Masters in Environmental Engineering: What, Where and How
Updated on Oct 25, 2018 - 3:22 p.m. IST by Shraya Singh
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Masters in Environmental Engineering - Environmental engineering is the protection and sustenance of natural resources and human health through a variety of measures associated with sustainable development. An environmental engineer deals with management of environmental resources in order to protect human health and the various life support systems in the environment. An environmental engineer, in turn, is an individual responsible for addressing both current and future environmental issues. The MS in environmental engineering scope is continuously increasing around the world with the steady growth in awareness of the environment and development of sustainable technology. The specializations for a masters in environmental engineering range across a wide variety of environmental subdomains, the most popular of which are air quality engineering, water quality engineering and environmental fluid mechanics and hydrology.

Masters in Environmental Engineering - Eligibility

There are a number of masters in environmental engineering prerequisites which need to be fulfilled for applicants to be eligible for the program. The first and foremost of these requirements is that the candidate must have successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree. Although the bachelor’s qualification doesn’t necessarily have to be in the same area of study, the candidate should have had some academic (or even professional) experience with any of the natural or environmental sciences and mathematics. 

Another masters in environmental engineering prerequisite is that the candidate must fulfil the English language proficiency requirement for the specific university of study. This requirement can be fulfilled through English language proficiency test scores from any of the globally recognised tests which include:

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  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT

  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

The minimum score requirement for these English language proficiency tests for some of the top universities in the world for MS in environmental engineering are given below.

English Language Proficiency Test Scores for Masters in Environmental Engineering

University

English Language Proficiency Test

IELTS 

TOEFL iBT

PTE A

CAE

University of California, Berkeley

7.0

90

-

-

Stanford University

-

100

-

-

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

7.0

100

-

-

University of British Columbia

6.5

90

59

-

McGill University

6.5

86

-

Grade B

University of Toronto

7.0

93

-

-

ETH Zurich

7.0

100

-

Grade B

University of Cambridge

7.5

110

-

193

Wageningen University 

6.0

80

-

Grade C

The University of Queensland

6.5

87

64

-

The University of New South Wales

6.5

90

64

176

The Australian National University

6.5

80

57

176

Masters in Environmental Engineering: Admission Requirements

Apart from various MS in environmental engineering prerequisites, the admission requirements for different environmental engineering courses differs with the specific university of application. Stanford University, which is considered by many to be the best university for masters in environmental engineering in the world, requires its applicants to submit various documents, essays and test scores in order to apply for the MS in environmental engineering. The general requirements for admission to environmental engineering courses at any of the top universities in the world are:

  • statement of purpose or SOP highlighting the candidate’s expectations from the MS in environmental engineering and motivation behind pursuing the specific program at the concerned university.

  • Two or three letters of recommendation or LORs from professional and academic referees according to the university of application.

  • Supplementary questions may be required as a part of the application material depending upon the specific university’s requirements. 

  • A resume or curriculum vitae is required by each university. The resume should list the applicant’s professional and academic achievements which may be relevant to the program of study.

  • GRE General test scores are required for admission to any MS in environmental engineering program. Some candidates even submit scores from GRE subject tests as well to boost their application. Scores for the GRE subject test in mathematics are the most useful for application.

  • Some universities also accept GMAT scores in place of GRE scores for candidates who have given one exam but not the other. Although GMAT scores may be accepted, the preferred standardized exam score is always GRE General test scores. 

  • Transcripts from previous academic institutions are to be submitted online. This should either be a scanned copy of the official transcript or an unofficial digital copy. Official copies of the transcript are to be mailed to the institution prior to enrolment in any environmental engineering courses. 

Masters in Environmental Engineering in USA

The best university for masters in environmental engineering in USA is University of California, Berkeley. According to the QS Subject Ranking in the domain of environmental sciences, the top four universities for environmental engineering courses are located in the United States making it one of the hotspots for environmental engineering graduates. The high masters in environmental engineering salary available for graduates in the field is another reason why USA is one of the most popular countries for postgraduate programs in the domain. Other notable environmental engineering courses available in the USA are given below.

Best Universities for Masters in Environmental Engineering in USA

University

Program

QS World Rank

Program Duration

University of California, Berkeley

Master in Environmental Engineering

27

2 years

Stanford University

Master in Environmental Engineering

2

2 years

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering

1

2 years

MS in civil and Environmental Engineering

Masters in Environmental Engineering in Canada

Canada is another popular destination for masters in environmental courses. Although the masters in environmental engineering salary is not as high as that in the USA, the tuition costs are significantly lower in Canada, making it a more popular amongst international students both in terms of sightseeing opportunities and incurred expenses. The best university for masters in environmental engineering in Canada is the University of British Columbia which offers a unique interdisciplinary program under the label ‘master of engineering leadership’. Other notable programs are:

Best Universities for Masters in Environmental Engineering in Canada

University

Program

QS World Rank

Program Duration

University of British Columbia

Master of Engineering Leadership

47

1 year

McGill University

MSc Applied - Environmental Engineering

33

2 years

University of Toronto

Environmental Engineering Collaborative Program

28

2 years

Masters in Environmental Engineering in Europe

Europe is at-par with the United States in graduate student popularity due to the quality of pedagogy as well as the MS in environmental engineering salary for subsequent graduates. The best university for masters in environmental engineering in Europe is ETH Zurich in Switzerland which is incidentally also one of the best and cheapest universities for engineering around the world. Other top programs in this field in Europe are:

Best Universities for Masters in Environmental Engineering in Europe

University

Program

QS World Rank

Program Duration

ETH Zurich

Master Environmental Engineering

7

1 year

University of Cambridge

MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

6

1 year

Wageningen University 

MSc Environmental Sciences - Environmental Technology

125

2 years

Masters in Environmental Engineering in Australia

A number of the top universities in Australia offer masters in environmental engineering courses. The best university for MS in environmental engineering in Australia is The University of Queensland which offers a program specialized in urban water engineering. Some of the other programs for masters in environmental engineering in Australia are:

Best Universities for Masters in Environmental Engineering in Australia

University

Program

QS World Rank

Program Duration

The University of Queensland

ME Urban Water Engineering

48

2 years

The University of New South Wales

Master of Environmental Engineering

45

2 years

The Australian National University

Master of Environment

24

2 years

MS in Environmental Engineering - Scope

Candidates who pursue a masters in environmental engineering in India are most likely to be associated with NGOs or government-funded environmental agencies leading to jobs associated with sustainable development. Taking this into consideration, it can be seen that the job prospects for environmental engineering graduates in nations abroad are much more diverse than in India, especially in countries where the concepts of environmental engineering consultants, environmental health and safety directors, water project managers and green building engineers are more widely acknowledged. Additionally, the MS in environmental engineering scope is much greater in nations where the government is actively involved with sustainable development and environmental conservation.


Masters in Environmental Engineering - Fees and Funding

In comparison to masters in environmental engineering in India, the tuition for masters programs in the domain of environmental engineering abroad is generally much higher. But this is compensated by the highly intensive nature of the programs in the top universities around the world. The tuition generally varies from country to country and is also dependent upon the specific university of application. The programs also differ in duration i.e. are either one or two years in duration and in turn, the tuition for the programs is often highly staggered. 

MS in environmental engineering students often are open to a large number of externally funded scholarships offered both by government organizations and other institutions associated with sustainable development and sustainable technologies. Apart from external scholarships, research assistantships are also popular amongst environmental engineering students. The annual tuition for some of the top universities for environmental engineering around the world as well as notable scholarships offered are listed below to provide prospective applicants with an insight into the country-based variation in tuition fees. 

Fees and Funding for Top University Programs in Environmental Engineering

Country

University

Annual Tuition Fee

Notable Scholarships

United States

Stanford University

USD $18,005

School of Engineering Coterm Fellowship

Canada

University of British Columbia

CAD $30,680

Outstanding International Student Award

Australia

The University of Queensland

AUD $42,768

Menzies Scholarship in Engineering

Switzerland

ETH Zurich

CHF 630 (per semester)

Master Scholarship Program

Netherlands

Wageningen University 

€13,500

Holland Scholarship

United Kingdom

University of Cambridge

£41,716

Cambridge Trust Scholarship

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