Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering


Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) may identify broad concentrations in either  General Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering. Within these two emphases, students may choose electives to permit additional exposure to selected areas of civil or environmental engineering design, such as transportation, structural, geotechnicalenvironmental, and water resources engineering. In environmental engineering, electives may be selected to focus on water quality and treatment, bioremediation, solid and hazardous wastes, air quality, and air pollution control. 

The undergraduate program gives students the theoretical background, instruction in engineering application of scientific principles, and professional attitude to serve the public. It typically leads to entry-level positions or to graduate work in technical specialties (e.g., environmental, geotechnical, structural, and transportation), business administration, or other professions.

Courses that address the behavior and design of steel and reinforced concrete structures, environmental pollution, control systems, water resources systems, foundations, and surface transportation systems are integrated into the curriculum, culminating in a series of senior-level professional design courses. These simulate the design processes used in the major areas of civil engineering and prepare students for entry-level positions. Most faculty members are licensed professional engineers. KU graduates have successful records in professional practice, research in academic institutions, government and private laboratories, and in managing firms and corporations of all sizes.

Additional Information

Students take required courses and select electives that best fulfill their personal goals from the following general areas of study. A total of 128 credit hours is required for graduation. Students pursuing the environmental engineering concentration may select electives that focus on water quality and treatment, bioremediation, solid and hazardous wastes, air quality, and air pollution control, as well as courses in  transportation, structural, geotechnical, and construction engineering.

Environmental Emphasis - Typical Schedule

General Electives

Applying for Admission

All engineering students should come to college with math, science, communication skills, and computer abilities. 

Freshman Admission:

  • Must be admissible to the University of Kansas by assured admissions or individual review AND
  • Have a 3.0+ high school GPA AND
  • Demonstrate mathematics preparedness by:
    • Obtaining a mathematics ACT score of 22+ (or math SAT score of 540+), OR
    • Achieving a ‘B’ or better in ‘college algebra’ or a more advanced mathematics course, OR
    • Achieving a ‘C’ or better in a high school calculus course; OR
    • Earning credit via IB or AP credit for the above-mentioned courses in accordance with KU placement credit requirements; OR
    • Achieving at minimum a qualifying score for MATH 104 on the ALEKS mathematics placement exam.

Students should also be ready for the challenges presented in architectural studio courses. It is helpful to have completed a course in computer-aided design (CAD) as well as a course in freehand sketching.

Undergraduate Admissions | Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

The KU School of Engineering and its departments each year award additional scholarships to entering freshmen, transfer students and continuing undergraduate students. This is on top of offers from the university. Much of that support is made possible through generous donations from successful alumni and friends of the school who want to ensure others have access to the same great opportunities they had here. All students are strongly encouraged to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by March 1 to ensure they are considered for all scholarship dollars for which they are eligible. See KU Engineering Scholarships for information about scholarship opportunities for freshmen entering in fall 2020.

(a)  an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data 

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g)  an ability to communicate effectively

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Professional Registration and Licensing

Engineers are involved in projects that directly affect the health and safety of the public. Graduates are strongly encouraged to become registered Professional Engineers as soon as possible after graduation. This involves completing an ABET-accredited B.S. degree in civil or architectural engineering, passing the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering examinations, and obtaining 4 years of satisfactory engineering experience. Students in both civil and architectural engineering must take the FE examination before graduation. Some architectural engineers also practice as architects after completing an NAAB-accredited professional undergraduate or graduate architecture degree program and becoming Registered Architects. Students with this interest should consider Track II and III master of architecture degree programs after completing their B.S. in architectural engineering.

Professional Opportunities

Architectural engineering focuses on building systems analysis and design, including structural, mechanical, energy, lighting, and electrical systems, and construction methods applied to buildings. Increasingly, architectural engineers are interested in specializations such as green buildings, acoustics, and fire protection. Architectural engineers center their attention on the performance, safety, cost-effectiveness, and construction methods of these systems. They typically work for engineering consulting firms, construction companies, or government agencies.