The field of Environmental Science and Engineering is a relatively young interdisciplinary field offered by a few schools. There aren’t a lot of online programs out there for the Doctors of Environmental Science and Engineering degree although similar degrees might allow you to take some courses partially.

Plastics and other pollutants are killing marine life. Indiscriminate and unlawful logging activities are thinning our forests. Human-made pollutants are contaminating the air. It’s clear that the planet is facing imminent destruction. With an in-depth study of the environment and the dynamics among the elements that make up the Earth, we keep damage at bay. Making significant contributions to solution-seeking efforts are scholars and researchers, many of whom are Doctors of Environmental Science and Engineering.

What does a Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering (D.Env.) program mean?

A Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering (D.Env.) degree is a professionally oriented doctorate program aimed at providing diverse and practical solutions to environmental concerns. It focuses on training promising individuals who can deliver sustainable designs that protect our natural and cultural landscapes.

The D.Env. or “E.S.E.” program is the product of an interdisciplinary approach of academes from the sciences, engineering, business management, public policy, and law departments. Graduate students are expected to possess both the research skills of a scientist and the drive of engineers to create efficient systems.

In contrast to a Ph.D. program in Environmental Science and Engineering degree, the D.Env. program emphasizes the interactions between different sectors of society including the academe, business, politics, and public health. Ph.D. holders, on the other hand, focus on innovations in interdisciplinary research. In other words, the D.Env. program prepares students to become leaders most likely in a non-academic setting.

What sort of accreditation should I look for in a school?

The D.Env. program is relatively new, and no single national authority has awarded it accreditation. To be safe, you need to look for the status of the institution with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Because the D.Env. program is related to Engineering, you also need to browse the list of accredited schools by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Another way to assess the reputation of an institution is to find out whether the faculty is associated with a professional organization. Affiliation with National Association of Environmental Professionals (NAEP) signifies that your would-be professors are actively participating with the latest updates of the field.

How do I earn my D.Env. degree?

D.Env. degree applicants must have a master’s degree in the field of science or engineering. If you have a generalist master’s diploma in Public Health or Environmental Sciences, you can still be accepted as long as your transcript of records shows fitting subjects for the program. Additional course and laboratory work in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics may be required along with your GRE scores.

The D.Env. program lasts for 4-5 years. During the first two years, students attend classroom and laboratory lectures. In the succeeding years called the “residency period,” graduate students write a dissertation with a professor. The graduate thesis is completed off-campus. Students are also required to work in an organization, a company, a public agency, a non-profit organization, or a consultancy group whose main efforts focus on saving the environment.

For now, the D.Env. program is still in the early stages, and only a few schools award this degree. Students are required to attend classes on-campus. Similar degrees provide a hybrid format for some students. It isn’t a 100% distance learning option, however, as graduate students still have to go on-campus because not all course materials are available online.

After dissertation defense, the institution awards the D.Env. degree. Many students land jobs in the organization they were working for.

What type of degree do I need to pursue research or educate others in Environmental Science and Engineering?

The D.Env. degree is an interdisciplinary program, so, any person with a Ph.D. or doctorate in the environmental sciences and engineering can teach in D.Env. schools. Because of the multifaceted nature of the discipline, D.Env. scholars have plenty of academic journals to choose from for publishing papers.

What kind of career and salary can I expect with my D.Env. degree?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an environmental engineer technician’s median annual salary is $50,230. At most, they make around $81,360 per year. If you have a Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering degree under your belt, you will earn more.

As environmental sustainability becomes a trend and a necessity, the field of environmental science engineering is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022. D.Env. graduates work in big firms and Fortune 500 companies as project leaders of projects. Usually, their role is to make companies “greener.”

Do I need a license to be an environmental engineer or scientist?

The D.Env. may be a professionally oriented doctorate, but there is no licensure exam you need to pass to be called an environmental scientist or engineer. However, your occupation before attending the D.Env. program may require a license. For example, as an engineer, you would have needed to obtain a license to practice.

Essentially, D.Env. is a high-level degree that unlocks doors of opportunities for higher offices in your dream company.

What schools offer the Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering degree?

As of 2018, only the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability in Los Angeles, California specially offers the D.Env. degree. They require students to stay in LA during the first two years.

Meanwhile, the following school offers Ph.D. programs in Environmental Science and Engineering with flexible schedules for prospective students: The University of Texas at El Paso in El Paso, Texas.

If you want a similar doctorate with coursework that you can attend online, seek admission in the Doctor of Management – Environmental and Social Sustainability program at the Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

If you’re passionate about saving wildlife, humankind, and the Earth, get a doctorate degree that lets you do just that. Be a Doctor of Environmental Science and Engineering and put your expertise to good use!