Civil Engineering, B.S. (Engineering)

Program Code: CE_BS

Program Description

The program in Civil and Environmental Engineering is designed to provide the basic undergraduate education required for private practice and public service in civil engineering and/or continue formal education. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of civil engineering principles and design techniques. Students utilize basic engineering science concepts in several of the different specialty areas (e.g., construction/management, environmental, materials/pavement design/geotechnical, structures, transportation, and water resources). Finally the students are able to choose an area of specialization for professional practice or graduate studies.

The program is broadened by courses in communication, arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences, as well as other engineering disciplines. Students gain experience in working as members of a team and using interdisciplinary approaches to solve problems. These experiences, as well as those related to engineering principles and design, are provided through exercises in the classroom, laboratory, and field. The program culmination is a capstone design course wherein the students' knowledge and skills are applied to actual engineering problems.

What is Civil Engineering?

Civil engineering is one of the oldest and most socially-relevant engineering disciplines. Grounded in mathematics and science, civil engineers make a lasting impact as they plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain the everyday, yet critical, infrastructure systems needed in our daily lives. In this challenging and diverse field, civil engineers also find solutions for critical environmental issues, including slowing the progress and mitigating the effects of climate change, eliminating the causes and treating the effects of environmental pollutants, and providing access to clean water. In recent years, the rapid application of new technologies has fostered the development of autonomous vehicles, 3D printing, smart structures, advanced materials, and new forms of renewable energy.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You want to design and build large-scale projects that last a long time.
  • You care about the quality of the water that comes out of the faucet.
  • You are interested in the operations and safety of future transportation systems.
  • You try to find sustainable solutions for every challenge, big or small.
  • You would like to use your technical skills in an exciting, people-serving profession.

Entrance to Major

In order to be eligible for entrance to this major, students must satisfy the following requirements by the end of the semester during which the admission to major process is carried out.

  • Completed 29-55 cumulative credits (credits completed at Penn State for which a quality letter grade was earned)
  • Completed with a C or better the following courses: EDSGN 100, CHEM 110, MATH 140, MATH 141, and PHYS 211
  • Attained at least a 2.6 cumulative grade point average

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering, a minimum of 127 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 109

27 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 9 credits of GWS courses.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
CHEM 111Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course1
GEOSC 1Physical Geology3
MATH 220Matrices Keystone/General Education Course2
STAT 401Experimental Methods3
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CE 310Surveying3
CE 321Highway Engineering3
CE 332Professionalism, Economics & Construction Project Delivery3
CE 335Engineering Mechanics of Soils3
CE 336Materials Science for Civil Engineers3
CE 340Structural Analysis3
CE 360Fluid Mechanics3
CE 370Introduction to Environmental Engineering3
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
EDSGN 100Cornerstone Engineering Design3
EMCH 211Statics3
EMCH 212Dynamics3
EMCH 213Strength of Materials3
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 251Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations4
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
PHYS 212General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
CE 337Civil Engineering Materials Laboratory 11
or CE 475 Water Quality Chemistry
CHE 220Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics 23
or ME 201 Introduction to Thermal Science
CMPSC 200Programming for Engineers with MATLAB Keystone/General Education Course3
or CMPSC 201 Programming for Engineers with C++ Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:1
Topics and Contemporary Issues in Civil and Environmental Engineering: First-Year Seminar
1 credit of First-Year Seminar or Elective
Select one of the following:3
Principles of Economics Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Select 6 credits of the following: 36
Design of Concrete Structures
Design of Steel Structures
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Structural Design of Foundations
Structural Analysis by Matrix Methods
Water-resource Engineering
Open Channel Hydraulics
Water Quality Chemistry
Solid and Hazardous Wastes
Environmental Microbiology for Engineers
Select 3 credits of CE 400 level "W" courses3
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CAS 100AEffective Speech Keystone/General Education Course3
or CAS 100B Effective Speech Keystone/General Education Course
ENGL 15Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course3
or ENGL 30H Honors Rhetoric and Composition Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Select 12 credits of technical elective from CE 300-level courses, CE 400-level courses, or department list12

Program Educational Objectives

The educational objectives of our undergraduate program will prepare our graduates to:

  • begin and sustain a career in consulting, industry, or state and federal government agencies, such as the departments of transportation and departments of environmental protection;
  • lead and work in interdisciplinary teams needed to design sustainable and resilient infrastructure through knowledge and application of environmental, geotechnical, materials, structural, transportation, and water resources engineering;
  • engage in life-long learning opportunities, including graduate school; and
  • obtain and maintain professional licensure

Student Outcomes

Student outcomes describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. The Civil Engineering program is designed to enable students to:

  1. Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Brenton Hockenberry
Undergraduate Administrative Support Assistant
218 Sackett Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-867-0470
blh5621@psu.edu

Harrisburg

Seroj Mackertich, Ph.D.
Program Chair
Olmsted Building, W236
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6131
oct@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2021-22 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Civil Engineering, B.S. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

If you are starting at a campus other than the one this plan is ending at, please refer to: http://advising.engr.psu.edu/degree-requirements/academic-plans-by-major.aspx

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CE 100S (or other First Year Seminar)1CHEM 1111
CHEM 110 (GN)*#†3ECON 102 or 104 (GS)3
ENGL 15, 30H, or ESL 15 (GWS)‡†3MATH 141 or 141E (GQ)*‡#†4
EDSGN 100*#3PHYS 211 (PHYS 211L and PHYS 211R (GN))*#†4
MATH 140 or 140E (GQ)*‡#†4General Education Course3
General Education Course3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 17 16.5
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 100A or 100B (GWS)‡†3CMPSC 200 or 2013
EMCH 211*3EMCH 212*3
GEOSC 13EMCH 213 or EMCH 213D*3
MATH 251*4IE 424 or STAT 4013
PHYS 212 (PHYS 212L and PHYS 212R (GN))*†4MATH 2202
 General Education Course3
 17 17
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CE 310*3CE 321*3
CE 332*3CE 335*3
CE 336*3CE 337*1
CE 340*3CE 370*3
CE 360*3ME 2013
General Education Course (GHW)1.5 
 16.5 13
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 202C (GWS)‡†3Civil Engineering Capstone Design 3
Civil Engineering Elective3Civil Engineering Elective3
Civil Engineering Elective3Technical Elective3
Technical Elective3Technical Elective3
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 15 15
Total Credits 127

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

College Notes:

  • CE Elective: CE Electives must be selected from two of these specific technical areas in the program: Structures (X40); Water Resources Engineering (X60); Environmental Engineering (X70).
  • Health and Physical Activity Elective: Students who complete the ROTC Program may substitute 3 ROTC credits for the GHW requirement and 3 ROTC credits for M E 201.
  • Technical Elective: Select from department list. Students who complete the Cooperative Education Program may substitute the 3-credit sequence of ENGR 295, ENGR 395, and ENGR 495 for a Technical Elective.
  • ** If a student is pursuing the Structural sub-discipline in Civil Engineering, if CE 340 is not taken in the 5th semester it may delay graduation. 

Career Paths

Civil engineers are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the critical systems that support society and protect the environment. Graduates of the civil engineering program are prepared to be innovative leaders in a diverse range of industries. Students are routinely recruited for positions in the public sector with government agencies or in the private sector at consulting firms or construction companies. Students may also choose to continue their formal education by pursuing advanced degrees, and many remain in academia upon graduation.

Careers

Our graduates work in a variety of fields to develop solutions for challenges in design, construction, research, and education. Civil engineering graduates work in the public sector for government agencies or in the private sector at consulting or construction firms. Some civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions, while others pursue careers in design, construction, or education.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT POTENTIAL CAREER OPTIONS FOR GRADUATES OF THE CIVIL ENGINEERING PROGRAM
CAREER RESOURCES FOR CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

In our graduate programs, students learn in the classroom and the laboratory, finding a broad network of mentors and collaborators. After graduation, many career options await.

What could you achieve with an advanced degree from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Penn State?

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES
GRADUATE DEGREES AND REQUIREMENTS

Professional Resources

Accreditation

The baccalaureate program in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org/.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT ABET ACCREDITATION

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.

Contact

University Park

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
212 Sackett Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-867-0470
blh5621@psu.edu

https://www.cee.psu.edu/

Harrisburg

SCHOOL OF SCIENCE, ENGINEERING, AND TECHNOLOGY
Olmsted Building, W236
Middletown, PA 17057
717-948-6124
mab56@psu.edu

https://harrisburg.psu.edu/science-engineering-technology/civil-structural-engineering/bachelor-science-civil-engineering