Civil and environmental engineering is one of the three largest fields of engineering. It traditionally has been concerned with infrastructure facilities that are both large in scale and essential to modern life. Civil and environmental engineering projects include transportation systems and their components, such as bridges, highways, public transit systems, railways, harbors, airports, and seaports; large-scale structures and office buildings that provide enclosed working and living space; environmental and hydraulic systems that provide clean water and air, including filtration plants and distribution systems for municipal and industrial water supplies, wastewater treatment plants, dams, levees, and irrigation systems.

Civil and environmental engineers are solvers of real-world problems. Growth areas of civil and environmental engineering include water sustainability, infrastructure development, construction management, computer-aided design, hazardous waste management, engineered environmental systems and flood-related sciences. In the future, civil and environmental engineers will be called upon to design structures for earth, prevent erosion and sedimentation of rivers, predict effects of global climate change on the environment, improve flood monitoring and forecasting, provide modern and efficient transportation systems, and ensure the quality of air and surface waters and groundwaters.

In planning and design, civil and environmental engineers work with other engineers, architects, landscape architects, planners, economists, financiers, sociologists, lawyers, and other specialists as members of the design team. Some civil and environmental engineers work in engineering offices; others may be called upon to construct or supervise outdoor projects they have designed. These field assignments, many of which can be in remote and fascinating parts of the world, are particularly appealing to many civil and environmental engineers. There also is significant potential for entrepreneurial work by civil and environmental engineers as they start their own companies.

Within a few years of graduation, graduates of the program are expected to:

  • be productive and contributing members of the civil and environmental engineering profession as practitioners, entrepreneurs, researchers or teachers, and be engaged in learning, understanding, and applying new ideas as the field develops;
  • pursue advanced studies if qualified and interested; and
  • promote the safety, health, and welfare of the public and environmental through professional practice and civic leadership.

The Bachelor of Science in Engineering requires a minimum of 131 s.h. Students majoring in civil engineering choose one of two subtracks: civil, which provides breadth in the discipline; or environmental, which provides for a concentration.

All engineering students complete the B.S.E. core requirements, which include RHET:1030 Rhetoric; ENGR:1100 Engineering Problem Solving I and ENGR:1300 Engineering Problem Solving II; and courses in chemistry, engineering mathematics and fundamentals, and physics. They must earn a grade of C-minus or higher in the core requirements MATH:1550 Engineering Mathematics I: Single Variable Calculus and MATH:1560 Engineering Mathematics II: Multivariable Calculus.

They also complete the curriculum designed for their major program, which covers four major stems: mathematics and basic sciences, engineering topics, an elective focus area, and the general education component (15 s.h. of humanities and social science courses). For information about the curriculum stems, see Bachelor of Science in Engineering in the Catalog.

Civil subtrack and environmental subtrack requirements are the same for the first semester of the first year but are different in subsequent semesters.

Students must select elective focus area courses according to guidelines established by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. See "Elective Focus Area" below.

Elective Focus Areas

Civil engineering students may choose from several standard elective focus areas developed by the department or create an individual focus area tailored to their interests.

Standard elective focus areas are offered in the broad field of civil and environmental engineering practice and in the four technical areas: environmental engineering; hydraulics and water resources; structures, mechanics, and materials; and transportation engineering. Other areas of focus include pre-architecture and urban and regional planning. For more detailed information about elective focus areas, see Bachelor of Science in Engineering in the Catalog. For a list of standard elective focus area options and guidelines for tailored elective focus areas in civil engineering, see CEE Elective Focus Areas on the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering website.

Joint B.S.E./M.S.

The College of Engineering offers a joint (fast-track) Bachelor of Science in Engineering/Master of Science for civil engineering undergraduate students who intend to earn an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering. B.S.E./M.S. students may attend the departmental graduate seminar and work on a master's thesis or research project while they are still undergraduates. They may count a limited amount of course work toward both degrees. Once students complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree, they are granted the B.S.E., and they normally complete the M.S. one year later.

To be admitted to the joint degree program, students must have completed at least 80 s.h. and must have a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 3.25. They must submit an application form to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, along with a letter stating their proposed area of specialization and the name of a department faculty member willing to be their primary M.S. advisor. They also must identify a faculty sponsor who can guide them from at least the second semester of their senior year until they complete the M.S.

Applications are due by March 1.

The following study plan includes the B.S.E. core requirements and the curriculum for the civil engineering major. Some courses in the curriculum are prerequisites for others. Students must complete a course's prerequisites before they may register for the course. Those who take courses in the order below satisfy the prerequisite requirements automatically.

Civil Subtrack

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallHours
ENGR:1000 Engineering Success for First-Year Students (credit does not count toward B.S.E. degree) 1
ENGR:1100 Engineering Problem Solving I 3
CHEM:1110 Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH:1550 Engineering Mathematics I: Single Variable Calculus 4
RHET:1030 Rhetoric 4
 Hours16
Spring
ENGR:1300 Engineering Problem Solving II 3
MATH:1560 Engineering Mathematics II: Multivariable Calculus 4
MATH:2550 Engineering Mathematics III: Matrix Algebra 2
PHYS:1611 Introductory Physics I 4
General education component course 3
 Hours16
Second Year
Fall
CEE:2015 Civil and Environmental Engineering Practice 2
ENGR:2110 Engineering Fundamentals I: Statics 2
ENGR:2120 Engineering Fundamentals II: Electrical Circuits 3
ENGR:2130 Engineering Fundamentals III: Thermodynamics 3
MATH:2560 Engineering Mathematics IV: Differential Equations 3
PHYS:1612 Introductory Physics II 4
 Hours17
Spring
CEE:1030 Introduction to Earth Science 3
CEE:2000 CEE Sophomore Seminar 0
CEE:2150 Natural Environmental Systems 3
ENGR:2710 Dynamics 3
ENGR:2750 Mechanics of Deformable Bodies 3
STAT:2020 Probability and Statistics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences 3
General education component course 3
 Hours18
Third Year
Fall
CEE:3001 Leadership Seminar 1
CEE:3530 Soil Mechanics 3
CEE:3533 Principles of Structural Engineering 3
CEE:3763 Principles of Transportation Engineering 3
ENGR:2510 Fluid Mechanics 4
Elective focus area course 3
 Hours17
Spring
CEE:3002 Technical Communication in CEE 1
CEE:3155 Principles of Environmental Engineering 4
CEE:3371 Principles of Hydraulics and Hydrology 3
CEE:3586 Civil Engineering Materials 3
General education component course 3
Elective focus area course 3
 Hours17
Fourth Year
Fall
CEE:3003 Senior Design Seminar 1
General education component course 3
Two elective focus area courses 6
Two of these, each from a different technical area: 6
Design of Concrete Structures  
Environmental Engineering Design  
Water Resource Design  
Design of Steel Structures  
Design of Transportation Systems  
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:3084 Project Design and Management in Civil Engineering 3
General education component course 3
Three elective focus area courses 9
 Hours15
 Total Hours132


Environmental Subtrack

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallHours
ENGR:1000 Engineering Success for First-Year Students (credit does not count toward B.S.E. degree) 1
ENGR:1100 Engineering Problem Solving I 3
CHEM:1110 Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH:1550 Engineering Mathematics I: Single Variable Calculus 4
RHET:1030 Rhetoric 4
 Hours16
Spring
ENGR:1300 Engineering Problem Solving II 3
CHEM:1120 Principles of Chemistry II 4
MATH:1560 Engineering Mathematics II: Multivariable Calculus 4
MATH:2550 Engineering Mathematics III: Matrix Algebra 2
PHYS:1611 Introductory Physics I 4
 Hours17
Second Year
Fall
CEE:2015 Civil and Environmental Engineering Practice 2
ENGR:2110 Engineering Fundamentals I: Statics 2
ENGR:2120 Engineering Fundamentals II: Electrical Circuits 3
ENGR:2130 Engineering Fundamentals III: Thermodynamics 3
MATH:2560 Engineering Mathematics IV: Differential Equations 3
General education component course 3
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:1030 Introduction to Earth Science 3
CEE:2000 CEE Sophomore Seminar 0
CEE:2150 Natural Environmental Systems 3
ENGR:2710 Dynamics 3
ENGR:2750 Mechanics of Deformable Bodies 3
STAT:2020 Probability and Statistics for the Engineering and Physical Sciences 3
General education component course 3
 Hours18
Third Year
Fall
CEE:3001 Leadership Seminar 1
CEE:3152 Environmental Chemistry I 3
CEE:3530 Soil Mechanics 3
CEE:3533 Principles of Structural Engineering 3
CEE:3763 Principles of Transportation Engineering 3
ENGR:2510 Fluid Mechanics 4
 Hours17
Spring
CEE:3002 Technical Communication in CEE 1
CEE:3155 Principles of Environmental Engineering 4
CEE:3371 Principles of Hydraulics and Hydrology 3
CEE:3586 Civil Engineering Materials 3
General education component course 3
Elective focus area course 3
 Hours17
Fourth Year
Fall
CEE:3003 Senior Design Seminar 1
General education component course 3
Two elective focus area courses 6
Two of these, each from a different technical area: 6
Design of Concrete Structures  
Environmental Engineering Design  
Water Resource Design  
Design of Steel Structures  
Design of Transportation Systems  
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:3084 Project Design and Management in Civil Engineering 3
General education component course 3
Three elective focus area courses 9
 Hours15
 Total Hours132

The engineering profession is a foundation for a variety of careers in industry, medicine, law, government, and consulting. Engineering majors hold eight of the top ten spots on the list of top-paid majors for bachelor's degree graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). On average, 93-98 percent of graduates are employed in their field of study or pursuing advanced education within seven months of graduation.

Engineering Professional Development (EPD) develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including an engineering career fair and other career-development programming each semester.

EPD also offers individual advising and class presentations on résumé and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.