Environmental Engineering

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Environmental challenges are becoming more complex every day, requiring creative and sound engineering answers. Resource scarcity will drive innovative solutions that need multi-disciplinary knowledge and teamwork. Earn a master’s in environmental engineering from UW-Madison and be a part of the solution.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Engineering: Environmental Engineering program is designed for today’s practicing environmental engineer preparing to solve the environmental challenges of tomorrow.

This degree program is 100 percent online and can be pursued while working full-time.


What You Will Gain

The Environmental Engineering master’s program builds on the strengths of UW-Madison as a leader in engineering and environmental sciences. Upon completion of the program, you will possess a comprehensive understanding of present and emerging environmental challenges and environmental engineering solutions.

You also will develop a foundation of scientific fundamentals supporting practical and focused environmental engineering design skills; gain exposure to the latest research in topics such as water reuse, waste-to-energy systems and urban stormwater management; and learn the teamwork and leadership skills needed to solve multi-faceted problems.

The Master of Engineering: Environmental Engineering degree program is designed for individuals looking to become technical experts and leaders in environmental engineering. The program is flexible to accommodate working environmental engineers, as well as recent environmental engineering graduates who want to earn a graduate degree, but don’t want to delay entering the workforce.

Benefits for You and Your Employer

The Master of Engineering: Environmental Engineering program is designed to advance your technical skill level, and enhance your standing in your organization as you apply new strategies and methods while pursuing your degree, and upon completion of your studies.

Our program will give you the tools and skills needed for problem assessment and experimentation, using advanced engineering tools, risk assessment, conceptual analysis, systems design, creative design and sustainability.

Our curriculum will also help you develop managerial and communication capabilities to take you to the next step in your professional career.


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Lead With Confidence

The Environmental Engineering degree is designed to give you the confidence to become a leader in the industry, while also giving you an opportunity to channel your passion for this constantly evolving field.

By committing to this program, you are not only showcasing your commitment to solving the problems of the environment, but you’ll also be on your way to new skills, knowledge, and a chance to work alongside a select group of others who share your interests.

UW-Madison’s distance degree in Environmental Engineering offers you:

  • Flexibility — Study and complete courses anywhere you are
  • Reputation — Take advantage of UW-Madison’s long-standing tradition of academic excellence
  • Practice — Learn with world-class faculty through projects and direct application

High research expenditures at UW-Madison confirm the University’s commitment to innovation and discovery, and its investment in engineering research continues to grow.


Ranked in the Top 10 Online Engineering Graduate Programs in 2016, for the fifth year in a row

Ranked No.5 Online Engineering Graduate Programs for Veterans

Log in from anywhere you have an Internet connection to study and collaborate with your instructors and peers. With our flexible, 100% online learning platform, you’ll have the ability to learn whenever it’s convenient for you.

A Program Focused on Practice

Curriculum for the Environmental Engineering program was designed to meet the needs of engineers and their employers based on extensive research and surveys, as well as on “body of knowledge” guidelines developed by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. 

When you complete UW-Madison’s online graduate degree in Environmental Engineering, you will:

  • Have an extensive understanding of environmental engineering design principles
  • Know how to work effectively across technical and organizational boundaries
  • Demonstrate competencies with technical leadership, communication and project management

Assignments to Keep You Engaged and On Track

A typical week often includes a one-hour live discussion with faculty and classmates. These sessions give you an opportunity to talk about the week’s content, attend lectures, and present your work for feedback.

You will also interact with classmates and professors throughout the week when you participate in online written discussions. Participation in the online discussion is often part of the weekly course requirements. The discussion forums are where classmates learn from each other – you will find your peers to be a wealth of knowledge reflecting varied perspectives, experience and employer backgrounds.

Most weeks contain some reading assignments – textbooks, papers, articles or websites. Many courses also include weekly assignments requiring problem solving, writing, discussion or presentation. To provide you with feedback on your progress, some courses utilize online quizzes to test how well you’re doing.

A Practice-Focused Program

Curriculum for the Environmental Engineering program was designed to meet the needs of engineers and their employers based on extensive research and surveys, as well as on “body of knowledge” guidelines developed by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists.

When you complete UW-Madison’s online graduate degree in Environmental Engineering, you will:

  • Have an extensive understanding of environmental engineering design principles
  • Know how to work effectively across technical and organizational boundaries
  • Demonstrate competencies with technical leadership, communication and project management

Degree Requirements

The degree requires 30 credits for completion, including a series of required courses, approved electives (offered flexibly each semester) and a capstone design project. You may transfer unto 14 credits from other institutions. We have partnered with other leading institutions to broaden course offerings in the elective area. You may also complete up to 6 credits as independent study in lieu of elective courses. 

You will typically take one or two courses each semester. Course web conferences are the only time-constrained course activities; all other weekly assignments can be accomplished on days and times of your choice. 


Required Courses

Learn how to get the most out of your online learning and collaborative networks. This course teaches strategic skills that are critical to digitally literate professionals.  


Mark Millard


1 Credit(s)

Gain a better understanding of the fundamental relationships between pathogens and biological agents, and human and ecosystem health, as well as between nutrient enrichment and trophic status of water bodies. Learn and apply models common to environmental engineering practice for microbial growth, substrate utilization, and product formation. You will also apply concepts of watershed management for control and improvement of water body quality.


Daniel Noguera

3 Credit(s)

In this highly interactive course, targeted strategies for improving delivery skills, presentation visuals, and audience interaction will be addressed.


Christine Nicometo

1 Credit(s)

In this course, you will describe the principal chemical processes in the environment that are affected by human activity, methods for laboratory and in-situ measurement of principal chemicals of concern in the environment, as well as the relationships between these chemicals, and human health and the health of ecosystems. You will also understand and apply chemical properties, concepts and reactions in processes to reduce or control chemical pollution in air, water and soil.


Michael Doran

3 Credit(s)

You will understand energy resources, availability and stocks, typical energy conversion efficiencies, and the concept of energy returned on energy invested (EROEI). This course surveys thermodynamic properties of reactants and products, as well as liquids, gases and liquid-vapor systems in energy balance calculations. You will apply concepts of efficiency in systems involving energy, heat and power. You will also comprehend the basic principles of thermal conductivity and heat transfer.


Michael Doran

3 Credit(s)

In this course, you will learn how to apply advanced theory and applications of biological systems to treat waste. You also will learn how to apply both experimentally derived and experiential factors in the design of advanced biological treatment unit operations.


Daniel Noguera

4 Credit(s)


Michael Doran

3 Credit(s)

Learn how to assess water and waste treatability and provide design parameters through application and analysis of research data. This course also will focus on applying both experimentally derived and experiential factors in the design of advanced physical-chemical unit operations.


Gregory Harrington

4 Credit(s)

Current research and literature on water, wastewater, water pollution control, solid wastes engineering and management.


1 Credit(s)

Apply your experience and the knowledge gained during this program to develop solutions to environmental engineering design challenges. This project will give you experience in preparing key environmental engineering deliverables, as well as leadership, teamwork, and written and oral communications skills.


Michael Doran

3 Credit(s)

Choose two of the following:

Take this opportunity to delve into an area of interest to you. You will gain expertise in self-study and research as well as develop and enhance your written and verbal communication skills.


1 Credit(s)

In this course, you will gain an engineering overview of electric microgrid technology.


Giri Venkataramanan

1 Credit(s)

Gain an introduction to real-world pragmatic skills and applications in sustainability competencies. Content in this course reaches across engineering expertise, from chemical engineering to building design to product design and energy. Course modules cover ecological footprinting, lifecycle assessment, resource use and integrated engineering practice.


Patrick Eagan
Najoua Jouini

3 Credit(s)

Companies and organizations prosper or die based on their ability to creatively innovate to capture opportunities and avoid obsolescence. Leaders of technical organizations need to develop vision, culture, and practices that value and drive innovation. Learn how you can help build an enterprise that values, pursues, and delivers innovative services and products. Course topics:

  • Roots of innovation
  • Customer-driven innovation
  • Infusing innovation throughout the organization
  • Organizing for innovation
  • Incubation and assessment
  • Developing the creativity of personnel
  • Case studies


3 Credit(s)

This course provides students with foundational knowledge to develop and implement a change management strategy using proven processes and tools.


Carl Vieth

1 Credit(s)

Your decisions and actions every day can expose you and your employer to legal responsibilities and liabilities. As you grow in your management responsibilities, your need to help your team act in a legally informed and compliant manner grows. This course will help you understand legal issues that all engineers need to understand to avoid legal problems that can have serious personal, professional, and organizational consequences. Course topics:

  • Intellectual property management
  • Product liability
  • Contracts
  • Professional liability
  • Employer-employee legal responsibilities
  • Working effectively with legal representation
  • Serving as an expert witness


2 Credit(s)

Flexibility to Learn Anywhere, Anytime

All UW–Madison Environmental Engineering courses are available online.

Convenient distance learning formats allow you to complete the degree from any location without interrupting your work and family responsibilities. Homework assignments are posted well in advance so you have time to plan.

Course materials and necessary tools can be accessed from any internet connection, anywhere. If you’re traveling you can still call in to participate in course web conferences without access to the internet.

Distance Education Designed for Theory and Application

Nearly all courses will conduct a weekly one-hour live session with classmates and faculty using online meeting tools. These sessions include class discussions, faculty lectures, student presentations and guest lectures.

Faculty will sometimes record their lectures and use the live sessions for interactive discussions. Student projects are typically presented during these times as well. Student attendance at the live sessions is required, however if you have an unavoidable conflict the sessions are recorded for later viewing.

Most of the courses require the completion of at least one or several student projects. Many of these projects are flexible and can sometimes be applied to applicable situations in your own workplace. Projects also allow you to focus on topics that hold particular interest for you, allowing for a degree of individual customization.


Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the Master of Engineering: Environmental Engineering program are listed below.

Exceptions to standard admission requirements are considered by the admissions committee on an individual basis.

  • A BS degree from a program accredited by the ABET or the equivalent.*
  • A minimum undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.00 on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) or a master’s degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00. Applicants from an international institution must have a strong academic performance comparable to a 3.00 for an undergraduate or master’s degree. All GPAs are based on a 4.00 scale. We use your institution’s grading scale; do not convert your grades to a 4.00 scale.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English must provide scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The minimum acceptable score on the TOEFL is 580 on the written version, 243 on the computer version, or 92 on the Internet version.
  • International applicants must have a degree comparable to an approved U.S. bachelor’s degree. 

We do not require applicants to submit scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). 

*Equivalency to an ABET accredited program: Applicants who do not hold a bachelor’s degree from an ABET accredited program may also qualify for admission to the program. Such applicants must have a BS in science, technology, or a related field with sufficient coursework and professional experience to demonstrate proficiency in engineering practice OR at least 16 credits of math and science coursework. Registration as a professional engineer by examination, if achieved, should be documented to support your application. 

All applicants are advised to determine whether this program meets requirements for licensure in the state where they live. See the National Society of Professional Engineers website for contact information for state licensing boards

Application Overview

The admissions process has been designed to conduct a holistic review of your likelihood of success in the program. Decisions are based on your academic and professional background.

To start the process, please read the admission requirements to determine your eligibility. If you have questions about your eligibility, please request an eligibility review by e-mailing Daryl Haessig at daryl.haessig@wisc.edu. This e-mail should include a copy of your current resume and informal transcripts.

Applications are accepted for admission during the Fall terms. Applications are reviewed in the order received, on a rolling basis until the July 1 deadline. Admission is competitive and selective. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to submit application materials prior to the deadline.

Steps to Apply Now 

Email the admissions committee chair and state your intent to apply and to which program. Attach your current resume or CV to your Intent to Apply email.

Your resume/CV should include at least:

  • Educational history (including GPA, awards and honors received).
  • Professional work experience (including specific details on your engineering experience, technical training, and responsibilities).
  • Listing of professional association memberships, advanced training (such as a PE license) and other noteworthy, personal- or engineering-related details.
 In the application be sure to:
  • Upload a pdf version of your current resume/CV
  • Upload a pdf version of your “Reasons for Graduate Study” essay
  • Upload a pdf version of your transcripts
  • Enter contact information for at least three professional recommendations, including at least one from a direct supervisor
  • Important: Complete the application by submitting the application fee. Applications submitted without paying the fee cannot be reviewed and will not be acted on.

Arrange to have one copy of your official transcript sent directly from your previous educational institutions to the Department of Engineering Professional Development. Transcripts should be sent directly by the educational institution to the CoE Online Admissions Office.

We will accept transcripts via any delivery method options (including pdf) offered by the educational institutions you have previously attended. However, transcripts issued to students are not sufficient for admission to the Graduate School.

To avoid processing delays, have your transcripts sent directly to:

CoE Online Admissions Office
Attn: Daryl Haessig
432 N. Lake Street, Room 701
Madison, WI  53706

(For pdf’s, use the following email address: daryl.haessig@wisc.edu.)

After all of your application materials have been received, the admissions committee chair will schedule a phone interview with you. Once completed, your application will be presented to the Admissions Committee for evaluation at the next scheduled meeting. 
Admission decisions are made on applications in the order received. The Admissions committee will make one of the following decisions:
  • Recommend admission to the UW-Madison Graduate School
  • Request additional information before evaluating further
  • Decline further consideration of your application
After a decision has been made on your application, the admissions committee chair will contact you by email to inform you of the decision and to schedule a time to discuss the decision and your next steps.
The admissions committee provides admission recommendations to the Graduate School. The Graduate School is the formal admitting office for graduate students and retains ultimate authority on all admissions decisions.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition Costs

$1,300 per credit (based on 2015-16 tuition rates) payable at the beginning of each semester. Students are billed for courses in which they are enrolled each term. There is no lump sum payment plan. 

Tuition Includes
  • Technology costs for Internet course delivery 
  • Live webconferencing 
  • Toll-free telephone line for the audio portion of conference calls 
  • Library use 
  • Use of the webconferencing software for group project work for program courses 
Total Tuition

Total tuition for this program is $39,000* for students entering in Summer 2015. (This tuition is based on 30 total credits, the cost will increase if for some reason a student needs more than 30 credits.)

*Based on 2015-2016 tuition rate. This total does not include travel and living expenses for summer residencies, textbooks, or course software. Software required for courses is typically available in educational versions at substantial discounts.

Federal Loans

Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to receive some level of funding through the federal direct loan program. These loans are available to qualified graduate students who are taking at least four credits during the Fall and Spring semesters, and two credits during Summer. Private loans are also available. Learn more about financial aid at finaid.wisc.edu.

Employer Support

Many students receive some financial support from their employers. Often, students find it beneficial to sit down with their employer and discuss how this program applies to their current and future responsibilities. Other key points to discuss include how participation will not interrupt your work schedule.

The Master of Engineering in Environmental Engineering degree is designed to advance employee technical skill levels and enhance their proficiencies in communication, management and leadership. UW–Madison is committed to delivering the highest quality and best value in engineering education. Your organization benefits as your employees apply new strategies and tools while pursuing their degree and upon completion of their studies.

Immediate Results For Your Organization

Through participation in the Environmental Engineering program, your employees will be able to:

  • Understand principles of hydraulics and applied fluid mechanics and apply this knowledge to the design of conveyance systems of water, wastewater, biosolids, and gases, and in developing plant hydraulic profiles
  • Understand foundational principles of energy, heat, and power and apply these principles to problems common to environmental engineering
  • Strengthen their foundational knowledge of key environmental physical, chemical and biological processes
  • Sharpen knowledge and skills in experimentation, engineering analysis tools, professional practice, risk assessment, conceptual analysis, creative design and sustainability principles
  • Develop professional capabilities in multi-disciplinary teamwork, effective communications, project management, business, public administration and leadership.

No Interruption to Employee’s Availability

  • The Environmental Engineering degree program is designed for full-time, working professionals. The degree program’s format enables your employees to pursue graduate engineering studies without interruption to work schedule or hindering their availability for travel.

Students continue their studies from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

Contact Us





Master of Engineering

Environmental Engineering

$1300 per credit

Resident and Non-Resident

July 1

Fall Application Deadline

Are You a UW Graduate?

You maybe able to transfer up to 7 undergraduate credits to your master’s program.

Click here to find out more.

Students & Alumni

Whether you’re a current or past student of the program, you have access to several resources that will keep you tied to UW-Madison.

See more here.

Ranked in the Top 10 by U.S. News & World Report

For the sixth straight year, the quality of our programs–and the success of our students–have earned the University of Wisconsin a place among the nation’s top 10 online master of engineering programs.

See the Ranking