Earth & Environmental Engineering

Developing techniques to provide clean water around the globe. Creating ways to turn hazardous waste into profit. Effectively predicting droughts and floods for better resource management. By integrating scientific and engineering principles to minimize the impact of people and industry on the planet, the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering leads in the protection of the environment and management of our natural resources.

Contact the Department

Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering
Columbia University
500 West 120th Street
918 S. W. Mudd Hall, Mail Code 4711
New York, NY 10027
Phone: 212-854-2905
Fax: 212-854-7081

Department Overview

The central theme of the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University is the conscientious stewardship of our finite natural resources. We accomplish this through the development and application of science and technology to create sound methods to extract and process primary materials, manage and develop land and water resources, and recycle and dispose of used materials.


In addition to undergraduate programs in earth and environmental engineering, the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the degree of Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). These programs are flexible, with a choice from among many concentrations, and with a sufficient number of elective courses to allow each student to concentrate in his or her area of interest. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to the department.

The department also offers the professional degree, Engineer of Mines, which is designed for engineers who wish to do advanced work beyond the level of the MS degree but who do not desire to emphasize research. Link to more information.


The department pioneers important new environmental initiatives in our research that address water resources and climate risks, sustainable energy and materials, and environmental health, including:

  • Designing zero-emission, coal-fed power plants
  • Developing environmentally benign chemical surfactants for use in industrial processes
  • Sequestering atmospheric carbon dioxide using readily available mineral rock

For a full list of recent research, please visit the department research page.


Our award-wining faculty are internationally recognized for their scholarly abilities and leadership in earth and environmental engineering, and for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and mentoring students to develop their full potential. For a full list of faculty members, please visit the department faculty page.