Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Science College of Engineering

The civil engineering profession is responsible for designing, building, operating and maintaining the physical infrastructure and protecting the natural environment that together support human society in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. The need to predict and mitigate the impact of complex human- and nature-induced stresses on large-scale, geographically-distributed systems has never been more evident than now. These challenges and inevitable societal changes result in a need to develop and adopt new technologies and improved efficiency into the infrastructure.

The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Students are encouraged to adhere carefully to all prerequisite requirements. The instructor is authorized to drop students from a course for which stated prerequisites have not been completed. Exclusive of General Education units, the minimum number of units required for the Civil Engineering major is 154.

Areas of Specialization

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering focuses on understanding and management of physical, chemical, and biological processes in natural and engineered systems. Areas of emphasis include improvement of air, land, and water quality in the face of increasing population, expanding industrialization, and global climate change. Examples of environmental engineering include innovative analysis and design of air, water, wastewater, and solid waste treatment systems; mathematical modeling of natural and engineered systems; life cycle analysis; sampling, analysis, transport and transformation of natural and anthropogenic pollutants; and modeling of air pollutant emissions.

Suggested Advisors

H.N. Bischel, C.E. Bronner, C. D. Cappa, R. Corsi,  A. Kendall, M.J. Kleeman, F.J. Loge, J. Pena, S.G. Schladow, T.M. Young

Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering encompasses civil infrastructure and environmental problems that require characterization and utilization of geologic materials (soils and rocks) to develop, design, analyze and model engineered solutions. This includes, but is not limited to, foundations for buildings and bridges retaining structures, earthwork (e.g. dams, tunnels, highways), pavements, effects of earthquakes and other natural hazards (e.g. ground motions, liquefaction, soil-structure interaction, landslides, tsunamis), ground improvement methods (e.g. compaction, cement mixing), and geo-environmental problems (e.g. groundwater flow, subsurface contaminant transport and remediation).

Suggested Advisors

J.T. DeJong, J.T. Harvey, B. Jeremic, A. Martinez, K. Ziotopoulou

Structural Engineering & Structural Mechanics

Structural Engineering addresses the conception, design, analysis, construction, retrofit and modeling of all types of civil infrastructure, including buildings and bridges, dams, ports, highways, and industrial facilities subject to loadings ranging from gravity and earthquakes, to extreme environmental events, with consideration of safe, serviceable, and sustainable outcomes over the entire life-cycle. Structural Mechanics encompasses theories for solids and structures, and the associated methods of analysis, computation and materials characterization used in the practice of Structural Engineering. For both disciplines, materials of particular interest include steel, concrete, timber, advanced composites and particulate media.

Suggested Advisors

M. Barbato, J.E. Bolander, Y.H. Chai, L. Cheng, J.T. Harvey, B. Jeremic, A.M. Kanvinde, S.K. Kunnath, S.A. Miller, M.M. Rashid, N. Sukumar

Transportation Planning & Engineering

Transportation Engineering deals with the movement of people and goods in a manner consistent with society's environmental and socio-economic goals. Transportation engineering applies engineering, physical and mathematical sciences, economics, and behavioral social science principles to plan, analyze, design, and operate resilient and sustainable transportation systems, such as highways, transit, airfields and ports. Transportation planning involves the formulation and analysis of transportation policy, program, and project alternatives. Societal goals, budgetary constraints, socio-economic (such as safety, equity and mobility) and environmental (such as air and water quality, climate change, and clean energy) objectives, and technological feasibilities (such as vehicle, infrastructure, and information technologies) are considered.

Suggested Advisors

Y. Fan, J.T. Harvey, M.A. Jaller, A. Kendall, S. Nassiri, D. Sperling, K.E. Watkins, H.M. Zhang

Water Resources Engineering

Water Resources Engineering includes hydrology, hydraulics, fluid mechanics, and water resources systems planning and design. Hydrology deals with quantifying and understanding all aspects of the hydrologic cycle, including the relationships between precipitation, runoff, groundwater, and surface water. Water quality and contaminant transport issues are linked to hydrologic conditions. Hydraulics and fluid mechanics deal with flows in pipes, open-channel water-distribution systems, and natural systems, such as lakes and estuaries. Water resources systems planning and design deals with the comprehensive development of water resources to meet the multiple needs of industry, agriculture, municipalities, recreation, and other activities.

Suggested Advisors

F.A. Bombardelli, A.L. Forrest, J.D. Herman, M.L. Kavvas,  V.L. Morales, H.J. Oldroyd, S.G. Schladow, B.A. Younis

Additional information on areas of specialization and potential faculty advisors can be obtained from the departmental website.

Lower Division Required Courses
MAT 021ACalculus4
MAT 021BCalculus4
MAT 021CCalculus4
MAT 021DVector Analysis4
MAT 022ALinear Algebra3
MAT 022BDifferential Equations3
PHY 009AClassical Physics5
PHY 009BClassical Physics5
PHY 009CClassical Physics5
Choose one BIS 002A or GEL 050 & GEL 050L:5
Introduction to Biology: Essentials of Life on Earth
Physical Geology
and Physical Geology Laboratory
CHE 002AGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002AH Honors General Chemistry
CHE 002BGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002BH Honors General Chemistry
Civil Engineering
Choose 2-6 units:2-6
Civil & Environmental Infrastructure & Society 1
Spatial Data Analysis
ENG 035Statics4
ENG 006Engineering Problem Solving4
or ECS 032A Introduction to Programming
ENG 003Introduction to Engineering Design4
or ENG 003Y Introduction to Engineering Design
Lower Division Composition/Writing; choose one; a grade of C- or better is required:4
Major Works of the Ancient World
Major Works of the Medieval & Early Modern World
Major Works of the Modern World
Major Works of the Contemporary World
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Native American Literature
Introduction to Academic Literacies (Recommended)
Introduction to Academic Literacies: Online (Recommended)
Introduction to Academic Literacies (Recommended)
Lower Division Required Courses Subtotal70-74
Upper Division Requirements
ENG 103Fluid Mechanics4
or ECI 100 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics for Civil & Environmental Engineers
ENG 104Mechanics of Materials4
ENG 104LMechanics of Materials Laboratory1
ENG 106Engineering Economics4
ENG 102Dynamics4
or ENG 105 Thermodynamics
Civil Engineering
ECI 114Probabilistic Systems Analysis for Civil & Environmental Engineers4
ECI 193ACivil & Environmental Engineering Senior Design 4
ECI 193BCivil & Environmental Engineering Senior Design4
Choose one:4
Computer Methods in Civil & Environmental Engineering
Deterministic Optimization & Design
Partial Differential Equations: Elementary Methods
Civil & Environmental Engineering Breadth
Choose one course from four of the following group options; to satisfy Geotechnical & Water Resources breadth area groups, both lecture and lab courses must be completed:15-17
Choose one:
Environmental Analysis of Aqueous Systems
Chemical Principles for Environmental Engineers
ECI 148A
Air Pollution (Discontinued)
Soil Mechanics
Soil Mechanics Laboratory
Structural Analysis
Choose one:
Transportation System Operations
Energy & Environmental Aspects of Transportation
Transportation Policy
Water Resources
Engineering Hydraulics
Engineering Hydraulics Laboratory
Civil & Environmental Engineering Depth
Choose two courses from two of the following group options selected from Civil & Environmental Engineering Breadth:16
Chemical Principles for Environmental Engineers
Biological Principles for Environmental Engineering
Water & Wastewater Treatment System Design (Discontinued)
Air Pollution (Discontinued)
Foundation Design
Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering
Pavement Engineering
Matrix Structural Analysis
Structural Design: Metallic Elements
Structure & Properties of Civil Engineering Materials
Structural Loads: Calculation & Modeling
Structural Design: Concrete Elements
Building Design
Earthquake Loads on Structures
Deterministic Optimization & Design
Transportation System Operations
Pavement Engineering
Water Resources
Engineering Hydrology
Groundwater Systems Design
Hydraulic Structure Design
Water Resources Simulation
Water Resources Engineering Planning
Civil & Engineering Electives
Civil & Environmental Engineering electives may include any upper division, letter-graded Civil & Environmental Engineering courses (i.e. not already used towards the ECI breadth, ECI depth and math analysis requirements) 3,416-20
Upper Division Composition Requirement
Choose one: a grade of C- or better is required:0-4
Advanced Composition
Advanced Composition
Advanced Composition
Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering
Writing in the Disciplines: Environmental Writing
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Science
Writing in the Professions: Technical Writing
Passing the Upper Division Composition Exam.
Upper Division Requirements Subtotal80-90
Total Units150-164
ECI 003 is designed for lower division students and is not open to upper division students; students who do not take this course will substitute 4 units of additional letter graded upper division Civil & Environmental Engineering (ECI) coursework; see Civil & Environmental Engineering Electives.

May include ENG 102 or ENG 105. If both ENG 102 and ENG 105 are completed, 4 units will be considered towards the ECI electives. Also can include, but not exceed, a combination of 6 units from ECI 198 and ECI 199. A maximum of 4 units of upper-division coursework outside of Civil & Environmental Engineering may be considered on a petition basis. Please consult with the undergraduate staff advisor.


If ECI 003 was not completed in the Lower Division requirements, 20 units of electives are required.