Environmental engineers ensure that we have clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, clean soil in which to grow our crops and clean energy to sustain our growth. The goal of environmental engineering is to offer sustainable and green solutions to many of the issues and challenges facing our society, and to provide a clean and healthy environment for us and our ecosystem. Environmental engineers use engineering and science principles to design innovative treatment technologies that help to minimize our environmental footprint, prevent pollution, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, ensure drinking water safety and achieve environmental sustainability as we combat challenges like climate change.

The Carleton Advantage

Carleton University’s Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree program in Environmental Engineering is one of only a few in Canada. Our program includes a modified common engineering core program, a group of courses specific to environmental engineering, and additional courses in biology and chemistry.

Carleton offers the following advantages:

  • an emphasis on problem-solving and hands-on laboratory work;
  • a challenging final-year project;
  • a wide choice of complementary courses from other faculties, such as Arts and Social Sciences; and
  • excellent scholarships for high-standing students.

Our Laboratory and Research Facilities

As an Environmental Engineering student, you will benefit from modern, well-equipped laboratories and computer facilities on campus. Our proximity to, and close association with, Environment Canada and its laboratories are an asset.

Your Co-op Opportunities

As a student in the Environmental Engineering program you will have the opportunity to apply to the Co-operative Education Program. Co-op integrates degree-related, paid work terms into your degree program. A minimum of four work terms are required to obtain the Co-op designation on your degree. Often, the four consecutive work terms following third year take place with the same employer.

Our program is closely associated with government departments and agencies as well as private firms, giving students valuable work experience and contacts that will benefit them in the future.

The pattern of work and study terms for the co-op option is shown in the following table.

Calendar Year Fall Winter Summer
1 study term 1 study term 2
2 study term 3 study term 4 work term
3 study term 5 study term 6 work term
4 work term work term work term
5 study term 7 study term 8

Learn more about our featured co-op employers. 

Choosing the Right Program

The BEng program in Environmental Engineering is fully accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board. When you graduate from the program, you will meet the educational requirements for registration as a professional engineer.

A wide range of topics are covered in the program—from life cycle analysis and environmental impact assessment to the design of industrial wastewater treatment processes and waste containment systems for solid and hazardous waste management. At Carleton, we want our environmental engineering graduates to develop clean energy sources, reduce our environmental footprint, and protect our ecosystem, resources, and public health. Carleton’s Environmental Engineering program mixes fundamental concepts and theory with analysis and design, so that our graduates can meet the challenges facing our environment.

First year begins with a common core of fundamentals in engineering, mathematics and science. In the second year, unique elements of the Environmental Engineering program are introduced, along with additional courses in biology and chemistry. You will take the first program-specific course (Process Analysis for Environmental Engineering) in your second year. Third year introduces environmental engineering courses that cover the unifying fundamental concepts and processes underlying the analysis and design courses offered in fourth year. Fourth year courses are applied and focus on the assessment and design of traditional and new innovative technologies for water and wastewater treatment, air quality control, waste management, and contaminated site remediation.

Course Structure

The courses of a typical Environmental program are shown below.

Study Term 1 Study Term 2
Calculus for Engineering Students
[MATH 1004]
Linear Algebra for Engineering Students
[MATH 1104]
General Chemistry I
[CHEM 1001]
General Chemistry II
[CHEM 1002]
Computation and Programming
[ECOR 1041]
Introductory Electromagnetism and Wave Motion [PHYS 1004]
[ECOR 1043]
[ECOR 1045]
Data Management
[ECOR 1042]
Visual Communication
[ECOR 1047]
[ECOR 1044]
[ECOR 1046]
Introduction to Engineering Disciplines I
[ECOR 1055]
[ECOR 1048]
Engineering Profession
[ECOR 1057]
Introduction to Engineering Disciplines II
[ECOR 1056]
Complementary Studies Elective
Study Term 3 Study Term 4
Differential Equations and Infinite Series for Engineering Students [MATH 1005] Multivariable Calculus for Engineering Students [MATH 2004]
Foundations of Biology I
[BIOL 1103]
Foundations of Biology II
[BIOL 1104]
Mechanics of Solids I
[CIVE 2200]
Foundations of Environmental Chemistry
[CHEM 2800]
Fluid Mechanics I
[MAAE 2300]
Problem Analysis for Environmental Engineering [ENVE 2001]
Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer
[MAAE 2400]
Engineering Geoscience
[ERTH 2404]
Study Term 5 Study Term 6
Civil Engineering Materials
[CIVE 2700]
Municipal Hydraulics
[CIVE 4307]
Geotechnical Mechanics
[CIVE 3208]
Water Treatment
[ENVE 3001]
Foundations of Environmental Pollutants
[CHEM 3800]
Contaminant/Pollutant Transport
[ENVE 3004]
System Modeling
[ENVE 3002]
Communication Skills for Engineering Students [CCDP 2100]
Water Resources Engineering
[ENVE 3003]
Design and Analysis of Engineering Experiments [ECOR 2050]
Engineering Portfolio
[ECOR 2995]
Engineering Economics
[ECOR 3800]
Study Term 7 Study Term 8
Engineering Design Project
[ENVE 4918]
Air Pollution & Emission Control
[ENVE 4003]
Environmental Planning & Impact Assessment [ENVE 4104]
Wastewater Treatment Principles & Design
[ENVE 4005]
Professional Practice
[ECOR 4995]
Contaminant Hydrology
[ENVE 4006]
Complementary Studies Elective
Waste Management
[ENVE 4101]
Engineering Elective
Engineering Elective

Note: As study terms and courses offered may vary, please refer to the Carleton University Undergraduate Calendar for specific program requirements.

Your Future Opportunities

As an environmental engineer, you will find employment opportunities in industry, municipalities, consulting firms, federal and provincial regulatory agencies, and research establishments. Your many options include designing treatment technologies and facilities, developing clean energy alternatives, providing safe drinking water, helping improve air quality, and assessing waste management strategies.

Alumni Feature

“I definitely found that learning by doing is one of the best ways to gain practical knowledge. Perhaps the most valuable thing I’ve learned is not to be afraid to ask questions. You’re there to learn and the people you’re working with once found themselves in that very same position.”

Jordan Gerber (BEng/17 – Environmental Engineering, MASc/20 – Environmental Engineering) Wastewater EIT at Region of Waterloo

Admission Requirements

For admission to the Environmental Engineering program, you must have an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a minimum of six 4U/M courses.

Your six courses must include four prerequisite courses:

  • Advanced Functions
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • One of the following:
    • Calculus and Vectors (strongly recommended for applicants to all engineering programs)
    • Biology
    • Earth and Space Science

Although it is not an admission requirement, at least one 4U course in either English or French is recommended. Equivalent courses may be substituted at the appropriate 4U level.

Since the number of qualified applicants may be greater than the number of available spaces, cut-off averages and required marks may vary.


If you are from outside Ontario, or outside Canada, please visit Carleton’s Undergraduate Admissions website for details on your specific program’s requirements.

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