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The Environmental Science option, jointly administered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, is aimed at excellence in research and graduate education in the science and engineering of:

  • Earth surface and subsurface system dynamics involving the intersection of engineering and geological timescales;
  • natural and human-induced environmental hazards and associated risk management; and
  • management and restoration of environmental systems involving coupled physical, chemical and biological elements.

These areas intersect critical national research priorities, with the recognition that environmental problems of the 21st century will increasingly require vital perspective on how Earth’s physical and geochemical templates simultaneously sustain and threaten life, and influence human interactions with Earth.

The Environmental Science program is committed to nurturing student interests that involve the intersection of traditional and emerging engineering and Earth-science fields, focusing on unifying themes and tools in the study of environmental-system dynamics. It is a one-of-a-kind program in the Nation, dedicated to educating our next-generation leaders in the field of Environmental Science.

Faculty and students in the Environmental Science program pursue innovative interdisciplinary research that effectively combines pure and applied science, spanning deep geological timescales to human timescales. Most of our research projects involve collaborations with scientists and engineers worldwide as well as here at Vanderbilt. Students in this program have access to top researchers in many fields as well as outstanding research facilities.

We welcome applications from well prepared students with backgrounds in mathematics, chemistry, physics and the life sciences, as well as from students in the Earth sciences and engineering. The Environmental Science program offers an intellectual setting where people, and ideas, thrive. We seek individuals capable of excelling in their chosen specialties - whether in science or engineering - yet possessing the skills and a flare for communicating effectively across disciplines.