Environmental Engineering

Engineer the environment for a better future

A student in the Environmental Engineering program at the University of Waterloo.

As climate change and resource scarcity accelerate at an alarming rate, it’s critical that we design solutions that protect the planet we all call home.

As an Environmental Engineering student, you can help combat the critical environmental challenges facing our natural and built structures. You'll gain the skills to design smarter water treatment and distribution systems, clean contaminated soil, or even prevent E. coli outbreaks.

At Waterloo, you can nurture your passion for sustainability, mathematics, and science. Meanwhile, you’ll gain two years of paid experience through six co-op work terms, allowing you to earn money and to discover the career areas that fit you best.

You’ll graduate ready to clean up the world’s pollution — and lead and innovate smart environmental design in any sector.

Program highlights

Learn at one of the world's top universities. Waterloo is ranked #1 in Canada for environmental science and engineering (Academic World Ranking of Universities 2023).

Protect the planet. Waterloo’s strong background in water research can lead to careers in watershed restoration, water treatment, habitat protection, and air pollution mitigation.


Why Waterloo Engineering?

Environmental Engineering is an ideal program for students who want to gain the skills needed to design smarter water treatment and distribution, clean contaminated soil, or even prevent E. coli outbreaks

What will you learn? 

During your first year, you'll take a mix of foundational engineering, math, and communication courses. In upper years, most of your classes will be in Environmental Engineering.

Learn more about the courses you'll take for your Environmental Engineering degree.

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Co-op = relevant paid work experience

Waterloo's co-op program, the largest in North America, is an amazing way to explore potential careers, learn to interview for jobs, graduate with up to two years of valuable experience – and make money!

Sample co-op job titles

  • Drainage design engineering assistant
  • Environmental engineering assistant
  • Technical writer
  • Tides and water levels assistant
  • Field engineering / project coordinator
  • Industrial wastewater engineering
  • Program developer

Co-op work-study sequence

Starting in first year, you'll normally alternate between school and work every four months, integrating your classroom learning with real-world experience. You can return to the same employer for a couple of work terms to gain greater knowledge and responsibility or work for different employers to get a broad range of experience.

Year September to December (Fall) January to April (Winter) May to August (Spring)
First Study Co-op Study
Second Co-op Study Co-op
Third Study Co-op Study
Fourth Co-op Study Co-op
Fifth Study Study -

Your first work term will be halfway through first year (January to April 2025).

Learn more about co-op →


Environmental Engineering admission requirements

Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including

  • Advanced Functions (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Calculus and Vectors (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Physics (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • Chemistry (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
  • English (ENG4U) (minimum final grade of 70% is required)

Admission averages: Individual selection from the mid- to high 80s

Complete the Admission Information Form once you've applied.

Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.


How to apply

Apply directly to this program on your application.