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    • School of Engineering

      • Kirkbride Hall
      • tel: 610-499-4037
      • fax: 610-499-4059
    • Dr. Ronald L. Mersky

    • Jill Gilbert

Curriculum, Civil Engineering


The civil engineering program includes a strong grounding in mathematics through differential equations, chemistry, and physics, as well as an additional science course (usually taken through environmental science offerings although biology is also permitted).

The math and science courses are followed by 24 credits of engineering science courses that provide the engineering fundamentals. The civil engineering courses, which start in the first semester of the sophomore year, comprise 36 credits of required coursework encompassing the structural, transportation, geotechnical, and water resources/environmental areas. In addition, students select three upper-level CE technical electives appropriate to their intended career path.

To ensure that civil engineering graduates are also well rounded, students select eight courses in the humanities and social sciences in their areas of interest. The program culminates in a year-long senior project that simulates both the technical and business aspects of a real-world engineering project, including creative conception, design, development, construction, and evaluation.


Here is a selection of courses students typically take as a civil engineering major. 

CE 250 Transportation Engineering

Study of the general concepts in planning and design of airports, highways, railroads, water transportation, and mass transit systems. Methodology of determining transportation systems requirements and feasibility.

CE 347 Environmental Engineering

Basic concepts of environmental analysis and planning; introduction to water supply, water and wastewater treatment, air pollution, noise pollution, municipal waste, hazardous waste, and biodiversity; relationships among local, regional, and global environments; environmental-economic relationships.

CE 342/CE 345 Structural Analysis I & II

Analysis of statically determinate beams, trusses, and frames for axial force, shear, and moment. Displacement of structures using equilibrium, geometric, energy, and virtual work methods. Influence lines. Matrix flexibility and stiffness techniques applied to the solution of statically determinate and indeterminate framed structures. Approximate analysis techniques including moment distribution. Computer applications.

CE 343 Soil Mechanics

Soil description, clay mineralogy, phase relationships, and classification systems. Fundamentals of stress distribution, principal stresses, and effective stresses. One- and two-dimensional flow through porous media. Consolidation theory and time rate of settlement. Elements of shear strength and applications to foundations, retaining walls, and slope stability. Lab tests of basic soil properties.

CE 435 Hydraulics and Hydrology

Design of water supply networks, including pump stations; gradually varied open-channel flow; and design of sanitary sewer systems. Frequency analysis of hydrologic events; rainfall-runoff analyses, including unit hydrograph and synthetic hydrograph methods; and design of stormwater sewers and control systems.

CE 401 Land Development

An integrated theory and applications course on urban area site planning. Site planning analysis, zoning, subdivisions, environmental concerns, techniques of design, and public meeting presentations. The course is taught from a project perspective with practical applications from a nearby site.

For more information about courses and requirements for civil engineering, see the course catalog