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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State University Park

Environmental Systems Engineering (ENVSE) - ARCHIVE

Begin Date: Spring Semester 2003
End Date: Spring Semester 2007 -UCA

Environmental Systems Engineering - ARCHIVE

University Park, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (ENVSE)

PROFESSOR MARK S. KLIMA, Undergraduate Program Officer

The B.S. program in Environmental Systems Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone: 410-347-7700. It is an interdisciplinary program concerned with the impact of industrial activities on the environment and the choice of cost-effective remediation strategies. The program is unique as it is designed to address critical environmental problems of the basic industries such as those involved in the extraction, conversion, and utilization of energy and mineral resources. The courses are sequenced so that students acquire an appropriate blend of theory, applications, and design and are equipped with the fundamentals necessary to maintain lifelong professional growth. Graduates are prepared to enter both the private and public sectors as environmental systems engineers or to pursue further education at the graduate level.

During the first two years, the program shares many common features (e.g., mathematics, chemistry, physics, and engineering mechanics) with other more traditional engineering disciplines. Students then take a series of special courses that introduce engineering concepts in the extractive and process industries. Process engineering and a variety of solid-solid, solid-fluid, and fluid-fluid separations play a major and often dominant role in the prevention and/or remediation of environmental damage resulting from industrial activity. Students then specialize in the particular problems associated with air, land, or water or select a hybrid program. Specialization is accomplished through a combination of additional designated courses and selection from an extensive list of relevant elective courses, which may include a senior thesis. The curriculum is structured so as to integrate design concepts into the various subject areas covered in the program.

The human, societal, economic, ethical, and regulatory aspects of the industrial impact on the environment are addressed through a combination of specific courses and components of other more general courses. This aspect of the program is designed to provide students with a deeper understanding, both of the impact of environmental degradation on society and of the effects on industrial activity of society's demands for protection of the environment. The program culminates with the capstone design course, which is an integrated, problem-based, multi-faceted project in which students, working in a team setting, utilize fundamental concepts to design an environmental remediation system.

The integration of knowledge and skills acquired during the course of study enables graduates of Penn State's Environmental Systems Engineering program to:

  • Enter the private or public sectors as environmental systems engineers to solve a broad range of environmental problems associated with the process industries or pursue an advanced degree.

  • Address critical environmental problems of the basic industries, especially those involved with the extraction, conversion, and utilization of energy and mineral resources; design engineering systems to alleviate such problems, individually and in a team setting; and communicate the results effectively.

  • Determine the impact of environmental pollution control on the viability of industrial operations, including health and safety, social, and ethical aspects; evaluate novel strategies for minimizing pollution control costs in the process industries.

  • Recognize the need to maintain professional competency and the value of life-long learning.

For the B.S. degree in Environmental Systems Engineering, a minimum of 130 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

(27 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin.)


(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)


(This includes 27 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GWS courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 9 credits of GN courses; 3 credits of GS courses.)

EM SC 100S GWS(3)[71] (Sem: 1-2)
CHEM 012 GN(3), CHEM 013 GN(3), CHEM 014 GN(1), CHEM 034(3), E MCH 011(3), E MCH 012(3), GEOG 030 GS(3), MATH 140 GQ(4), MATH 141 GQ(4), MATH 251(4), PHYS 211 GN(4), PHYS 212 GN(4), MICRB 106(3) (Sem: 1-4)
C E 370(3)[1], EGEE 301(5), GEOSC 071(3)[1] (Sem: 3-6)
ENGL 202C GWS(3)[1], F SC 430(3), GEOSC 452(3), MNG 401(1), MN PR 301(3)[1], P N G 411(1) (Sem: 5-6)
ECEEM 484W(3), GEOEE 402(1), GEOEE 404W(3), GEOEE 406(3), GEOEE 412(1), GEOEE 427(3)[1], GEOEE 480(3) (Sem: 5-8)

ADDITIONAL COURSES (17-18 credits)
ENGL 015 GWS(3) or ENGL 030 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
CMPSC 201C GQ(3), CMPSC 201F GQ(3), or CMPSC 203 GQ(4) (Sem: 3-4)
MATH 220 GQ(2) or MATH 231(2) (Sem: 3-4)
GEOSC 413W(3), SOILS 401(3), or METEO 455(3) (Sem: 6-8)
METEO 454(3), MN PR 401(3), or MN PR 426(3) (Sem: 7-8)
GEOEE 408(3), M E 470(3), or MN PR 425(3) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 9 credits in consultation with adviser (Sem: 7-8)
(Students may apply up to 6 credits of ROTC.)

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.
[71] The following substitutions are allowed for students attending campuses where the indicated course is not offered: CAS 100 GWS or ENGL 202C GWS can be substituted for EM SC 100S GWS.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2003

Blue Sheet Item #: 31-05-133A

Review Date: 1/21/05




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