Future Students

UBC Environmental Engineering is a four year degree that provides a well-rounded education experience including unique courses designed specifically for program students.

Environmental engineering is essential to the well-being of society and the global ecosystems that we depend on. Environmental engineers are involved in processes that minimize or eliminate pollution, protect publish health, promotes sustainability and improve ecosystem strength while sustaining economic viability and efficiency.

Why UBC Environmental Engineering

Icon of light bulb over a book

Outstanding Education

We have dedicated and experienced instructors and professors who have been in the field. Our curriculum is structured in a way that promotes the success of each and every one of our students.

Icon of mentor and mentee

Mentorship by Professionals

ENVL students in small groups meet with a senior professional environmental engineer to discuss career goals, professionalism, and to work on integrating their knowledge by discussing case studies.

Icon of gear with person in the middle

High-Impact Learning Opportunities

High-impact learning is hands-on and engaging while building knowledge to address current issues important to everyone. Students in the ENVL program can expect learning activities that are problem-driven and project-based, in-the-field learning, and a 4th year capstone design project.


UBC’s environmental engineering degree program is designed to be completed in eight academic semesters with an optional 16 months of Co-op work placement. In addition to the common first year engineering courses, students in the environmental engineering program will take courses in:

Chem Bio icon
Chemical and Biological Engineering
Civil Eng icon
Civil Engineering
Earth and Ocean icon
Earth and Ocean Sciences
Statistics icon
Environmental Eng icon
Environmental Engineering
Math icon

Learn more about the curriculum

Three students working on assignment together in class

Career Opportunities

The primary focus of environmental engineering work is protecting and regenerating ecosystem health. Graduates of the ENVL program with equipped to find employment in one of the four sectors:

  • Environmental consulting firms
  • Urban Municipalities
  • Extractive industries and Agriculture
  • Rural communities

What is the job market like for environmental engineering?

The outlook is very good. Because ENVL graduates are qualified to work in a variety of sectors, the job market for environmental engineers is usually strong. This is expected to continue into the foreseeable future due to continued growth of cities and the need to retrofit current practices in order to both reduce carbon emissions across sectors and improve ecosystem health.

What types of industries or jobs does someone in environmental engineering work in?

Graduates of the ENVL program are likely to find employment in one of four sectors:

1. Environmental consulting firms

British Columbia is the base for many renowned environmental consulting firms that work throughout the World. 129 members of the British Columbia Environment Industry Association (BCEIA). These include major international Companies such as Stantec Consulting Ltd., SNC Lavalin Inc., WSP, AECOM, Jacobs, Pottinger Gaherty Environmental Consultants Ltd., Hemmera (Ausenco), Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd., and Golder Associates Ltd., to mention just a few. These industries are involved in industrial waste management, remediation, environmental services, consulting, environmental risk analysis, water management and all aspects of environmental management and planning. Also, environmental engineers are key members of multidisciplinary teams working on sustainable development.

2. Urban Municipalities

Environmental engineers are key to providing critical municipal services to large cities, including water supply, waste management, energy conservation and recovery, pollution reduction and remediation of contaminated sites for construction. This is especially critical as urban areas prepare for the impacts of climate change, and the mitigation of biodiversity loss.

3. Extractive industries and Agriculture

Extractive industries, such as mining and oil and gas, employ environmental engineers to design systems and new technologies to mitigate the effect of these activities on the environment. These include new ways to reduce footprint, water and reagent use and energy consumption, and alternative processes to recover values from residues and wastes for reuse in order to contribute to a circular economy. Within the pulp and paper sector, there are opportunities for environmental engineers in reducing and managing energy and residuals at pulp & paper mills, creating innovative solutions for residual reuse, development of new biomass derived products, and reducing the environmental impact of forestry.

 4. Rural communities

British Columbia is home to 198 First Nations, about one third of all First Nations in Canada. Many Indigenous people live in remote communities that do not receive services. Some of them experience drinking water advisories and do not always have access to safe drinking water. The Canadian government has committed to supplying all of these communities with clean water by 2021. Furthermore, out of nearly 4800 water systems in the province of British Columbia, nearly 4500 serve small and rural communities of less than 300 connections, and at any given time there are between 500 and 700 boil water advisories in those communities.  Environmental Engineers are responsible for designing appropriate technologies for remote communities to supply them with safe drinking water and to treat their wastes to improve overall health and protect the environment.

What are examples of typical types of works or tasks for someone in environmental engineering?

Specific tasks include:

  • The design of facilities, management systems, and information systems
  • The performance of impact assessments (including regulatory, sustainability, environmental, social, and risk)
  • Sustainability planning and design
  • Environmental policy formulation

Within these general tasks, there are many avenues an environmental engineer may pursue that are both exciting and rewarding.