Degree Options

Degrees Offered

Students interested in Environmental Science & Engineering have the option to pursue:

  • Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) in Environmental Science and Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science (S.B.) in Engineering Sciences (an ABET accredited program) on the Environmental Science and Engineering Track

Concentrators study the fundamental processes underlying environmental systems, including atmospheric sciences and climate dynamics; pollution of our air, water, and soil; and the development of sustainable energy systems. Throughout their coursework, students learn to apply these principles to understand and model complex environmental problems and to mitigate human impacts on the environment. While students in either degree program take many of the same upper-level ESE courses, the A.B. program offers the opportunity to study complementary disciplines from other natural and social sciences, and the S.B. program provides a broader basis in engineering fundamentals with courses from other engineering areas and design.

The requirements for both degrees can be found in the Harvard College Handbook for Students.

 

Environmental Science and Engineering (A.B.)

The ESE A.B. degree requires 14-16 half-courses (dependent on math placement). In brief, concentrators are required to take a fundamental set of introductory math, physics, and chemistry courses as the foundation of their studies (6-8 of the 14-16 required courses). Students also take one foundational course (ESE 6, or one of a small number of appropriate Gen Ed courses by petition) to provide an introduction to the field. The remaining 7 courses are selected from a list of approved electives from across the breadth of the ESE course offerings, as well as related natural sciences. To provide a core foundation in environmental science and engineering, all students will be strongly recommended to take at least one course on environmental physics and at least one course on environmental chemistry. Additionally, one of the approved electives must be a course approved to have significant engineering design content, which provides each student with exposure to the design challenge of solving an environmental problem.

The Plan of Study form for the Environmental Science and Engineering A.B. provides an easy to follow summary of the concentration requirements. A copy of each student's approved plan of study is filed with the Office of Academic Programs at the time of declaration and is updated annually by the student and their concentration adviser.  Additional information about the concentration requirements, including honors requirements and thesis information, can be found on the Environmental Science and Engineering A.B. Program page.

Engineering Sciences (S.B.) - Environmental Science and Engineering Track

The ESE Track of the Engineering Sciences S.B. degree requires 20 half-courses. Similar to the A.B. degree, students have the flexibilty to tailor their specific path through the ESE requirements to align with their interests in Environmental Science & Engineering. The additional course requirements in the S.B. program, compared to the A.B., provide students with depth within ESE, greater breadth across additional engineering areas, and two S.B.-specific courses in engineering design. In their junior year, S.B. concentrators take a team-based design course (ES 96), which provides the opportunity to be part of a multidisciplinary team that will analyze and design a prototype solution for a real-world engineering problem. Past ES 96 projects have included designing a novel research instrument to measure atmospheric ozone concentrations while suspended in the payload of a high-altitude balloon. In their senior year, all S.B. concentrators take a year-long capstone design course (ES 100hf) in which they design and prototype a solution to an engineering problem of their own choice, resulting in their individual senior design thesis.

The Plan of Study form for the Engineering Sciences S.B. - Environmental Science and Engineering Track provides an easy to follow summary of the concentration requirements. A copy of each student's approved plan of study is filed with the Office of Academic Programs at the time of declaration and is updated annually by the student and their concentration adviser.  Additional information about the Engineering Sciences S.B. concentration requirements, including honors requirements, can be found on the Engineering Sciences S.B. Program page.