Feb 06, 2023  
Undergraduate Record 2007-2008 
Undergraduate Record 2007-2008 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Civil Engineering

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Civil Engineering is the application of science and technology to the planning, design, analysis, construction, operation, and maintenance of the physical facilities required by society. It is the broadest of all engineering professions, encompassing activities from aerospace to urban planning. Civil engineers are the fabricators of modern society and the protectors of our environment. They deal with people and their management, materials and their use, designs and their application, and the problems of interweaving these factors to serve society. Typical civil engineering projects include environmental facilities, such as systems for water quality control, toxic and hazardous waste control and stormwater networks; structures, such as high-rise buildings, bridges, off-shore platforms, shuttle launch pads, and dams; and transportation facilities, such as Intelligent Transportation Systems, airports, highways, and railways. Civil engineering has a long history and a bright future serving the basic needs of society.

Civil Engineering graduates with a BS degree may opt for employment with high technology consulting firms; local, state, or federal governments; contractors or construction firms; public utilities; or industrial corporations. Another option is graduate school, where students pursue an area of specialty within civil engineering. Such studies open up more advanced employment opportunities in government, consulting, construction, or industry, and introduce new choices, including research and teaching. A civil and environmental engineering degree also provides a good background for professional training in law, business administration, or medicine.

Detailed degree requirements are posted on the Civil Engineering web site, http://www.ce.virginia.edu/

Research Centers and Institutes

Interdisciplinary research is carried out through research centers, laboratories, and consortia in which graduate students in two or more disciplines work together on a research project.

Advanced Materials and Structures Laboratory conducts thermomechanical testing with an emphasis on multi-scale approaches that establish connections between size-scale and thermomechanical performance of materials and structures. Together with conventional macroscale materials testing, this facility has a state-of-the-art nano-indentation system that allows mechanical testing on length-scales spanning from nanometers to millimeters. This system has force resolution on the order of one billionth of a Newton, and displacement resolution on the order of one angstrom; a unique capability is an environmental temperature chamber, which enables testing in the range of -50 oC to 100 oC. Current research is directed towards establishing connections between nanoscale material features and thermomechanical stability in thin films and MEMS, with an emphasis on compliant materials such as nano-porous ceramics and polymers.

Smart Travel Lab is a state-of-the-art facility of the Center for Transportation Studies that supports research and education in the rapidly emerging area of intelligent transportation systems (ITS). Using the latest information technologies and analysis and modeling techniques, researchers in the lab are developing prototype systems and applications that promise to improve the effectiveness of ITS. The distinguishing characteristic of the lab is the direct connection established between the lab and transportation management systems operated throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. This connection provides researchers with direct access to real ITS data and systems.

Center for Transportation Studies focuses on issues and problems related to the development, operation, and maintenance of a safe, efficient intermodal transportation system for the Commonwealth of Virginia and the nation. The Center’s research program is noted for being responsive to emerging challenges from the transportation sector and for continually probing into new areas of transportation-related research, like intelligent transportation systems, traffic simulation studies, applications of geographic information systems in facilitating transportation planning and management, and decision support systems using artificial intelligence.

  1. To provide graduates with the technical competencies and insight necessary to practice civil engineering and have an impact on the profession.
  2. To provide a solid foundation for successful study at leading graduate and professional institutions.
  3. To promote a breadth of abilities and knowledge, including quantitative and analytical skills, communication skills and social insight, to allow graduates to pursue careers in a diversity of fields including engineering, business, management, and information technology.
  4. To prepare graduates for a lifetime of learning, for leadership, and for service to the profession and society.


Completion of five Civil Engineering courses, with no more than two at the 200 level.

Civil Engineering Curriculum (128 Credits)

Minimum required for graduation:  128 credits, four Civil Engineering proficiency areas, and one design elective.

Second Semester Credits: 17

  • Science elective Credits: 3
    (see footnote 1 below)
  • HSS elective Credits: 3
    (see footnote 2 below)

Third Semester Credits: 16

  • HSS elective Credits: 3
    (see footnote 2 below)

Fifth Semester Credits: 16

  • Unrestricted electives Credits: 3
    (See footnote 6 below)

Sixth Semester Credits: 16

  • CE 316L - Geotechnical Engineering Lab
  • HSS elective Credits: 3
    (see footnote 2 below)
  • Science/Eng elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 3 below)

Seventh Semester Credits: 16

  • Civil Eng elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • Civil Eng elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • Unrestricted elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 6 below)

Eighth Semester Credits: 15

  • Civil Eng elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • Civil Eng elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 4 below)
  • Engineering elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 3 below)
  • Unrestricted elective Credits: 3
    (See footnote 6 below)


(1) Science elective:  Chosen from: BIOL 201, 202; CHE 200; CHEM 152; ECE 200; MSE 209: and PHYS 252.                                                                                                         

(2) Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) elective:  Chosen from the approved list available in Thornton A122.                                                                                           

(3) Science/Engineering elective - chosen from:  BIOL 201, 202; CHEM 152, 212; EVSC 280; PHYS 252; all 200-level SEAS courses (with the exception of STS courses) and any course meeting the requirements of the Engineering Elective (Item (5) bellow).                                                   

(4) Civil engineering elective – chosen from all 300-and 400-level Civil Engineering courses. With guidance of advisor, student must select Civil Engineering electives to allow for the completion of one of the following proficiency areas:  environmental engineering, transportation engineering or infrastructure engineering and management; and include at least one design elective.  Proficiency areas and design electives are approved by the department and descriptions are available through the department.                                                                                           

(5) Engineering Elective – chosen from all 300- and 400-level SEAS courses (with the exception of STS courses, ENGR 488, and TMP 352) plus other approved technical courses.                          

(6) Unrestricted electives - chosen from any graded course in the University except mathematics courses below MATH 131 and courses that substantially duplicate any others offered for the degree, including PHYS 201, 202; CS 110, 120; or any introductory programming course.  Students in doubt as to what is acceptable to satisfy a degree requirement should get the approval of their advisor and the dean’s office, located in Thornton Hall, Room A122.  APMA 109 counts as a three-credit unrestricted elective.

Civil Engineering Proficiency Areas and Design Electives

To complete a proficiency area, at least two courses must be completed within that area. All students will satisfy the first three of the following areas through required courses; one of the last three areas must also be completed. In addition each student must complete at least one design elective.

Structural Engineering

Water Resources Engineering

Transportation Engineering

Infrastructure Engineering and Management

Electives That Do Not Fall Within a Proficiency Area

  • CE 446 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems Credits: 3
  • CE 461 - Computer Applications in Civil Engineering Credits: 3
  • CE 471 - Introduction to Finite Element Methods Credits: 3
     In addition, other CE 451/CE 452 or graduate level classes may satisfy CE elective, design elective and/or proficiency area requirements.  Please get pre-approval in writing from your advisor.

Approved Technical Courses That Satisfy the Civil Engineering Curriculum Requirement for Elective

  • EVSC 320 - Fundamentals of Ecology Credits: 3
  • EVSC 362 - GIS Methods Credits: 3
  • EVSC 376 - Watersheds of Lewis and Clark Credits: 3
  • EVSC 384 - Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Credits: 4
  • EVSC 386 - Introduction to Geochemistry Credits: 3
  • EVSC 420 - The Ecology of Coastal Wetlands Credits: 3
  • EVSC 425 - Ecosystem Ecology Credits: 3
  • EVSC 427 - Soil Science Credits: 4
  • EVSC 428 - Environmental Microbiology Credits: 4
  • EVSC 431 - Methods in Aquatic Ecology Credits: 3
  • EVSC 446 - Hydrological Field Methods and Data Analysis Credits: 3
  • EVSC 466 - GIS and Arc/Info Credits: 3
  • EVSC 468 - Advanced GIS Credits: 3
  • EVSC 484 - Engineering Geology Credits: 3
  • EVSC 485 - Coastal Processes Credits: 3
  • EVSC 487 - Global Biogeochemical Cycles Credits: 3
  • EVGE 507 Aqueous Geochemistry Credits: 3
  • EVEC 521 Aquatic Ecology Credits: 3
  • EVEC 522 Terrestrial Ecology Credits: 3
  • EVEC 523 Microbial Ecology Credits: 3
  • EVHY 544 Catchment Hydrology Credits: 3
  • EVHY 545 Hydrological Transport Processes Credits: 3
  • ARCH 323 Building and Climate Credits: 3
  • ARCH 541 Computer Aided Architectural Design Credits: 3
  • LAR   528  Green Cities / Green Site Design Credits: 3

EVSC 493 and 494 (Special Topics courses) might be suitable, depending on topic. Student must petition CE dept. for exception for these courses

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