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Environmental Engineering B.S. Degree
Policy and Procedures

Prerequisite and Co-Requisite Courses

Most of the courses in the Environmental Engineering curricula have prerequisite and co-requisite requirements (see the last two tables in the Forms and Appendix). The purpose of these requirements is to ascertain that you are adequately prepared for subsequent courses.

Students must successfully complete all prerequisite courses before enrolling for a required course in the Environmental Engineering curricula. Students must also simultaneously enroll in and complete satisfactorily (grade of C- or better) all co-requisite courses. Successful completion means receiving a grade of C- or better. Grades of D+, D, D-, F, IF, or IW do not satisfy this requirement.

Successful completion of prerequisite and co-requisite courses will be monitored for all required courses in the Environmental Engineering curricula by the Program Coordinator. Students who do not successfully complete (grade below C-) prerequisite and co-requisite courses must re-take those courses before advancing in the curricula. Students required to re-take courses are strongly urged to consult their faculty advisor before re-taking courses to evaluate areas in which academic performance can be achieved.

The prerequisite and co-requisite policy applies only to required and option courses in the curricula. If a student has not satisfied all of the prerequisite and co-requisite requirements for an elective course (technical, humanities & social sciences, chemistry), that elective course may be taken with the approval of the instructor.

Courses not listed in the curricula may be used to satisfy prerequisite and co-requisite requirements if transfer credit has been approved or a petition to the Environmental Engineering Program has been approved. Generic College of Engineering and Applied Science petition forms for this purpose may be obtained from the Program Coordinator.

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Transfer Credit

Five different kinds of students transfer into the Environmental Engineering program.  More information about transfer requirements is available from the College of Engineering and Applied Science:

  • students changing majors from the College's Open Option major to EVEN
    The EVEN program accepts the College of Engineering and Applied Science Open Option curriculum as a substitute for its own first-year curriculum. Grades of C- or better must have been achieved for all courses counting for required courses in the EVEN curriculum. Students changing from Open Option to EVEN must complete a change-of-major form for the College. A description of the College's Open Option is available online.

  • students changing majors from another of the College's engineering degrees to EVEN
    Evaluation of the credit hours earned in another engineering degree curriculum in the College of Engineering and Applied Science for credit in EVEN will be done at the first advising meeting with the EVEN Program's Director. Grades of C- or better must have been achieved for all courses counting for required courses in the EVEN curriculum. Because EVEN is a multi-department program, most students coming into EVEN from other engineering degree programs in the College are able to transfer most of their basic courses for credit toward the EVEN BS degree. Students changing from another engineering degree to EVEN must complete a change-of-major form for the College.

  • students changing majors from another College or School in the University of Colorado to EVEN
    Students transferring into EVEN from another of the University of Colorado's Colleges and Schools (e.g., College of Arts and Sciences, Leeds School of Business) must first complete an Intra-University Transfer (IUT) application to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (details are available in the Dean's Office or online). Once the application is approved, credit hours from the non-engineering degree will be evaluated for EVEN credit at the first advising meeting with the EVEN Program's Director. Students changing majors to EVEN from non-engineering degrees must complete the mathematics, chemistry, and physics requirements of the first year of the College's Open Option curriculum to apply for IUT; therefore, they will typically start EVEN with credit for most of the first year of the EVEN curriculum.

  • students changing majors from another campus of the University of Colorado to EVEN
    Students transferring into EVEN from another campus of the University of Colorado system will, in almost all cases, have the same status as transfers from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Students from other campuses should refer to the three change-of-major sections above. More details on Intercampus Transfer to the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences are available in the Dean's Office or online.

  • students transferring from another university or community college
    For students coming to the EVEN Program from an engineering degree at another university or community college, an initial transfer credit evaluation is performed by the University Admissions Office using the official transcript from the previous institution). Courses in which the student received a grade lower than a C- will not be accepted by the Admissions Office. Once the Admissions Office has completed its evaluation, the student will meet with the EVEN Director for evaluation of transfer credits for the EVEN curriculum. Note that acceptance of transfer credits by the Admissions Office does not mean that the transfer credits will count toward the EVEN BS degree; courses taken at another institution must match the course requirements for the EVEN curricula. In most cases, identification of courses is straightforward; however, for some courses, the EVEN Director may request documentation of course content (catalog descriptions, course syllabi).

For all transfer students, the College of Engineering and Applied Science requires that the last 45 credit hours used to fulfill degree requirements must be taken as a regular degree student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science in the University of Colorado at Boulder. Students pursuing dual BS degrees (EVEN/CHEN or EVEN/CVEN) must have transfer credit evaluations performed by each degree program. More details about the College of Engineering Applied Science transfer credit policies are available in the Dean's office or online.

Advanced Placement (AP) credit may be approved on the basis of College Entrance Examination Board's Advanced Placement tests. For students who have taken advanced placement courses in high school and who achieve the required score in the CEEB's AP examination, advanced placement credit will be granted by the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences as part of the admission process. Advanced placement credits must also be evaluated for credit toward the EVEN curricula by the student's faculty advisor or the EVEN Director. If a student later takes a course for which advanced placement credit was granted, the credit for the course taken at the University of Colorado will replace the AP credit.  For a listing of CU course equivalents for typical advanced placement credit, see the College of Engineering and Applied Science Advanced Placement and MAPs guidelines (available in the Dean's office or online.

Courses may be taken for EVEN degree credit through programs offered by the University of Colorado Division of Continuing Education:

  • Maymester
  • Summer Session
  • Available Credit for Eligible Special Students (ACCESS)
  • Center for Advanced Training in Engineering and Computer Science (CATECS)
  • Boulder Evening Credit
  • Independent Learning
  • Concurrent High School

A maximum of 16 credit hours taken through Continuing Education programs other than Maymester and Summer Session can be applied to the EVEN BS degree (Maymester and Summer Session courses are equivalent to courses offered during the regular academic year). A maximum of 8 of the 16 credit hours can be taken as Humanities and Social Sciences courses. According to the College of Engineering and Applied Science, students must secure advance approval of the Environmental Engineering Program and the Dean's Office prior to registering for Continuing Education courses.

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Humanities and Social Sciences Electives

The purpose of humanities and social sciences (H&SS) electives is to broaden the engineering education. In environmental engineering, appreciation and knowledge of the social, historical, political, and economic context of environmental problems is critically important. The EVEN BS degree requires 18 credit hours of H&SS courses. One H&SS course is required – a required communications course – to improve writing and oral presentation skills. For the remaining 15 credit hours of the H&SS requirements, the EVEN faculty recommended that you select a sequence of courses that complement and broaden your education in environmental engineering and that you avoid random selection of unrelated introductory courses. Some H&SS courses that might be of interest to environmental engineers include

  • ECON 3545 Environmental Economics
  • ENVS 3003 Race, Class, and Pollution Politics
  • ENVS 3020 Advanced Writing in Environmental Studies
  • ENVS 4100 Topics in Environmental Policy
  • ENVS 4800 Critical Thinking in Environmental Studies
  • GEOG 2412 Environment and Culture
  • HIST 4267 Mining in the Western United States
  • HIST 4417 Environmental History of North America
  • INVS 1000 Responding to Social and Environmental Problems Through Service Learning
  • MCDB 1030 Plagues, People, and Microorganisms
  • PACS 3520 Environmental Dimensions of International Security
  • PHIL 2140 Environmental Justice
  • PHIL 3140 Environmental Ethics
  • PSCI 3201 Environment and Public Policy
  • SOCY 3091 Environment and Society

 Additional courses of interest to environmental engineers may be found in the required and recommended curricula for the Environmental Studies (ENVS) program in the College of Arts and Sciences.

In accordance with the rules of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, a course on writing and oral presentations, the Required Communication Course is required (some options are listed below). This course provides 3 credit hours of upper division H&SS credit. Some courses that satisfy the Required Communication Course include WRTG 3030 Writing on Science and Society and Herbst Humanities Program's two-semester (6-credit) sequence of seminar courses, HUEN 3100 Humanities for Engineers 1 and HUEN 3200 Humanities for Engineers 2 (the second course in the Herbst sequence does not count as H&SS credit). Occasionally, other writing courses have been offered in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (e.g., GEEN 3000 Professional Communications for Engineers, GEEN 3860 Writing and Communication in Engineering) that will satisfy the Required Communicaiton Course.

Foreign language courses generally satisfy the humanities and social science requirements.
The first seminar in the Minority Engineering Program (GEEN 1510) provides one hour of lower division H&SS credit; the second course (GEEN 1520) provides no credit. Generally, courses in performance and the fine arts, mathematics, and natural sciences are not acceptable as H&SS electives. The following courses are specifically excluded as satisfying H&SS requirements:

  • courses in painting, sculpture, photography, and other fine arts
  • courses in musical instruments, band, choir, and other performance courses
  • courses in accounting, finance, personnel administration, and other business practices

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Technical Electives

Technical electives provide an opportunity for students to explore a range of engineering, mathematical, and natural sciences topics to provide increased breadth or to focus on a specific technical area to develop in-depth understanding. In addition, one technical elective must be used to meet a requirement for a course in earth sciences prescribed by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (AAEE) for environmental engineering curricula. Students should consult their faculty advisors to plan their technical elective program.

The EVEN BS curriculum requires twelve credit hours of technical electives. Technical elective credit may be met by courses in the following categories:

  • most engineering, physics, biology (both EBIO and MCDB), chemistry, geology, physical geography, and mathematics (both APPM and MATH) courses that are substantially different than required EVEN courses,
  • many courses taught by Computer Science and Engineering Management,
  • quantitatively rigorous in social sciences (economics, psychology, human geography), and
  • independent study courses with appropriate quantitative analysis

All technical elective course selections should be approved by your advisor.  One of the technical elective courses (3 credit hours) may be a lower division (1000-, 2000-level) course. The remaining technical elective courses must be taken at the 3000-level and above. Both undergraduate and graduate courses (5000-level and above) may be taken as technical electives; admission to graduate courses requires the consent of the instructor.

One of the technical elective courses (3 credit hours) must be an earth science course at either the lower division or upper division level.  Here are just a few recommended courses for the technical elective satisfy the earth science requirement:

Just about any course from the Department of Geological Sciences will satisfy the earth science requirement.

Technical electives counted toward the graduation requirements for the EVEN BS degree may not be taken pass/fail. Exceptions to these rules will be considered by petition to the Environmental Engineering faculty.

Independent study is accepted as technical elective credit up to a maximum of 6 credit hours.

A maximum of 3 credit hours of Reserve Office Training Corps (ROTC) courses may be used as technical electives upon commissioning.

Courses in communications and foreign languages do not count as technical electives.

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Independent Study

An independent study is a collaboration between a student and a faculty on a special project that provides the student with a learning experience. An independent study may also fill an academic need of importance to the student that cannot be filled by the regular course offerings. Independent studies are opportunities for students to earn credit for learning outside the normal lecture and laboratory class structure.  In the EVEN BS curriculum, independent studies may be counted as technical electives (up to a maximum of six credit hours). Independent studies may be conducted in any increment of credit hours up to a maximum of 3 credit hours per semester, with one credit hour representing 25 hours of actual work on the task or project. The Environmental Engineering Program encourages students to consider independent study to engage in a long-term research project with a faculty member.  The following rules apply to independent studies:

  • a maximum of 6 credit hours of independent study may be applied to EVEN BS degree requirements as technical electives.
  • independent studies may not be applied as Option courses.
  • a maximum of 3 credit hours of independent study may be taken per semester.
  • independent studies may be supervised by any appropriate University of Colorado faculty member.
  • a proposal for an independent study must be made by filling out the Independent Study Agreement Form and submitting the form to the EVEN Program Coordinator.
  • the EVEN director must approve the proposed independent study.
  • a final product of the independent study must be submitted to the Environmental Engineering Program before a grade will be sent to the registrar’s office for posting.
  • approval of a second independent study is contingent on successful completion of the requirements for the first independent study. A copy of the Independent Study Agreement Form for the previous independent study must accompany the second application.
  • independent studies may not be arranged retroactively.
  • independent study credit is not allowed for internship experiences, work-study, or work done for pay, following University rules.

To propose an independent study, students must first determine with a collaborating faculty member the topic, goals, number of credit hours (up to 3 per semester), work plan, and required product for the independent study. This information must be recorded on an Independent Study Agreement Form and submitted to the EVEN Program Coordinator before the drop/add deadline of the current semester.  The independent study proposal will be reviewed by the EVEN Director and approved, returned for amendment, or disapproved owing to some deficiency in the proposal. The student will conduct the independent study under the guidance of the faculty advisor. At the end of the independent study, the student must submit to the Environmental Engineering program a copy of the final product (a report, a computer code, etc.) in addition to any required products due to the collaborating faculty.

Students completing two independent studies for a total of six credit hours may write a senior thesis. A senior thesis shows that a student can complete scientific and engineering research independently and can communicate results.  A senior thesis must be supervised and graded by a member of the Environmental Engineering faculty and defended before a committee of three faculty, two of which must be affiliated with the Environmental Engineering program. The completed thesis must be submitted to the Environmental Engineering Program coordinator by the final day of the semester during which the second independent study is completed.

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Petitions

Any exceptions or waivers of the rules and regulations of the Environmental Engineering Program or the College of Engineering and Applied Science must have prior approval by petition. The petition must be completed and submitted to the Environmental Engineering Program for approval; the petition will then be forwarded to the Dean's Office. It is the student's responsibility to follow up on the petition's progress. Petition forms may be obtained from the Program Coordinator.  The following list provides some examples of situations for which a petition is required:

  • enrolling in a course when prerequisites have not been satisfied
  • substituting for a required course
  • dropping or adding a course after deadlines
  • requesting the pass/fail grade option for a course

Follow these guidelines when completing the petition:

  • review the rules and policies of the College of Engineering and Applied Science as published in the University of Colorado Course Catalog published during the year of your admission to the College and the current edition(s) of the appropriate Advising Guide to establish your need to petition and the specific rule or policy you wish to waive.
  • consult with the Program Coordinator and faculty advisor for clarification of Program rules and policies.
  • write the petition clearly (and neatly!).
  • provide complete information in the petition, including the number and title of all courses and pertinent data such as course syllabi.

If properly completed, the petition process will normally take 1-2 weeks.

The College of Engineering offers a one-time forgiveness policy to allow correction of a significant registration error resulting in an unanticipated grade. As indicated by the title, the forgiveness policy can be used only once. Forgiveness may be requested in a petition describing the registration error. Students on academic probation or suspension may not use this policy.

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Academic Honesty

The Environmental Engineering Program adheres to the policies of the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the University of Colorado at Boulder on academic honesty, which states:

"As members of the academic community, students have a responsibility to conduct themselves with the highest standards of honesty and integrity. These qualities are also vital to the profession of engineering. Violations of academic ethics tarnish the reputation of all students and will be treated with the utmost seriousness."

Be forewarned and discourage your fellow students from participating in any unethical activities. The following are examples of some, but certainly not all, acts that violate academic ethics:

  • plagiarizing
  • cheating on assignments and exams
  • possessing or observing of exams or solutions to examinations prior to the exam
  • alterating, forging, or falsifying official records
  • performing work or taking an exam for another student
  • providing material of your own or of others to a fellow student

The College of Engineering and Applied Science procedures for handling academic ethics violations are available in the Dean's Office and on the College of Engineering and Applied Science web site. University academic honesty policies are available online.

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