- Program Overview
- Application Criteria
- Tuition & Fees
- Meet Our Students
- Career Outcomes
- DEN@Viterbi - Online Delivery
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The Environmental Engineering Program was established in 1970 for mitigating environmental problems. It has grown to include water and wastewater engineering, air pollution control, water quality control, solid and hazardous waste management, energy, and the environment. Students are trained for positions as consulting engineers, environmental affairs engineers for large companies, or officials in state or federal agencies.
|September 1, 2024
|Fall 2024 (Civil & Environmental Eng. only)
|January 15, 2024
Applicants to the master's of science programs in Environmental Engineering are required to have a bachelor’s degree or be in the process of completing a bachelor's degree. Degrees in any engineering or engineering-related disciplines are frequently represented among our program applicants, including but not limited to the following:
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Environmental Engineering
- Engineering Mechanics
- Mechanical Engineering
Applicants without a Bachelor’s degree in the preferred majors listed above will only be considered with coursework and demonstrated proficiency in the acceptable courses listed below (or equivalent).
|Chemistry with Lab
Applications are reviewed holistically; simply taking these courses does not guarantee admission.
The following materials are required to be included with your online application:
- Personal Statement
- Letter of Recommendation (2 required)
NOTE: The GRE is not required for 2024 applications.
For tips on completing your application visit
Ready to Apply
The following link will take you to an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students, including payment information. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition
Download the Cost of Attendance to see a summary of tuition and fees by semester. The document is a typical example and the number of courses, and time to complete the program, will vary by student.
Tell us a little bit about yourself — where are you from, and where did you study before USC?
I’m Qin Dong. I’m from Fujian, China, which is located in the southeast of China. I studied at Zhejiang Normal University for my undergraduate degree.
What sparked your interest in environmental engineering?
My major is environmental engineering. I am interested in it because I care about public health and the functions of the microbial community. Environmental engineering is a good way for me to combine different interests of mine together.
What attracted you to choose USC for your graduate studies?
Being able to do research related to biotechnology in our department attracted me, because it highly matches my interests. During my graduate studies, I got the chance to join Adam Smith’s research group and did research related to food waste treatment based on anaerobic membrane bioreactor. Another thing that attracted me to choose USC is due to the climate in Los Angeles.
Tell us about some exciting and unforgettable incidents from your time at USC.
Due to COVID-19, the virtual group meetings I had this year were unforgettable. We would have different themed virtual get togethers. One time we had a hat themed night. Everyone wore a hat that we found meaningful, shared memes we liked most, and did some characteristic testing. It was a really good experience during a time we were spending in self-isolation.
What attracted you to choose USC for your graduate studies?
You often hear about the strength of the Trojan alumni network. As I began to consider schools and different programs, I noticed that the same care and compassion for one another that USC is known for in its alumni network is deeply rooted in the culture at Viterbi, that students get to experience every day. Every professor I had, not only taught me such valuable information but also genuinely cared and believed in me. Without the relationships with my professors, helping me grow, and investing in me, I would not be where I am today. So definitely the amazing professors in the Environmental Engineering department had a major part in why I chose USC. When I came to visit USC for the first time, at the newly admitted student event, I sat next to Dr. Soibelman. Coming into that weekend, I was still deciding where to go. But after hearing about the work and investment that Dr. Soibelman and many others have put into the Environmental Engineering program, I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. There is an underlying sense of stewardship and a greater purpose embedded in the program, and that definitely made me feel at home. Also, being in Los Angeles, there are many opportunities to apply your education in the early stages of your career and that was important to me. I secured two incredible internships out of my time at USC, and I think the location and prestige of USC had a lot to do with my ability to find work so easily.
Tell us about your interests outside the classroom.
I am a huge soccer fan. Since I have retired from the game, I have become even more of an avid fan of the NWSL, MLS, Premier League, etc. I coach soccer to children aged 2-6, which brings me such joy! I also am a big supporter of animal shelters and volunteer as a dog-walker when I can. I love hiking, doing yoga, and being connected with nature.
Tell us about some exciting and unforgettable incidents from your years at USC.
Through my involvement with the Viterbi Graduate School Association (VGSA), my fellow CEE Department Senator and I put together a hiking event in Rancho Palos Verdes. It was such an amazing time with my classmates. With many of the students in our department new to Los Angeles, it was important for us to build those relationships and a sense of community. I also will never forget our field trip in one of my classes to the Orange County Water District and Sanitation District’s Groundwater Replenishment System. We got to see the transformation from waste into a resource and the remarkable technology involved. In addition, I will never forget the group projects I participated in and listening to those my peers participated in. Every class I had involved a group project, and it was always so inspiring and fulfilling to not only work on something I am passionate about with others but also to learn from others and their unique passions.
What were the main reasons you chose to pursue this graduate program at USC?
First of all, I wanted a top tier environmental engineering master's degree and USC certainly offered that. The second reason was that I ideally wanted an education that was tailored for Los Angeles and California. I was born and raised in Los Angeles and I want to continue my career here and in my great state. Luckily, USC’s environmental engineering faculty had so much to offer in terms of relevant research and education so it was naturally a good fit for me.
What are some personal achievements or experiences you’d like to share?
I’m a first-generation college student financing all of my tuition and boarding expenses on my own. I am currently working full-time and studying part-time on my master’s degree at USC. I’ve placed gold in multiple Tae Kwon Do competitions. I’ve visited Denmark, Germany, the Philippines, China, as well as various U.S. cities like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Miami, NYC, DC, and I’ll be adding more to that list soon enough
What advice would you give future Viterbi students?
Meet your professors, like actually go to their office hours and talk to them. Not only is that the best way they can help you with the coursework, but they can become an invaluable part of your network. Maybe it opens up an opportunity for research or a PhD, a letter of recommendation, or a job opportunity down the line. The faculty at Viterbi is top-notch, so you should do everything in your power to utilize them to the fullest.
2022 First Destinations Survey - Outcomes*
Alumni Employment - 2022*
(Companies & Job Titles)
Agility - Site Engineer
Air Astana – Commercial Pilot
ARAMCO - Lead Project Engineer, Project Engineer, Project Engineer III, Projects Management, Project Engineer
Arcadis Inc. - Environmental Engineer
BeaconFire Solution Inc. - Software Engineer
Boeing - EE System Design Engineer
Charles Abbott Associates Inc. CAA - Assistant Engineer
City of Los Angeles - Assistant Division Manager
Clinpharma Consulting Global Group LLC - Engineer Intern
Dow Chemical - Civil/Structural Engineer
Dreyfuss Construction - Assistant Project Manager
Emerald City Homes, Inc. - CEO - Founder
Fehr & Peers - Engineer/Planner I
FTF Engineering, Inc. - Engineering Designer
Google - Software Engineer
Hathaway Dinwiddie - Preconstruction Engineer, Project Engineer
HSA & Associates, Inc. - Structural Designer
JCE structural Group - Structural Designer
KAFD Development Management Company - Prevention and Risk Manager
KPFF Consulting Engineers - Civil Engineering
Lily, Inc. - Vice President
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power - Civil Engineering Associate
MainStreet Property Group LLC - Assistant Development Project Manager
Michael Baker International - Civil Associate I Water/Wastewater Engineer
MTM Construction, Inc. - Project Engineer
National Grid - Graduate Development Program (Associate Engineer)
Onshore Maintain Potential Projects Dept. Saudi Aramco - Project Engineer
Pinnacle Structural Engineers, Inc. - Graduate Engineer
PMI KSA Chapter - VP of Marketing
Propel Engineering, Inc. - Transportation Engineering Specialist I
Saudi Aramco - Project Engineer
Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries SAEI - Facility and Equipment Planning Manager
Secretariat International – Associate
Southwest Value Partners - Senior Asset Manager
TEKsystems - Quantity Surveyor Engineer
Turner Construction - Field Engineer
University of Southern California - Web Developer I, Resource Employee
Webcor Construction LP - Project Engineer
Internships (Previous Years)
Aperture LLC; Barry & Wynn Architects, Inc.; Condon Johnson & Associates; Corgan Associates; DPR Construction; Mark G. Anderson Consultants, Inc.; Nebraska Department of Transportation; Structural Focus; Tipping Structural; San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; VINCI Construction LLC; W.E. O'Neil; Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc.; West Power Energy; WSP USA Inc.
* Information is based on a voluntary survey and should not be interpreted as a comprehensive view of the 2022 graduating class.
Published on July 10th, 2017
Last updated on February 21st, 2024