Degrees Offered

The Earth and Environmental Engineering curriculum provides students the skills to analyze environmental processes, design systems, and solve engineering problems in preparation for future enterprises.

Bachelor Of Science in Earth and Environmental Engineering

All undergraduates are offered a Bachelor of Science degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering (B.S.-EEE), which prepares students for a wide range of careers that value the Earth, its environment, and its resources. In addition to learning traditional environmental engineering topics related to pollution control, the B.S.-EEE degree provides exposure to a suite of emerging 21st-century problems associated with global sustainability. It is one of the first engineering programs of its kind to be accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The program consists of the following requirements:

  • Completion of the EEE–required core curriculum, which includes technical courses spanning all four years of the undergraduate program.
  • Completion of 18 credits (approximately six courses) of technical electives during the final two years, which must be approved by an EEE undergraduate advisor. Preapproved electives have been established for each of three undergraduate concentration areas offered.
  • Completion of the Columbia liberal arts core. This requirement is primarily satisfied during the first two years, although some nontechnical electives can be taken during the final two years.

3-2 Combined Plan B.A./B.S.

The Combined Plan is an educational affiliation between the School of Engineering and Applied Science of Columbia University and nearly one hundred liberal arts colleges, including Columbia College and Barnard College. The Combined Plan offers the following two options:

  • The 3-2 Program enables a student to devote three years to the study of liberal arts and sciences at one of these colleges before transferring to Columbia for two years of engineering studies. This five-year program leads to two degrees: the B.A. or other bachelor's degree from the student's first college, and a B.S. in Earth and Environmental Engineering (or other engineering degree) from Columbia University.
  • The 4-2 program is designed for students who have completed their bachelor's degree at an affiliated liberal arts college and wish to complete a two-year engineering program leading to a master's degree in engineering from Columbia University.

The Combined Plan is one of the first dual-degree engineering programs in the U.S. and was instituted at Columbia University because it provides the perfect model for an engineering education. Students study broadly in the humanities, social sciences, arts, mathematics, and sciences before entering an intense program in an engineering or applied science discipline. The program is designed to give the student the best of both worlds: liberal arts and engineering. As a result, Combined Plan students have a reputation for excellence. EEE is an enthusiastic participant in this program, since a liberal arts background provides a valuable and broad context for understanding and appreciating the scope of 21st-century environmental problems. Each EEE undergraduate class typically consists of 25–50% 3-2 Combined Plan students, who generally do very well in the EEE undergraduate program.

Prospective students apply for admission to the School of Engineering and Applied Science using special Combined Plan application forms that are available from the pre-engineering liaison professor at your college, or from SEAS Undergraduate Admissions. There is no application fee. Applications to the program may be submitted at any time after completion of the sophomore year. However, the engineering curriculum is sequential, so students can be admitted only to the fall semester. Guaranteed admission is offered to students who satisfy a few basic requirements. Details are provided at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions Combined Plan Web Site.

Undergraduate Minor in EEE

EEE offers an undergraduate minor to students majoring in other SEAS departments, upon satisfactory completion of 6 courses selected from a specified list. A minor typically requires a heavier than usual course load. However, a number of eligible courses are EEE, non-EEE, or cross-listed courses that are required by other departments, which may lessen the added course burden for an EEE minor. This is due to the broad and multidisciplinary scope of Earth and environmental engineering, which draws elements from a wide variety of engineering disciplines. Conversely, the knowledge gained from an EEE minor is of value to numerous fields outside of Earth and environmental engineering.