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.
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers the following program of study:
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
Minimum 180 credits as follows:
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
Graduate Program Coordinator
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
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.
42 credits, as follows:
Two options are available -- thesis and non-thesis.
Doctor of Philosophy
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.
90 credits, as follows:
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.
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.
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.