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Environmental Engineering and Science M.S.

SamplingMaster of Science – Environmental Engineering and Science

Environmental engineering and science is concerned with the characterization and control of environmental pollution. Emphasis is placed on applying the fundamental principles of the basic engineering sciences through research and design to the solution of environmental problems in natural and engineered systems. Students may specialize in one of five focus areas: (i) Environmental Chemistry, (ii) Surface and Subsurface Processes, (iii) Nuclear Environmental Engineering and Science (NEES), (iv) Process Engineering, (v) Sustainable Systems & Environmental Assessment.

  • Environmental Chemistry - Introduces the fundamental concepts important to environmental chemistry. The focus is on understanding the sources of chemicals in the environment and the characteristics of chemicals and environmental that control fate and its effects. Also of interest are the physical, chemical and biological processes that affect the behavior of inorganic and organic contaminants in natural and engineered systems and how these properties may be exploited to detect, quantitatively model and control the contaminants in environmental systems.

    Surface and Subsurface Processes - Provides students with the knowledge and training to deal with transport and fate processes in engineered and natural systems. Natural systems will include the atmosphere, surface waters and subsurface waters. Incorporating the results of transport analyses into management decisions involving monitoring and remediation often requires the quantification and analysis of various real and perceived risks, so an additional objective will be to provide the basic tools needed for risk and decision analysis. A fundamental, quantitative understanding of all these processes will be emphasized so that students can adapt readily to the ever-changing conditions in the real world.

    Process Engineering - The purpose of the process engineering area is to prepare graduates to design engineered systems for removing contaminants from the air, water, and soil - an activity that is central to environmental engineering. Because of the continually evolving nature of the problems faced by environmental engineers, courses in this emphasis area focus on the approach to problem-solving rather than on specific solutions to today's issues. This provides the students with a strong foundation in unit operations and the ability to assemble them into process trains capable of solving any pollution control problem, regardless of its complexity or nature.

    Nuclear Environmental Engineering and Science (NEES) - Explores environmental health physics, risk assessment, environmental radiochemistry, actinide chemistry, and radioactive waste management. The research focuses on radiation detection and measurements, environmental radiochemistry, radionuclide fate and transport, and radioactive waste processing. Students within the NEES program may follow the Environmental Radiochemistry track or the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Applied Science Accreditation Commission (ASAC) accredited Environmental Health Physics track.

    Sustainable Systems & Environmental Assessment - Challenges students to think about environmental systems in a broader context. The objective of the curriculum is to provide a basis for the analysis of complex interactions between human and natural systems. The core courses cover fundamental systems analysis and risk assessment principles, while the electives allow students to define a path of study that bridges scientific and social inquiry.

  • All students are required to take 24 hours of coursework and 6 hours of research credit.

  • Thesis research must culminate in presenting a satisfactory thesis for M.S. candidates. An M.S. non-thesis option, which requires a minimum of 30 hours of coursework, including three hours of a special project, is available. A final examination is required of all master’s candidates.

  • Any student with an engineering or science undergraduate degree accepted by the EEES Department and the Graduate School may pursue an M.S. degree in Environmental Engineering and Science (EES).

    For admission to the M.S. EES program, an applicant should have a grade point ratio/average (GPR/GPA) of at least 3.0 out of 4.0. Scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) for students who were accepted into the program recently are shown in the table below.

    M.S.  Program Acceptance
    Accepted Applicants for the MS EEES Program
    (excluding Environmental Health Physics)

    (n = 162; accepted applicants w/o GRE scores = 8)

    Percentile 2017 - 2021
    25th V = 148 Q = 156 A = 3
    50th V = 152 Q = 162 A = 3.5
    75th V = 156 Q = 166.25 A = 4

    Science majors with a strong mathematics background are admitted to the department with appropriate prerequisites. The transcripts of such prospective students are reviewed individually to identify any undergraduate prerequisites or co-requisites needed to prepare them for the EES program. A graduate of an engineering or science discipline is expected to have completed at some time during their academic career the equivalent of two semesters each of general chemistry and calculus-based physics and four semesters of calculus through multivariable calculus and ordinary differential equations. Prerequisite coursework is prescribed to fill gaps in these areas.

Application Information

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For information on applying to the Graduate School, contact the Clemson Graduate School.

For specific information related to the MS in Environmental Engineering and Science and the PhD in Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, please contact:

Barbara Smith

Or, come visit the Rich Labs and say Hello! to Barbara