Environmental and Ecological Engineering

Addressing environmental issues with an ecological/ecosystems approach

Photo of blurred seedlingsEnvironmental and ecological engineering (EEE) integrates engineering principles, science and design with the principles of biology and ecology. Students are prepared to design, develop and implement sustainable solutions for the mutual benefit of both natural systems and systems significantly affected by human activities.

Specific examples of areas of emphasis include:

  • land use management systems involving renewable, biological resources and ecological systems
  • preservation and improvement of soil and water resources, water and air quality
  • non-point source pollution and site mitigation
  • water use management and conservation through irrigation and surface and subsurface drainage
  • ecosystem (e.g. wetland) restoration
  • soil health and erosion mitigation
  • biological waste, nutrient management, and by-product recovery and reuse promoting a more sustainable biosphere.

Students can tailor their education to their personal interests and career objectives. Graduates will be prepared for careers in engineering consulting firms, government agencies, or non-governmental organizations. Graduates will also be prepared for continuing their education at the graduate level in engineering, science, law, and business.

Environmental Programs within the College of Science and Engineering at UMN - There are different options at the University of Minnesota for environmental engineering. (PDF) Learn the differences and find the one that's right for you.


Students in this program will graduate from the College of Science and Engineering with a Bachelor of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (BBE) with an emphasis (or major sub-plan) in Environmental and Ecological Engineering (which will appear on the official transcript). Students can apply for admission to BBE through either the College of Science and Engineering or through the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (listed as "Pre-BBE").


4-Year Plan - Environmental and ecological engineering students follow a 4-Year Plan (PDF) to ensure they take courses in sequence.

Courses and Electives - Students are fortunate to take courses from internationally-recognized faculty.

Minors, Certificates, Licensure

Scholarships - Environmental and ecological engineering students have access to not only University and college scholarships, but also department scholarships.


The future is bright for environmental and ecological engineering students and graduates. Recent graduates are employed by a variety of consulting firms, agencies and organizations

Beyond the Classroom

Student Groups - Being engaged outside the classroom is beneficial for students. This department has several student groups, as does CFANS and CSE.

Research - There are several opportunities for students to gain experience in a research environment. Related research areas within BBE include:

Environmental and Ecological Engineering at the University of Minnesota

Current Students

Check out a page of resources just for you, including links to frequently-used University pages, forms you'll need to complete, and much more. 

Contact Us

To schedule a tour or to visit with a faculty, contact Professor Ulrike Tschirner, Major Coordinator, at 612.624.8798 or tschi007@umn.edu, or fill out our online Contact Form.