Jun 14, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 
Undergraduate Record 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Civil Engineering

Return to: School of Engineering and Applied Science: Degree Programs  

Civil Engineering is the broadest of all engineering professions, and encompasses the application of science and technology to the planning, design, analysis, construction, operation and maintenance of the infrastructure and natural environment. The U.Va. Civil Engineering program, which was founded in 1836, is now designed to allow students to tailor their undergraduate degrees to their interests and goals, with curricular tracks in infrastructure systems, environmental and water resources, construction engineering and management, and structural engineering.  All tracks lead to a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.  The program also supports a minor in civil engineering, and graduate degrees at the Master of Engineering, Master of Science and Ph.D. levels. 

Civil engineers are the fabricators of modern society and the protectors of our environment. Our civil engineering program emphasizes the complex interrelationships between infrastructure, social systems, and the environment.  We develop civil engineers who will seek to sustainably and equitably design, management and construct infrastructure systems, and who are prepared to innovate with new materials and create and use digital and virtual technologies.  Civil infrastructure is diverse, including many subsystems such as stormwater and drinking water systems, waste management systems, neighborhoods, highways, railways, high-rise buildings and bridges.  We develop the insight to anticipate how changes in one subsystem may affect the others and ultimately the environment, energy systems, communities, and the quality of life.

Graduates with a BS degree in civil engineering may opt for employment with engineering and consulting firms; local, state, or federal governments; contractors or construction firms; public utilities; or industrial corporations. Many will attend graduate school to create more advanced employment opportunities in government, consulting, construction, or industry, and to introduce new choices, including research and teaching. Our students participate in research on a global scale through the engineering thesis and capstone experience, as well as a variety of exciting experiential programs, such as the minor in engineering business, the Science and Technology Policy Internship Program, study abroad programs, and interdisciplinary study within the School of Engineering and Applied Science and throughout the University.

For more information about the civil engineering undergraduate program, visit the department’s web site at https://engineering.virginia.edu/departments/civil-and-environmental-engineering/academics/undergraduate.

Program Objectives

  1. To provide graduates with the technical competencies and insight necessary to practice civil engineering and have an impact on the profession and pursue professional licensure.
  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, and management.
  4. To prepare graduates for a lifetime of learning, for leadership, and for service to the profession and society.


Minor in Civil Engineering

Completion of fifteen hours of Civil Engineering courses, with no more than six hours at the 2000-level.  Minor themes in civil engineering include structural engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, water resource engineering, sustainability, and construction engineering and management.


Minor in Technology and the Environment

For a more sophisticated understanding of the relationships between technology and the environment, engineers and managers require inter-disciplinary expertise.  The Technology and Environment minor (TE) allows students throughout the University to create a minor that combines basic knowledge of technologies that directly impact environmental systems with one of the followings emphasis areas: environmental planning and policy; technology, the environmental, and society: or management and economics. The minor will be composed of six courses. No more than two of these courses may be from a student’s own department, requiring a student to add breadth to their program through the completion of at least 4-courses outside of their major department. All students are required to complete at least two courses in environmental technology from an approved list, including one lower-level course (1000- or 2000-level) and at least one higher-level course (3000-level or higher). Each student must also complete three courses from their selected emphasis area. The sixth course may be selected from any of the emphasis area lists or from the upper-level environmental technology course. Approved lists of courses in each category can be found at https://engineering.virginia.edu/departments/civil-and-environmental-engineering/academics/undergraduate-degree/technology-and. Students interested in completing the minor may also contact the minor coordinator Teresa Culver (tbc4e@virginia.edu).

Civil Engineering Curriculum (128 Credits)

Minimum required for graduation:  128 credits

Civil Engineering

Civil engineering students share common degree requirements for the first two years or four semesters before selecting one of four tracks: Infrastructure Systems (IS), Environmental & Water Resources (EWR), Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) or Structural Engineering (SE). Regardless of track, during the last two years, all CE students have 20 hours of the same required courses, plus 18 hours of electives in common. Thus, there is effectively a set of 25 remaining credit hours that may differ between these tracks.

Footnotes follow the curriculum, which is listed by semester and explain which electives are credited as Science I, Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS), Technical I and II, Civil Engineering, Technical, Unrestricted, or track-specific electives. All four tracks are designed to provide students with a solid foundation for the practice of civil engineering and for subsequent graduate study.

The Infrastructure Systems (IS) track provides a broad civil engineering education to prepare students to become practicing, licensed civil engineers, while still providing great career flexibility. This track includes training in structural design and materials, transportation, water resources, and geotechnical infrastructure design and planning. This track emphasizes hands-on laboratories and computer modeling and simulation workshops.

The Environmental & Water Resources (EWR) track focuses on courses designed to provide a foundation for students interested in pursuing a career in environmental and water resources. The motivation for this track is the ever-increasing professional and societal emphasis on environmental quality and sustainability.

The Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) track prepares students to transform engineering designs into infrastructure.  The construction of civil engineering infrastructure typically requires the orchestration of a complex team of contractors, regulatory and safety constraints, and substantial investment.  The CEM track combines civil engineering skills with the business and management skills required to create infrastructure.

The Structural Engineering (SE) track allows students to focus on developing skills to design and construct large structures, such as bridges, stadiums, and high-rises.  All students in this track learn the basics of CEM and complete additional courses emphasizes design using various building materials.  Students in this track are well-prepared for practice or advanced studies in structural engineering.

Second Semester Credits: 17

Third Semester Credits: 17

Select a Track for Years 3 and 4


IS Seventh Semester Credits: 16

IS Eight Semester Credits: 15


EWR Fifth Semester Credits: 16

EWR Sixth Semester Credits: 16

EWR Seventh Semester Credits: 16

EWR Eighth Semester Credits: 15


SE Sixth Semester Credits: 16

SE Seventh Semester Credits: 16

SE Eighth Semester Credits: 15


CEM Sixth Semester Credits: 16

CEM Seventh Semester Credits: 16

CEM Eighth Semester Credits: 15


(1) Science I elective - chosen from:  BIOL 2100 Introduction to Biology: Cell Biology and Genetics; BIOL 2200 Introduction to Biology: Organismal and Evolutionary Biology; MSE 2090 Introduction to Science and Engineering of Materials; EVSC 2800 Fundamentals of Geology; EVSC 3200 Fundamentals of Ecology; EVSC 3300 Atmosphere and Weather.

(2) Humanities & Social Sciences (HSS) elective – chosen from the approved list available online here.

(3) Technical elective I - chosen from all technical courses 2000-level and higher, where technical courses are defined as all SEAS courses  (with the exception of STS courses, ENGR2595 Spanish for Engineers, and any other courses that count as HSS), BIO, CHEM, MATH, PHYS, EVSC, EVGE, EVEC, EVHY, PLAN, PLAC, LAR, ARCH, DS, and COMM; STS 4810 is also acceptable)

(4) Civil engineering elective - chosen from all 3000-level and above Civil Engineering courses. 

(5) Technical elective II - chosen from all technical courses 3000-level and higher. See footnote (3) for definition of technical courses

(6) Unrestricted electives - chosen from any graded course in the University except mathematics courses below MATH 1310 Calculus I and courses that substantially duplicate any others offered for the degree, including PHYS 2010 Physics I, PHYS 2020 Physics II; CS 1010 Information Technology; or any introductory programming course.  Students in doubt as to what is acceptable to satisfy a degree requirement should get the approval of the undergraduate dean’s office, located in Thornton Hall, Room A122.  APMA 1090 Single Variable Calculus I counts as a three-credit unrestricted elective.  

(7) EWR CE Breadth Elective - chosen from: CE 2030 Management of Eng. & Construction Projects; CE 3010 Project Business Planning; CE 3030 Land Development Engineering; CE 3300 Structural Mechanics; CE 3400 Transportation Infrastructure Design; CE 4040 Sustainability, Systems and Built Environment

(8) EWRE Science II elective; (9) Environmental Engineering Elective; (10) Water Resources Engineering Elective; (11) CEM Elective I; (12) CEM Elective II; (13) Structural Design; (14) Structural Engineering Elective - See full list of approved courses for these electives on the Curriculum page of our department’s web page, https://engineering.virginia.edu/departments/civil-and-environmental-engineering/academics/undergraduate-degree/curriculum.


Public Professional Licensure Disclosure

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the UVA School of Engineering, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).