What is Civil Engineering?

Civil Engineering Department


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Civil Engineers shape the world around us.

What is Civil Engineering?

Our program combines chemistry, physics, advanced mathematics, statistics, geology, and core engineering science to prepare graduates for the workforce.

Being a civil engineer means working on designing, building and maintaining our environment including public works like roads, bridges, airports, canals, dams and buildings. Being a professional Civil Engineer can also involve conducting research to help create more sustainable and efficient materials and building methods.

What do Civil Engineers do?

Civil Engineers work for public and private organizations.

  • They design, develop, and construct structures.

  • They design, build, and maintain transportation systems and infrastructure.

  • They design, operate, and control water resource systems.

Our graduates are rooted in safe and efficient design skills and strive to improve the environment, wherever they work.

How do I know if Civil Engineering is right for me?

Are you creative? Do you enjoy strategic thinking? Are you a planner or well organized? When you visit a city, do you marvel at the way it functions? Are you fascinated by bridges, railways, buildings and complex systems? Civil Engineers shape our world through their analysis of intricate, interdependent systems and their ability to find creative solutions to complex problems. 

Being a patient and curious person helps and of course a solid background in science and math are essential, too.

Do you like hands-on learning opportunities?

Students in our Bachelor's of Science Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.) program get their hands dirty.

Even during freshmen year, students are encouraged to get involved with our active student clubs that compete annually in design competitions. This gives them a chance to learn in a lab, use technical equipment and work as part of a team.

Competitions for our American Concrete Institute group and American Society of Civil Engineers group encourage students to use their entrepreneurial skills and collaborate with regional companies that sponsor their efforts. We also encourage students to do the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program which teaches them research techniques, presentation skills and gives them a chance to work one-on-one with our faculty on a project.

Career Opportunities

Civil engineering graduates are qualified for employment in a wide variety of organizations, both public and private including:

  • Design

  • Material testing and manufacturing

  • Construction

  • Transportation

  • Natural resources development

  • Energy

Graduates are prepared to begin their first step toward professional registration by taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam before completing their college degree. They are also well qualified to continue with a graduate education in civil engineering.