmental engineers will increasingly be called upon to address broader issues of environmental sustainability by minimizing the release of residuals through altered production processes and choice of materials; by capturing the resource value of wastes through recovery, recycling and reuse; and by managing natural resources to meet competing societal objectives.

The Environmental Engineering program at UC Merced is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Environmental Engineering Program Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the program shall possess:

  1. Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
  2. Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret 
  3. Ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs within 
realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, 
health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability
  4. Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. Ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. Ability to communicate effectively
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions 
in a global, economic, environmental and societal context
  9. A recognition of the need for and ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. Ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary 
for engineering practice

Environmental Engineering Program Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, alumni of the Environmental Engineering program are expected to possess skills in:

  1. Fundamental Knowledge: EnvE graduates will apply a strong foundation in basic mathematics, science, social science, humanities and arts, along with engineering principles, demonstrating active engagement as citizens in their communities.
  2. Critical Thinking: EnvE graduates will be adept at applying critical thinking, problem-solving engineering principles and reasoning, the scientific method and teamwork to solve environmental resource problems and to restore and sustain the global environment. 

  3. Design Skills: EnvE graduates will be knowledgeable and practiced in the engineering design process to the extent appropriate for advanced studies and research and/or employment advancement in a broad spectrum of industries and government agencies.
  4. Professional Skills: EnvE graduates will communicate effectively in written, spoken and visual formats with technical, professional and broader communities.
  5. Ethics: EnvE graduates will practice engineering according to the highest professional standards, demonstrating respect for social, ethical, cultural, environmental, economic and regulatory concerns.
  6. Lifelong Learning: EnvE graduates will be instilled with a desire to pursue life-long learning opportunities including continued education, professional licensure, challenging professional experiences and active participation in professional organizations.

Program enrollment and graduation data are available on the Institutional Planning and Analysis website at the following links: (enrollment table) (graduation table)