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Environmental Engineering

  • Bachelor of Science Major
  • Erie, Pennsylvania

All environmental engineering students complete a senior design project that is tied to an actual environmental challenge in the Erie community or around the world. The majority of environmental engineering graduates also complete at least one internship prior to graduation.

  • GU Possibilities
    • All students complete a senior design project that is tied to an actual environmental challenge in the Erie community or around the world.
    • The majority of environmental engineering graduates complete at least one internship prior to graduation.
    • Gannon’s proximity to Lake Erie and ownership of a research vessel provides numerous opportunities for water quality monitoring on the lake and its tributaries.
    • Gannon’s Environmental Engineering program has been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology since 2003. It is the only accredited program of its kind in western Pennsylvania.
    • The program has strong ties to local industry and governmental agencies, providing numerous opportunities for field trips, internships and class projects. 

    You Will Learn

    Environmental engineering integrates principles from the natural sciences with engineering in order to understand and solve environmental problems. The discipline is integral to many aspects of our daily life, including safe drinking water, waste water treatment, disposal of waste in landfills and protection of worker health and safety. Environmental engineers are also involved in the sustainable energy field through designing small-scale renewable energy systems, and performing energy and performance audits and redesign of buildings.
    A student majoring in environmental engineering typically has a passion for the environment, enjoys outdoor activities, has an aptitude for math and wants to make the world a better place.

    You Will Experience

    Students have numerous practical and hands-on learning opportunities to further their understanding of environmental problems and to prepare them for environmental careers.

    • Fieldwork: The university owns and operates a research vessel, The Environaut. This and the University’s close proximity to Lake Erie allow for water quality monitoring experiences on Lake Erie and its watershed.
    • Senior Design Projects: This year-long, team-based capstone course requires students to solve a real-world environmental problem.
    • Internships: Many students complete internships at government agencies, industrial facilities, environmental consulting firms or nonprofit organizations.
    • Research Experience: Students have the opportunity to participate in ongoing research projects with department faculty, often involving issues specific to the Great Lakes.
    • Travel: Gannon offers many travel courses, service-learning trips and study abroad opportunities.

    You Will Achieve

    Environmental engineers are in high demand and the U.S. government forecasts strong future growth for the discipline. Graduates of our program are prepared to:

    • solve local and global environmental problems and make the world a better place,
    • begin their engineering careers with industry, environmental consulting firms and governmental agencies,
    • take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam- the first step to becoming a licensed professional engineer, and
    • continue academic study at the graduate level.

    You Will Earn

     Salaries in the field vary depending on the location and type of organization. 

    • Starting salary: $49,400
    • Mid-career salary: $89,800

    You Will Study

    Example Course Descriptions

    The curriculum begins with fundamental science and engineering concepts, and integrates these concepts as students advance through
    the program. In their senior year, students work in teams to solve a real-world environmental problem to fulfill their senior design project requirements. Environmental engineering majors take various core courses including:

    ENV 336/337 Water Quality and Lab
    This course covers the major types of water pollution of concern to the environmental professional. Topics covered include water quality impacted by organic and nutrient pollution in surface and groundwater, as well as the water quality consequences of heavy metal and organic pollution.

    ENV 403 Environmental Engineering
    This upper-level course applies the principles of science and engineering to pollution management. Specifically covered in the course are chemical kinetics, mass balance, mass transfer, water and wastewater treatment, air pollution control and solid and hazardous waste management.

    ENV 451/453 Water and Waste Water Treatment and Lab
    This course provides an engineering approach to water quality protection and covers the principles and design of systems for treating municipal drinking water and wastewater. Topics covered include flocculation, sedimentation, filtration, biological treatment, disinfection, and sludge processing.


    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.