Environmental Engineering (BASc Program)

Todd Whitcombe, Associate Professor and Chair
Jianbing Li, Professor
Jueyi Sui, Professor
Ron Thring, Professor
Steve Helle, Associate Professor and Co-Director

Website: http://www.unbc.ca/engineering

Engineers serve society across a wide range of economic sectors, and an increased number of engineering graduates are needed by the province to assure its economic growth and maintain its high quality of life. Therefore, future development decisions in most major sectors of the British Columbia economy must fully integrate environmental and economic factors. Problems in water, air and soil pollution control and remediation, solid waste management, mine waste disposal, and geo-environmental engineering require highly skilled engineers with a solid background in environmental engineering, strong communication skills and the ability to work across disciplines. The program prepares graduates for a wide range of employment opportunities where the technical expertise and problem-solving skills of engineers are needed in conjunction with a strong awareness and understanding of environmental issues and problems. This is the case most particularly for resource industries (e.g. forestry, fisheries, mining, oil and gas, pulp and paper, and the agri-food industry); various government departments and research organizations; and in environmental engineering consulting companies. It is also anticipated that graduates will work in the new environmental economy—areas related to environmental reclamation, remediation and restoration.

The Environmental Engineering Bachelor of Applied Science program is a 4.5 year (nine semester) joint degree between the University of British Columbia and the University of Northern British Columbia. The program is based on a unique collaboration between UNBC and UBC that capitalizes on the strength of UNBC in Environmental Science and the strength of UBC in Engineering. It incorporates complementary elements and expertise from each institution while maintaining the exposure of students to the distinctive character of both institutions. The program starts with a two-year foundation in mathematics, basic and environmental sciences from UNBC. In the third and fourth years, the program provides a thorough education and training in engineering fundamentals, engineering analysis and engineering design, largely through courses in Civil Engineering and Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia. The final term at UNBC exposes students to practical environmental engineering problems.

The Environmental Engineering program is accredited by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board of Engineers Canada.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the program is limited and is based on academic qualifications and available space. Priority admission will be given to students who meet admission criteria and apply by the deadline of  March 1.

Applicants from BC and Yukon secondary schools must:
  • Meet UNBC admission requirements, and
  • Have an average of at least 75% based on the following four courses: Principles of Math 12 or Pre-calculus 12, English 12 and two provincially examinable Science 12 courses. In addition, applicants must have successfully completed Chemistry 11 in order to meet course prerequisites in the Program. Physics 12 or an equivalent is strongly recommended, as it is a prerequisite for first-year Physics courses in the program. Students who are admitted without the Physics 12 prerequisite may be delayed in their studies as they may not be able to complete the first four semesters of the program in the normal two year time period. Meeting the minimum GPA does not guarantee admission. Under exceptional circumstances the prerequisites may be waived.
Other applicants must demonstrate that they possess qualifications at least equivalent to the BC and Yukon requirement.


Unless otherwise specified, the rules and regulations will be those applicable at the institution (UBC or UNBC) at which the students are attending at the time the rules/regulations need to be applied. In the case where the rules and regulations are needed to cover the program as a whole, or where the institution of attendance is not relevant, then the more stringent rules/regulations will be applied. Any academic appeals will be handled using the procedures at the institution where the rules/regulations need to be applied.


The minimum residency requirement is 90 credits.  These may be fulfilled through a combination of courses taken at UNBC and UBC, provided that at least 30 credits are completed at each of the two institutions.


Progression between years and institutions requires good academic standing in the program at the most recent institution of residence (UNBC or UBC). At UNBC this means a GPA of at least 2.00 or 63%. At UBC this means an average of at least 55%, and passing grades in at least 65% of the credits taken.


It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that his/her degree requirements are met. Students must have a CGPA of at least 2.00 (63%) over all courses at both institutions to graduate. The diploma will carry crests from both granting institutions (UNBC and UBC).


Transfers into the program are allowed provided that the prerequisite courses or articulated courses are completed, and space is available in the program. Acceptance of transfers into the program will be based upon GPA, with priority given to those with the highest GPA. The admission GPA for transfer students into the Environmental Engineering program will be assessed on the following four courses or their university transferrable equivalents:  Principles of Math 12 or pre-calculus 12, English 12, and two provincially examinable Science 12 courses.  In order to be considered for admission into the program transfer students must have at least a 75% average based on these four courses or their equivalents.  Where both high school and university transfer coursework are provided for each of these four courses the highest GPA for each course will be used.  Transfer students must also have an overall cumulative transfer GPA of 2.00, which is based on all their university transferrable coursework. Regardless of the articulated courses transferred, students must satisfy the residency requirement (see above).

Co-operative Education

Co-operative education, available through UBC Engineering Co-op, is an optional but strongly recommended element of the Environmental Engineering program.

Program Requirements

UNBC degree requirements:90 credit hours
UBC degree requirements:71 credit hours
Total credits for degree:161 credit hours

Semester 1 and 2 completed at UNBC

CHEM 100-3General Chemistry I
CHEM 101-3General Chemistry II
CHEM 120-1General Chemistry Lab I
CHEM 121-1General Chemistry Lab II
CPSC 110-3Introduction to Computer Systems and Programming
ENGR 117-3Engineering Design I
ENGR 110-3Technical Writing
Engineering Tools I
Engineering Tools II
MATH 100-3Calculus I
MATH 101-3Calculus II
PHYS 110-4Introductory Physics I: Mechanics
PHYS 111-4Introductory Physics II: Waves and Electricity
Three credit hours of humanities and social science courses with subject matter that deals with the central issues, methodologies, and thought processes of the humanities and social science (for example, any ANTHENGLENVSFNSTHISTINTSNORS, PHIL, POLS, or WMST course that does not principally impart language skills or statistics). GEOG and ENPL courses may qualify with the approval of the Chair.

Semester 3 and 4 completed at UNBC

Introductory Ecology 
ENSC 201-3Weather and Climate
ENGR 210-3Material and Energy Balances
ENGR 217-3Engineering Design II
ENGR 220-3Engineering Chemistry
ENGR 350-3Fluid Mechanics
ENGR 451-3Groundwater Hydrology
Introduction to Earth Science
MATH 200-3Calculus III
MATH 220-3Linear Algebra
MATH 230-3Linear Differential Equations and Boundary Value Problems
STAT 371-3Probability and Statistics for Scientists and Engineers

Note: List of courses completed at UBC for Semesters 5 through 8 completed at UBC are provided for information only. Please refer to the UBC calendar for official requirements. 

CHBE 244-3
Chemical and Biological Engineering Thermodynamics I
CHBE 351-3Transport Phenomena II
CHBE 364-2Environmental Engineering Laboratory
CHBE 373-3Water Pollution Control
CHBE 459-3Chemical and Biological Engineering Economics
     or CIVL 403-3Engineering Economic Analysis
CHBE 484-3Green Engineering Principles and Applications for Process Industries
CHBE 485-3
Air Pollution Prevention and Control 
CIVL 200-3Engineering and Sustainable Development
CIVL 210-4              
Soil Mechanics I 
CIVL 311-4Soil Mechanics II
CIVL 315-4Fluid Mechanics II
CIVL 316-4Hydrology and Open Channel Flow
CIVL 402-3Engineering Law and Contracts in Civil Engineering
CIVL 408-3Geoenvironmental Engineering
CIVL 409-3Municipal Engineering
CIVL 416-3Environmental Hydraulics
CIVL 418-3Engineering Hydrology
EOSC 429-3
Groundwater Contamination 
MINE 486-3Mining and the Environment

Twelve credit hours of Technical Electives chosen from the constrained list .

Semester 9 completed at UNBC

ENPL 401-3Environmental Law
ENSC 417-6Designing Solutions in Environmental Engineering
ENSC 418-3Environmental Measurement and Analysis

Three credit hours of Social Science or Humanities elective.
Three credit hours of elective.

Technical electives available at UNBC for the UBC portion of the curriculum in the UBC/UNBC Joint Environmental Engineering Program
The following UNBC courses may be used to meet a Technical Elective requirement in the UBC portion of the Joint UBC/UNBC Environmental Engineering BASc. program. Normally, no more than one course from the list may be used. To qualify towards UBC technical elective requirements, the technical elective must be taken prior to transition to UBC.

ENSC 302-3Energy Development
Waste Management 
ENSC 406-3Environmental Modelling
ENSC 408-3Storms
 Climate Change and Global Warming
Environmental and Geophysical Data Analysis
Reclamation and Remediation of Disturbed Environments
Wood Materials Science
Watershed Management
Updated: March 9, 2018