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Civil Engineering, B.S.

Two engineering students working in labOverview of Civil Engineering

Civil engineering involves the planning, design, construction, and operation of the infrastructure systems and services that support modern civilization; it is the world's oldest engineering profession and a keystone of our society. Responsibilities of the civil engineering profession include the provision of water, power, and transportation systems, clean air and water, and planning and building new communities.

The modern civil engineer strives to balance the social and environmental objectives of a sustainable society. In the coming decades, civil engineers will increasingly be called upon to address broader issues of environmental and social sustainability by providing and maintaining equitable access to quality housing, water, energy, food, information, and mobility; by minimizing the release of residuals and pollutants through innovative production processes and choice of materials; by capturing the resource value of wastes through recovery, recycling, and reuse; and by managing natural resources to meet competing societal objectives.

About the Program

The undergraduate major in Civil Engineering prepares students for careers in both private and public organizations concerned with managing air quality, water quality and supply, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, infrastructure, energy systems, public health, and the long-term social, economic, and environmental welfare of our society. The program is also a good foundation for further study in engineering, earth science, business, management, law, policy, planning, and public health. The curriculum provides students with a quantitative understanding of the physical, chemical, ecological, economic, and biological principles that govern the quality of our natural and engineered environment and focuses on the design, development, implementation, and assessment of sustainable engineering solutions to society’s complex environmental, social, and technological challenges. The program teaches a holistic or systems approach to problem-solving and emphasizes four areas: (1) Hydrology and water resources, (2) Environmental Engineering, (3) Geomatics, and (4) Sustainable structures.

Potential Careers*Engineering student surveying land

  • Sustainability engineer
  •  Transportation engineer
  • Water resources engineer
  • Geomatics engineer
  • Environmental engineer
  • Water and wastewater treatment engineer
  • Government (city, county) engineer
  • Urban and rural development planner
  • Developing regions engineer

* Please Note: Some of these careers might require education beyond a Bachelor's degree.

Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the Civil Engineering program demonstrate the following: 

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics;
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specific needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors;
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in the global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts;
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives;
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions;
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

More Information about Civil Engineering