Degree Programs

What is Civil Engineering?

Victor Li self-healing concrete
Self-Healing Concrete

Concrete created by Prof. Victor Li in the Advanced Civil Engineering Materials Research Laboratory (ACE-MRL) can heal itself when it cracks. No human intervention is necessary—just water and air. Drizzly days could now mend a damaged bridge made of the new substance. More Info

Civil engineers design, plan, and improve the built environment and infrastructure systems, including buildings, power generation facilities, water supply networks, pollution control works, flood protection structures, dams, and canals, as well as vital network systems for commerce such as roadways, airports, railroads, and ports. Civil engineering encompasses several subdisciplines, including hydraulics and hydrology, structural, geotechnical, construction, environmental, civil engineering materials, and transportation engineering.

Coursework in the major builds especially on a strong foundation in math and physics, and exposes students to these subdisciplines. An emphasis in the sustainable engineering of civil infrastructure is also provided by the curriculum.

What is Environmental Engineering?

Environmental engineers design systems to provide safe water, air, and land for human habitation, and to address the impact of human activities on the environment. For example, environmental engineers may be involved in the design of technologies to remove emerging contaminants from drinking water, monitor and mitigate greenhouse gas compounds, recover resources and energy from waste streams, design sustainable alternative energy sources, cleanup hazardous waste sites, or restore streams and lakes damaged by human activities.

In this major, a strong foundation in math, chemistry, physics, biology, and earth science is important, and the engineering tools to apply them are provided in the curriculum. The social and policy issues associated with environmental problems are also explored.

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