B.S. in Civil Engineering
What is Civil Engineering?
Civil engineering is often referred to as the "people serving profession" because of the direct impact that civil engineering works have on the well-being of individuals. Graduates of a civil engineering program must, therefore, have the engineering skills needed to plan, design, construct, and maintain infrastructure and industrial facilities. In addition, graduates must have the broad education necessary to effectively communicate with other engineers, architects, planners, administrators, government officials, and the general public. The faculty of the Civil Engineering Program at Cal Poly understand these needs and take pride in preparing its students for the challenges associated with engineering practice.
The undergraduate curriculum in civil engineering is designed to support the program's mission and educational objectives. Therefore, the curriculum includes broad coverage of mathematics, engineering and basic sciences, liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences. The curriculum includes a number of required civil engineering courses during the junior year that covers a breadth of Civil Engineering knowledge so as to be proficient in the six different civil engineering areas (Geotechnical, Structural, Water Resources, Construction, Transportation, and General Civil Engineering). During a student's 4th year, the student can specialize in different areas (or can choose a general Civil specialty area). The Senior Advising thrust areas are provided below:
- Geotechnical Engineering (PDF)
- Structural Engineering (PDF)
- Transportation Engineering (PDF)
- Water Resources Engineering (PDF)
- Construction Engineering (PDF)
- General Civil Engineering (PDF)
In addition, students must complete a three-quarter course in senior capstone design. This course focuses on current civil engineering design procedures and requires the student to complete a major design project that incorporates appropriate engineering standards and multiple realistic constraints. Topics related to interpersonal communication, teamwork, leadership, ethics, and professional practice are also covered in this course so that students have an understanding of the non-technical issues and skills that must be mastered to become a successful design professional.
Finally, a unique level of flexibility within the curriculum allows students to take 24 units of upper division civil engineering technical electives. A student may use these electives to focus in one of the four civil engineering emphasis areas noted above. In lieu of choosing a particular emphasis area, students are given the opportunity to design a "general" curriculum allowing for a broad range of civil engineering interests. Students must formally consult with a faculty advisor prior to selecting and enrolling in upper division civil engineering technical electives.
Our award-winning student clubs and organizations are an important part of our program and give students hands-on opportunities to learn about civil and environmental engineering. For more information about our clubs, visit our student clubs page.
Below is our award-winning steel bridge team practicing for their annual competition.
View our flowcharts & curriculum page to view degree flowcharts and curriculum sheets.