Educational Mission

Picture of engineering student.

Civil engineering graduates qualify for professional work or graduate school in a broad spectrum of engineering activities. The program is balanced, stressing environmental engineering; soil mechanics and foundations; structural analysis and design; surveying and mapping; transportation and traffic engineering; water resources and hydraulics. The program emphasizes quality undergraduate teaching and active student learning, including extensive use of laboratory and co-curricular activities.

Civil Engineering Program Mission

The civil engineering program has two comprehensive objectives: to prepare graduates for immediate entry into a variety of professional careers and to provide a solid undergraduate foundation in general principles enabling continued education at advanced levels.

Civil Engineering Educational Objectives 

Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve.

  • Civil Engineering graduates will be prepared to be effective engineers and problem solvers.
  • They will be well educated in engineering sciences and proficient in at least four recognized civil engineering areas.
  • They will be able to appropriately utilize a variety of engineering tools and techniques to enhance their professional abilities.
  • They will be familiar with applicable regulatory and professional issues.
  • They will be effective technical written and oral communicators.
  • They will be able to function effectively as members of multi-disciplinary teams.
  • They will have an appreciation for the individual, society, good citizenship, community service, ethical conduct, and they will be aware of the impact of their designs on humankind and the environment.

Civil Engineering Program Learning Outcomes

Program outcomes are narrower statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. Students completing the civil engineering program must demonstrate:

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering, including: mathematics through differential equations, calculus-based physics, chemistry, biology, and four technical areas appropriate to civil engineering.

(b) an ability to design and conduct civil engineering experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret the resulting data;

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in more than one civil engineering context and within realistic constraints;

(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;

(f) an understanding of professional ethical responsibility, including the importance of professional licensure;

(g) an ability to communicate effectively;

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context;

(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues;

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice; and

(l) an understanding of basic concepts in management, business, public policy, and leadership.

Civil Engineering Design Experience

The civil engineering program provides an essential balance of engineering science and design. Design content permeates the curriculum, beginning at a fundamental level in the lower division followed by a natural progression to comprehensive design in upper-division courses. Fundamental design problems typically have a unique solution and may involve only a few, simple constraints. Comprehensive design incorporates a multitude of realistic constraints with a variety of possible outcomes commonly referred to as "open-ended" design.

Required courses in the program provide proficiency in civil engineering design, beginning in the first year (CIVL 131 Introduction to Civil Engineering Design) and culminating with comprehensive design in the third and fourth years (CIVL 415 Reinforced Concrete Design, CIVL 431 Environmental Engineering, and CIVL 441 Transportation Engineering). This ensures a breadth of design experience that is then enhanced and focused in elective courses.

American Public Works Association Internship Program

The APWA Internship Program provides civil engineering students with valuable real world experiences. Participation in the program is elective but can be used for academic credit towards the degree. While students are responsible for finding their own internship opportunity, the Experiential Education Office is an excellent resource for locating companies interested in hiring interns.