The 5 Best Master’s in Environmental Engineering Online

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Online master’s in environmental engineering programs allow engineers to conveniently gain the skillset and credentials they need to excel and advance in the field of environmental engineering. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that jobs for environmental engineers are growing steadily, thanks in part to increasing concern over water efficiency and wastewater treatment. Master’s degrees in environmental engineering online programs address these and other issues regarding sustainability and natural resources.

For more general information regarding online learning, visit our ranking of the top online colleges

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $45,000—1 point
  • Under $40,000—2 points
  • Under $35,000—3 points
  • Under $30,000—4 points
  • Under $25,000—5 points
  • Under $20,000—6 points
  • Under $15,000—7 points
  • Under $10,000—8 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Master’s Engineering Programs

  • Top 5—5 points
  • Top 10— 4 points
  • Top 25 —3 points
  • Top 50 —2 points
  • Top 75 —1 point

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Our editors evaluated 27 accredited online MS in environmental engineering programs in order to determine the top 15 offerings. In applying the rating and ranking methodology above, some programs received the same number of points. In theses cases, we used the affordability factor to break the tie, awarding the more economical school the higher ranking.

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Featured Online Schools

  • #1 –North Carolina State University

    Online Master of Environmental Engineering

    Website

    Points: 14

    Leading our ranking of the very best master’s degrees in environmental engineering online, North Carolina State University’s option is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in engineering. It features eight concentrations, including solid waste management, groundwater hydrology, geoenvironmental engineering, and water and water treatment. The program does not require a thesis or any visits to campus. Students have up to six years to complete their degree, but most are able to complete in less time. This online master’s in environmental engineering program is accommodating to students who work full-time, but students with full-time jobs are only allowed to enroll in two courses per semester.

    In-State Tuition: $8,492

  • #2 –University of California-Los Angeles

    Online MS in Environmental Engineering: Environmental and Water Resources

    Website

    Points: 13

    The University of California–Los Angeles offers one of the best master’s in environmental engineering online programs in the country, with a certificate in sustainable water engineering. This program is both affordable and comprehensive. It covers topics such as hydro climatology, aquatic chemistry, and groundwater hydrology. Certain electives are recommended, but students are free to choose other electives if they will better fit their personal career goals. While it might be a bit too narrow for some students, this online master’s in environmental engineering program is a great option for individuals specifically interested in water resources.

    In-State Tuition: $11,502

  • #3 –Old Dominion University

    Online Master of Environmental Engineering

    Website

    Points: 12

    Both of Old Dominion University’s master’s degrees in environmental engineering online programs are broad and comprehensive. The master of engineering and master of science both have the same admission requirements and cover the same content. The biggest difference between the two is that the MS culminates in a thesis, whereas the ME culminates in either a comprehensive exam or final project completed either on campus or at the student’s workplace. Coursework for these master’s programs in environmental engineering online is delivered both synchronously and asynchronously, with the specific format depending largely on the instructor.

    In-State Tuition: $9,168

  • #4 –University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Online Master of Sustainable Systems Engineering

    Website

    Points: 12

    Typical of the top master’s degrees in environmental engineering online programs, the offering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison is a broad program meant to be accessible to a wide range of students. It is primarily intended for students with an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited program, but it also admits students with different academic backgrounds. No GRE scores are required. Student are typically expected to join live sessions once a week for each class, but the majority of coursework is asynchronous. Topics of study for this online MS in environmental engineering program include sustainable microgrids, renewable energy systems, and industrial ecology.

    In-State Tuition: $10,728

  • #5 –University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

    Online Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

    Website

    Points: 12

    A top online master’s in environmental engineering online, the degree offered by the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign is excellent in regards to customization. It includes fully-online specialty areas in infrastructure, construction management, transportation engineering, and structural engineering. Some courses from other concentrations are also available online, so while students cannot fully concentrate in these areas without taking courses on-campus, they can complement their specialization with these courses. Students also have the option to create custom, cross-disciplinary online master’s programs in environmental engineering with the help of their advisors.

    In-State Tuition: $15,186

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