The study of environmental impact is not included as core engineering curriculum – although there are many post graduate certificates with focuses on sustainability that can be earned for certain industries.
No, they do not have to take classes on the environment, but more and more people (in various disciplines, not just engineering) are beginning to take “Electives” that deal with “Green” subject matter. I was an English Major (who started out as an electrical engineer [couldn’t quite apply myself to learning digital systems at the time… and probably never will]) but I chose to take elective courses in Sustainable Development and Earth Science, because that is what I felt was important. I think it is important enough that all engineers know what kinds of impacts their designs will have on the environment, and perhaps in the future, if we are to ensure sustainability and see to it that all products being developed are not harmful to the Earth (the environment: PEOPLE), then taking some environmental courses will become a mandatory part of the curriculum! But, for now, it’s not.
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