The 15 Best Master’s in Environmental Engineering Online for 2019

Best College Reviews - Editors Choice - Top Online Master's Degrees-01

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By BCR Staff
May 2018

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.

#15 –Johns Hopkins University

 Environmental Engineering MS Online

Website
Points: 5

The online MS in environmental engineering program offered by Johns Hopkins University emphasizes environmental and occupational health. Topics of study include public health toxicology, radioactive waste management, wastewater treatment, and contaminant transport. It is a dual certificate and degree program, so students have the option to take three courses in public health to earn the certificate in environmental and occupational health. Students without an educational background in a discipline such as environmental engineering, management, or science only have to take one course in fundamentals before going on to complete their online master’s in environmental engineering degree.
In-State Tuition: $52,170

#14 –Columbia University

Online Master of Earth and Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 7
The environmental engineering online master’s program offered by Columbia University is a 30-credit, fully online program. It emphasizes the conservation and responsible use of finite resources such as water, land, and fuels. It also covers technologies used for repairing past damage to the environment. Courses offered include Catalysis for Emissions Control, Photovoltaic Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Behavior of Structural Materials. The program is designed to be accommodating to individuals who work full-time. Students are able to progress through this online master’s in environmental engineering program efficiently, even studying part-time.
In-State Tuition: $44,864

#13 –Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Online MS in Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 7
The online master’s in environmental engineering offered by Worcester Polytechnic Institute primarily focuses on water-quality topics. It includes courses such as Geohydrology, Water Resources Management, and Water Chemistry. It also covers some more general topics such as sustainable infrastructure and hazardous waste. Students can choose between two options for completion: a 30-credit thesis option and a 33-credit non-thesis option. No matter which they choose, online MS in environmental engineering students are able to work with their advisors to customize their degree and develop an individualized plan of study.
In-State Tuition: $26,226

#12 –University of Southern California

Online Master of Science in Green Technologies

Website
Points: 8
The University of Southern California’s top online MS in environmental engineering offering includes three areas of interest: green systems and the environment, energy technology and efficiency, and sustainability and society. The program has no exclusive ties to any department, and students are highly encouraged to take advantage of the multidisciplinary aspect of the degree. Full-time students can complete their program in only a year and a half, but it’s common for students to take a little over three years to earn their online master’s degrees in environmental engineering, especially if they are also working full-time.
In-State Tuition: $43,200

#11 –University of California-Riverside

Online Masters in Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 8

The University of California–Riverside offers one of the best master’s in environmental engineering online programs, with a focus on water chemistry and water treatment. It doesn’t require any visits to campus, and it can be completed in just over a year, even with students working full-time. Courses offered include Biological Treatment Processes, Physical and Chemical Separation Processes, and Advanced Water Treatment Technologies. After graduation, it is common for students to find jobs as hydrologists, wastewater process engineers, or consultants. While this master’s in environmental engineering online program heavily emphasizes water, it is still broad enough for some students to apply it to other jobs such as air quality consulting.
In-State Tuition: $11,502

#10 –Villanova University

Online MS in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 9
Villanova University’s top MS in environmental engineering online degree covers the fundamentals of environmental engineering, but especially focuses on water resources. It includes courses in surface water hydrology, geosynthetics, river dynamics, and microbiology. The program is delivered primarily synchronously, with live sessions being scheduled in the evening to allow working students to participate. While online master’s in environmental engineering students can complete the program entirely online without making any visits to campus, they are welcome to attend sessions on campus and complete their degree in a hybrid format.
In-State Tuition: $18,373

#9 –University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Online MS in Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 10
The University of Tennessee–Knoxville offers an online environmental engineering master’s degree with concentrations in climate impacts engineering, environmental engineering, and water resources engineering. Each concentration has several elective courses for students to pick from, allowing them to further customize their education. Courses are delivered in a mix of synchronous and asynchronous formats depending on instructor preference. Dates and times for required live sessions are posted well ahead of time and scheduled so that they are accommodating to busy and working students as they earn their environmental engineering master’s degrees online.
In-State Tuition: $11,244

#8 –University of Florida

Online Master of Environmental Engineering Sciences

Website
Points: 11
University of Florida Top Online Bachelor's in Sports ManagementThe University of Florida’s Engineering School of Sustainable Infrastructure and Environment offers an online environmental engineering master’s degree that aims to provide a comprehensive education to students working full-time in the industry. It is technically a general degree, with no concentrations appearing on official records. However, students can still customize their degree plan by choosing from elective courses in air resources, water systems, systems ecology and ecology and ecological engineering, costal ecosystem dynamics, and environmental nanotechnology. Instead of a traditional master’s thesis, UF students must take a final exam before earning their environmental engineering MS degrees online.
In-State Tuition: $10,770

#7 –Missouri University of Science and Technology

Online Master of Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 11
Missouri University of Science and Technology’s offering is one of the more affordable master’s degrees in environmental engineering online program with no residency requirement. Most coursework is delivered asynchronously, though some courses may include a live component. All courses are designed to accommodate students with other responsibilities such as work and family. Students are given up to six years to complete their degree, but it is typical for them to finish in only three or four years. Topics studied over the course of this online masters in environmental engineering degree program include public health engineering, soil mechanics, and environmental law.
In-State Tuition: $9,854

#6 –California State University-Fullerton

Online Master of Science in Environmental Engineering

Website
Points: 11
California State University–Fullerton offers one of the best online MS degrees in environmental engineering in the nation, covering a wide range of topics, such as sustainable development, potable water treatment, and air pollution control engineering. It is more structured than many online programs because it uses a cohort model; students move through the same two-year course sequence together as a group. By the end of the program, online master’s in environmental engineering students are prepared to sit for the professional engineering exam in environmental engineering. Many go on to be hired as consultants or government officials.
In-State Tuition: $7,176

#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

#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

#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

#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

#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

This concludes our ranking of the best online master’s in environmental engineering programs. Thanks for checking it out!

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