Graduate Studies in Environmental Engineering Sciences - Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

For consideration for financial support, we strongly encourage you to submit your application byJanuary 15.

To be considered for the environmental engineering and science graduate program, applicants must have an undergraduate degree in either engineering or science. Individuals with undergraduate degrees in science must have a major in one of the physical, chemical, biological or mathematical sciences.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) must be taken prior to admission to this program. Environmental applicants are expected to have a total aptitude score of at least 1100 (301 using new GRE scoring) with a minimum verbal score of 400 (146 using new GRE scoring), a minimum quantitative score of 600 (148 using new GRE scoring), and a minimum analytical writing score of 3.5.  Students whose native language is not English must also take the TOEFL exam prior to admission.  Expected minimum TOEFL scores are 95 for the internet-based exam, 240 for the computer-based exam, or 587 for the paper-based exam.

We encourage students with undergraduate science degrees to apply to our EES graduate program. There are two options for those with an undergraduate science degree. The first is to have your sub-track designation as Environmental Science and the second is to have your sub-track designation Environmental Engineering. The primary difference is that the Environmental Engineering degree requires completion of several additional undergraduate engineering courses (which may be taken pass/fail). See additional information in the description of the EES MS/Ph.D requirements.

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The Admission Process

A primary concern is that students not only succeed, but thrive in the Environmental Engineering and Science graduate program. Carefully selecting our students is the first step to facilitate success. Once an application is received, the faculty first evaluates it on an individual basis, considering several factors including academic background, letters of recommendation, degree objective, GRE scores, and TOEFL scores in the case of foreign applicants.

Since there are a limited number of openings in the graduate program, applications are compared with one another to ensure that no deserving individuals are passed over for admission. Once an applicants admissibility has been determined, applicants are then considered again for financial support on a competitive basis.

Financial Support

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Financial support is generally granted in the form of either a Teaching Assistantship (TA) or Research Assistantship (RA) or some combination of the two. There is no "pool" of generally available money that is awarded to applicants based on simple test scores. The University does however, have a number of scholarships and fellowships available on a competitive basis for qualified applicants. Many factors, including communication skills, are considered in selecting the recipients of any financial support.

Research Assistants are selected by individual faculty who have grants and contracts to perform research. RA’s are generally expected to take Thesis Option, producing a thesis as a "deliverable" for which credit is also given. TA’s are appointed based upon course and program needs, and student background. The maximum amount of support offered is at the "1/2 Time" level for both TA’s and RA’s. At this level, an assistant’s paid time commitment is expected to average 20 hours per week, allowing considerable flexibility depending on course and project needs. It is also our expectation that students supported at the 1/2 Time level are full-time students, dividing all your available time between your course work, and TA and RA responsibilities. Additional work outside of your university appointment and enrollment in course work that does not contribute to your degree objective is discouraged and should be discussed with the thesis advisor.

Depending on a number of factors, an applicant would be notified of his or her current funding status at the time of his acceptance into the graduate program. This notification might be: 1) an offer of a TA or RA position at some level of commitment; 2) a notification stating that no support will be offered; or 3) a notification stating that no decision on funding has been made, but funding is still possible.

Most offers go out sometime in late February or early March. If the offer is not accepted and the candidate withdraws their application, the offer will then go out to another person. Offers go out until all sources of funding have been expended or committed. This may occur over a several month period. NOTE: By agreement between all recognized graduate programs, no offer of financial assistance need be accepted until April 15 for Fall admission. An applicant may accept earlier than this, it cannot be "required" by any program. We frequently are still sending out offers of financial support near this date and after depending on availability of funds. The funding situation is usually very fluid and our ability to fund new students changes rapidly. It is suggested that you contact the Director of Graduate Studies in EES before any decision is made to attend school elsewhere to ensure that you do not miss a new funding opportunity.