Environmental Science, M.S. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Environmental Science, M.S.

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Environmental science is a multidisciplinary profession that promotes sustainability by preserving, protecting and restoring environments. The MS in Environmental Science from the School of Engineering provides a strong foundation in the fundamental sciences as well as regulatory environment issues that govern human-natural environmental interactions. The MS in Environmental Science exposes our students to a combination of theory and practical problem-solving approaches that can be directly applied in the workforce or provide a strong foundation for advanced graduate studies.

Our program also offers a variety of research and scholarly activities, including natural and urban environmental systems management, food resilient cities, vulnerability mapping, urban water cycle/watershed studies, contamination remediation, climate change impacts on natural resources and anthropogenic interactions, and water and energy supply and demand chains.


To earn an MS in Environmental Science, you must complete 30 credits as described below, with a 3.0 GPA or better in all graduate courses and in all guided studies (readings, projects, theses, dissertations). Averages are computed separately for courses and guided studies. Transfer credits from other institutions are not included in this average.

View the Bulletin for the most current program curriculum.

3 Credits Environmental Chemistry & Microbiology CE-GY 7373
The course introduces the chemistry and microbiology of polluted and natural waters, including applications of principles developed.
3 Credits Water & Wastewater Treatment CE-GY 7423
The course covers the physical, chemical and biological principles of process design and treatment of water and wastewater. Topics include aeration, filtration, softening, chemical treatment, coagulation, occulation, desalination, and taste and odor control.
Co-requisite: CE-GY 7373.
3 Credits Hydrology CE-GY 7223
This course covers: Hydraulic cycle; meteorological considerations; analysis of precipitation, runoff, unit hydrographs, flood routing and reservoir storage; principles of groundwater hydrology; and an introduction to frequency analysis of floods and droughts.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

12 credits of approved courses in environmental engineering, and chemical and biological engineering at the School of Engineering, and environmental health science at New York University, including up to 6 approved transfer credits.

Suggested Approved Courses

BIOL-GA 1004 Please refer to the bulletin for more information
EHSC-GA 1010 Please refer to the bulletin for more information
EHSC-GA 1006 Please refer to the bulletin for more information
3 Credits Groundwater Hydrology and Pollution CE-GY 7233
This course looks at the characteristics of confined and unconfined flow of water through porous media; groundwater and well hydraulics; quality of groundwater; environmental influences; groundwater pollution; management aspects of groundwater and groundwater modeling.
Prerequisites: CE-UY 2214 (Fluid Mechanics) or equivalent or instructor's permission.
3 Credits Advanced Environmental Chemistry & Microbiology CE-GY 7393
This course explores advanced topics in chemistry and microbiology of polluted and natural wastewater treatment.
Prerequisite: CE-GY 7373 or equivalent.
3 Credits Advanced Water & Wastewater Treatment CE-GY 7433
This course covers further the processes discussed in CE-GY 7423. Topics include sedimentation, adsorption, aerobic and anaerobic biological treatment, sludge treatment and disposal.
Prerequisite: CE-GY 7423. Co-requisite: CE-GY 7393.
3 Credits Modeling Fate and Transport of Surface Water Pollution CE-GY 7473
The course covers dispersal and decay of contaminants introduced into lakes, streams, estuaries and oceans, and the effects of pollutants on chemical quality and ecology of receiving waters.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Environmental Impact Assessment CE-GY 7673
The course examines legal and technical requirements in preparing environmental-impact statements. Considerations include legal and technical requirements, the procedure and the interdisciplinary nature of the analysis. Topics include overall impact evaluation, categories of impacts, problem definition, quantification of impact, methods used in analysis, field evaluations, mitigations, hearing procedures and management. Practical examples and case studies are used.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Solid Waste Management CE-GY 7703
The course covers engineering aspects of solid waste collection, transport and disposal, including incineration, sanitary landfill, composting, recovery and reutilization. Also covered is the economic evaluation of factors affecting selection of disposal methods.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Environmental Systems Management CE-GY 7753
This course provides an overview of information technologies as applied to the remote sensing of environmental infrastructure systems, and includes the development of infrastructure system databases to assist complex decision-making on environmental infrastructures.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing
3 Credits Air Pollution CE-GY 7523
This course discussed the causes and effects of air pollution, methods of sampling, interpretation of data, meteorological aspects, and methods of air-pollution control.
3 Credits Environmental Toxicology CE-GY 7553
This course stresses basic concepts essential to understanding the action of exogenous chemical agents on biological systems. The course covers principles of absorption and the effects of chemical agents on metabolism. The pathways of metabolism of these compounds and the principles of elimination from biological systems are discussed. The course includes discussion of toxicokinetics, types of toxic responses and the current experimental methods of toxicity.
3 Credits MS Project in Civil & Urban Engineering Department CE-GY 9963
This project involves analytical, design or experimental studies in civil engineering guided by a faculty adviser and following departmental guidelines. A written report is required.
Prerequisites: degree status and project adviser's approval.
CE-GY 9973 Please refer to the bulletin for more information
3 Credits Selected Topics in Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering I CE-GY 7353
This course examines topics of current interest in water resources and hydraulic engineering. Topics vary with each offering and are disseminated before the semester of offering.
Prerequisite: instructor's permission.
3 Credits Selected Topics in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering I CE-GY 7723
This course examines topics of current interest in environmental and water resources
engineering. Topics vary with each offering and are disseminated before the semester of offering.
3 Credits Environmental Geotechnology CE-GY 8493
The course covers: Clay mineralogy; soil-water interaction processes; chemical transport through soils; hydraulic conductivity, diffusion and attenuation mechanisms; water-disposal systems; design of land-fills, seepage barriers and cut-off walls; geo-environmental site characterization techniques; and soil-remediation techniques.
Prerequisite: undergraduate soil mechanics, CE-UY 3153 or equivalent.
3 Credits Climate Science: Realities & Risks of A Changing Climate CE-GY 7913
This course is the first term of a two-term sequence covering climate and energy. The first term will focus on climate science - the basics of the earth system, how it is observed and modeled, how has it changed in the recent and distant past, how it might change in the future under natural and human influences, and what impacts those changes might have on ecosystems and society. The most recent US government and UN assessment reports will serve as texts, supplemented by the original research literature and media coverage. This course should be of interest (and accessible) to students interested in climate science, sustainability, energy technologies, energy businesses, and energy policies. Prerequisites are only numeracy, simple algebra, basic calculus, and general science knowledge.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing or department permission
3 Credits Geomatics and Gis Application in Civil and Environmental Engineering CE-GY 7733
The course covers the principles of Geographic Information Systems and the system's applications in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Topics covered include system structure, data capture, data processing, data analysis, presentation and reports. Coordinate systems, map projections, remote sensing, and GPS-GIS integrations will be taught. Infrastructure planning, construction management, earthwork machine control, highway rehabilitations, structure deformation and EIA will be presented.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing or Departmental Permission
3 Credits Detection and Control of Waterborne Pathogens CE-GY 7573
Waterborne pathogens are the etiologies of a range of diseases ? including gastroenteritis, poliomyelitis, hepatitis, Legionnaire's disease, and intestinal worm infections ? and play an important role in the global burden of disease. This course will introduce students to fundamental principles of water-related infectious diseases, including the detection and enumeration of waterborne pathogens and indicator microorganisms; the burden of disease and mode of transmission of different classes of microorganisms; pathogenesis; and engineering controls to reduce transmission. The course will have a global perspective, and include water treatment options in low-resource settings.
Prerequisites: CE-GY 7373 or permission of the instructor.
3 Credits Wetland Design for Water Quality Improvement  CE-GY 7653
This course will provide the fundamentals for understanding the criteria for identifying a jurisdictional wetland that include the hydrology, hydrophytic vegetation, and hydric soils. You will be able to differentiate between a jurisdictional wetland and treatment pond/wetland. Emphasis will be placed on design experience working with a wetland mitigation project as well understanding the function of a natural wetland system. An in-depth background will be provided for hydrology leading to the development of a water budget/hydrograph. You will work with wetland design components that include the grading plan/microtopographic features; depth, duration, and timing of the site hydrology and water storage as well as the function of draw down. You will develop an understanding for wetlands for water quality improvement and can distinguish between wetland mitigation, restoration, and creation.
3 Credits Risk Analysis CE-GY 8283
In this course, students investigate the ever-rising importance of risk analysis in project management. Topics include: analysis of qualitative and quantitative risk; techniques in probability analysis, sensitivity analysis, simulation of risk and utility theory; and computational methods for calculating risk. Students are exposed to real-world problems through case investigations.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing

9 credits of approved elective courses


To be granted admission to the MS. in Environmental Science degree at Tandon School of Engineering, an applicant should hold a B.S. degree in a related science discipline from an accredited college in the United States or a recognized institution of higher learning abroad and has attained an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0/4.0. Applicants holding B.S. degrees must demonstrate to have achieved the technical background necessary to pursue advanced work in Environmental Science. This background includes:

  • Two semesters of college chemistry (with Laboratory)
  • A semester of college calculus
  • A semester of college statistics
  • A semester of another science course
  • A semester of water resources or hydrology
  • A semester of environmental processes

Strong background in data analytics and problem-solving using computers is desired. International applicants should have completed these requirements prior to applying. For the domestic applicants however, the requirements of water resources and environmental processes courses, can be completed by taking the courses below in the first offering of the course after enrollment for the MS. degree. 

  • CE-UY 3223, Environmental Engineering
  • CE-UY 3243, Water Resources Engineering

More out about Admission Requirements.