Environmental Engineering, Master of Science

Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management, and Environmental Engineering

College of Engineering, Informatics, and Applied Sciences

This program prepares students who want to further their engineering education by acquiring new knowledge and skills to tackle important engineering challenges, including resilience and sustainability. The plan of study features real-world relevancy and considers how sustainable and resilient systems impact economics, design, usability, and society. 

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master's degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 30
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Fieldwork Experience/Internship Optional
Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study
Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan Optional

Purpose Statement

The Master of Science in Environmental Engineering aims to educate environmental engineers to conduct analytical and experimental studies in water quality analysis, water and wastewater design, solid and hazardous waste management, and air quality engineering. Examples of content areas include ecosystem restoration, analysis of the movement of toxic metals in the landscape and aquatic systems, advanced wastewater treatment using algae and microbial unit operations, energy and resource recovery from wastewater, and water and sanitation in developing countries. The learning experiences provided by the program prepare students to enter the workforce with advanced skills or to pursue further studies in a doctoral program. The program also aims at increasing competitiveness in the local, regional, and global markets, advancing existing careers, or serving as a gateway to the PhD degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply graduate level critical thinking skills to formulate and solve advanced environmental engineering problems including those at the water-energy nexus, those with multi-stakeholder decision-making needs, and those with significant impact on public health and ecosystems.
  • Demonstrate the ability to independently identify sources and distill relevant information from the literature on advanced environmental engineering topics including emerging trends in air, water, and soil quality, sampling and data capture techniques, analytical tools, and management of remediation processes. 
  • Demonstrate the ability to document and explain advanced environmental engineering solutions to a variety of audiences, including peers, the general public, interested stakeholders, and non-technically-trained decision makers.

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
Master's Requirements
  • This Master’s degree requires 30 units distributed as follows:

    • Graduate-level mathematics or statistics: 3 units
    • Environmental Engineering Coursework: 12 units
    • Additional Electives selected in consultation with your advisor: 9 units
    • Thesis or Non-Thesis Option: 6 units

    Take the following 30 units:

    • Graduate-level mathematics or statistics (3 units)
    • Select from (12 units):
    • Additional electives in consultation with your advisor (9 units):
      • A maximum of two courses, up to 6 units, may be at the 400-level.
      • You must complete at least 18 hours of formal coursework, other than such individualized studies as independent study, directed readings, thesis, project and research.
    • Select one (6 units):
      • Thesis: CENE 699 for the completion and final defense of approved thesis.
      • Non-thesis option:  Additional CENE electives or CENE 690 (Project)
    Since the Environmental Engineering MS program emphasizes interdisciplinary topics, students may wish to take courses outside of their primary emphasis area. Some courses may require prior completion of prerequisite courses. Other requirements for Civil Engineering Master of Science students include the following:
    • You are responsible for choosing the chair and members of your advisory committee before completing 9 units of coursework.
    • You must submit a plan of study that lists all coursework intended to satisfy the MS degree requirements by the first month of the semester in which you take your 10th credit. The elective and math/statistics courses are selected in consultation with and acceptable to the student's graduate committee and its chair.
    • Note that if you pursue the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering degree at NAU, you will not be able to pursue the Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree. Only one of the two degrees will be awarded.
Additional Information
  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.

  • This program is available as an Accelerated Undergraduate/Graduate Plan wherein a student may start a master's degree while simultaneously completing their bachelor's degree.

  • Program fees are established by the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). A program fee of $450 per semester has been approved for this program.