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Ecological Engineering vs Environmental Science

EcoEngEcoEng Posts: 1Registered User New Member
edited September 2011 in Engineering Majors
I have a question for any Engineers out there if they have an opinion on a new degree that I am looking at called Ecological Engineering. For a little background info I am returning to school, I already have a degree in history and I want to get out in four years. That being said I am looking at either getting a Environmental Science degree and then Masters, which could be done in four years, or this Ecological Engineering degree, which would take four years, but without a masters, so I am trying to get a feel if it would have the same worth as the ES master degree or not.

I am also concerned about the name Ecological Engineering, it is different and I do not know if that will be to my benefit or not, but the head of the department tells me it is not unlike other Environmental Engineering programs at other schools it is just at this school their Env Eng focuses on wastewater treatment facilities where the Eco engineering has more biology and sustainable design, working with plants and the such.
Some of the coursework is as follows; Year of Chem, Year of Bio, Year of physics, strength of materials, Ecological Engineering I and II, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and transfer processes, hydrology, hydraulic engineering, fate and transport of chemicals, geotechnical engineering, soil engineering, bioremediation, environmental engineering design,

and then there are various tracks in either a general, an ecosystem restoration engineering, or water resources engineering.

Does this sound like a solid skill set? Would I need to attend graduate school or would this be somewhat equivalent to the types of jobs I could get with a masters in ES?

Any opinions about these classes and experience within the field is greatly appreciated, thank you.
Post edited by EcoEng on

Replies to: Ecological Engineering vs Environmental Science

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Posts: 36,787Registered User Senior Member
    Is the major program at the school ABET accredited, or part of an ABET accredited major program?

    From your description, the major program appears closest to (a specialty of) civil engineering. Civil engineering is a field where ABET accreditation is most important, as it is needed or very helpful when seeing Professional Engineer licensing, which is very useful in civil engineering.
  • alphataurialphatauri Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    Hey there,

    I saw your post and thought I'd chime in, despite not yet being "an engineer." Based on the course names you provided and the option tracks you listed, I suspect that the EcoE program I'm in is actually the exact same one, so perhaps my input will be beneficial, if only slightly.

    First off, the program is indeed ABET accredited, so yes, after graduation, you would have a "real" engineering degree.

    The focus of the Ecological engineering program vs. the environmental engineering program is indeed far more biology/ecology-based. I know environmental engineering wasn't anything you said you were interested in, but, for what it's worth, the environmental engineering minor overlaps so thoroughly with several of the EcoE option tracks, you only have to take one or two additional classes to complete the minor. May or may not make a difference to you, but definitely worth noting.

    I'm not sure if the environmental science degree you are also considering would be at the same school or not, but if it is (and likely elsewhere), it would be a significantly less "technical" degree---much less math, physics, etc..

    I am by no means a professional engineer, but from what I understand (from relatives who are engineers, former classmates, and so on), having the little tag "engineer" suddenly makes you more marketable, jobwise. Obviously your mileage may vary, but I've got a lot of former classmates and acquaintances with less technical degrees who are still unemployed and claim their degree is about as useful as my first degree (liberal arts).

    Hope even a little of that was useful! :)
  • LAGatorLAGator Posts: 387Registered User Member
    The original poster mentioned "worth" in post #1. I think that this ABET-accredited Engineering degree would (in general - there are lots of factors) allow for greater earning opportunities than a MS in Environmental Science. I'm not familiar with this program, but it sounds similar to some Biological/Agricultural Engineering programs I've seen.

    I don't think a MS in Engineering following this program would be necessary for most positions. What seems more important is a path that leads to a PE license.
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