Degree Requirements

A student earning a Bachelor of Science degree in the environmental engineering major must complete the following academic requirements*, which apply to students matriculating in the fall semester of 2023 or later. A minimum of 125 credit hours is required.*

*All students need to take ENGRG 1050 in the Fall of their first year.


(1910, 1920, 2930, 2940)

All math courses in this sequence must be completed with a grade of C- or better.

  • General Chemistry (2070, 2090 or 2150)
  • Organic Chemistry (1570 recommended or 3530, 3570)

Calculus-based physics (1112, 2213 or 2217 and PHYS 1110)

Intro to Computing: An Engineering and Science Perspective (CS 1112, recommended) or A Design and Development Perspective (CS 1110)

Introductory Biology (BIOEE 1610, BIOSM 1610, BIOMG 1350, BIOEE 1780, BIOSM 1780, BIOG 1440 or 1445)

First-Year Writing Seminars

All must be taken for letter grade. 

Introduction to Engineering

  • ENGRI 1XXX (3 credits) (ENGRI 1130 or ENGRI 1165 is recommended)

Engineering Distribution Courses

  • Engineering Processes for Environmental Sustainability - ENGRD/BEE 2510 (3 credits)
  • ENGRD 2XXX  (3-4 credits)c

Environmental Engineering Core Courses

  • Engineering Computation – CEE/ENGRD 3200 (3 credits)
  • Sustainable Engineering Thermodynamics – BEE 2220 (3 credits) or Thermodynamics - ENGRD 2210 (3 credits)
  • Uncertainty Analysis in Engineering - CEE 3040 (4 credits)d
  • Engineering Economics and Management - CEE 3230 (3 credits)
  • Fluid Mechanics - CEE 3310 (4 credits)
  • Earth Science (select one course) - (see list of approved courses) (3 or 4 credits)
  • Environmental Quality Engineering - CEE 3510 (3 credits)
  • Engineering Laboratory (select one course) - (see list of approved courses) (3 or 4 credits)
  • Environmental Systems Analysis - BEE 4750 (3 credits)
  • Environmental Engineering Design Electives (9 credits) (see list of approved courses; at least three credits must be from a Capstone Design Elective, with any remaining credits coming from Design Electives)
  • Environmental Engineering Major-Approved Electives (9 credits) (see list of approved courses)
  • Other Environmental Engineering Electives to bring total category to 57 credits. These will generally consist of technical engineering courses at 2000 level or above from BEE, CEE or the College of Engineering. A maximum of 4 credits of BEE 4970-4990 or CEE 3090, 4010 (teaching, research, and individual projects) may be used in this category, without a petition.
  • Engineering Technical Communication Requirement. Approved engineering technical communication courses are listed in the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook. BEE 4730 is on the approved list.e

aEngineering matriculates must enroll in CHEM 2090 (fall, spring); CALS matriculates must enroll in CHEM 2070 (fall).  Students in either college may also substitute CHEM 2150 for CHEM 2090 or CHEM 2070.

bChoose one of the following biology courses: BIOEE 1610, BIOSM 1610, BIOMG 1350, BIOEE 1780, BIOSM 1780, BIOG 1440, BIOG 1445.  Complete before semester 5. If you received a 4 on AP BIO, you will receive 4 credits of intro bio. If you received a 5 on AP BIO, you will receive 8 credits of intro bio and 4 credits will satisfy the intro bio requirement.

cSubstitution for Distribution Course. ENGRD 3200 is required by the major.  Students can count ENGRD 3200 as their second engineering distribution.  Students who do so then have the flexibility to take any other ENGRD or a 3000 level or higher engineering course (that is not cross-listed as a liberal studies course) to fulfill the required credit minimum for the major.

dENGRD 2700 is accepted (by petition) to substitute for CEE 3040 if taken prior to affiliation with the Environmental Engineering Major, or if necessary because of scheduling conflicts. A supplemental learning style exercise is required before petition is approved to fulfill ABET student learning objectives. Students are not permitted to use both ENGRD 2700 and CEE 3040 as courses towards the EnvE major.

eIn addition to the first-year writing seminars, an engineering communications course must be taken as an engineering distribution, liberal studies, approved elective or major course. An approved COMM or ENGRC course, or BEE 4730, will satisfy this requirement. Students meeting the technical communications requirement with a course that fulfills another requirement (e.g., Liberal Studies, Lab, Design, Capstone) can use that one course to satisfy both requirements.

Liberal Studies courses are listed in the Courses of Study, College of Engineering section. At least 6 courses chosen from the 13 categories listed below totaling a minimum of 18 credits; These courses must come from at least three of the six groups outlined below; No more than two courses may be chosen from Group 6 (CE); At least two courses must be at the 2000 level or higher.

  • Group 1: Cultural Analysis (CA); Literature and the Arts/Literature, the Arts and Design (LA/LAD); Arts, Literature, and Culture (ALC); Social Difference (SCD)
  • Group 2: Historical Analysis (HA); Historical Analysis (HST)
  • Group 3: Knowledge, Cognition, and Moral Reasoning (KCM), Ethics and the Mind (ETM)
  • Group 4: Social & Behavioral Analysis (SBA); Social Sciences (SSC); Global Citizenship (GLC)
  • Group 5: Foreign Language (not literature courses) (FL)
  • Group 6: Communications in Engineering (CE)

Starting Academic year 20-21, the Engineering College has followed the lead of the Arts and Sciences and changed the structure of the liberal arts courses. There are now 6 groups (instead of 7) because 1 and 3 were combined, and each of these groups have sub-categories. Students still must take courses from at least 3 groups. Students who entered 2019 and prior should follow the old policy, which is shown on the Liberal Studies page.

These courses are selected by the student with approval of the Faculty Advisor. A maximum of 4 credits of project team may be included.

Physical Education

Two semesters of physical education are required. All students must pass a swim test prior to graduation. Transfer students are exempted from one semester of PE for each full-time semester they transfer into Cornell.

Letter and S/U Grading

All courses must be taken for letter grade except for Liberal Studies and Advisor Approved Electives

Lab Safety Training

Students must complete EHS Online Lab Safety training (#2555) before graduation by going to Please email your certificate of completion to the environmental engineering student coordinator in your department: Nicholas Wagner, CEE – nw346 [at] (nw346[at]cornell[dot]edu) or Brenda Marchewka, BEE – bee-ugrad [at] (bee-ugrad[at]cornell[dot]edu).

Special Courses

Courses such as PHYS 1012 do not count toward graduation requirements.


Additional program information is provided in the College of Engineering section of the Courses of Study and in the Engineering Undergraduate Handbook including descriptions of allowable minors.