Professional Components

The program educational objectives focus on producing quality civil engineers to meet the needs of the profession and the employers. Accordingly, the program has a well-established curriculum in place, balancing scientific, technical, and professional components congruous to constituency needs, institutional mission, and program educational objectives. The program prepares our students for engineering practice by integrating the scientific, technical, and professional components, and culminating in a project-oriented major design experience.

Preparation of Students for Engineering Practice

The program has a well established technical curriculum specializing in four focus areas (structural, environmental, geotechnical, and water resources) and a general one in civil engineering. The water resources focus area was developed in 1999 to replace the agricultural engineering focus area. The program curriculum well exceeds the minimum number of credits for science, engineering, and general education required (under Criterion 4 as well as under Criterion 8) for accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET.

In the technical curriculum, ~1 year of math and basic science courses add up to 35 credit hours; and ~1.5 years of engineering topics add up to 64 credit hours. The program incorporates professional components starting from the early courses. Each of the four focus areas in the program has several design-intensive courses at the sophomore/junior level, culminating in a capstone design course in the senior year, where the students integrate all the skills and knowledge gained in previous courses in designing systems to solve real-world problems. An example is CE 231 where students work on teams to design and build a fountain to demonstrate their knowledge of basic concepts learned in the course. The program has a dedicated and well-qualified faculty team for preparing the students for engineering practice.

In addition to the technical curriculum, all graduates are required to complete a broad-based complementary course sequence spanning economic, environmental, social, and humanitarian areas. Currently, these peripheral areas total to 35 credits or 25% of the total degree requirements.

Incorporation of Professional Components into the Curriculum

Towards satisfying employer needs, the professional component of the curriculum attempts to develop the following skills among our graduates: problem solving; designing of component, process or system; communicating effectively; working in teams; ability to use modern techniques and tools; knowledge of contemporary issues and ethical responsibilities; and the recognition of the need for life-long learning for professional growth. The program curriculum is structured so that these skills are developed from early stages, culminating in a capstone design course in the senior year. During the capstone course, the students fine tune their skills garnered in earlier courses, and present and defend their work in a professional manner in written and oral forms; and assume responsibility for their work.

Ability to design and analyze components, processes, or elements, is integrated into the curriculum from early stages; ability to design integrated, real life-like systems is covered in the capstone design courses in each of the four focus areas. Design is intentionally and explicitly incorporated into all the courses taught by the department, starting from basic and engineering science courses, and progressing through design-intensive courses to culminate in the capstone design course.