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 BSCE 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
Engineering Undeclared Students
See section on College of Engineering Admission for additional details on Direct-to-College admission and placement process for Engineering Undeclared students.
If the number of Engineering Undeclared students requesting placement into the major exceeds the department capacity for Engineering Undeclared students, a matching process is implemented. Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.Other Current UW Students and Transfer Students
Current UW students without Engineering Undeclared status and transfer students may apply. Admission is competitive.
Students are encouraged to complete the following courses prior to autumn quarter – MATH 307; CHEM 152; PHYS 123
Factors considered include performance in prerequisite courses, quality of overall academic record, demonstrated ability to take at least 12 credits per quarter, record of honors, content of personal statement, applicable work or extracurricular activities, and other special circumstances as disclosed by the applicant.
Minimum 180 credits as follows:
All students must make satisfactory academic progress in the major. Failure to do so results in probation, which can lead to dismissal from the major. For the complete continuation policy, contact the department adviser or refer to the department website.
Student Outcomes and Opportunities
Graduate Program Coordinator
The department 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: In collaboration with the Department of Construction Management in the College of Built Environments, the department offers an online Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree in construction engineering. Designed for working professionals, this program is completed at the student's own pace. Areas covered include heavy construction project management, infrastructure construction, and qualitative construction management. For more information, see the Construction Engineering website.
Master in Sustainable Transportation Program: In partnership with UW Professional and Continuing Education, the department offers an online Master of Sustainable Transportation degree (MST). The program provides transportation engineers and planners 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, see the Master of Sustainable Transportation website.
Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Master's Program: In partnership with UW Professional and Continuing Education, the department offers an online Master of Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics degree. Combining engineering and business principles with industry best practices, this program provides students the knowledge needed to successfully design, implement, and manage complex supply chain transportation and logistics strategies. Students study cross-functional areas, such as operations, inventory management, and IT systems, to develop skills in the end-to-end management of transportation in a global supply chain. For more information, 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 scholastic record; usually at least a B or 3.00 GPA in the junior and senior years. 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 scholastic record; usually, at least a B or 3.00 GPA in the junior and senior years. Consideration is also given to Graduate Record Examination scores and other information.
90 credits, as follows:
An appropriate master's degree from an accredited institution may be applied towards 30 of the 60 coursework credits.
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 on 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.