Program Overview

The University of Alaska Fairbanks offers a unique program for graduate study in Environmental Engineering and Science, administered within the Civil Engineering Department. The Environmental Engineering (ENVE) and Environmental Quality Science (EQS) program was started in 1971. Since then, the program has continually grown and changed to reflect the changing fields of Environmental Engineering and Science. The Program is proud of its success in attracting women and other underrepresented groups into the field of environmental engineering and science.

The Program offers four degrees - M. S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering (ENVE) for students with a previous degree in engineering and M. S. in Environmental Quality Science (EQS) as well as an interdisciplinary Ph.D. for students with a background in the natural sciences.

The blend of laboratory, classroom and research experience provides a strong, interdisciplinary program, which prepares a graduate of the program to work for consulting firms, industry, academia, or government agencies. Our graduates are working in environmental decision-making, and engineering design, assessment, and implementation throughout Alaska, the continental United States, Canada, and several foreign countries. Career opportunities for our graduates include water supply, treatment and distribution, waste treatment, water and air pollution, solid waste disposal, hazardous and toxic waste management, pollution prevention, environmental impact evaluation, administration of environmental programs, and regulatory compliance.

Masters Programs

Within the ENVE/EQS master's program, students can choose one of three specialization areas:

  • Water supply, wastewater and waste treatment
  • Contaminants in the natural environment
  • Environmental Science and Management

Any of these specializations also leave room for elective courses matching the individual interest and research topic of the student.

Doctoral Programs

The Environmental Program's doctoral degrees are offered either through the Ph.D. in Engineering Program (for students with background and research interests in the area of engineering) or through the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program, which is designed to provide the student with a broad, interdisciplinary base.

How to apply for environmental graduate programs

You should start as early as possible to check out our website and contact faculty members of our program in order to find an advisor, thesis topic and funding. Your complete application documents have to be submitted to the admissions office of UAF in time for your intended begin of studies.

Transferring from science to engineering

In some instances, individuals without a B. S. in engineering may be admitted to the Environmental Engineering Program after one semester in Environmental Quality Science and the approval of the student's graduate committee. Such a course of studies will require completion of the following set of deficiency courses in addition to the regular Environmental Engineering Program. This set of courses has been approved by the faculty of the Civil Engineering Department. The list of deficiency courses and their UAF course equivalents are shown in the table below.

List of Courses Required to Transition from Science to Engineering:

Two Years of Calculus MATH 200, 201 (including Dif. Eq), 202, and 203
One Year General Chemistry CHEM 105 and 106
Newtonian Physics PHYS 211/ES 209
Electricity and Magnetism PHYS 212
Fluid Dynamics ES 341
Thermodynamics ES 346
Geotechnical Engineering CE 326
Properties of Materials CE 334
Water Resources Engineering CE 344
Groundwater CE 663 or GE 420
FE Exam CE 400

The deficiency courses in conjunction with the regular set of Environmental Engineering Courses constitutes more than 75 percent of the required credit hours leading to an undergraduate degree in civil engineering required by the Alaska Board of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors regulations to qualify to sit for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

Under special circumstances and on a case by case basis, some changes may be allowed in the above listed set of courses, but any such change must be approved by the Chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as well as the student's Advisory Committee.

Progress towards graduate degree

Each student progresses towards their degree at their own pace, however, there are a few mandatory steps that must be accomplished during the progress towards a degree. The following are the main steps in your progress towards the degree.

  • Selecting a thesis topic
  • Advisory committee selection
  • Graduate Study Plan
  • Comprehensive examination
  • Thesis preparation
  • Thesis defense