Mar 30, 2023  
2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog 
2003-2004 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Civil Engineering

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Civil and environmental engineers are primarily responsible for planning, designing, and constructing facilities to serve society, all providing for the health and safety of its citizens. These facilities include highways and railroads, bridges and tunnels, airports and harbors, hydroelectric dams and power plants, irrigation and flood control projects, and the foundations and frames of buildings. Environmental engineers plan and design water purification plants, pollution control facilities, and other environmental protection projects. An engineer may specialize in one of these areas and may further specialize in a particular function such as design or management.
The objectives of the Civil and Environmental Engineering program are:  

  • Prepare individuals to become professional practitioners of civil engineering;
  • Develop fundamental science, mathematics, computer, and engineering knowledge necessary for civil engineering;
  • Provide broad education to understand the context of civil engineering;
  • Prepare students to communicate facts and ideas;
  • Prepare and encourage students to continue learning beyond the undergraduate years; and
  • Promote and advance the profession of civil engineering.
More information about the department and the program can be found on our web site .

Program Description
The multifaceted nature of this society-serving profession dictates that civil engineers have proficiency in four areas: structural, geotechnical, environmental, and transportation engineering. To achieve that objective, students need to be proficient in mathematics through differential equations; probability and statistics; calculus-based physics; and general chemistry. The ability to conduct laboratory experiments and to critically analyze and interpret data in more than one of the four above-mentioned major areas is emphasized throughout the program. Design is integrated throughout the professional component of the curriculum by means of design experiences and by functioning on multidisciplinary teams.

Since civil and environmental engineering is a “societal” profession, our engineers may also be faced with economic, ethical, political, social, and legal issues. Moreover, civil engineers must be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. Therefore, societal issues and communication skills are emphasized in our civil and environmental engineering courses. Moreover, the curriculum provides for “Human Values and Social Context” courses, including ethics, writing and public speaking. A senior “capstone” course, taken in the spring semester of the senior year, provides students an opportunity to “put it all together” around an active civil engineering project, while gaining understanding of professional practice issues.

Degrees are awarded upon satisfactory completion of 127 credits at an accumulative grade point average of not less than 2.0 in Civil and Environmental Engineering courses. The program in Civil and Environmental Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Cooperative “Work Experience” Program Option
Students who are engaged in engineering related summer jobs under the direction of the department’s co-op coordinator can earn three credits of technical elective through the cooperative education program of the department.

Employment Opportunities
Civil and environmental engineers work in consulting firms, construction, manufacturing industries such as paper and chemical, in the engineering offices of cities and towns, for government agencies and in private practice.

The department offers PaCEsetter Scholarships for outstanding first-year students majoring in civil and environmental engineering. In addition, students can apply for college and departmental scholarships through the College of Engineering and departmental scholarships through the department.

Suggested curriculum for the B.S. in Civil Engineering

The recommended sequence of the four-year curriculum is outlined below. Copies can also be obtained in the Civil and Environmental Engineering office with detailed explanation of the requirements. This program can be adapted to a student’s special scheduling needs in consultation with an academic advisor.

First Year - Second Semester

Second Year - First Semester

Second Year - Second Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

Fourth Year - First Semester

Fourth Year - Second Semester

Special Requirements:

Practicing civil and environmental engineers have to become registered as a professional engineer (PE). The first step toward that goal is achieved by taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination usually administered in the spring semester of the senior year. Although not required for the degree, it is a professional necessity.

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