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Bachelor of Science - Environmental Engineering

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science - Environmental Engineering (BSENVE) program provides training for engineers to preserve the natural environment – an especially important part of our culture in Portland and in the state of Oregon. Oregon prides itself on its environmental commitments and efforts toward living sustainably. This degree focuses on the fundamentals of environmental and water resources engineering with recommended tracks in geo-environmental, surface water hydrology and remote sensing, surface and groundwater water quality, groundwater hydrology, or air quality. Many of the required courses in the program are interdisciplinary drawing from the Departments of Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, Environmental Science and Management, Physics, Geology and Biology.

Link to useful advising information for the BSENVE program

The BSENVE curriculum at Portland State University is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD  21202-4012 – telephone: 410-347-7700. This national organization sets standards for engineering education defined in terms of curricular content, quality of faculty, and adequacy of facilities.

Educational Objectives

Educational objectives describe the “career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve” (ABET, 2010) within a few years of their graduation.

The educational objectives of the Environmental Engineering program at Portland State University are as follows:

Graduates are expected to practice environmental engineering responsibly and ethically by (1) working effectively in the professional engineering community and (2) continuing to learn and enhance their abilities in civil engineering.

Educational Outcomes

Program outcomes are goals that describe our expectations as BSENVE students graduate. Graduates of the Environmental Engineering program will have the skills and abilities to prepare them to begin professional practice or to succeed in graduate studies.

Graduates will have:

  1. An ability to apply principles of mathematics, science, and engineering to the analysis and design of environmental engineering projects.
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability.
  4. An ability to participate in projects that cross disciplines and to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. An understanding of the professional and ethical responsibility of engineers in a broad societal context.
  7. An ability to communicate effectively.
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context.
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in continuing professional development and life-long learning.
  10. A knowledge of relevant contemporary issues.
  11. An ability to use the modern techniques, skills, and engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  12. An awareness of the need for professional registration in career development.


Admission Criteria

Admission process and criteria to the BSENVE program is described in this MCECS document

Continuation Criteria

After admission, students will be expected to make satisfactory progress toward their declared degree and will be subject to the following rules:

  1. The term GPA in all courses taken at PSU must be 2.00 or higher.
  2. Students will be placed on probation when their term GPA is below 2.00 or their progress toward the degree is less than 12 credits per  academic year.
  3. Students placed on probation for two consecutive terms or for a total of three terms will be suspended from their degree program. Students also will be suspended if not enrolled in engineering courses for three consecutive terms.
  4. Students who are suspended must wait at least one term before reapplying.


Pass/No Pass Grading Policy

All courses specifically required by the University or by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering must be taken for a letter grade unless a required course is only offered with a pass/no pass option.


Degree Requirements

BSENVE majors must complete the following University and Department degree requirements as follows:

  1. Junior and senior engineering courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C-; 
  2. Pre-requisite courses must be passed with a grade of C- or better in order to move ahead in the sequence; 
  3. The student’s cumulative PSU GPA must be 2.33 or higher to graduate from the BSENVE program; 
  4. Any deviation from the required courses including engineering and mathematics substitutions must be approved in writing by the chair of the department.

Link to four year course plan for the Environmental Engineering degree in grid format.

Freshman Year (Credits)*

CE 111 Intro do Civil and Environmental Engineering (2)
CE 112 Civil and Environmental Engineering Computations (2)
CE 115 Civil Engineering Drawing and Spatial Analysis (3)
CH 221, CH 222 General Chemistry (8)
CH 227, 228 General Chemistry Laboratory (2)
MTH 251, 252 Calculus I, II (8)
BIO 234 Elementary Microbiology (4)
BIO 235 Elementary Microbiology Lab (2)
Freshman Inquiry (15)
Total (46)

 Sophomore Year (Credits)*

EAS 211 Statics (4)
EAS 212 Strength of Materials (4)
EAS 215 Dynamics (4)
MTH 261 Intro Linear Algebra (4)
MTH 254 Calculus IV (4)
MTH 256 Applied Differential Equations (4)
PH 221, 222, 223 General Physics (with calculus) (9) [Ph 211, 212, 213 can be substituted 4 credits each, or 12 credits total]
PH 214, 215, 216 Physics Laboratory (3)
Sophomore Inquiry (12)
Total (48)

Junior Year (Credits)

CE 361 Fluid Mechanics (4)
ESM 320, 321, 322 Analysis of Environmental Systems (12)
ESM 323, 324, 325 Environmental Systems Laboratory (6)
ME 321 Engineering Thermodynamics (4)
CE 315 CEE Profession Seminar (1)
CE 345 Environmental Soil Mechanics Class (2)
CE 362 Hydraulics (4)
CE 364 Water Resources Engineering (4)
CE 371 Environmental Engineering (4)
G 301 Geology for Engineers (3)
Stat 451CM Applied Statistics for Engineers and Scientists (4)
Total (48)

 Senior Year (Credits)

CE 474 Unit Operations of Environmental Engineering (4)
CE 480 Chemistry of Environmental Toxins (4)
CE 484 Civil Engineering Project Management & Design I (3)
CE 494 Civil Engineering Project Management & Design II (3)
†EC 314 Private and Public Investments Analysis (4)
Upper Division Cluster (8)
Approved Environmental Engineering Electives** (18)
Total (44)

 The entire BSENVE curriculum is 186 credit hours.

† Ec 314 is a required course that can be taken as a part of some upper-division clusters.
*Transfer students should follow the requirements as listed under the “Eligibility - BSENVE” section above.
**There are approved tracks in geo-environmental engineering, surface water quality, surface hydrology and hydraulics, subsurface hydrology and contaminant transport, or air quality as follows (students are not restricted to these tracks and may select electives in any combination):

  1. Geoenvironmental: CE 444 [Geotechnical design], CE440 [Geosynthetics], CE445 [Geo-environmental with synthetics]
  2. Subsurface hydrology and contaminant transport: CE 569 [Introduction to Subsurface Flow and Contaminant Transport], CE 570 [Modeling of Subsurface Flow and Contaminant Transport]
  3. Surface water hydrology: CE 464 [Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling], CE 467[Hydrologic and hydraulic design], CE 565 [Watershed hydrology]
  4. urface water hydrodynamics and water quality: CE 481 [Columbia River as a physical system], CE 482 [Sediment transport], CE 483 [Estuarine circulation], CE 572 [Environmental fluid mechanical transport], CE 576 [Environmental fluid mechanics], CE578 [Water quality modeling]
  5. Air quality: PH 375 [The earth’s atmosphere], PH 471 [Atmospheric physics], PH 477 [Air pollution], PH 478 [Applications of air pollution modeling]