Civil engineering historically encompassed all engineering endeavors not associated
with military activities. Because of its origin and history, civil engineering
still embraces a wide variety of technological areas. These include environmental
engineering, hydrotechnical engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation
engineering and structural engineering.
Civil engineers work with problems that directly impact the health and economic vitality of people and communities. These problems include waste disposal; environmental pollution; transportation systems analysis and design; water resource development; and the design, construction and rehabilitation of constructed facilities such as dams, bridges, buildings and highways. The challenges and opportunities for a civil engineer lie in combining technical competence with a human concern for the applications of technology. To help students understand their role in the community and to be effective in written and spoken communications, the curriculum attempts to give a meaningful educational experience in the humanities, social studies, English and economics.
The goal of the undergraduate curriculum in civil and environmental engineering is to prepare graduating civil engineers to meet the present and the future infrastructure and environmental needs of society. This requires an education based on scientific and engineering fundamentals as well as one that incorporates experience in engineering design using modern technology. Because the systems they design impact the public directly, civil engineers must be aware of the social and economic consequences of their designs. Graduates must be prepared to work and communicate with other professionals in a variety of associations and organizations. Ethics and life-long learning are essential components in the education of civil engineers. During the course of study, civil engineering students are given a solid grounding in mathematics, physics and chemistry. Added to this is extensive development of the fundamentals of materials science, environmental, soils, hydrotechnical, structural and transportation systems engineering. This broad base of knowledge is provided to insure that civil engineers are educated in all branches of the profession and to permit continuous learning throughout a professional lifetime. Throughout the program, each student works with an academic advisor in the selection of electives. Specialization in one or more of the branches of civil engineering is possible by selection of a sequence of technical electives during the junior and senior years.
Programs and Faculty Mentors
Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Civil engineering embraces a wide variety of technological areas. These include environmental engineering, hydrotechnical engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, and structural engineering.
The bachelor of science degree in civil engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
Dual Civil and Mining Engineering Degrees
Students can simultaneously pursue B.S. degrees in civil engineering and mining engineering by completing additional courses. The dual degrees offer students an opportunity to become prepared for entry in both the infrastructure and energy markets. The dual degree program requires satisfactory completion of 158 credit hours.
Fields of Study
In this field, students will learn about construction operations, construction safety and health, infrastructure management, decision-making support systems and construction project control.
Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
Students will learn how to protect society from the damaging effects of environmental contaminants, erosion and floods. This study area includes solid and hazardous waste management, environmental impact statements, hydraulics, flood control systems, coastal harbors, irrigation systems and management of facilities that provide water for our communities.
In this field, students will learn about the classification of soils, the design of shallow and deep foundations for structures, the design of stable earth slopes and earth retraining structures, permeability of geologic materials and seepage of water through soils and rocks, shear strength of geological materials, soil compaction and consolidation and effective stresses.
In this field, students will learn how to design, construct, maintain and rehabilitate society's many structures, including buildings, harbors and bridges, using construction materials such as concrete, steel, wood and composites.
Students in this field will focus on the design, construction and management of all aspects of transportation systems. These include highway construction, traffic control, airports, mass transit systems, railroads, inland waterways and urban rapid transit systems.