Environmental Engineering (MC29)

The MAE department is no longer accepting new students into the Environmental Engineering major.

The Environmental Engineering program within the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at UC San Diego is a modern interpretation of this rapidly changing field. Unlike the classical environmental engineering topics (e.g. water sanitation, brownfield remediation) many new environmental engineering and sustainability challenges require strong quantitative skills. Renewable energy technologies require skills in material science and physics, climate change research requires individuals trained in fluid mechanics and environmental transport and sustainable building design requires deep knowledge of heat and mass transfer in complex geometries.

Four year plans

Three year plans

Prerequisite Guides: (Prerequisites must be taken before a course, not concurrently)



Environmental Engineering is a four-year curriculum that resembles the chemical engineering curriculum in its first two years, with fundamental engineering courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. In the third and fourth year, the programs diverge: an environmental engineering sequence is offered, as well as further specialization in fluid mechanics, and a wide choice of technical electives, both from within MAE and other departments.



The environmental engineering major focuses on conveying an understanding and awareness of the fundamental processes associated with human industrial activity that have environmental implications, and on equipping the next generation of engineers with the tools to develop technologies that enable sustainable economic growth. The following educational objectives have been established for the environmental engineering program:

1. to provide a sound introduction to the basic sciences that underlie the disciplines of environmental engineering

2. to provide a thorough training in methods of analysis, including problem formulation and the mathematical and computational skills required by environmental engineers

3. to teach students the experimental and data analysis techniques required for engineering applications

4. to teach the fundamentals of the design process, including project management, the synthesis of information from different disciplinary areas, and innovation and creative problem solving in an engineering setting

5. to prepare students in the skills required for successful participation on teams and in leadership positions, including effective written and oral communication

6. to instill in our students an understanding of their professional and ethical responsibilities

7. to provide students with the opportunity to gain a range of experiences through classroom and extramural activities on campus and through partnerships and internships with industry, with primary and secondary schools, and with other organizations