Study options

Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering

Want to ensure a sustainable and functioning society? Then the Master's Programme in Water & Environmental Engineering would be perfect for you!
Water and environmental engineering is essentially about making the world work. With limited natural resources and an increasing demand for water, food and energy, we look at practical ways to develop our society in a sustainable manner.
Students and teaching staff at the Aalto University Environmental Hydraulics Lab


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1.12.2020 – 4.1.2021

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Engineering

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Applying to master’s programmes

The Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering combines a strong technical basis with a sound understanding of broader social contexts to educate future change makers. The emphasis in the programme is on water-related aspects, including their relation to the environment.

The programme combines interactive study methods with high quality teaching in order to educate graduates with a variety of skills that correspond to the challenges of future society. Water and Environmental Engineering graduates have: 

  • Multidisciplinary set of skills. Our master's programme brings together the best of water and environmental engineering and provides a broad view of the field. Our teaching combines theory with practice, including hands-on computational work, case studies and project work. We collaborate with other master’s programmes at Aalto University and encourage you to go for student exchange to diversify your views and skills.
  • Own specialization in our field. Our programme is student-centered and allows you to create your own specialisation. The field is diverse and you have many options for pursuing your desired career. You can design your own study path to ensure that you study things that you are passionate about. Our personal portfolio process helps you to recognise your strengths and interests with the help of your mentor and your peers.
  • Strong problem-solving skills. Our interactive and diversified study methods prepare you to solve some of the key problems regarding the sustainable society. These problems are identified throughout the studies, which gives our graduates ability to solve real problems in working-life.
  • Sustainable approach. The ultimate aim of our programme is to ensure a sustainable and functioning society. We are passionate and motivated about what we do and we are proud to be experts in the field of water and environment. We focus on what engineers do: apply theory to practice to solve challenges that are critical to our society. Our programme equips you with skills, knowledge and professional identity required for this task.

Competences and related intended learning outcomes (ILOs) of the programme


Get to know us

Student Aino Ahvo works with the Baltic Sea pollution

Aino Ahvo considers that her master’s programme gives tools that can help to solve the Baltic Sea pollution problems.

Aino Ahvo

Maria Kosonen chose to study Water and Environmental Engineering as she was interested in environmental issues

During her studies Maria Kosonen has got international experiences from Australia and Kenya, and soon also from Spain.

Maria Kosonen

Student Artem Makarov found his dream job in industrial water treatment

Artem Makarov, who is originally from Russia, is now finalizing his studies and working full-time simultaneously.

Portrait of Artem Makarov

Water and Environmental Engineering

Water and Environmental Engineering research at Aalto University aims to find solutions to decrease resource scarcity and to support sustainability. Our research is divided into two strategic areas: global water issues and sustainable circular economy, which are further divided into four research entities.

Aalto Research groups

Study languages

The language of instruction is English.

Content of the studies

The major of the programme is water and environmental engineering, with emphasis on water. Major studies are divided into three themes, corresponding to the main research themes of the Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group: Water Resources Management, Water & Wastewater Engineering and Water & Development.

Each themes has their own thematic and methodological focuses, and you can mix courses from different themes into your major studies.

Structure of studies

The WAT Master's Programme consists of 120 credits (ECTS), including following parts:

  • Major (60 credits), including 15 credits common courses and 45 credits advanced courses
  • Elective studies (30 credits): you can choose practically any combination of courses that supports your studies and suites your interests
  • Master's Thesis (30 credits): a piece of applied research conducted independently by the student.

The structure of the programme is designed so that you are able to complete your common and advanced studies during the first year. This leaves your second year for elective courses and the master's thesis. It also makes it easy for you to go for student exchange during the second year. Alternatively, you can further build your expertise by taking more of our advanced courses as elective courses.

For more information on the courses included in the programme, please visit the programme pages.

More information about Water and Environmental Research at Aalto University.

Career opportunities

The Master’s Programme in Water and Environmental prepares graduates for a variety of careers.

Many of our students work with companies and experts of the field already during their studies, as we have good connections both to public and private sector through our research and teaching.
Our graduates work in numerous positions as e.g. planners, technical experts, and managers, and also have good possibilities to advance in their career. As experts of water and environmental engineering, our graduates have good opportunities to effect societal change, promote sustainability and ensure some of the most essential functions of the society through their work. Employers of our graduates are diverse, including the private sector, public sector, civil society as well as academia. For more information on our field's career prospects and examples of positions, see the summary of our Alumni Survey.


Our students are encouraged to spend a semester abroad as the structure of studies is designed to allow for an exchange semester at one of the international partner universities of Aalto University. We have strong ties to many international universities through collaboration in research projects. We warmly welcome international students to our programme.

Chat with Aalto students

Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto University? Or what student life is like at Aalto’s vibrant Otaniemi Campus or at the Mikkeli Unit? Sign up and start chatting with our Unibuddy students about all things Aalto!

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Group of students

Admission requirements

Aalto University's student selection process is competitive and paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check (administrative evaluation) conducted by Aalto University Admissions Services proceed to the school's programme-specific academic evaluation.

The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation in 2021:

Academic performance
What is evaluated: Grades of the previous degree/CGPA
Admission requirements: Grades need to mainly very good or excellent
Evaluated documents: Transcript of records
Criticality: Critical

Relevance of previous studies
What is evaluated: Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements
What we look for in an applicant: Content suit very well or excellent to the study option
Evaluated documents: Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)
Criticality: Critical

Recognition and quality of institution
What is evaluated: Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution
Admission requirements: Recognized for high quality of education and research
Method of demonstrating competence: International and national rankings of higher education institutions
Criticality: Not critical

What is evaluated: Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies
What we look for in an applicant: Applicant's expertise is clearly connected to the study option.
Evaluated documents: Motivation letter
Criticality: Not critical

Other areas of competence
What is evaluated: Work experience and other acquired expertise as well as other relevant achievements such as publications and non-formal education
What we look for in an applicant: Applicant's expertise is well suitable for the study option
Evaluated documents: Curriculum vitae, other possible relevant documents
Criticality: Not critical

The water and environmental engineering field is diverse, and we therefore welcome students with diverse backgrounds to our programme. Being an engineering master’s programme, we expect our students to be skilled in mathematics and physics. However, an engineering background is not a precondition to apply.

    Study option -specific documents

    The documents required from all applicants are listed on In addition, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following study option-specific documents (if applicable):

    Contact information

    With questions regarding the application process: [email protected]

    With questions regarding the content of the programme and studies: [email protected]

    Marko Keskinen

    Marko Keskinen

    Associate professor
    T213 Built Environment

    The application period has closed

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