PhD Programs Online in Environmental Engineering

PhD Programs Online in Environmental Engineering
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PhD programs online in environmental engineering will prepare students to study the environment through the application of science principles. Those who obtain their PhD in environmental science can choose from a variety of professional engineering and academic careers.

Required Courses

Students will take a variety of courses in a variety of subjects. These subjects include calculus, physical science, civil engineering, ecology, chemical engineering, geology, public health, biology, mechanical engineering, and chemistry.

Students will also have the opportunity to choose a specialty to focus their research on. These specializations include water and waste water treatment, environmental remediation, air quality, environmental sustainability, environmental hydrology, solid and hazardous waste treatment, and oceanography and marine environmental engineering.

Average Completion Time

Completing PhD programs online in environmental engineering will take approximately four to six years depending on the student and the institution. The longest part of this degree is the dissertation. Some students are able to complete it in one year and others require two to three years to complete it. Just about every college and university requires PhD students to attend school on a full-time basis.

Top Online Schools

Worcester Polytechnic Institute offers this degree online. Classes begin in January, May, and September. All courses are delivered via the Internet and all class participation is done online. Students must turn in their assignments on a weekly basis. Tuition is approximately $37,440.00 per student. Students should expect to spend an additional $2,000.00 on books and other related supplies. Students can pay in full, arrange a payment plan, or use financial aid.

Possible Careers

PhD programs online in environmental engineering

Those who possess this degree can pursue a professional engineering career or they can pursue a career in academics. Academic engineers can find employment as university and college professors, teaching college courses in environmental engineering and other related courses. Professional engineers can find employment as consultants or they can head R&D labs. The focus of their research is solving problems for corporate employers or government agencies. In the private and public sector they will work to improve public works (such as sold waste disposal, waste water treatment facilities, and recycling technology), remediation (such as polluted soil or groundwater), government regulation (as an enforcement expert or policy adviser), or in natural resource management (creating policies and conducting risk assessment to protect natural resources).

Career Outlook and Salary

The median annual salary for those who hold a PhD in environmental engineering is $80,000.00. It is estimated that available jobs will continue to grow and those seeking employment will find it relatively easy through 2014.

Why is it Better to Obtain this Degree Online?

Pursuing a PhD takes a lot of work and it is very intense. Obtaining this degree via a traditional college campus will take large amounts of time, often resulting in students having to leave their jobs and sacrifice time with family, friends, and hobbies. An online program is intense as well, but it does leave students a lot more free time to continue on with their current career, family, and other responsibilities.


Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2008). Environmental Engineers. Retrieved on February 23, 2010 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

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