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Environmental Engineering (PHD) 
Program Description

The Environmental Engineering Program is one of the top ranked graduate engineering programs at UA, and highly ranked nationally. The program has long-standing strengths in water and wastewater treatment science and technology as well as technology transfer, hazardous waste treatment, development of environmentally-friendly technologies for industry, and atmospheric research. Owing to the multidisciplinary strengths of Environmental Engineering, students participate in research collaborations with numerous other programs such as Chemical Engineering, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, Civil Engineering, Mining and Geological Engineering, and Environmental Science.

This department’s environmental research contributes to the UA being one of the top ranked world programs in environmental science research.

Departmental research takes advantage of state-of-the-art facilities such as the Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center (, the BIO5 Institute (, the Micro/Nano Fabrication Center (, and various facilities associated with the Institute for Energy Solutions (

Students in this program have a good track record of receiving financial aid from both university and federal fellowships. Environmental Engineering is a rapidly-growing field with promising job prospects in public and private sectors. Graduates of this program most commonly obtain jobs in industry, government organizations, consulting, and continue on to advanced education to enter academia.

Department/Academic Unit(s)

Chemical and Environmental Engineering -

College of Engineering  
Campus where offered
Main Campus - Tucson  
Admissions Contact
Grace Marie Fuller
Graduate Program Coordinator
Grace Marie Fuller
Director of Graduate Studies
Andrea Achilli
Graduate College Degree Counselor
Kristi R Davenport
Tuition and Fees
Please refer to the UA Bursar's Office Tuition and Fees Calculator for up-to-date information about tuition and fees. 
Please refer to the UA Registrar's's Office Special Course Fees for up-to-date information about special course fees. 

Admissions Information

Admissions Requirements

These items must be sent through the Graduate College online application.

  • Graduate College Application for either domestic or international students
  • Application processing fee: $85 for degree-seeking domestic students, $95 for international students and $45 for non-degree-seeking students
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • Official scores from TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or CEFR exam (required for international students only; university code is 4832, chemical engineering code is 1001; environmental engineering code is 1103)
  • Official scores from the GRE (required for all applicants, both domestic and international; university code is 4832, chemical engineering code is 1001, environmental engineering code is 1103); scores above the 90th percentile are recommended for the analytical and quantitative sections
  • Unofficial electronic copies of transcripts from previous academic work

Test Scores: 
The institution code for the University of Arizona is 4832, which you chose when you register for tests like the TOEFL or GRE. Results are sent electronically to the university, typically within two weeks of the test date. After your application is submitted, our search/match system will attempt daily to match your test scores to your GradApp record. Please make sure the name on your tests matches the name on the application to avoid missing scores. The department code is helpful but not necessary.

English Proficiency:
English proficiency is required for all applicants whose native language is not English. Applicants must submit a minimum Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 60 on the revised paper-based (PB) (550 on PBT taken before 2017) or 79 internet-based (iBT); an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) composite score of 7 or better, with no subject area score below a 6; a Pearson PTE Academic (PTE) score of 60 or better; or a Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) score of level C1 or better. Individual departments may require a higher score and have minimum score requirements by test module.

Standardized Tests

Required test(s): TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or CEFR and GRE

Minimum TOEFL: 60 on revised paper based (550 if taken before 2017)
Minimum IELTS: 7
Minimum PTE: 60
Minimum CEFR: C1

Minimum GRE Verbal: no minimum
Minimum GRE Quantitative: no minimum
Minumum GRE Written: no minimum

The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
ETS Major Field Code(s) for this program: 1001 - CHE


Financial Aid

Research and Teaching Assistantships

Admissions Deadlines

Domestic Applicants:

  • Fall: January 15
  • Spring: September 1

International Applicants:

  • Fall: January 15
  • Spring: June 30

Note to applicants: In order to receive priority consideration for fall admission and full consideration for department funding, fall applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their completed applications by December 15. The final deadline for fall applications is January 15. Final deadline for spring applications is June 30. Most of our PhD students start in the fall; spring admission is rare and less likely to secure funding.

International Conditional Admission
International applicants will not be considered for conditional admission by this program.
Other Information
The GRE Institution Code for The University of Arizona is 4832
NRC Taxon(a) for this program: Chemical Engineering

Completion Requirements

Degree Requirements

Course Requirements

With Prior MS: If an approved MS degree is completed (at the UA or elsewhere) prior to entering the doctoral program, a minimum of 12 units of coursework must be completed beyond the MS degree requirements. An approved minor must be completed. The required coursework in the minor may be included in the 12 unit requirement. In addition, 18 units of dissertation and 8 units of seminar must be completed.

Without Prior MS: A minimum of 25 units of approved coursework in the major area and 12 units of approved electives must be completed. An approved minor must be completed. Coursework for the minor may be included in the 12 unit electives requirement. In addition, 18 units of dissertation and 8 units of seminar experience must be completed. All Environmental Engineering PhD students are required to take the following core courses at the UA or an approved equivalent elsewhere:

CHEE 500R, Water Chemistry for Engineers (3 units)

CHEE 500A, Environmental Engineering Laboratory (1 unit)

CHEE 574, Environmental Transport Processes (3 units)

CHEE 576A, Water Treatment System Design (3 units)

CHEE 576B, Wastewater Treatment System Design (3 units)

CHEE 577R, Microbiology for Engineers (3 units)

CHEE 676, Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment (3 units)

Minor Requirements

All PhD students must fulfill the requirements for a minor in a program approved by the candidate and their dissertation advisor. Minor requirements are administered and approved by the minor department. They typically consist of 9 to 12 units of course work.

Minor in Environmental Engineering

The minor in environmental engineering consists of 12 units of environmental engineering coursework.

At least 9 units must be selected from the following courses:

CHEE 500R, Water Chemistry for Engineers (3 units)

CHEE 576A, Water Treatment System Design (3 units)

CHEE 576B, Wastewater Treatment System Design (3 units)

CHEE 577R, Microbiology for Engineers (3 units)

CHEE 578, Introduction to Hazardous Waste Management (3 units)

CHEE 676, Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment (3 units)

The additional 3 units may correspond to other graduate environmental engineering courses upon approval of the minor advisor. Depending on the student’s background, the minor advisor might recommend preparatory undergraduate courses to be taken to cover prerequisite deficiencies. A member from the environmental engineering graduate faculty will serve as minor committee member.

Student Handbook  

Program StatisticsInformation about these numbers

Program-level Information
Application Acceptance Rate 18%
Med. Time-to-degree (years) 4.50
Department-level Information
Enrollment Percent Male 65%
Enrollment Percent Female 35%
Enrollment Percent International 61%
Enrollment Percent URM 10%

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Last revised 17 Jul 2019