MS in Environmental Science and Engineering


Program Description

An Interdisciplinary Perspective With an Eye on Results

Clarkson University offers an interdisciplinary master's degree in environmental science and engineering (ESE). The program spans natural science and engineering fields while giving you opportunities to engage with the social sciences and policymaking. You will investigate interrelationships between the natural and human systems that affect environmental outcomes on a local and global scale.

We create leaders who apply engineering and science with an interdisciplinary perspective and understand policies necessary to solve complex environmental problems.

You will work closely with faculty across a range of disciplines to positively impact environmental outcomes. Clarkson's world-class laboratory facilities enable research at the frontiers of human understanding.

Why Clarkson?

The ESE program is housed within Clarkson's interdisciplinary Institute for a Sustainable Environment (ISE) — a hub for faculty and students across the social sciences, humanities, engineering and natural sciences that offers you an unparalleled diversity of views and expertise. We promote and support campus-wide environmental education, sustainability efforts, and collaborative research initiatives.

"Studying at Clarkson prepared me to succeed in my future challenges. I discovered my interest in academic research and was encouraged to keep moving forward. It's important to me to keep advancing. I have enjoyed some wonderful opportunities here."

Chuan Tang '15, MS Environmental Science & Engineering, '17, Ph.D. Environmental Science & Engineering



The master's degree in ES&E consists of 30 credit hours including a research thesis or project. This degree can usually be completed in 18 to 24 months.

University Requirements

  • Thirty credit hours
    • at least 18 credits of graduate course work
    • at least 2 credits of seminar
    • at least 6 credits of thesis
  • At least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in coursework contributing to degree requirements
  • At least two seminars in residence
  • All accepted international students, for whom English is a second language, are required to take an English-as-a-Second-Language placement exam (LA005) upon their arrival on campus. Recommended ESL courses must be completed.

The ES&E degree typically takes one and a half to two years.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

The master’s candidate must complete 30 credit hours, including 2 credits of the seminar; and at least 6 credits of research (or 4 credits towards a Project).  Additionally, the master’s candidate must take:

  • EV 532 (Risk Analysis)
  • POL 570 (Environmental Policy) or POL 571 (Energy Policy)
  • CE 586 (Industrial Ecology) or CE 582 (Environmental Systems Analysis & Design)
  • Three (3) additional electives (9 credits) following a selected “Theme”
  • At least three (3) of the above set of courses must be Engineering courses
  • Choice of completing a Thesis or Project

Suggested elective Environmental Science and Engineering themes:

Engineering and Policy:

Air Quality and Environmental Assessment:

Sustainable Systems:

  • EC660 (Environmental Economics)
  • POL571 (Energy Policy)
  • CE586 (Industrial Ecology)
  • EV536 (Global Climate Change: Science, Engineering, and Policy)
  • ANTH570 (Environment, Technology, and Society)
  • POL592 (Environmental Political Theory)
  • POL575 (Environmental Law)

  • CE577 (Atmospheric Chemistry)
  • CM532 (Particle Size Analysis in Dispersions and Other Colloids)
  • CM552 (Aerosol Chemistry)
  • EHS505 (Methods and Analysis)
  • CE533 (Human Exposure Analysis)

  • BY659 (Systems Biology)
  • BY520 (Microbiology)
  • BY525 (Biological Systems & Global Environmental Change)
  • CE586 (Industrial Ecology)
  • CE534 (Sustainable Development Engineering)
  • CE569 (Watershed Analysis)
  • PHIL510 (Sustainability Theory & Practice: A Critical Assessment)

Environmental Chemistry:

Environmental Quality and Treatment:  
  • BY531/CE589 (Limnology)
  • CE535 (Groundwater Hydrology and Geochemistry)
  • CE577 (Atmospheric Chemistry)
  • CE580 (Environmental Chemistry)
  • CM530 (Colloids and Interfaces)
  • CM532 (Particle Size Analysis in Dispersions and Other Colloids)
  • CM552 (Aerosol Chemistry)
  • EHS505 (Methods and Analysis)
  • CE579 (Water and Wastewater Treatment and Design)
  • CE581 (Hazardous Waste Management Engineering)
  • CE584 (Chemodynamics)
  • CE681 (Environmental Physico-Chemical Processes)
  • CE682 (Environmental Biological Processes)


Admission Requirements


Applicants are expected to have completed at least one year of calculus, physics, and chemistry; have some background in fluid mechanics; and have obtained a BS, BE or equivalent degree from an engineering or science program. No minimum grade point average (GPA) is required for admission; however, in general, a GPA > 3.25 for a BS degree in a related field is expected in combination with a superior record of academic achievement. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of ALL applicants. International applicants must submit a TOEFL score of 550 minimum (CBT score of 213 or IBT score of 80) or an IELTS score of 6.5.


Up to 10 credits (grade B or better) of graduate work from another institution may be transferred into the program with the approval of the director. Entrance exams will be waived for recent Clarkson alumni.

A complete application file consists of the following items:

  • Application form.
  • Resume and statement of purpose.
  • Letters of recommendation — three letters required.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Test scores — GRE* and TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable).
  • *GRE may be waived for some applicants.

Supplemental information may be submitted if desired; this could include any other information that may help us evaluate your application.

Last updated Mar 2020

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About the School

At Clarkson, innovation is impact. Students who choose Clarkson for graduate and professional programs come here with a purpose: to advance knowledge, to explore ideas that propel society, and to buil ... Read More

At Clarkson, innovation is impact. Students who choose Clarkson for graduate and professional programs come here with a purpose: to advance knowledge, to explore ideas that propel society, and to build meaningful careers. Read less
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