Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Environmental Sciences and Engineering
College of Engineering
Academics and miscellaneous use. Named after William MacFarland Patton (1845-1905) who was Chair of Civil Engineering from 1896 to 1905 and Dean of the Department of Engineering from 1904 to 1905.
750 Drillfield Dr, 200 Patton Hall MC:0105 Blacksburg VA 24061
Patton Hall
Degree(s) Offered:
• MS
MS Degree in Environmental Sciences and Engineering
Minimum GPA: 3.0
Offered In:
National Capital Region
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Application Deadlines:
Fall: Jan 15
Spring: Sep 01
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Department Head : Mark Widdowson
Graduate Program Director(s) : Carin Roberts-Wollmann (Associate Department Head), Lindy Cranwell (Director of International & Graduate Education)
Emeriti Faculty: Gregory Boardman; William Cox; David Kibler; John Novak; Clifford Randall; Dusan Teodorovic
Professors: Andrea Dietrich; Marc Edwards; Daniel Gallagher; Stanley Grant (Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory); Jennifer Irish; William Knocke; John Little; Linsey Marr; Amy Pruden-Bagchi; Peter Vikesland; Mark Widdowson
Associate Professors: Hosein Foroutan; Erich Hester; Gabriel Isaacman-VanWertz; Kyle Strom
Assistant Professors: Jingqiu Liao; Landon Marston; David Munoz Pauta; Megan Rippy (Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory); Siddharth Saksena
University Distinguished Professor: Marc Edwards
Charles E. Via Jr. Professor: John Little
University Distinguished Professor, Charles P. Lundsford Professor: Linsey Marr
W. Thomas Rice Professor and University Distinguished Professor: Amy Pruden-Bagchi
Nick Prillaman Professor: Peter Vikesland
Assistant Professor of Practice: Robert Scardina
Associate Professor of Practice: Claire White; Kevin Young

Environmental Sciences and Engineering Introduction

The Environmental Science and Engineering (ESEN) program is designed to prepare undergraduates with a science background to work with engineers in various fields including, water supply, wastewater management, public health, watershed management, stream protection, groundwater remediation and air resource management. Appropriate disciplines include, but are not limited to biology, chemistry, geology, agronomy, soil science and environmental science. A wide range of courses can be taken to fulfill the degree requirements, depending on the background and interests of the student.

The purpose of the core curricula is to develop an understanding of the applicable chemical, physical, biological, and mathematical modeling fundamentals and then teach students how to apply these principles, along with their previous scientific training, to the solution of environmental problems. Appropriate employment is with consulting firms, regulatory agencies, municipalities and industry.

The program administratively is under the direction of the Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ( and the program direction is by a faculty committee from Departments in the College of Engineering, Agriculture and Science.

Special Requirements

The master's programs have no foreign language requirement.
Offered In (Blacksburg, National Capital Region)

Degree Requirements

Minimum GPA: 3.0
Institution code: 5859
Testing Requirements:
    • iBT
      • overall : 90.0
      • subsections (each has a minimum) : 20.0
MS ESEN degree may be taken either as coursework only or with the permission of the faculty may incorporate a project & report or a research thesis.

See Departmental Manual:

Environmental Sciences and Engineering Facilities Introduction

CEE offers a variety of labs for students who are participating in research. Please see the information listed under facilities to read about our labs locations.

Experimental Facilities

Experimental Facilities

The Environmental Science and Engineering (ESEN) program occupies modern laboratories in Durham, Patton, Kelly, Steger and Hancock Halls. Laboratories and specialized experimental and analytical equipment support research programs related to areas such as water and wastewater treatment, hazardous and residuals waste management, water quality management, environmental chemistry, and air quality. Available equipment allows for the identification and quantification of most chemical and microbial environmental contaminants.

The water resources engineering laboratories support basic and applied research activities in the areas of water, sediment, and pollutant movement in surface and groundwater sources. The Kelso Baker Environmental Hydraulics Laboratory houses two large (each 70 ft. long) tilting flumes, a medium length tilting fume, a 3-D laser Doppler velocimeter, a hot film anemometer, and numerous pieces of support instrumentation.

Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory (Manassas, Virginia)

The Occoquan Watershed Monitoring Laboratory (OWML), Manassas, is responsible for making determinations in a number of areas critical to the ongoing management of water quality in the Occoquan watershed, situated on the southwestern periphery of the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. The basin encompasses six political subdivisions, including portions of four counties, and the entire land area of two independent cities. The lab is also the site of a National Science Foundation Growing Convergence Research center on reversing inland freshwater salinization (

Potomac Aquifer Recharge Monitoring Laboratory (Hampton, Virginia)

The PARML, Hampton, is responsible for making determinations in a number of areas critical to the ongoing management of water quality in the Potomac aquifer, situated in the Hampton Roads area of Southeast Virginia.  This work is in association with managed aquifer recharge associated with the $1 billion SWIFT (Sustainable Water Initiative For Tomorrow) project.