Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Environmental Technology

The Doctorate Program is organized in four-month terms totalizing 45 credits, being 33 credits related to courses and 12 credits focused on the dissertation. The program is planned to last 4 years. During the first year, students must accomplish the courses, attend seminars, work on and discuss about their project, and start working on their dissertation. The second year is also dedicated to courses, seminars, and mainly to activities related to the dissertation. On the third and fourth years, the student will focus on the dissertation, mandatory seminars and scientific writing. Up to the third quarter of the second year, the student must take the qualifying exam. Deadline for presenting the dissertation is in 48 months. From the 33 credits related to courses, the student can use academic courses taken at the Master’s Degree, since their equivalences are assessed by the coordination of the department.  

Brief description of the Master’s Degree  

The Master’s Degree is organized in four-month terms totalizing 31 credits, being 24 credits related to courses and 7 related to the thesis. The program is planned to last 2 years, having the following structure:

- on the first year the students must accomplish the courses, attend seminars, work on and discuss about their project, and start working on their thesis;

- the second year may also be dedicated to courses, seminars, qualifying exam, and mainly to activities related to the thesis.


Courses (Master’s Degree and Doctorate)

General Mandatory Courses: 

students of Master´s Degree and Doctorate take the four mandatory courses.


Environmental Management and Technology – 3 cr. Environment versus ecology. Environmental education. Sustainable development. Environmental Impact: Natural and Anthropogenic Changes. Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment. Environmental Management Systems. Problems related to Technology (Manufacturing, Transportation and Communication). Introductory topics of clean technologies, minimization, treatment and disposal. Environmental policy and specific legislation. Seminars.


Advanced Transport Phenomena – 3 cr. Balance material, global; momentum and energy; disposal measures; mass differential balances; velocity and friction distribution in turbulent flow; boundary layer flow. Thermal conduction and conductivity;  permanent and transitional conduction regimes; heat transfer coefficient by convection heat transfer in laminar and turbulent flow; heat transfer by radiation. Molecular diffusion and diffusivity; diffusion and binary mixtures, mass transfer coefficients by convection; mass transfer in turbulent flow; mass transfer in laminar flow. Simultaneous transfer of momentum, heat and mass. Kinetics and catalysis in homogeneous and heterogeneous systems.


Environmental Impact Assessment – 3cr. Historical process of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in Brazil and other countries. Institutional and legal aspects of the EIA. The principles of environmental policies. Environmental Impact Assessment as a feasibility analysis tool of environmental impact. Strategic Environmental Assessment for policies, plans and programs, as well as Preliminary Study of Environmental Impact for Projects. Instruments of Environmental Policies and the interface with EIA. Ecological-Economic Zoning and EIA. Stages of Environmental Impact Assessment and the criteria for the establishment of environmental impact assessment methodology. The methodologies of environmental impact assessment. Terms of reference for conducting the EIA. The choice of alternative technologies and location and the society participation in decision-making. The concept and the implementation of mitigation actions, environmental programs and monitoring the EIA. Case study.


 Seminar – 2 cr. - This course intends to support students with the necessary information in order to present scientific seminars, through the discussion of the different stages involved in it and seminar presentations involving Environmental Technology subjects in master's and doctoral levels.

Total: 11 credits (Master´s Degree and Doctorate)



Specific for each Line of Research:

student from Master´s Degree chooses 3 courses, one must be related to his line of research on the first year; and the student from Doctorate chooses 6 courses, being 2 related to his line of research, according to the courses offered by the program through the 4 years.


Specific courses for Line 1:

(Technology for wastewater and supply water treatment)

Wastewater treatment - 3 cr. Definitions of pollution and contamination. Characteristics of effluents. Emissions parameters. Types of treatment: physical treatment; physico-chemical treatment; biological treatment. Aerobic and anaerobic biological treatments. Lagoons treatment. Biological filters. Industrial wastewater treatment: coagulation/flocculation/chemical precipitation, sedimentation, flotation, filtration, ion exchange and membrane processes. Specific legislation.


 Supply water treatment - 3 cr. Process Technology for Water Treatment for Public and Industrial Supply, Analytical Control of Water Quality and Treatment Processes.


 Clean technologies - 3 cr.  Clean Technologies for environmental management: Control of Pollution, Cleaner Production and Clean Environmental Technologies. Process Environmental Indicators. Process Change and Redesign with Life Cycle Analysis. Energy and nutrient recovery from waste and effluents. Industrial Ecology. Green Engineering.


Specific courses for Line 2:

(Recycling, treatment and disposal of solid waste)

Degraded area recovery - 3 cr. Concepts (environmental degradation and recovery, environmental liabilities; degraded areas, contaminated areas, recovered areas), importance and objectives. Degradation sources. Main degradation processes and environmental pollution.  Physical means processes and degraded areas recovery: key processes. Procedures and methods of research and geological and geotechnical characterization. Environmental degradation resulting from natural and anthropogenic processes. Methods and recovery techniques. Research on environmental liability: principles, technical norms and procedures. Underground Transport of substances. Contaminated soil: socio-economic and environmental problems. Management of contaminated sites. Defining legal parameters of recovery projects (environmental licensing). Degraded Areas Recovery Plans - PRADs  Maintenance and monitoring of areas in the recovery process. Examples of recovery (Domestic and International).


 Recycling and treatment of solid waste - 3 cr.  Environmental impacts of solid waste. Industry solid waste generation. Recycling technologies. Recycling of metals. Plastic. Economic, environmental and energy benefits of recycling. Limitations of recycling. Social benefits of recycling. Examples of clean technologies to avoid generation of industrial waste; specific legislation.


 Landfill project - 3 cr. Landfill execution methods. Areas selection. Material decomposition in landfills. Hydrogeology principles. Water balance models. Containment barriers. Composition and characteristics, gas generation and movement in landfills.  Collection and treatment of leachate System. Construction and operation of landfills. Monitoring programs.


Specific courses for Line 3:

(Natural resources management)

Management and water resources planning - 3 cr. Hydrographic basin as the management and planning unit. Planning tools (framework and master plans for water resources) and management (information system, charge and grant). Europea legislation for water management.


Natural resources management - 3 cr. Natural renewable and nonrenewable resource concepts and characteristics. Human action over natural resources. Political, economic, social and environmental aspects linked to the exploitation of natural resources. Ecosystem management. Forest management. Recovery of degraded areas.


 Environmental monitoring - 3 cr. Environmental Monitoring: definition, sampling (population and sample, precision, accuracy), information processing, results interpretation. Database management (using softwares). Hydrological cycle. Quality of water resources and public health. Environmental pollution: Physical, chemical and biological environmental quality indicators, (IQA, IAP, IVA, IET, ITQA, *acronyms for water indexes in Portuguese, Benthic macroinvertebrates). Monitoring of air quality (indicators). Fieldwork.


Specific courses for Line 4:

(Microbiology applied to Environmental Technology)

Applied microbiology - 3 cr. Fundamentals of Environmental Microbiology. Isolation, identification and characterization of important environmental micro-organisms. Microbial Ecology.  Microbial bioindicators. Environmental biotechnology.


Bioremediation - 3 cr. Primary microbial metabolism, secondary, adaptive microbial metabolism and cometabolism. Biotransformation and biodegradation reactions. Biotransformation and microbial biodegradations of agricultural and industrial xenobiotics. Bioremediation technologies of organic compounds. Enzyme technology applied to the bioremediation. Specific legislation.


Phytoremediation - 3 cr. Phytotechnologies. Interactions among soil, plants and microorganisms in phytoremediation. The effect of plants in the degradation and toxicity of contaminants in the soil. Phyto-extraction of heavy metals from the soil. Landfill capping  for waste disposal; specific legislation.


Total: 9 credits for Master´s Degree and 18 credits for Doctorate.


General Elective Courses: 

students of Master´s Degree and Doctorate choose two of the 2-credit courses below.


Environmental Toxicology- 2 cr. Generalities about toxicology and the mechanisms of intoxication, metabolism and biotransformation. Testing principles used in environmental toxicology (Acute & Chronic toxicity tests, mutagenicity tests, reproduction study). Ecotoxicology (microcosm and mesocosm). Biodegradation of micropollutants. Some mechanisms of toxic action. Analysis principles of environmental toxicology. Toxic effects and mechanisms of xenobiotics action (heavy metals, pesticides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, amines, marine toxins). Specific legislation.


Scientific Research Methodology – 2 cr. The scientific knowledge and the research, types of research, research ethics, organization of dissertation or thesis and its standardization, writing technical texts and the scientific production, research projects, research tools.


Special Topics – 2 cr. The topics will be defined every year, according to the students and professors research interests, and professors from other institutions with recognized expertise in the field can be invited to teach these topics. Current topics of the environmental technology interest area.


Instrumental Environmental Analysis– 2 cr. Sampling and clean-up of environmental samples; Principles and applications of instrumental analytical methods based on spectroscopic and electroanalytical and chromatographic separation; Case studies of instrumental analysis of environmental samples.


Atmospheric Pollution Control – 2 cr. Atmosphere, atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric pollutants, air quality standards, air pollution control methods, sampling, dispersion and transport of air pollutants and analysis of air components. Biological methods of control and treatment of atmospheric pollutants.


Environmental Data Analysis – 2 cr. Design of Experiments and Analysis of Environmental Research Results. General modeling aspects. Data collection, processing of information and analysis of results. Sampling. Probabilistic modeling. Sample spaces. Events. Fundamental theorems of probability. Random variables. Moments and mathematical expectation. Discrete and continuous models. Parameter estimation. Significance tests. Design of Experiments. Linear Models. Multivariate models. Use of statistical software.


Modeling of Natural Processes – 2 cr. History of natural processes studies. Ecosystems, ecological and laboratory models. Concepts and principles. Properties and landscape structure: matrix, fragments and corridors. Scales, hierarchies. Dynamics of natural processes and their anthropogenic relations. Operation, transformations and landscape management. Metrics and models. Connectivity and fragmentation of ecosystems.

Total: 4 credits for Master´s Degree and Doctorate



Total credits for Master´s Degree: 31

- courses: 24

- thesis: 7

Total credits for Doctorate: 45

- courses: 33

- dissertation: 12