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Environmental Engineering (EVEN) B.S. Degree


The Environmental Engineering (EVEN) Program offers a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Environmental Engineering. The EVEN BS provides preparation for professional proficiency or graduate training in environmental engineering in a four-year curriculum. All of the information provided on this web page is available in the current Environmental Engineering (EVEN) Degree Guidelines. No graduate degrees are offered by the program. An emphasis in environmental engineering is available in the Civil Engineering MS and PhD programs.


The EVEN BS curriculum (see the curriculum table) represents a "contract" of sorts with incoming students - for students entering the program during the current academic year, completion of the curriculum with a satisfactory grade point average is the requirement for graduation. The curriculum also represents a guarantee that the courses listed (or acceptable substitutes) will be available in the semesters listed.

Many required courses in the EVEN BS curriculum offer a set of courses from different engineering departments as choices. Students may choose any of the offerings from different departments for these required courses; however, students should evaluate these choices carefully depending on their primary interest area in environmental engineering.

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Example Curriculum Layout -- 2014-2015 Academic Year
(for curricula for other years, see the previous Guidelines above)

Courses offered only semester shown

First Year Fall
First Year Spring

APPM 1350 Calculus 1 for Engineers
  APPM 1360 Calculus 2 for Engineers
CHEN 1211 General Chemistry
  COEN 1300 Intro to Engr Computing
CHEM 1221 General Chemistry Lab
  H&SS Elective II
EVEN 1000 Intro to Environ Engr
PHYS 1110 General Physics 1
GEEN 1400 Engineering Projects
  Technical Elective I
H&SS Elective I

Second Year Fall
Second Year Spring

APPM 2350 Calculus 3 for Engineers
  APPM 2360 Intro Diff Eqns Lin Alg
Solid Mechanics
  CHEM 4521 Phys Chem for Engrs
H&SS Elective III
  CHEN 2120 Matl & Energy Balances
PHYS 1120 General Physics 2
  H&SS Elective IV
PHYS 1140 Experimental Physics 1
  CVEN 3414 Fund of Environ Engr

Third Year Fall
Third Year Spring

CVEN 4404/4414 Water Chem & Lab
  Option Course I
Engineering Economics
  Heat Transfer
Fluid Mechanics
  CVEN 4484 Intro Environ Microbiology
Required Communication Course
  MCEN 4131 Air Pollution Control


  Probability and Statistics

Fourth Year Fall
Fourth Year Spring

Air/Earth Science Lab/Field Course


  CVEN 4434 Environ Eng Design
CVEN 4464 Env Eng Processes
  CVEN 4424 Environ Organic Chem


H&SS Elective V
  CVEN 4333 Engineering Hydrology
Option Course II
  Option Course III
  Technical Elective III / Senior Thesis
Technical Elective II / Senior Thesis


Total Credits:


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Table Explanations

Courses available in different departments The following required courses may be taken from any of the departments listed. Note that this list changes frequently as departments change instructors and semesters for courses. In some cases, you may need to be flexible about which course you take to complete your degree on time.
Solid Mechanics
CVEN 2121 Analytical Mechanics 1 (Fall, Spring)
GEEN 2851 Statics for Engineers
MCEN 2023 Statics and Structures (Fall)
Thermodynamics CHEN 3320 Chem Engr Thermodynamics (Fall, required for Chemical Processing Option)
GEEN 3852 Thermodynamics for Engineers (Summer)
MCEN 3012 Thermodynamics (Fall, required for Air Quality Option)
AREN 2110 Thermodynamics (Fall, Spring)
Fluid Mechanics CHEN 3200 Chem Engr Fluid Mechanics (Spring)
CVEN 3313 Theor Fluid Mechanics (Spring)
GEEN 3853 Fluid Mechanics for Engineers (Summer)
MCEN 3021 Fluid Mechanics (Fall)
Probability and Statistics APPM 4570 Statistical Methods (Fall, Spring)
CHEN 3010 Applied Data Analysis (Fall)
CVEN 3227 Prob, Stat, and Decisions (Spring)
Heat Transfer CHEN 3210 Chem Engr Heat Transfer (Fall)
MCEN 3022 Heat Transfer (Spring)
Engineering Economics EMEN 4100 Business Methods and Econ for Engrs (Fall)
CVEN 4147 Civil Engineering Systems (Fall)
Air/Earth Science Lab/Field Course A 3(+) credit hour course with a significant laboratory or field component related to air quality or earth science. Examples include EVEN 4100 Environmental Sampling and Analysis, GEOL 1010+1030 Introduction to Geology+Lab, ATOC 1050+1070 Weather and the Atmosphere Laboratory, CVEN 3708 Geotechnical Engineering 1 (pre-req CVEN 3161), etc.
A total of 18 credit hours of humanities and social sciences electives is required. At least nine hours must be at the upper division (3000 or 4000) level (including the Required Communication Course, see below). Advice and list of eligible humanities and social science electives is available on at

There are a number of environmentally-focused courses that can be used as HSS electives. These include courses such as:
  • ECON 3535 (3). Natural Resource Economics, *
  • ECON 3545 (3). Environmental Economics, *
  • HIST 4417 (3). Environmental History of North America, *
  • MCDB 1030 (3). Plagues, People, and Microorganisms
  • PHIL 1400 (3). Philosophy and the Sciences
  • PSCI 3064 (3). Enviornmental Political Theory
  • SOCY 2077 (3). Environment and Society
  • SOCY 4007 (3). Global Human Ecology
  • SOCY/ENVS 4027 (3). Inequality, Democracy, and the Environment
    (*Note: this course has pre-requisites, so plan ahead and take the pre-reqs as lower division courses)
  • Required Communications Course The Required Communication Course is aimed at improving your communication (writing and presentation) skills. Alternatives include HUEN 1010 Introduction to the Humanities, WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society, and HUEN 3100 Humanities for Engineers 1.
    Technical Electives One technical elective MUST be an approved Earth Science course. One technical elective course may be a lower division engineering course or environmental science elective. The remaining technical elective courses must be 3000- and 4000-level (or above) courses in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences. See complete list of approved technical elective courses.
    Option Courses The eight specified Option sequences are listed below. Nine credits of course work must be selected from the following lists. A Special Option, formulated by the student, is also available by petition.
    Senior Thesis To better integrate research experience in the EVEN curriculum, the faculty encourage seniors to consider using six credits of technical electives as independent students (EVEN 4840) to do a Senior Thesis (consecutive independent studies on the same topic with the same faculty advisor).
    The senior thesis can be funded with grants from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) and the College's Discovery Learning Apprenticeship (DLA) Program.

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    Option Courses

    Eight areas of concentration in Environmental Engineering are offered as sets of "Option" courses. These Option courses appear in the curriculum in the sixth, seventh, and eighth semesters. By the sixth semester, students must choose a set of option courses. Various pre-requisities apply for these courses, so click on each option title to learn more.

    In addition, a Special Option is available for students who wish to identify a set of three courses that provide depth in another area of environmental engineering (such as engineering for developing communities, public health, etc). These courses should be upper division and must be approved by your advisor and the program director using the petition form.

    Air Quality Option
    ATOC 3500 Air Chemistry and Pollution (3 credits)
    ATOC 4720 Introduction to Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics (3 credits, intermittent)
    CHEM 4541 Physical Chemistry Lab (2 credits, intermittent)
    MCEN 3032 Thermodynamics 2 (3 credits)
    MCEN 4228 Sustainable Energy (3 credits)
    MCEN 4228 Environmental Modeling (3 credits)
    CVEN 4554 Fundamentals of Air Quality Engineering (3 credits), Prerequisites: APPM 2360, Fluid Mechanics
    MCEN 4141 Indoor Air Pollution (3 credits), F, Prerequisites: Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer

    Applied Ecology Option
    CVEN 3434 Introduction to Applied Ecology (required for this option; 3 credits)
    EBIO 2070 Genetics; 4 credits)
    EBIO 3270 Ecosystem Ecology (3 credits)
    EBIO 4020 Stream Biology (3 credits)
    EBIO 4030 Limnology (3 credits)
    GEOL/ENVS/EBIO 4160 Introduction to Biogeochemistry (3 credits)
    GEOG 4311 Watershed Biogeochemistry (3 credits)

    Chemical Processing Option
    CHEN 3220 Chemical Engineering Separations and Mass Transfer (required for this option, 3 credits)
    CHEN 4330 Reaction Kinetics (required for this option, 3 credits)
    CHEM 3331 Organic Chemistry 2 (4 credits)
    CVEN 3424 Water and Wastewater Treatment (3 credits)
    CVEN 4474 Hazardous and Industrial Waste Management (3 credits)

    Energy Option   
    ECEN 3010/MCEN 3017 Circuits and Electronics (required for this option, 3 credits)
    MCEN 3032 Thermodynamics 2 (required for this option, 3 credits)
    One course from among the following:
    CHEN 4838 Energy Fundamentals (3 credits)
    MCEN 4228 Sustainable Energy (3 credits)
    AREN 3130 Building Energy Laboratory (3 credits)
    MCEN 4228 Wind Energy (3 credits)
    CVEN 5020 Building Energy Audits (3 credits)
    CVEN 5050 Advanced Solar Design (3 credits)

    Environmental Remediation Option
    CVEN 4353 Groundwater Engineering (3 credits)
    CVEN 4474 Hazardous and Industrial Waste Management (3 credits )
    EVEN 4100 Environmental Sampling and Analysis (3 credits, intermittent)
    GEOL 3030 Introduction to Hydrogeology (3 credits)
    GEOL 4716 Environmental Field Geochemistry (2 credits )

    Water Resources and Treatment Option
    CVEN 3323 Hydraulic Engineering (3 credits)
    CVEN 3424 Water and Wastewater Treatment (3 credits)
    CVEN 4474 Hazardous and Industrial Waste Management (3 credits )
    CVEN 4353 Groundwater Engineering (3 credits)
    GEOG 4501 Water Resources and Water Management of Western United States (3 credits)
    MCEN 4228 Environmental Modeling (3 credits)
    CVEN 4833 Groundwater Modeling (3 credits), S, Prerequisites: CVEN 4353
    CVEN 5393/ECON 6555 Water Resources Development and Management (3 credits), F, Prerequisites: Senior or Graduate Standing

    Engineering for Developing Communities Option
    A minimum of one of the following:
    CVEN 3424 Water and Wastewater treatment (3 credits, S, Prereq: CVEN 3414) or
    CVEN 4554 Fundamentals of Air Quality Management (3 credits, F, Prereq: CVEN 3313 or equiv. fluid mechanics course)
    Two additional courses from the following below or a second from above:
    GEOG 3682 International Development (3 credits, F)

    EMEN 4200 Engineering Entrepreneurship for the Developing World (3 credits, F or sum)
    CVEN 4837 Global Engineering (3 credits)
    *CVEN 5834 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (3 credits, F, prereq: CVEN 3424 or equivalent and instructor permission)
    *ATLS 5210/CVEN 5919 global Development I (3 credits, F, prereq: instructor permission)
    *ATLS 5250 Fieldwork Methods for ICTD Practitioners (3 credits, S, prereq: ATLS 5210 Global Development I and instructor permission)
    * CVEN 5393/ECON 6555 Water Resources Development and Management (3 credits, F, prereq: senior or graduate)
    *Offered intermittently † or by instructor consent as arranged by the Environmental Engineering Program

    Special Option
    Students with unique educational goals may formulate a personalized sequence of three courses (9 credit hours) as the Option sequence. To do so, students must present their Option plan to their faculty advisor and submit a Special Option Proposal to the Environmental Engineering Program for approval. A special option must have a specific, well-thought-out purpose related to your education or career goals (i.e., “scheduling conflict” is not an acceptable reason for a special option.) Ordinarily, special option courses should be upper division.

    B.S. EVEN/M.S. Civil Engineering (5 years)

    To encourage our strongest students to continue on at the University of Colorado for a Master of Science degree, we offer a concurrent B.S./M.S. curriculum that requires 5 years of course work (a total of 152 credits). Students following this option will obtain an B.S. degree in Environmental Engineering and an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering in their graduate Environmental or Water Resources options.

    In 2015 Edition, US News & World Report ranked the Environmental Engineering Graduate Program at CU as 17th overall and 10th among public universities. CU-Boulder's undergraduate engineering program comes in at 20th among public institutions whose highest degree is a doctorate, 36th overall.

    A student is allowed to use a maximum of 6 graduate units for both the BS and the MS degrees if the student maintains a 3.5 GPA or above in their immediate next 24 credit hours after entering the joint program.

    The minimum GPA for admission is 3.25. Students are expected to submit applications during the sixth or seventh semester of their undergraduate program. As a guideline, applications will be considered from students who have completed at least 75 credit hours but not more than 110 credit hours of the necessary coursework to satisfy the requirements of the EVEN BS degree. Applications will be evaluated by the environmental or water resources graduate program in the CEAE department and administered through the CEAE graduate committee. For additional detailed information, see the CEAE website. Laurels Sesseler will prepare your undergraduate certificate and transcript that must be submitted as part of the application package.

    Graduation Requirements

    To graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Engineering from the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the Boulder campus, students must meet the following minimum requirements:

    1. Satisfactory completion of the required and elective courses in the Environmental Engineering Bachelor of Science curriculum. Students must satisfactorily complete 128 credit hours, of which the last 45 credit hours shall be earned after admission to the College of Engineering and Applied Science as a degree student.
    2. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.25 for all courses attempted and for all courses that count toward graduation requirements, excluding "P" grades for courses taken Pass/Fail.
    3. A minimum cumulative major grade point average of 2.25. This major grade point average includes only course work in engineering courses.
    4. Successful completion of the Minimum Academic Preparation Standards (MAPS) requirement of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
    5. Completion of the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination during the final academic year.
    6. Apply online at MyCUInfo to graduate.

    Graduation will be postponed by failure to complete these requirements.  Any exceptions to these requirements will require approval of the Environmental Engineering Program Director and the Dean's office by petition.  To be sure that all requirements are met, students can consult with the Environmental Engineering Academic Advisor, Director, and their faculty advisors. Students must be aware that meeting graduation requirements is ultimately their own responsibility.

    Fundamentals of Engineering Exam

    One of the requirements for graduation with the EVEN BS degree is that students must take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam. This test serve two purposes: (1) it provides students with the opportunity to complete the first step toward Professional Engineer (PE) status and (2) it provides the Environmental Engineering Program with a useful assessment of engineering proficiency attained by EVEN graduates. Students usually take the FE Exam during their final semester.

    The Fundamentals of Engineering Examination is the first step toward achieving licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE), a particularly important credential for engineers working as consultants. The FE Exam is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The FE Exam is offered in testing windows throughout the year: Jan-Feb, Apr-May, Jul-Aug, Oct-Nov (exams are NOT offered during March, June, September, or December). Students will register online with NCEES and with a paper application from DORA. Registration notices will be distributed by the EVEN Program Coordinator.

    The exam covers engineering, science, and mathematics fundamentals. It is also discipline-specific. The NCEES offers general information, study materials, and sample questions for the FE Exam. Numerous review books for the FE Exam are also readily available at web booksellers.

    Our CU students have historically done very well on the FE exam. For more information and other program assessment information, click here.

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