Clemson Graduate School

Clemson Graduate School

Environmental Engineering & Science

General Information

Degrees Offered


Environmental engineering and science is concerned with the characterization and control of environmental pollution. Emphasis is placed on applying the fundamental principles of the basic engineering sciences through research and design to the solution of environmental problems in natural and engineered systems. Students may specialize in one of five focus areas: (i) Process Engineering, (ii) Environmental Chemistry, (iii) Subsurface and Surface Processes, (iv) Sustainable Systems & Environmental Asssesment, and (v) Nuclear Environmental Engineering and Science.

The PhD program provides students with a comprehensive background in the fundamental aspects of environmental engineering and/or earth sciences. The major field of study is generally interdisciplinary in nature, consisting of coursework in several areas of engineering and the basic sciences. Each student’s curriculum and research program is tailored to suit his/her personal and professional goals.

About the Program

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Cindy Lee)

Application Requirements


Applicants may apply on the Web at the Graduate School Website. Applications should be received no later than five weeks prior to registration. Every required item in support of the application must be on file by that date. Prospective students are encouraged to complete and submit their applications for admission and financial assistance as early as possible to be considered during the first round of assistantship awards, which are made beginning in February or March. Applicants whose credential files are not completed until after this first round of assistantship awards will be considered for awards in subsequent rounds after April 15.

Required Documents

For additional information, please contact the program coordinator (Cindy Lee)

Financial Aid

To see the proposed Graduate Tuition Rates for this academic year, click here.

The School or Program offers a number of graduate assistantships to students each year based on merit. These are offered in the form of stipends and the additional benefit of tuition remission. Students must be enrolled in a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester to qualify for a graduate assistantship and must work a minimum of 10 hours a week as a teaching or research assistant or perform other tasks assigned by the School or Program.

Applications and accompanying materials must be received before February 15th to be considered automatically for an assistantship.

Financial aid is available on a competitive basis to both national and international students in the form of teaching and research assistantships, which require up to 20 hours of work per week. Full stipends range from about $17,700 to $19,200 annually, depending on degree program. Graduate assistants pay reduced tuition; an allowance for tuition and fees is included in the annual stipend. Faculty members are currently looking to fill assistantship positions for a variety of projects.

Course of Study

Program of Study

MS & MEngr: Course work for the Master of Science (MS) or the Master of Engineering (MEngr.) degree program in environmental engineering and science (EES) can be completed in three semesters (about sixteen months). An oral defense is required for the thesis (MS) and for the special problem required of  the MEngr. A non-thesis MS option can be completed in one calendar year by taking courses during both regular semesters and in the summer. Three courses required of all master’s students cover fundamental physical, chemical, and biological principles of natural and engineered environmental systems. . Remaining course work to meet career-specialization goals is not restricted to EES courses. Students may pursue a specialty in process engineering, subsurface and surface processes, environmental chemistry, sustainable systems, and hazardous and radioactive waste management (including risk assessment, environmental health physics, or radiochemistry).  Students pursuing the MEngr. degree are restricted to the process engineering focus area and must have an ABET accredited undergraduate degree

PhD: The PhD in Environmental Engineering and Science (EES) program at Clemson University can be completed in three to five years and is flexible, with each student’s specific program uniquely tailored by the student and the committee. All doctoral candidates are required to take a written qualifying examination in the first year. Comprehensive examinations, written and oral, occur after completion of course work and after formulation of the dissertation research proposal, respectively. A dissertation defense is required prior to approval and acceptance of the completed work.

Current Program


The 42,000-square-foot Rich Environmental Research Laboratory is located in the Clemson Research Park along with the Advanced Materials Research Laboratory, 8 miles from the main campus. The University provides a shuttle between the Research Park and the main campus. Classrooms, auditorium, computer facilities, canteen, student and faculty offices, and research and teaching laboratories are located in Rich Laboratory.

The facility houses 21 laboratories that are routinely used to study the environment. These include a number of specialized laboratories and laboratories assigned to each faculty member.

  • The physicochemical treatment lab contains equipment for simulating the major unit operations required for water and wastewater treatment
  • The biotechnology lab includes state-of-the-art equipment for applying molecular biological techniques to characterize microbial communities
  • The biological treatment lab consists of bench-scale continuous flow bioreactors of various sizes, batch respirometric equipment for biodegradation kinetics, and anaerobic gloveboxes
  • The organic separations lab houses the glassware, fume hoods, and extraction apparatus including a supercritical fluid extractor necessary for sample preparation for instrumental analysis
  • The environmental health physics lab contains an array of standard gas and solid-state detectors and pulse processing instrumentation for both routine and specialized radiation detection and measurement
  • The radiochemistry lab is equipped for wet and instrumental analysis of radionuclides
  • The analytical instrumentation lab contains several computer-controlled Agilent gas chromatographs with detectors that include a mass spectrometer, flame ionization detectors, a nitrogen-phosphorus detector, and electron capture detectors. Other instrumentation includes HPLCs, UV-visible spectrophotometer, ion chromatograph, atomic absorption spectrometers with graphite furnace, elemental analyzer, and TOC analyzers as well as other equipment

The Rich Lab also houses other research support areas including a darkroom, an autoclave and media preparations room, constant-temperature room, and machine shop for manufacturing specialized research equipment. A two-story-high bay is available for large-scale experimentation including artificial wells and pilot-scale reactors. EE&S solely occupies the facility with room for 80 graduate students. Each student is assigned to a carrel with an Internet connection and also has access to a University computer lab. The office wing houses 13 faculty, 5 research associates, and 7 support staff.

Our Students

In the fall semester 2011, 28 students matriculated with 15 supported by assistantships. Of the entering students, 20 are in the MS degree program and 8 in the PhD program.  The entering class of 2011 has students from China, India, Poland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Costa Rica.  There are ten students from the US in the current class.  The entering class of 2011 join approximately 60 graduate students currently in the EES program.

Graduates from the EES program find employment in environmental and engineering consulting firms, state and federal government agencies, and academia.

Program Coordinator

  • Cindy Lee
  • 169 Rich Laboratory
  • Phone: (864) 656.1006
  • Email:

Additional Contact

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English Language Studies

About ELS

Conditional language admission is offered to graduate candidates who have met all admission requirements except language proficiency. Students may meet language proficiency requirements through completion of ELS Level 112 Intensive Program.

Standardized Exam

The academic program reserves the right to require applicants admitted with conditional letters of admission (CLAs) to post adequate GMAT or GRE scores prior to matriculating into the program.