The protection of resources, reduction of emissions, and dealing with the effects of climate change are global challenges, for which technical solutions must be quickly found, that are environmentally compatible and economically viable. These solutions can take the form of either an adaption, that is adaption to unavoidable changes, or mitigation, that is a reduction, for example to greenhouse gas emissions. For example, due to climate change flood levels will increase and corresponding protective measures must be developed.

Engineering expertise and efficient planning strategies are needed for the reduction of greenhouse gases, the protection of raw material supplies, the processing of waste full of valuable substances.

The worldwide tendency towards urbanization poses a further challenge, particularly for sanitation and transport planning. Additionally, every technical development must be made with consideration for sustainability and investigated for its ecological effects. Furthermore, skilled communication with decision-makers, for example in politics, will become even more relevant.

Environmental engineering is unique because it does not just take an engineering perspective into consideration, unlike the other technical disciplines. Technical expertise and ecological judgement don't work against each other but rather deliver homogenous concepts. Through the interaction of various disciplines approaches for solutions are developed for problems which are among are current and future global challenges.

The course of study at RWTH combines technical skills from civil engineering, mechanical engineering, and mineral resources and raw materials engineering with those from various natural sciences.

Due to RWTH's technical profile and the expertise of the Faculties offering this course of study, the interdisciplinary selection of subjects is taught at high scientific niveau. Graduates acquire a unique skill that has an engineering focus but also integrates the solution oriented methodology of other environmentally relevant subject perspectives and investigative methods.

The course of study teaches the fundamentals of all the subjects involved and does not offer students the possibility to specialize during their Bachelor's studies. In the Master's program students can select a specialization from among five focuses in environmental engineering and develop their own skills profile.

Programme Structure



Semesters 1-6
Mathematics, Natural Sciences Mathematics I & II, Statistics and Environmental Informatics, Chemistry, Physics, Ecology, Biology
Fundamentals of Engineering Mechanics and Machine Components I & II, Hydromechanics I & II, Heat Engineering, Building Physics, Geotechnics
Subject-Specific Fundamentals Building Materials, Climatology and Hydrology, Ecological Balance, Energy Resources and Technology, Hydraulic Engineering, Introduction to Environmental Engineering, Mineral Resources and Recycling, Process Engineering, Recycling Technology, Sustainability Assessment,Thermal Waste Treatment, Waste Management, Waste Water Disposal, Water Quality and Residential Water Management, Research-Oriented Teaching; Practical/Lab.
Academic Papers and Foreign Language Proficiency Project thesis (3 months), Bachelor's thesis (9 weeks), Foreign language skills

The detailed course of study layout is regularly published as addendum of the respective current exam regulations. You can find the link to the exam regulations at the bottom of this website.


There are no mandatory internships during Bachelor studies aside from the pre-internship. We highly recommend completing the pre-internship before beginning studies, since it is difficult to integrate into the schedule.

Programs Abroad

Environmental protection is a global responsibility. Thus, international experience is an important aspect of budding environmental engineers' training. Studies or internships abroad offer not only advanced technical knowledge but alo cultural and social skills.

The Faculty of Civil Engineering offers partnership programs with outstanding European and non-European universities to students even in their Bachelor's studies. Study opportunities are offered worldwide in addition to the EU mobility program ERASMUS+. The Faculty's membership in various research associations makes it possible to complete course components, final projects, and parts of the industry institute in one of many international programs.

RWTH students profit not only from the Faculty's exchange programs but also from the University's strategic partnerships with international universities. They can, for example, complete short stays at one of the IDEA League universities while completing a term paper. The UROP Abroad program, the only one of its kind in Germay, offers the possibility to participate in research projects at international universities during Bachelor studies. These stays abroad are partially funded by RWTH-specific funding.

Entry Requirement

  • Abitur or equivalent HZB
  • Proficiency in German

Career Prospects

Environmental engineers develop technical solutions for efficient and sustainable resources management and for the sustainable design of living spaces for humans. The planning, implementation, and operation of the necessary facilities, particularly in the area of drinking water supply and the management of waste water and waste, are are all classic tasks. Due to their interdisciplinary education the sustainable protection of bodies of water, the ground, and the air are becoming increasingly important. Their responsibilities also include estimating the effects of technical developments and plans as well as the sanitation of polluted environmental compartments and planning infrastructure systems. Further fields of work in the growing job market include the analysis, evalution, and reduction of risks of technical interventions.

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