What is Civil Engineering?
Civil engineers are responsible for designing and building modern society’s complete infrastructure. The civil engineering program addresses the conception, design and construction of a variety of public and private projects. Bridges, highways, railways, tunnels, airports, dams, water treatment systems and buildings all require the expertise of civil engineers. In addition, environmental considerations such as water supply, pollution control and preservation of soil quality are an integral component of study.
Admission criteria for this program vary based on the relative strength of test scores, class rank, GPA and co-curricular activities. Please see the Freshman Class Profile for this major in the Quick Facts sidebar on this page for the range of academic credentials typically accepted into this program. Test scores in the lower range may be acceptable with higher class rank and/or GPA.
Freshmen applying to this program should also have completed the following college preparatory subjects:
- English (4 units)
- Mathematics, including algebra, geometry, and either pre-calculus or calculus (4 units)
- Science, including Chemistry and Physics (3 units)
- Social sciences (3 units)
- Electives (3 units))
Successful civil engineers have a strong foundation in math and science. Skills in calculus and physics are particularly important. Civil engineers are problem solvers and enjoy thinking outside of the box to develop creative solutions to problems. In addition, computer skills are increasingly necessary in civil engineering professions.
Graduates of this major pursue many different careers. A few examples include:
- Structural design
- Construction project management
- Environmental maintenance
The Department of Civil & Architectural Engineering and Construction Management maintains a distinguished record of high volume and high quality research. Over $5 million of sponsored research is conducted each year.
Department graduates are thoroughly prepared to continue their education in the most selective graduate programs in the country. Likewise, they are also prepared to begin work in industry. Hands-on experience is stressed in the program. Students gain professional industry experience through UC’s nationally ranked cooperative education program.
Transfer students in good standing from accredited colleges and universities will be considered for admission to the college at the first, second and third-year levels. The degree requirement of professional practice experience normally precludes acceptance beyond the third-year level. For further detailed information such as required grade point average, please refer to the Transfer Students page.
Students changing majors from outside programs or colleges within UC will be considered based on the same criteria as outside transfers.
Freshmen must begin the program during fall semester. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. High school students who wish to be considered for scholarships must apply by December 1 of their senior year.