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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department Overview

201 More

Civil and environmental engineering is a profession which interfaces closely with society in the planning, design, construction, and management of facilities serving the needs of people. These activities focus on: transportation infrastructure and construction; heavy construction; hydrology and hydrodynamics,; structures, mechanics, and geotechnical engineering; wastewater treatment, and water-quality management; solid- and hazardous-waste disposal; and air quality management.

A civil engineer may specialize in one or several of these activities and may further specialize in a particular function, such as design or management. The work frequently provides close associations with the legal profession, urban and regional planners, economists, public officials, biologists, chemists, financial consultants, architects, and system analysts. Education and practice require a consideration not only of the technological-science aspects of a particular problem but also of its relationship to social, economic, political, and environmental constraints. Civil and environmental engineers create and maintain infrastructure in a heavily human-influenced ecosystem.

To accommodate these wide interests, the department is organized into six academic areas: construction engineering; transportation engineering; geotechnical engineering; structural engineering and mechanics; environmental engineering; and hydrology and hydrodynamics.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
201 More, Box 352700
(206) 543-5092
ceadvice@uw.edu

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers the following program of study:

  • The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree

The BSCE degree is appropriate for students interested in civil and environmental engineering. The BS program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Suggested First- and Second-Year Courses: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 308; CHEM 142; PHYS 121, PHYS 122; AMATH 301 (preferred) or CSE 142; A A 210; CEE 220; M E 230; English composition.

Department Admission Requirements

Applicants are considered in three groups - Direct Freshman Admission, Early Admission, and Upper-Division Admission. Admission is competitive. Completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. All applicants have the right to petition and appeal the department's admission decision. Applications are accepted for autumn quarter only. Applications for Early and Upper-Division Admission are accepted through the College of Engineering online application form. For more information, see information for prospective students on the department website.

Direct Freshman Admission

The department enrolls up to 20% of its incoming class directly from high school, prior to completion of University-level prerequisites. Students accepted to the UW who indicate Civil and Environmental Engineering as their preferred major on the freshman application are automatically considered. Competitive applicants have taken or are taking calculus and at least two years of laboratory science (physics, chemistry preferred) in high school. Admission is for autumn quarter only.

Early Admission
  1. Admission is for autumn quarter only. Departmental application deadline is July 1.
  2. Course Requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126; 10 credits of physical science courses plus accompanying laboratory at the level of PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123, or CHEM 142, CHEM 152; and 5 credits of English composition. All courses must be completed prior to the July 1 application deadline.
  3. Applicants must be currently enrolled at the UW and must have a minimum 15 credits taken in residence at the UW.
  4. Grade Requirements: Minimum 2.0 grade in each course required for admission and minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA for all courses required for admission
  5. Completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.
Upper-Division Admission
  1. Admission is for autumn quarter only. Departmental application deadline is July 1.
  2. Course requirements: MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 308; CHEM 142; PHYS 121, PHYS 122; AMATH 301 (preferred) or CSE 142; AA 210; CEE 220; M E 230; and 5 credits of English composition.
  3. Grade requirements: Minimum grade of 2.0 in each course and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.50:
  4. Completion of minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 180 credits as follows:

  1. General Education Requirements (85-87 credits)
    1. Written and Oral Communication (8 credits): English composition; HCDE 231
    2. Visual, Literary, & Performing Arts (VLPA) and Individuals & Societies (I&S) (24 credits): Minimum10 credits in VLPA and minimum 10 credits in I&S plus 4 additional credits in either area.
    3. Economics (4-5 credits): ECON 200 or IND E 250. ECON 200 may also be applied toward the I&S requirement. IND E 250 may also be applied toward the requirement for an additional Engineering Fundamentals course.
    4. Natural World (49-50 credits)
      1. Mathematics (21 credits): MATH 124, MATH 125, MATH 126, MATH 307 (or AMATH 351), MATH 308 (or AMATH 352)
      2. Statistics (3-4 credits): IND 315 (preferred) or STAT 390
      3. Science (25 credits): CHEM 142, CHEM 152; PHYS 121, PHYS 122, PHYS 123
  2. Major Requirements (94-97 credits)
    1. Engineering Fundamentals (20 credits): AMATH 301 or CSE 142, A A 210, CEE 220, and ME 230. Students who complete STAT 390 must complete an additional engineering fundamentals course from A A 260, IND E 250, IND E 280, M E 123, E E 215, or MSE 170. Students who complete IND E 315 must complete either an additional Engineering Fundamentals course from the above list, or an additional 300-level math course other than statistics.
    2. Civil Engineering Core (40 credits): CEE 307, CEE 317, CEE 327, CEE 337, CEE 347, CEE 357, CEE 367, and CEE 377.
    3. Professional Practice and Capstone Design (7 credits): CEE 440 and one course from CEE 441, CEE 442, CEE 444, or CEE 445. Minimum 2.0 grade required for both courses in this two-course sequence.
    4. Civil Engineering Technical Electives (15 credits): CEE 400-level coursework selected from an approved list (see adviser or department website for list), with at least one core course from three separate areas of concentration within the department. Minimum 2.0 grade required for each of the three courses used to fulfill the core-courses requirement.
    5. Upper-Division Engineering and Science (12 credits): Choice of additional CEE 400-level courses or courses from an approved list from outside the department. Maximum 6 credits of CEE 498 and 3 credits of CEE 499 allowed toward upper-division engineering and science.
    6. Grade Requirements: Minimum 2.00 GPA in all engineering courses with no grade below 1.0 in these courses.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Upon completion of the undergraduate program, students can demonstrate proficiency in applying fundamental mathematical, statistical, scientific, and engineering principles in formulating and solving civil and environmental engineering problems; demonstrate sufficient mastery of core civil and environmental engineering topics suitable for entry into the profession and for graduate study; gain significant experience in designing systems and components in civil and environmental applications in both individual and team contexts; possess up-to-date skills for analysis, data collection, modeling, project management, professional development, communication, and presentation; and develop an understanding of professional and social issues suitable for participation and leadership in their communities.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: The department has a large and modern computer laboratory as well as substantial research laboratory facilities. The environmental science and hazardous waste research laboratory facilities include more than 7,000 square feet of lab space, well equipped with sophisticated research instruments, including state-of-the-art analytical capability for trace organic compounds. The lake-stream laboratory is equipped with limnological equipment, as well as an auto-analyzer, bench-top incubators, and research microscopes. The structural research laboratory contains an earthquake simulator, a modern MTS testing system, and a 2.4 million pound capacity Baldwin universal hydraulic testing machine. The geotechnical engineering laboratory contains soil testing equipment, including triaxial testing devices, a computer-controlled GDS pressure control system, a Bishop-Wesley cell, a recently developed cuboidal shear device, a CKC cyclic triaxial device, and a SBEL (Stokoe) resonant column.
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors). With DistinctionHonors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: Students typically work at internships in private companies and government agencies in the summer after their junior year, with some part-time internships continuing during the academic year. Many companies advertise internship and job openings through the department and meet with students for on-campus recruiting sessions.
  • Department Scholarships: The department offers numerous annual scholarships. The application deadline for departmental scholarships is April 1. For more information, see department website. Scholarships are also available through the College of Engineering, the UW Scholarship Office, and external sources, including professional associations and industry.
  • Student Organizations/Associations: American Society of Civil Engineers. Chi Epsilon, national honor society for civil engineering undergraduate and graduate students. See adviser for details.

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
201 More, Box 352700
(206) 543-2574
ceginfo@uw.edu

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers programs of study leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), Master of Sustainable Transportation (MST), Master of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics (MSCTL), and Doctor of Philosophy.

Graduate work is offered in most fields of civil and environmental engineering, including transportation and construction engineering; geotechnical engineering; structural engineering and mechanics; environmental engineering; and hydrology and hydrodynamics.

Graduate Online Programs:

Construction Engineering Master's Program: The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in collaboration with the Department of Construction Management in the College of Built Environments, offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree in Construction Engineering. Designed for working professionals, this program can be completed entirely online and at the student's own pace. Areas covered include heavy construction project management, infrastructure construction, and qualitative construction management. For more information on this program, see the Construction Engineering website.

Master in Sustainable Transportation Program: The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in partnership with UW Professional and Continuing Education, offers an online Master of Sustainable Transportation degree (MST). The program provides transportation engineers and planners with the latest knowledge, skills, and tools needed to become leaders in developing and maintaining sustainable transportation practices. Students develop an awareness of green transportation strategies and gain a solid background with practical applications. In a part-time online format, the MST program covers three areas of concentration: Planning and Livable Communities; Environmental Issues and Impacts; and Policy Development, Health and Economics. For more information on this program, see the Master of Sustainable Transportation website.

Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Master's Program (beginning Autumn 2013): The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, in partnership with UW Professional and Continuing Education, offers an online Master of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics degree. The program provides students with the knowledge needed to successfully design, implement and manage supply chain transportation and logistics strategies. Students study cross-functional areas of the supply chain, including operations, transportation and inventory management, and gain skills to design resilient supply-chain strategies. For more information on this program, see the Master of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics website.

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Admission Requirements

Priority for admission is based on an applicant's apparent ability to progress satisfactorily in a graduate degree program. The applicant's scholastic record is of major importance; usually, at least a "B" or 3.00 GPA in the junior and senior years is required. Consideration is also given to Graduate Record Examination scores and other information.

Degree Requirements

42 credits, as follows:

Two options are available -- thesis and non-thesis.

  • Thesis option:
    • 30 credits of coursework with at least 18 credits at the 500 level
    • 3 credits (maximum) of CEE 500
    • 9 credits of master's thesis, CEE 700
  • Non-thesis option:
    • 39 credits of coursework with at least 18 credits at the 500 level
    • 3 credits (maximum) of CEE 500

Doctor of Philosophy

Admission Requirements

Priority for admission is based on an applicant's apparent ability to progress satisfactorily in a research-based graduate degree program. The applicant's scholastic record is of major importance; usually, at least a "B" or 3.00 GPA in the junior and senior years is required. Consideration is also given to Graduate Record Examination scores and other information.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, as follows:

  • 60 coursework credits
  • 27+ dissertation credits
  • 3 seminar credits (for those without a master's degree from CEE at UW)

With the approval of the department, an appropriate master's degree from an accredited institution may be applied towards 30 of the 60 coursework credits.

Because this is a research-based degree, course requirements are individualized depending on student's background and PhD topic area.

Financial Aid

Research and teaching assistantships are available on a competitive basis. The number of positions depends upon the current level of funding. Additionally there are a limited number of fellowships, scholarships, and traineeships.

Research Facilities

More Hall has structural, concrete, bituminous materials, soil mechanics, computer, water-quality, solid-wastes, and air-quality laboratories as well as an air-monitoring station and equipment for fieldwork in the construction, water, air, and solid-waste programs. Facilities for experimental studies in hydrology and hydrodynamics are located in the Harris Hydraulics Laboratory.