Undergraduate Minors


Field trip to the Baltimore_RESCO Waste to Energy Facility

  • Environmental engineers play particularly pivotal roles as professionals who bridge the gap between understanding complex scientific concepts and helping to formulate public policies that affect the environment. Environmental engineering has become an important part of engineering practice in most engineering fields and across a professional spectrum from the private sector through governmental agencies to academia.  An undergraduate minor in environmental engineering has been established to enable engineering students to pursue an interest in this field and to incorporate aspects of environmental engineering into their own careers in other engineering disciplines.

    Students in any undergraduate major in the GWC Whiting School of Engineering are eligible for admission to the environmental engineering minor program. Students will work with an advisor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering (DoGEE) to develop a program that meets the requirements for the minor and is consistent with the educational requirements of their major field of engineering study.  Students in undergraduate majors other than engineering can enroll in the Environmental Science minor, also offered by the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering.

    Requirements of the EE minor program consist of:

    • a set of “core” science and mathematics courses, already common to the civil and chemical engineering majors,
    • four required courses in environmental engineering (total of 12 credits, listed below), and
    • two elective courses, one of which is taken at the freshman or sophomore level and the other of which is taken at the junior or senior level.

    Students with a strong interest in Environmental Engineering may also wish to consider the Whiting School’s Honors B.S./M.S.E. Program.  Under this program, outstanding students completing ABET-accredited B.S. programs in engineering disciplines can apply for direct continuation into the M.S.E. Program in Environmental Engineering, which is administered by the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering.

  • Environmental Engineering Minor Core Courses (advanced placement credits and/or equivalent courses in other schools or departments are acceptable, subject to advisor approval)

    Courses                           Credits

    • 110.108 Calculus I – 4
    • 110.109 Calculus II – 4
    • 110.202 Calculus III; or, 110.211 Honors Multivariable Calculus – 4
    • 550.291 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations – 4
    • 030.101 Introductory Chemistry I – 3
    • 030.102 Introductory Chemistry II – 3
    • 030.105 Introductory Chemistry Laboratory I- 1
    • 030.106 Introductory Chemistry Laboratory II- 1
    • 171.101 General Physics: Physical Science Major I; or, 171.107 General Physics for Physical Sciences Majors (AL) – 4
    • 173.111 General Physics Laboratory I- 1
    • 173.112 General Physics Laboratory II- 1



    EE MINOR CURRICULUM (a total of 18 credits is required)

    Required Courses (total of 12 credits)


    570.301                 (N,E), Environmental Engineering I-Fundamentals (fall), 3

    570.302                 (N,E), Water and Wastewater Treatment (spring),

    570.304                 (N,E), Environmental Engineering Laboratory (spring), 3

    570.305                 (N,E), Environmental Engineering Systems Design (fall), 4


    EE MINOR Elective Courses (total of 6 credits).  One course from each of two groups is required.

    Group A** – Introductory courses at the freshman and sophomore level.  One course required.*


    570.108        Introduction to Environmental Engineering

    570.205        Ecology

    570.239        Current and Emerging Environmental Issues

    570.328        Geography and Ecology of Plants

    020.151        General Biology I

    270.220        The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Geology
    Group B** – Engineering science courses that are developed for juniors and seniors, and also introductory graduate level courses.  One course required.  Double counting of these courses with specified required courses in the student’s major is not allowed.


    570.353        Hydrology

    570.411        Engineering Microbiology

    570.423         Principles of Geomorphology

    570.442        Environmental Organic Chemistry

    570.443        Aquatic Chemistry

    570.445        Physical and Chemical Processes

    570.460        Environmental Colloidal Phenomena

    570.490        Solid Waste Engineering and Management

    570.491        Hazardous Waste Engineering and Management

    030.204        Chemical Structure and Bonding w/Lab

    030.205        Organic Chemistry I

    030.301        Physical Chemistry I

    270.369        Geochem Earth/Environment


    540.301        Kinetic Processes

    540.303        Transport Phenomena I

    550.310        Probability and Statistics for the Phys and Info Sciences & Eng


    *Substitution for one required course may be possible under special circumstances, with explicit approval of the environmental engineering minor advisor.

    **Additional course electives are possible but require approval of the environmental engineering minor advisor.

  • Minor in Engineering for Sustainable Development

    Engineers will be increasingly called upon to help devise solutions to the tremendous problems of poverty, inequality, and social and environmental dislocation that afflict major parts of the globe in the 21st century.  Working as an engineer in this context involves negotiating highly complex social, economic and political realities and dealing with a wide range of institutions and actors, including national and local governments, multilateral lenders such as the World Bank, diverse non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities.  It also increasingly involves working in interdisciplinary teams with social scientists, public health and medical workers, humanitarian aid workers, bankers, politicians and the like.  “Sustainable” development implies a development path that is socially equitable, culturally sensitive, and environmentally appropriate over a multi-generational time frame.

    The Minor in Engineering for Sustainable Development exposes engineering students to some of the key issues related to development, methods of information-gathering in diverse and difficult settings, and working effectively with non-engineers on complex problems.  We begin with a one-semester core course that surveys the various issues involved, followed by an individually-designed but coherent program organized around a particular theme, disciplinary approach or region of the world.  We conclude with a one-semester seminar in which students come together and share their experiences and insights from their various program trajectories.

    The Minor in Engineering for Sustainable Development Program: Structure and Content

    Students pursuing the minor are required to take seven courses.

    • core course is 570.110 Introduction to Engineering for Sustainable Development.
    • five additional courses will be selected in a program devised in consultation with the Minor advisor.

    Of the five additional courses:

    • Three must be grouped around a specific theme, region or within a specific discipline. Themes might include, for example, public health, environment, or economic development.  Regions include Africa, Latin America or Asia.  Disciplinary concentrations might be in Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Political Science, Public Health or Sociology.
    • Three of the courses must be at the 300-level or above.
    • One of the courses must cover methods for gathering and evaluating information in a development context. Examples include:

    070.319  The Logic of Anthropological Inquiry

    070.219  Anthropology and Public Action

    070.347  Discourse Analysis: Stories and Their Structures

    280.345  Biostatistics in Public Health

    280.350  Introduction to Epidemiology

    230.202  Research Methods for the Social Sciences

    All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better to qualify for the minor. At least two semesters of foreign language study are strongly recommended but not required.  Students who participate in a Study Abroad program for a semester can, with the minor advisor’s consent, use this experience to count in place of one of the required courses.

    The value of this program will be enhanced by some form of hands-on experiential project, whether at a field site in a developing country, in support of field-workers in other divisions of the university or in distressed communities in Baltimore.  This experience is not required for the minor.  It might take one of the following forms:

    • Field work in collaboration with Engineers Without Borders.
    • Providing technical support to “clients” at Hopkins (for example, at the School of Public Health) who are engaged in field projects in developing countries.  This might involve, for example, developing dedicated software for data management, devising robust and easy-to-use test kits for environmental toxins or medical conditions, or facilitating interactive analysis and project planning between researchers in Baltimore and the field personnel.
    • Participating in programs being developed by the JHU Center for Social Concern, with its growing service learning component.  This would allow students to work on projects in Baltimore which offers an ample field for identifying and responding to social and environmental problems.

    The Minor in Engineering for Sustainable Development Program Eligibility

    The minor is open to undergraduates in any of the engineering disciplines in the Whiting School of Engineering.  Students in Arts & Sciences may also pursue the minor with the permission of the program director.

    For further information, contact: Dr. Erica Schoenberger, ericas@jhu.edu, 410-516-6158.

  • Minor in Environmental Sciences

    The environmental sciences minor has been developed to encourage and facilitate studies in environmental sciences by students completing degrees in the other science and engineering disciplines. The environmental sciences (ES) minor requires:

    • completion of a set of courses in the core sciences,
    • two introductory courses dealing with the environment, and
    • three or more upper-level environmental sciences courses, as described below.

    Core Sciences (ES Minor)

    Because of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science, it is important that professionals from various areas of expertise acquire a common language and set of core concepts to make discussion and cooperation possible. The following courses represent the minimum set of requirements:

    •  Mathematics (12 credits)

    110.108 Calculus I

    110.109 Calculus II (For Physical Sciences and Engineering)

    At least one of these four courses:

    110.201 Linear Algebra

    110.202 Calculus III

    110.302 Differential Equations with Applications

    550.291 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations

    •  Biology (3 credits)

    One course, such as

    020.151 General Biology

    •  Physics (10 credits)

    171.101 Physics I

    171.102 Physics II

    173.111 General Physics Lab I

    173.112 General Physics Lab II

    •  Chemistry (13 credits)

    030.101 Intro Chemistry

    030.104 Intro Organic Chemistry

    030.105 Intro Chemistry Lab

    030.106 Intro Chemistry Lab

    Environmental Sciences:

    Students must take two introductory courses dealing with the environment and three or more of the upper-level environmental science courses on the following lists:


    •  Introductory Courses (6 credits)

    570.110 Introduction to Engineering for Sustainable Development

    570.205 Ecology

    570.239 Emerging Environmental Issues

    270.110 Freshman Seminar: Sustainable and Non-Sustainable Resources

    270.220 The Dynamic Earth: An Introduction to Geology

    270.221 The Dynamic Earth Lab

    • Upper-Level Courses (9 credits)

    570.239 Emerging Environmental Issues

    570.301 Environmental Engineering Fundamentals I

    570.302 Water and Wastewater Treatment

    570.328 Geography and Ecology of Plants

    570.353 Hydrology

    570.411 Environmental Microbiology

    570.441 Environmental Inorganic Chemistry

    570.442 Environmental Organic Chemistry

    570.443 Aquatic Chemistry

    570.445 Physical and Chemical Processes

    570.446 Biological Processes for Water and Wastewater Treatment

    570.491 Hazardous Waste Engineering and Management

    270.302 Aqueous Geochemistry

    270.311 Geobiology

    270.313 Isotope Geochemistry

    270.314 Planetary Tectonics and Geodynamics

    270.350 Sedimentary Geology

    270.369 Geochemistry of the Earth and Environment

  • Pairing a Major with the Environmental Sciences Minor

    Many of the most creative and productive advances in environmental sciences in recent years have come from scientists trained in traditional disciplines (biology, chemistry, geology, physics, and engineering) who have devoted themselves to the study of environmental problems. Completion of the degree requirements of a traditional discipline provides depth and rigor that, when supplemented with additional academic training in environmental science, can be applied to professional work in a variety of environmental subjects, as the following examples show:


    Biological Processes: Response of ecosystems to change, microbial degradation of pollutants, biogeochemical cycling of greenhouse gases. Illustrative majors: Biology, Biomedical Engineering, Biophysics, Biochemical Engineering.

    Physical Processes: Erosion of hillslopes, rivers, and coastlines; sediment production, transport, and fate; groundwater, movement of contaminant plumes; oceanography; atmospheric physics; aerosol formation; global warming. Illustrative majors: Civil Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences.

    Environmental Chemistry: Environmental fate of pollutants, water and waste water treatment, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, ozone depletion, acid rain. Illustrative majors: Chemistry, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Materials Science and Engineering.

    Environmental Systems: Environmental modeling, risk assessment, environmental systems design, pollution control strategies. Illustrative majors: Civil Engineering, Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

  • Click here for the Undergraduate Minor Completion Form

    Once your completed form has been signed off by your advisor, you can email it to dogee@jhu.edu or drop it off at the front desk of Ames 313.


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