About Us

bridgeWhat is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is a people-serving profession, concerned with the planning, design, construction and operation of large, complex systems such as buildings and bridges, water purification and distribution systems, highways, rapid transit and rail systems, ports and harbors, airports, tunnels and underground construction, dams, power generating systems and structural components of aircraft and ships. Civil engineering also includes urban and city planning, water and land pollution and treatment problems, and disposal of hazardous wastes and chemicals. The design and construction of these systems are only part of the many challenges and opportunities faced by civil engineers. The recent revolution in computers, communications and data management has provided new resources that are widely used by the professional civil engineer in providing safe, economical and functional facilities to serve our society.

What is Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineering is a profession that applies engineering and science principles to protect the environment from possible harmful natural and human activities, protect people from contaminants and pathogens in the environment, and improve the quality of the environment. Environmental engineering includes drinking water supply and treatment, wastewater treatment, air pollution management, and solid waste management. Research put forth by the environmental engineering laboratories supports the idea that environmental research will serve as the basis for solving the problems faced impacting the world in which we live. Practical engineering research is necessary to solve current environmental problems. More information about environmental engineering is available online.

Department Background

Established in 1908, the Department is involved in education, service and research programs covering a spectrum of activities in Civil Engineering. The Department emphasizes the areas of environmental, geotechnical, project management, structural, transportation, and water resources engineering. The undergraduate and graduate program enrollment are as follows: B.S., 475, M.S., 48, M.E., 172, and Ph.D., 116.


The Department of Civil Engineering offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. Areas of specialization include construction engineering and management, environmental engineering, geotechnical and materials engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, remote sensing and water resources systems. Each student plans an individualized course of study with the assistance of a faculty committee.

Is Civil Engineering for You?

Why is civil engineering for you? Civil engineering touches the lives of all human beings. Whether you have an interest in the technical aspects of engineering or prefer to develop your interest in the business world, civil engineering is a career path that offers a broad array of career possibilities. If you prefer research or public service, a career in civil engineering offers direct pathways to exciting and service-oriented careers.

Is Environmental Engineering for You?

Environmental engineering is the core field that works to ensure we have life’s three essentials: clean water, clean air, and clean land. Researchers in environmental engineering work to ensure access to uncontaminated drinking water, sustainable agricultural practices, and renewable and clean energy through bioproducts. If your passion lies in protecting and preserving our health and environment through applied science and engineering, then environmental engineering might be right for you.