Courses in air quality and atmospheric science

Graduate students conducting research in CAPS are all enrolled in a graduate program in one of the five member departments (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Engineering and Public Policy, Mechanical Engineering). As such, they pursue the core requirements of a research degree in that department. However, each department also provides sufficient flexibility that allows all of our students to follow a coherent core of common courses in air quality, atmospheric sciences and chemistry, climate science, environmental chemistry, and the chemistry, microphysics, and sources and sinks of particulate matter.

Core curriculum

Neil Donahue

Source: College of Engineering

New students to CAPS are strongly encouraged to start by taking Air Quality Engineering, offered every Fall, to gain a solid introduction to air quality, atmospheric chemistry, and particulate matter. Combustion and Air Pollution Control is the logical next course to take in the Air Quality course sequence, offered every Spring. The Aerosol Measurement Technology and Atmospheric Nanoparticles and Climate courses are specifically designed for CAPS students to study particulate matter at the Ph.D. research level. These four courses comprise the recommended CAPS core course” sequence. Many additional courses are offered for students to deepen their knowledge of specific aspects in the fields of air quality, environmental chemistry, and atmospheric and climate science.

The following courses are regularly taught (yearly or alternating years) by CAPS faculty and compose the core curriculum available for CAPS students to pursue. Our students enjoy the flexibility to select the courses that best align with their interests and research topics. The timing of future course offerings is subject to change.

  • Aerosol Measurement Technology: Ryan Sullivan, MechE 24-727, alternating Falls
  • Air Quality Engineering: Hamish Gordon, CEE 12-751/EPP 19-751/MechE 24-626, every Fall
  • Climate Science and Solutions: Parth Vaishnav, EPP 19-629, every Fall
  • Combustion and Air Pollution Control: Albert Presto, EPP 19-740/MechE 24-740, every Fall
  • Atmospheric Nanoparticles and Climate: Coty Jen 06-614, ChemE, even Falls 
  • Global Atmospheric Chemistry: Neil Donahue, Chem 06-724/ChemE 09-532, even Springs 
  • Meteorology: Neil Donahue, ChemE 06-679, odd Springs
  • Environmental Systems on a Changing Planet, Ryan Sullivan, Chem 09-325, Fall 2020
  • Climate Change: Chemistry, Physics, and Planetary Science, Neil Donahue, Chem 09-225, Fall 2020

Many of the above courses also comprise the core of a coursework master’s degree in air quality engineering available to students in all of our member departments in the College of Engineering.

Additional courses (only some of these are still offered)

Below are some additional related course offerings that CAPS students can benefit from:

  • Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics: ChemE 06-705
  • Advanced Reaction Kinetics: ChemE 06-702
  • Chemical Thermodynamics: Chem 09-611
  • Climate and Energy: ChemE 19-650
  • Environmental Management: CEE 12-713
  • Internal Combustion Engines: Satbir Singh, MechE 24-421
  • Introduction to Chemical Kinetics: Chem 09-604
  • Chemistry and Sustainability: Chem 09-710
  • Mass Spectrometry: Fundamentals, Instrumentation, and Techniques: Chem 09-543
  • Modern Optical Spectroscopy: Chem 09-614
  • Sustainability: CEE 12-712