Civil Engineering

Civil engineering graduates are well prepared 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 prepares graduates for immediate entry into a variety of professional careers and provides 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.

1. Civil Engineering graduates will be prepared to be effective engineers and problem solvers.

2. They will be well educated in engineering sciences and proficient in at least four recognized civil engineering areas.

3. They will be able to appropriately utilize a variety of engineering tools and techniques to enhance their professional abilities.

4. They will be familiar with applicable regulatory and professional issues.

5. They will be effective technical written and oral communicators.

6. They will be able to function effectively as members of multi-disciplinary teams.

7. 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 constraint;

(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. Additional information is available at the department website

The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 132 units

See "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. Please request a plan from your major advisor or view it and other current advising information at

General Education Requirements: 48 units

Civil engineering major requirements have modifications to the University's General Education Requirements. The following courses, together with the approved General Education courses required for the civil engineering major, fulfill the General Education Requirement.

1. Select one course from each of the following Breadth areas: A1, A2, C (either C1 or C2 or C3), and D (either D1, or D2, or D3).

2. upper-division theme modification has been approved for this major. See the General Education chapter in the University Catalog for specifics on how to apply this modification.

Accreditation Requirement

Courses must be selected in such a manner as to satisfy the humanities, social science, mathematics, base science, and engineering topics requirements of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Consult your academic advisor for additional information.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See "Diversity Requirement" in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education.

U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals: 6 units

See "U.S. History, Constitution, and American Ideals" under "Bachelor's Degree Requirements". For this major, this requirement is normally fulfilled by completing HIST 130 and POLS 155 or approved equivalents.

Literacy Requirement:

See "Mathematics and Writing Requirements" in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a C- or better before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 107-109 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

Enrollment in any mathematics course requires a grade of C- or higher in all prerequisite courses or their transfer equivalents.

Lower-Division Requirements: 53-55 units

15 courses required:

CIVL 110 Graphics for Civil Engineers 2.0 FS
Prerequisites: High school trigonometry and algebra.
CIVL 130 Surveying 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: MATH 120 (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 131 Introduction to Civil Engineering Design 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CIVL 130.
CIVL 205 Computer Applications in Engineering 2.0 FS
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 211 Statics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121 and PHYS 204A. CIVL 110 (may be taken concurrently) or MECH 100 and MECH 100L (may be taken concurrently).
CHEM 111 General Chemistry 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
EECE 211 Linear Circuits I 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204B.
EECE 211L Linear Circuits I Activity 1.0 FS
Corequisites: EECE 211.
MATH 120 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 118 and MATH 119 (or high school equivalent); a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam.
MATH 121 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
MATH 260 Elementary Differential Equations 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
MECH 210 Materials Science and Engineering 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A; CHEM 111.
NSCI 102 Introduction to Living Systems 3.0 FS *
PHYS 204A Physics for Students of Science and Engineering: Mechanics 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 121 (second semester of calculus) or equivalent.
PHYS 204B Physics for Students of Science and Engineering: Electricity and Magnetism 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.

1 course selected from:

MATH 220 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
MATH 235 Elementary Linear Algebra 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
MATH 350 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 3.0 FA
Prerequisites: MATH 121.

1 course selected from:

BIOL 211 Allied Health Microbiology 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: A college course in biology and in general chemistry.
CHEM 112 General Chemistry 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CHEM 111 with a grade of C- or higher.
GEOS 102 Physical Geology 3.0 FS *
Prerequisites: High school chemistry or physics is recommended; students with no previous science courses are advised to enroll in GEOS 101. No college credit for those who have passed GEOS 101.
PHYS 204C Physics for Students of Science and Engineering: Heat, Wave Motion, Sound, Light, and Modern Topics 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.

Upper-Division Requirements: 54 units

13 courses required:

CIVL 302 Engineering Economy and Statistics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, junior standing.
CIVL 311 Strength of Materials 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher; CIVL 110 or MECH 100 and MECH 100L; MATH 260 and MECH 210 (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 312 Structural Testing Laboratory 1.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 205; CIVL 311 with a grade of C- or higher.
CIVL 313 Structural Mechanics 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 205 (may be taken concurrently); CIVL 311 with a grade of C- or higher.
CIVL 321 Fluid Mechanics 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher. Recommended: MATH 260, MECH 320 (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 402 Contracts, Specifications, and Technical Reports 4.0 FS WP
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, junior standing.
CIVL 411 Soil Mechanics and Foundations 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: CIVL 312 and CIVL 321 (may be taken concurrently); ENGL 130 or equivalent.
CIVL 415 Reinforced Concrete Design 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: CIVL 312, CIVL 313. Recommended: CIVL 411.
CIVL 431 Environmental Engineering 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: BIOL 151 or NSCI 102; CHEM 107 or CHEM 111; Math 109 or MATH 120; junior standing.
CIVL 441 Transportation Engineering 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: CIVL 131; CIVL 302 (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 495 Professional Issues in Engineering 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or equivalent; senior standing.
MECH 320 Dynamics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher, MATH 260.
MECH 332 Thermodynamics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A. Recommended: PHYS 204C.

CIVL 302 and CIVL 495 are approved General Education courses for the Civil Engineering major.

6 units selected from:

Any 500-level CIVL, 400/500-level MECH, or 400-level EECE courses, or MECH 308 or MECH 338. No more than three units of CIVL 599 may be used for this requirement.

3 units selected from:

Other technical courses to be chosen from a list approved by the department.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It involves 6 units of honors course work over two semesters.

Your Honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair. Most importantly, however, the Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or competition in shows; such experience is valuable for graduate school and later professional life.

Some common features of Honors in the Major are

1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. You must complete the 6 units with a minimum grade of B.

2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 units overall in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.

3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.

4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5 percent of majors in your department.

5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.

6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your Honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your department chair to apply.

Honors in Civil Engineering

The common elements of the Honors in the Major program listed above apply to Honors in Civil Engineering. Specific information for this program includes:

1. In addition to meeting the GPA requirements, you must be recommended by a faculty member.

2. Students who are admitted into the department's Honors in the Major program may elect to take any two upper-division civil engineering electives for honors credit. The honors section will be identified on your transcript. The courses are usually spread over two semesters. You must complete them with a minimum grade of B and maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall.

3. Each Honors in the Major class will require completion of the course plus an additional honors project and culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.