Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Civil engineers design, construct, operate and maintain the physical fabric of society.  In doing so, civil engineers work toward continuous improvement of the human condition and natural environment, tackling many of the grand challenges that face humankind today.  Much of the work of civil engineers is highly visible, such as roadways, bridges, airports, levees, buildings, bike paths, and city parks, while other parts are rarely seen but equally vital to the health of communities, such as the water and wastewater treatment, distribution, and collection systems or the energy infrastructure. Civil engineers keep human beings safe by designing resilient infrastructure that does not fail in extraordinary events, but that is also socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable.

The civil engineering student has the opportunity to obtain a broad background in mathematics and the physical sciences and their applications to all areas of civil engineering. This flexible curriculum allows the student to elect 18 semester hours of approved technical coursework to emphasize the areas of civil engineering of most interest to the student. In addition, courses in the humanities and social sciences are included.

To excel as a civil engineer, a student should have an aptitude for mathematics and science, an interest in the practical application of technical knowledge to societal problems, the motivation to study and prepare for engineering practice, the desire to be a professional, and a desire to work with others to better the lives of humankind. Civil engineering graduates of the University may seek a wide variety of positions in planning, design, and construction with government agencies, industry, and private consulting firms. Those who plan to pursue graduate work in engineering, or in other professions such as business, medicine, law, or journalism, have an excellent base on which to build.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the civil engineering program should attain the following outcomes:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand what impact engineering solutions have in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • Recognition of the need for and an ability to engage in lifelong learning
  • Knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the civil engineering program should solve civil engineering problems within a greater societal context. They should:

  • Exhibit character and decision-making skills embodying professionalism and ethical behavior
  • Apply knowledge, strong reasoning, and quantitative skills to design and implement creative and sustainable solutions
  • Engage in lifelong learning to meet evolving engineering challenges facing society
  • Exhibit strong communication, critical thinking, interpersonal, and management skills as leaders and contributors in the civil engineering profession

Portable Computing Devices

Students entering Civil Engineering are required to have a laptop at their disposal. Laptops do not need to be brought to campus on a daily basis, but individual courses may require that a laptop be brought to class or lab sessions. For a list of minimum system requirements see:


Course requirements include courses within the Cockrell School of Engineering and other required courses. In addition, each student must complete the University’s core curriculum. In some cases, a course required for the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering may also be counted toward the core curriculum; these courses are identified below. 

In the process of fulfilling engineering degree requirements, students must also complete coursework to satisfy the following flag requirements: one independent inquiry flag, one quantitative reasoning flag, one ethics and leadership flag, one global cultures flag, one cultural diversity in the US flag, and two writing flags. The independent inquiry flag, the quantitative reasoning flag, the ethics and leadership flag and one writing flag are carried by courses specifically required for the degree; these courses are identified below. Students are advised to fulfill the second writing flag requirement with a course that meets another requirement of the core curriculum. Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule.

Civil Engineering Courses
C E 301Civil Engineering Systems3
C E 311KIntroduction to Computer Methods3
C E 311SProbability and Statistics for Civil Engineers3
C E 319FElementary Mechanics of Fluids3
C E 321Transportation Systems3
C E 324PProperties and Behavior of Engineering Materials3
C E 329Structural Analysis3
C E 333TEngineering Communication (writing flag; ethics and leadership flag)3
C E 341Introduction to Environmental Engineering3
C E 356Elements of Hydraulic Engineering3
C E 357Geotechnical Engineering3
C E 171PEngineering Professionalism (ethics and leadership flag)1
Architectural Engineering
ARE 323KProject Management and Economics3
CH 301Principles of Chemistry I (part I science and technology)3
CH 302Principles of Chemistry II (part I science and technology)3
Engineering Mechanics
E M 306Statics3
E M 319Mechanics of Solids3
M 408CDifferential and Integral Calculus (mathematics; quantitative reasoning flag)4
M 408DSequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus4
M 427JDifferential Equations with Linear Algebra (quantitative reasoning flag)4
or M 427K Advanced Calculus for Applications I
Mechanical Engineering
M E 210Engineering Design Graphics2
PHY 103MLaboratory for Physics 303K1
PHY 103NLaboratory for Physics 303L1
PHY 303KEngineering Physics I (part II science and technology)3
PHY 303LEngineering Physics II3
Other Required Courses
E M 311MDynamics3
or M E 320 Applied Thermodynamics
Approved science elective3
Approved mathematics, science, or engineering science elective3
Level I electives15
Level II elective (independent inquiry flag)3
Remaining Core Curriculum
RHE 306Rhetoric and Writing (English Composition)3
E 316LBritish Literature (humanities; in E 316L, 316M, 316N, and 316P some sections carry a global cultures or cultural diversity flag)3
or E 316M American Literature
or E 316N World Literature
or E 316P Masterworks of Literature
American and Texas government (some sections carry a cultural diversity flag)6
American history (some sections carry a cultural diversity flag)6
Social and behavioral science (some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag) 3
Visual and performing arts (some sections carry a global cultures and/or cultural diversity flag) 3
UGS 302First-Year Signature Course (in UGS 302 all sections carry writing flag; in UGS 303 some sections carry a writing flag)3
or UGS 303 First-Year Signature Course
Total Hours125

Level I and Level II Technical Electives

The civil engineering curriculum does not require the student to declare a specific technical area option. However, for the guidance of students with particular interests, level I electives in civil engineering are listed in areas of specialization. The 15 semester hours of level I electives must be chosen from the following civil engineering and architectural engineering courses; in special cases, with the written permission of the department chair, this requirement may be relaxed, provided the student demonstrates in advance that the courses to be substituted for civil engineering or architectural engineering courses are part of a consistent educational plan. To provide a broad general background, at least one technical elective from each of three different areas of specialization must be included in each student's program.

Each student must take at least one technical area option level II elective. Level II electives may be substituted for technical area option level I electives, but the requirement of at least one technical elective from each of three different areas of specialization still applies.

The following lists reflect current course offerings and are subject to change by the faculty. Current lists are available in the departmental undergraduate office.

Level I Electives

Construction Engineering and Project Management

Architectural Engineering 335, Materials and Methods of Building Construction
Architectural Engineering 358, Cost Estimating in Building Construction
Architectural Engineering 366, Contracts, Liability, and Ethics (carries an ethics and leadership flag)

Architectural Engineering 376, Building Information Modeling for Capital Projects

Infrastructure Materials Engineering
Civil Engineering 351, Concrete Materials
Civil Engineering 366K, Design of Bituminous Mixtures

Environmental Engineering
Civil Engineering 342, Water and Wastewater Treatment Engineering
Civil Engineering 346, Solid Waste Engineering and Management
Civil Engineering 369L, Air Pollution Engineering

Civil Engineering 369R, Indoor Air Quality
Civil Engineering 370K, Environmental Sampling and Analysis

Geotechnical Engineering
Civil Engineering 375, Earth Slopes and Retaining Structures

Structural Engineering
Architectural Engineering 345K, Masonry Engineering
Architectural Engineering 362L, Structural Design in Wood
Civil Engineering 331, Reinforced Concrete Design
Civil Engineering 335, Elements of Steel Design
Civil Engineering 363, Advanced Structural Analysis

Transportation Engineering
Civil Engineering 367P, Pavement Design and Performance

Civil Engineering 367T, Traffic Engineering

Water Resources Engineering
Civil Engineering 358, Introductory Ocean Engineering
Civil Engineering 374K, Hydrology
Civil Engineering 374L, Groundwater Hydraulics

Level II Electives (Design)

Environmental Engineering
Civil Engineering 364, Design of Wastewater and Water Treatment Facilities (carries an independent inquiry flag)

Geotechnical Engineering
Civil Engineering 360K, Foundation Engineering (carries an independent inquiry flag)

Structural Engineering
Civil Engineering 362M, Advanced Reinforced Concrete Design (carries an independent inquiry flag)
Civil Engineering 362N, Advanced Steel Design (carries an independent inquiry flag)

Transportation Engineering
Civil Engineering 367G, Design and Evaluation of Ground-Based Transportation Systems (carries an independent inquiry flag)

Water Resources Engineering
Civil Engineering 365K, Hydraulic Engineering Design (carries an independent inquiry flag)