Master of Science in Environmental Engineering
September 15, 2022
December 15, 2022
- Program Overview
- Application Information
- Tuition & Fees
- Meet Our Students
- Career Outcomes
- DEN@Viterbi - Online Delivery
- Request Information
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.
International Students: This program is eligible for the OPT STEM extension.
Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings, and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.
- A minimum of 28 units is required to earn the MS in Environmental Engineering degree
- Required Core Courses: 8 units
- Required Concentration Courses: 16 units (select either air or water concentration)
- Degree-Related Elective Courses: 4 units (elective courses must be pre-approved by a department advisor)
- Two-thirds of the units must be taken at the 500-level or above
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation
The application deadline for Fall 2023 has been extended to February 15, 2023.
|Spring 2023||September 15, 2022|
|Fall 2023||December 15, 2022*|
|* DEN@Viterbi (Online Delivery) Deadline Extension: An application extension for Fall 2023 is available for online DEN@Viterbi applicants who intend to pursue their entire degree program online and do not require a visa sponsorship. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application extension.
On-campus students who apply by published deadlines will be considered for scholarships if admitted.
Online DEN@Viterbi applicants can view the Master's Scholarships (DEN@Viterbi) page for scholarship opportunities.
Visit our Ready to Apply page for more information.
Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in any engineering or engineering-related disciplines including but not limited to: Environmental Engineering, Environmental Studies, Civil Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.
The following materials are required to be included with your online application:
- Transcripts: Upload Electronic Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. A mailed hard copy or official e-transcript is not required for admission to our programs.
- Submit an electronic copy of official transcripts (.pdf recommended) and other degree related documents through the online graduate application (International applicants, visit USC Graduate Admission’s Country Requirements page for details on required documents)
- Unofficial transcripts from university student portals are not acceptable
- If the transcript includes a separate grading scale, make sure it is also uploaded
- For upload purposes, all transcript related documents for a single school must be submitted as one document
- If you are admitted, you will be given specific instructions on submitting your hard copy transcripts
- Personal Statement : The personal statement should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.
- GRE: General GRE test scores are not required for 2023
- Letters of Recommendation (2 Required): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.
English Language Proficiency: In addition to application requirements above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. Please review USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.
IMPORTANT: USC does not accept Duolingo and TOEFL Essentials test scores.
The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.
Per Unit Rate
|Fall 2022 - Summer 2023*|
|Fall 2021 - Summer 2022*|
|* Tuition is the same for on-campus and online students|
ESTIMATED COST OF ATTENDANCE – 28 UNIT PROGRAM
MANDATORY STUDENT FEES - 2022/23
|Student Health Center Fee|
|Norman Topping Student Aid Fee|
|ENGR Computing Access Fee (On-Campus students)|
|ENGR Computing Access Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)|
$40 - $100 per course
|Health Insurance (U.S.-based health insurance is required, but it does not have to be through USC)|
Fall 2022: $805
Spring 2023: $1,468
Visit Tuition & Fees for more information
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.
- California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region
- Cruise - Systems Engineer
- Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
- Shopee - Product Manager
- University of Southern California
- For courses within this program that may be online, please visit the USC Schedule of Classes (courses will have a DEN@Viterbi section)
- For a full list of the 40+ engineering graduate programs available online, please visit Online DEN@Viterbi Offerings
- Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
- Astronautical Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Computer Science
- Data Science & Cyber Security
- Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Financial Engineering
- Energy & Sustainability
- Industrial & Systems Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Systems Architecting & Engineering
Published on July 10th, 2017
Last updated on February 10th, 2023