Civil Engineering

Educational Mission

Civil engineering graduates from CSU Chico qualify for professional work or graduate school in a broad spectrum of engineering activities. The program is balanced, stressing the following disciplines of civil engineering: Environmental; Geotechnical; Structural; Surveying/Mapping; Transportation/Traffic; and Water Resources/Hydrology/Hydraulics. The program emphasizes quality undergraduate teaching and active student learning, including extensive use of laboratory and student professional organization activities.

Civil Engineering Program Mission

The civil engineering program has two comprehensive objectives:

  • Prepare graduates for immediate entry into a variety of professional careers.
  • Provide a solid undergraduate foundation in general principles enabling continued education at advanced levels.

ABET Accreditation

The Civil Engineering program at CSU, Chico is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET(opens in new window). In fulfillment of Section II.A.G.a in the ABET Accreditation Policy and Procedure Manual (APPM), the Program Educational Objectives and Student Learning Outcomes for Civil Engineering are listed below.

Civil Engineering Program Educational Objectives

The Civil Engineering Program Educational Objectives are established jointly by the civil engineering faculty and the Department’s Professional Advisory Board (PAB).

The following program educational objectives describe the expected professional accomplishments of graduates within 5 years of graduation.

  • Objective 1: Secure a professional position in civil engineering and become a licensed engineer.
  • Objective 2: Attend graduate school in civil engineering or a related discipline to achieve a graduate degree in a specialty area.
  • Objective 3: Engage in lifelong learning through formal and informal professional development.
  • Objective 4: Assume management or leadership roles in their respective organization.
  • Objective 5: Contribute to society through involvement in service activity.

Civil Engineering Program Learning Outcomes

Program learning outcomes are specifically defined statements that describe what students are expected to attain by the time of graduation. Students completing the civil engineering program must demonstrate the:

  1. 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.
  2. ability to design and conduct civil engineering experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret the resulting data;
  3. ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs in more than one civil engineering context and within realistic constraints;
  4. ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;
  5. ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  6. understanding of professional ethical responsibility, including the importance of professional licensure;
  7. ability to communicate effectively by written, verbal, and visual (plans/PowerPoint) means;
  8. education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context;
  9. need for, and an ability to engage in life­long learning;
  10. knowledge of contemporary issues as they relate to civil engineering;
  11. ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice; and
  12. understanding of basic concepts in management, business, public policy, and leadership. 

Civil Engineering Design Experience

Design is an important component of the educational mission, and 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 (e.g., CIVL 140 Transportation Planning, Surveying, and Graphics) and progressing to advanced design in the third and fourth years (CIVL 415 Reinforced Concrete Design, CIVL 431 Environmental Engineering, CIVL 441 Transportation Engineering, and CIVL 461 Water Resources Engineering), finally culminating with a comprehensive design in one of the following capstone courses taken concurrently with CIVL 595, Capstone Design Projects:

  • CIVL 561C Hydrology and Open Channel Hydraulics Capstone
  • CIVL 558C Earthquake and Wind Engineering Capstone
  • CIVL 561C Hydrology and Open Channel Hydraulics Capstone
  • CIVL 562C Groundwater Hydrology Capstone
  • CIVL 571C Natural Systems for Wastewater Treatment Capstone
  • CIVL 575C Solid and Hazardous Waste Management Capstone
  • CIVL 586C Advanced Transportation Engineering Capstone