University of Southern California
black horizontal bar for print styles

Environmental Engineering

Kaprielian Hall 210
(213) 740-0603

Director: L. Carter Wellford, Ph.D.

Associate Director: Massoud Pirbazari, Ph.D.


Professors: Joseph Devinny, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); Jiin-Jen Lee, Ph.D., P.E. (Civil Engineering)*; Massoud Pirbazari, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); Teh Fu Yen, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering)

Associate Professors: Ronald C. Henry, Ph.D. (Civil Engineering); Constantinos Sioutas, Sc.D. (Civil Engineering)

*Recipient of university-wide or school teaching award.

Degree Requirements

Educational Program Objectives
The undergraduate programs in Environmental Engineering have the following objectives:

(1) Graduates will be expected to compete effectively in the world of rapid technological changes and to become leading professionals in industrial, academic or government institutions.

(2) Graduates will be prepared to tailor their undergraduate studies to embark into the engineering professions, or to continue their graduate studies in engineering, or to enter related areas such as computer science, business, law, medicine or a field of their choice and interest.

(3) Graduates will have demonstrated proficiency in mathematics, science and engineering principles to effectively solve engineering problems encountered in work and practice.

(4) Graduates will have the ability to communicate both verbally and orally and to function effectively as individuals or as members of multidisciplinary teams in a world of rapid technological changes and global competition.

(5) Graduates will understand the importance of contemporary engineering issues, decisions, risks and benefits in a global social and environmental context, as well as the importance of personal and professional ethics.

(6) Graduates will have the knowledge to design all or part of a system to meet the required constraints and specifications, as well as the desired economic, social, ethical, political, environmental and other necessary considerations.

(7) Graduates will have the capacity to conduct and design laboratory experiments with available state-of-the-art equipment, and to use the techniques to analyze and interpret the experimental data.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering

See listing in Civil Engineering.

Minor in Environmental Engineering

A minor in environmental engineering provides students with a basic knowledge of our environment, potential causes for its deterioration, methods to prevent or mitigate environmental hazards, and the means to improve its quality at reasonable costs. Students will learn how to control water pollution, maintain air quality, treat and properly dispose of wastes, and remediate sites contaminated due to improper disposal of hazardous waste. This minor also enhances students' employment opportunities in the field of environmental engineering. The program provides the necessary infrastructure for the pursuit of graduate studies in environmental engineering.

The minor in environmental engineering is offered to undergraduates in various fields of engineering and natural sciences.

Prerequisite courses
CHEM 105aLbL or CHEM 115aLbL; MATH 125, MATH 126 and MATH 226, and PHYS 151L.

Required coursesUnits
CE 443Environmental Chemistry3
CE 453Water Quality Control3
CE 463LWater Chemistry and Analysis3
ENE 201Environmental Quality Control and Management: A Global Approach4
ENE 410Environmental Fluid Mechanics3
ENE 428Air Pollution Fundamentals, or
ENE 429Air Pollution Control3
ENE 495Seminars in Environmental Engineering1
minimum 20

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering)

See listing under Civil Engineering.

Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

See listing under Civil Engineering.

Master of Engineering in Environmental Quality Management

See listing under Civil Engineering.

Ph.D. in Engineering (Environmental Engineering)

See listing under Civil Engineering.

Graduate Certificate in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Engineering Sustainable Cities

See the listing under the Sustainable Cities Program.

Courses of Instruction


The courses indicated are expected but are not guaranteed. For the courses offered during any given term, consult the Schedule of Classes.

201 Environmental Quality Control and Management: A Global Approach (4, Sp) Gateway to B.S. in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering), B.S., Environmental Engineering, and Minor in Environmental Engineering. Fundamental concepts of environmental science and engineering. Pollution control and remediation for air, water and soil. Pollution remediation for developing countries.

390 Special Problems (1-4) Supervised, individual studies. No more than one registration permitted. Enrollment by petition only.

400 Environmental Engineering Principles (3, FaSp) Analysis of water, air, and land pollution, including hazardous waste and engineering of mitigation measures. Water and waste water treatment analysis. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

410 Environmental Fluid Mechanics (3, Fa) Equation of motion; continuity, momentum, energy principles; dimensional analysis, similitudes; groundwater flows; transports in conduits and channels; mixing, dispersion in environments; manifold diffusers; hydraulic transients. (Duplicates credit in CE 309 and AME 309.) Prerequisite: MATH 245.

428 Air Pollution Fundamentals (3, Sp) Air pollution effects on man, vegetation, materials; pollutant sampling and analysis; air quality standards and criteria; meteorological factors and dispersion modeling. Prerequisite: senior standing.

429 Air Pollution Control (3, Fa) Emission surveys; engineering controls of aerosols and gaseous contaminants at emission sources, disposition of contaminants. Field trips. Senior standing. Prerequisite: ENE 428; CE 309 or ENE 410.

443 Environmental Chemistry (3) (Enroll in CE 443)

453 Water Quality Control (3) (Enroll in CE 453)

463L Water Chemistry and Analysis (3) (Enroll in CE 463L)

465 Water Supply and Sewerage System Design (3) (Enroll in CE 465)

486 Design of Solid and Hazardous Waste Engineering Systems (3, Sp) Engineering design of solid and hazardous waste facilities such as waste minimization, secured landfill, and hazardous waste treatment. Prerequisite: ENE 400, GEOL 305Lx; corequisite: CE 485.

487 Environmental Biotechnology and Bioremediation (3, Sp) Understanding and designing microbiological processes for environmental protection; learning how processes in environmental biotechnology work; emerging applications for bioremediation of hazardous chemicals in the environment. Prerequisite: CE 210L, BISC 320L.

495 Seminars in Environmental Engineering (1, FaSp) Hazardous waste management, biodegradation of environmental pollutants, groundwater problems, waste minimization, energy resources, and air pollution control.

502 Environmental and Regulatory Compliance (3, FaSp) Federal and state environmental laws; environmental impact assessment techniques; permitting for industrial facility construction and operation. Prerequisite: graduate standing.

503 Microbiology for Environmental Engineers (3) (Enroll in CE 503)

504 Solid Waste Management (3) (Enroll in CE 504)

505 Energy and the Environment (3, Fa) Environmental effects of energy development using fossil and fissile fuels, geothermics, photosynthesis, and other sources. Relationship of elemental cycles to the life supporting systems.

506 Ecology for Environmental Engineers (3, Sp) The role of environmental engineering in maintaining stability of freshwater, marine, and terrestrial ecosystems; macroscopic plant and animal forms as indicators of water quality.

510 Water Quality Management and Practice (3, Fa) Surface and ground water quality and resources management; water pollution in aquatic environment; water/wastewater infrastructure systems and management. Departmental approval.

513L Instrumental Methods for Environmental Analysis (3) (Enroll in CE 513L)

514ab Advanced Sanitary Engineering Design (3-3) (Enroll in CE 514ab)

516 Hazardous Waste Management (3, Fa) Standards and regulations for the management of hazardous waste: identification, transportation, monitoring, storage, treatment, and disposal practices. Prerequisite: departmental approval.

517 Industrial and Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal (3) (Enroll in CE 517)

518 Environmental Systems Engineering and Management (3, Fa) Evaluating, implementing and managing effective environmental systems to prevent pollution, conserve energy and resources, reduce risks and achieve sustainability in business and industries.

523 Physical Processes of Environmental Engineering (3) (Enroll in CE 523)

526 Environmental Pollutants: Monitoring and Risk Assessment (3, Sp) Gaseous and particulate air pollutants, their measurement and instrumentation methods, and their effects on the environment and human health; studies on toxicity and risk assessment of selected pollutants.

535 Applied Air Quality Management (3, Fa) Pollutant sampling; occupational, community, and personal exposures; receptor modeling; data analysis; health effects of air pollutants. Departmental approval.

553 Chemical and Biological Processes in Environmental Engineering (3) (Enroll in CE 553)

560 Environmental Aspects of Oil and Gas Production (3, Sp) Environmental aspects of drilling for and producing oil and gas, and the necessary safety practices. Attention is given to the urban areas.

563 Chemistry and Biology of Natural Waters (3) (Enroll in CE 563)

580 Applied Environmental Engineering Biotechnology (3, Sp) Fundamentals of bioremediation processes; bioremediation technologies for decontamination of air, water, and soil; global applications of bioremediation techniques. Departmental approval.

590 Directed Research (1-12) Research leading to the master's degree. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

594abz Master's Thesis (2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of thesis. Graded IP/CR/NC.

596 Chemical Reactions in the Atmosphere (3, 2 years, Fa) Chemical reactions and scavenging processes important in urban air pollution. Effects of solar irradiation on vehicle exhaust gases, oxides of nitrogen and sulfur.

790 Research (1-12) Research leading to the doctorate. Maximum units which may be applied to the degree to be determined by the department. Graded CR/NC.

794abcdz Doctoral Dissertation (2-2-2-2-0) Credit on acceptance of dissertation. Graded IP/CR/NC.