Civil Engineering

Major: Civil Engineering
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 190.5
Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years)
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.0801
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2051

About the Program

The civil engineering major prepares students in the fundamental principles necessary to practice this profession in any of its branches, including construction management, water resources, structural, transportation, environmental, geotechnical, and public facilities engineering.

Civil engineers are active in the planning, design, construction, research and development, operation, maintenance, and rehabilitation of large engineering systems. A particular focus is the reconstruction of the nation’s infrastructure through solutions that minimize the disruption of social and natural environments.

Civil engineering graduates are grounded in the fundamental principles necessary for the practice of this profession in any of its modern branches, including construction management, water resources engineering, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, transportation engineering, and environmental engineering.

Seven of the required courses in the discipline include integral laboratories or field projects for both educational illustration and professional practice exposure.

Careful selection of the electives specified in the curriculum can lead to a wide variety of career objectives. For instance, students with an interest in water resources engineering may elect advanced courses in hydrology, ecology, and chemistry; select senior professional electives in the geotechnical and water resources areas; and choose appropriate topics for senior design and senior seminar. Seniors, with the approval of the department head, can elect certain graduate courses.

A special feature of the major is senior design. A group of students works with a faculty advisor to develop a significant design project selected by the group. All civil engineering students participate in a design project.

Mission Statement

The civil and architectural engineering faculty are responsible for delivering an outstanding curriculum that equips our graduates with the broad technical knowledge, design proficiency, professionalism, and communications skills required for them to make substantial contributions to society and to enjoy rewarding careers.

Program Educational Objectives

Civil engineering graduates will become professionals who analyze, design, construct, manage or operate physical infrastructure and systems, or advance knowledge of the field.

Student Outcomes

The department’s student outcomes reflect the skills and abilities that the curriculum is designed to provide to students by the time they graduate. These are:   

a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;

b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;

c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability;

d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;

e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;

f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;

g) an ability to communicate effectively;

h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context;

i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;

j) a knowledge of contemporary issues;

k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for civil engineering practice.

Additional Information 

The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.

For more information about this major, contact the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering.

Degree Requirements

General Education/Liberal Studies Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
UNIV E101The Drexel Experience1.0
General Education Requirements *21.0
Free Electives6.0
Foundation Requirements
BIO 141Essential Biology4.5
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3.5
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
ENGR 100Beginning Computer Aided Drafting for Design1.0
ENGR 101Engineering Design Laboratory I2.0
ENGR 102Engineering Design Laboratory II2.0
ENGR 103Engineering Design Laboratory III2.0
ENGR 121Computation Lab I2.0
ENGR 122Computation Lab II1.0
ENGR 201Evaluation & Presentation of Experimental Data I3.0
ENGR 202Evaluation & Presentation of Experimental Data II3.0
ENGR 210Introduction to Thermodynamics3.0
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
ENGR 231Linear Engineering Systems3.0
ENGR 232Dynamic Engineering Systems3.0
ENGR 361Statistical Analysis of Engineering Systems3.0
MATH 121Calculus I4.0
MATH 122Calculus II4.0
MATH 200Multivariate Calculus4.0
PHYS 101Fundamentals of Physics I4.0
PHYS 102Fundamentals of Physics II4.0
PHYS 201Fundamentals of Physics III4.0
Major Requirements
CAE 491 [WI] Senior Design Project I3.0
CAE 492 [WI] Senior Design Project II3.0
CAE 493 [WI] Senior Design Project III3.0
CAEE 202Introduction to Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering3.0
CAEE 203System Balances and Design in CAEE 3.0
CAEE 212Geologic Principles for Infrastructure & Environmental Engineering 4.0
CIVE 240 [WI] Engineering Economic Analysis3.0
CIVE 250Construction Materials4.0
CIVE 310Soil Mechanics I4.0
CIVE 320Introduction to Fluid Flow3.0
CIVE 330Hydraulics4.0
CIVE 375Structural Material Behavior3.0
CIVE 410Foundation Engineering3.0
CIVE 430Hydrology3.0
CIVE 477 [WI] Seminar2.0
CIVE 478 [WI] Seminar1.0
ENVE 300Introduction to Environmental Engineering3.0
MEM 202Statics3.0
MEM 230Mechanics of Materials I4.0
Senior Professional Electives **18.0
Select one of the following:3.0
Introduction to Structural Analysis
Structural Analysis I
Based on whether or not students are pursuing a structural or non-structural concentration, students select one of the following options:4.0
Structural Design I
Introduction to Structural Design
and Structural Laboratory
Total Credits190.5
*

General Education Requirements.

**

A sequence of three courses in a major area of study is required, with a total of six 3-credit professional electives.


Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Center. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

Sample Plan of Study 

BS Civil Engineering

5 YR UG Co-op Concentration

Term 1Credits
CHEM 101General Chemistry I3.5
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development0.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
ENGR 100Beginning Computer Aided Drafting for Design1.0
ENGR 101Engineering Design Laboratory I2.0
ENGR 121Computation Lab I2.0
MATH 121Calculus I4.0
UNIV E101The Drexel Experience1.0
 Term Credits16.5
Term 2
CHEM 102General Chemistry II4.5
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
ENGR 102Engineering Design Laboratory II2.0
ENGR 122Computation Lab II1.0
MATH 122Calculus II4.0
PHYS 101Fundamentals of Physics I4.0
 Term Credits19.5
Term 3
BIO 141Essential Biology4.5
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
ENGR 103Engineering Design Laboratory III2.0
MATH 200Multivariate Calculus4.0
PHYS 102Fundamentals of Physics II4.0
 Term Credits17.5
Term 4
CAEE 202Introduction to Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering3.0
ENGR 201Evaluation & Presentation of Experimental Data I3.0
ENGR 220Fundamentals of Materials4.0
ENGR 231Linear Engineering Systems3.0
PHYS 201Fundamentals of Physics III4.0
 Term Credits17.0
Term 5
CAEE 203System Balances and Design in CAEE 3.0
ENGR 202Evaluation & Presentation of Experimental Data II3.0
ENGR 210Introduction to Thermodynamics3.0
ENGR 232Dynamic Engineering Systems3.0
MEM 202Statics3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Term 6
CIVE 320Introduction to Fluid Flow3.0
ENGR 361Statistical Analysis of Engineering Systems3.0
ENVE 300Introduction to Environmental Engineering3.0
MEM 230Mechanics of Materials I4.0
General Education Elective*3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 7
CAEE 212Geologic Principles for Infrastructure & Environmental Engineering 4.0
CIVE 240 [WI] Engineering Economic Analysis3.0
CIVE 250Construction Materials4.0
CIVE 330Hydraulics4.0
General Education Elective*3.0
 Term Credits18.0
Term 8
CIVE 310Soil Mechanics I4.0
CIVE 430Hydrology3.0
CIVE 370
or 300
Introduction to Structural Analysis
Structural Analysis I
3.0
General Education Elective*3.0
Free Elective 3.0
 Term Credits16.0
Term 9
CIVE 301Structural Design I (Non-structural concentration takes CIVE 371 & CIVE 372)4.0
CIVE 375Structural Material Behavior3.0
CIVE 410Foundation Engineering3.0
General Education Electives*3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 10
CAE 491 [WI] Senior Design Project I3.0
CIVE 477 [WI] Seminar2.0
Professional Electives*6.0
General Education Elective*3.0
 Term Credits14.0
Term 11
CAE 492 [WI] Senior Design Project II3.0
CIVE 478 [WI] Seminar1.0
Professional Electives*6.0
General Education Elective*3.0
 Term Credits13.0
Term 12
CAE 493 [WI] Senior Design Project III3.0
Free Elective 3.0
Professional Electives*6.0
General Education Elective*3.0
 Term Credits15.0
Total Credit: 190.5
*

 See degree requirements.


Co-op/Career Opportunities

When students complete their co-op jobs, they are asked to write an overview of
their experiences. These brief quotes are taken from some recent student reports:

Engineering construction inspector, state department of transportation: Supervised daily activities involved in the roadway construction of the [interstate] bypass. Recorded daily visual inspection reports for soil sub-base and materials placed on site. Aided senior roadway engineers in approving grade prior to asphalt placement. Used various instruments to check temperature and depths for asphalt placement. Took part in on-site discussions with contractor to clear up any daily construction problems that would hinder quality of construction. ”

Construction inspector, municipal department of public property: “Inspected work performed by private contractors on city public works construction and rehabilitation projects for adherence to contract plans and specifications. Projects included health centers, police and fire stations, libraries, city hall, transit concourses, and prisons. Responsible for daily inspection reports and overall coordination for each respective project. Also responsible for reviewing bills and writing contract modifications and amendments. . .the variety of work was excellent. ”

Environmental co-op, chemicals manufacturer: “Compiled data and wrote monthly regulatory reports, in charge of hazardous waste management and small projects as needed. . . . I had my own responsibilities that had an impact on the entire company. Employer was really interested in my opinion and gave me a chance to demonstrate my abilities, but also knew when to step in. Everybody was willing to answer any questions I may have had. ”

Visit the Drexel Steinbright Career Development Center page for more detailed information on co-op and post-graduate opportunities.

Dual/Accelerated Degree

Accelerated program

The Accelerated Program of the College of Engineering provides opportunities for highly talented and strongly motivated students to progress toward their educational goals essentially at their own pace. Primarily through advanced placement, credit by examination, flexibility of scheduling, and independent study, the program makes it possible to complete the undergraduate curriculum and initiate graduate study in less than the five years required by the standard curriculum.

Dual Degree Bachelor’s Programs

A student completing the Bachelor of Science degree program in architectural engineering may complete additional courses (specified by the department) to earn the Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. (The reverse is difficult because of prerequisites in the sequence of architectural studio design courses, which begins in the sophomore year.)

Civil Engineering students can also complete a dual degree with the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Dual Degree Program

Exceptional students can also pursue a master of science degree in the same period as the bachelor of science.

For more information about this program, visit the Department's BS/MS Dual Degree Program web page.

Facilities

The Department is well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities:

  • The department computer labs are in operation: a computer-assisted design (CAD) and computerized instructional lab; and a graduate-level lab (advanced undergraduates can become involved in graduate-level work).
  • External labs are used for surveying, building diagnostics, and surface and ground-water measurements.
  • A $4.5-million instruction and research lab renovation was funded by the National Science Foundation, alumni, and corporations.

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Faculty

Abieyuwa Aghayere, PhD (University of Alberta). Professor. Structural design - concrete, steel and wood; structural failure analysis; retrofitting of existing structures; new structural systems and materials; engineering education.
A. Emin Aktan, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) John Roebling Professor of Infrastructure Studies. Professor. Structural engineering; health monitoring of large infrastructure systems; infrastructure evaluation; intelligent systems.
Ivan Bartoli, PhD (University of California, San Diego). Associate Professor. Non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring; dynamic identification, stress wave propagation modeling.
Robert Brehm, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. International infrastructure delivery; response to natural catastrophes; risk assessment and mitigation strategies; project management techniques.
S.C. Jonathan Cheng, PhD (West Virginia University). Associate Professor. Soil mechanics; geosynthetics; probabilistic design; landfill containments; engineering education.
Peter DeCarlo, PhD (University of Colorado). Assistant Professor. Outdoor air quality, particulate matter size and composition instrumentation and measurements, source apportionment of ambient particulate matter, climate impacts of particulate matter.
Eugenia Ellis, RA, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic State University). Associate Professor. Extended-care facilities design, research on spatial visualization, perception and imagination.
Patricia Gallagher, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute). Associate Professor. Soil mechanics; geoenvironmental; ground improvement; sustainability.
Patrick Gurian, PhD (Carnegie-Mellon University). Associate Professor. Risk analysis of environmental and infrastructure systems; novel adsorbent materials; environmental standard setting; Bayesian statistical modeling; community outreach and environmental health.
Charles N. Haas, PhD (University of Illinois-Urbana) L. D. Betz Professor and Department Head, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Professor. Control of human exposures to and risk assessment of pathogenic organisms; water and waste treatment; homeland security.
Ahmad Hamid, PhD (McMaster University). Professor. Engineered masonry; seismic behavior, design and retrofit of masonry structures; development of new materials and building systems.
Y. Grace Hsuan, PhD (Imperial College). Professor. Durability of polymeric construction materials; advanced construction materials; and performance of geosynthetics.
Joseph B. Hughes, PhD (University of Iowa) Dean of the College of Engineering and Distinguished Professor. Biological processes and applications of nanotechnology in environmental systems.
L. James Lo, PhD (University of Texas at Austin). Assistant Professor. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and airflow simulation; Indoor Environmental Quality; Building control integration with building information management systems.
Roger Marino, PhD (Drexel University). Associate Teaching Professor. Fluid mechanics; water resources; engineering education; land development.
Joseph P. Martin, PhD (Colorado State University). Professor. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; hydrology; transportation; waste management.
James E. Mitchell, MArch (University of Pennsylvania) Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs. Professor. Architectural engineering design; building systems; engineering education.
Franco Montalto, PhD (Cornell University). Associate Professor. Effects of built infrastructure on societal water needs, ecohydrologic patterns and processes, ecological restoration, green design, water interventions.
Joseph V. Mullin, PhD (Pennsylvania State University) Associate Department Head. Teaching Professor. Structural engineering; failure analysis; experimental stress analysis; construction materials; marine structures.
Mira S. Olson, PhD (University of Virginia) Graduate Studies Advisor. Associate Professor. Environmental remediation; contaminant and bacterial transport in porous media and bacterial response to dynamic environments.
Michael Ryan, PhD (Drexel University). Assistant Teaching Professor. Microbial Source Tracking (MST); Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA); Dynamic Engineering Systems Modeling; Molecular Microbial Biology; Environmental Statistics; Engineering Economics; Microbiology
Christopher Sales, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Assistant Professor. Environmental microbiology and biotechnology; biodegradation of environmental contaminants; microbial processes for energy and resource recovery from waste.
Yared Shifferaw, PhD (Johns Hopkins University). Assistant Professor. Computational and experimental mechanics; structural stability; optimization; health monitoring and hazard mitigation; sustainable structures; emerging materials; thin-walled structures and metallic structures.
Kurt Sjoblom, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Laboratory testing of geomaterials, geotechnical engineering, foundation engineering.
Sabrina Spatari, PhD (University of Toronto). Associate Professor. Research in industrial ecology; development and application of life cycle assessment (LCA) and material flow analysis (MFA) methods for guiding engineering and policy decisions; specific interest in biomass and bioenergy, biofuels, and urban infrastructure.
Robert Swan Associate Teaching Professor. Geotechnical and Geosynthetic Engineering; soil/geosynthetic interaction and performance; laboratory and field geotechnical/geosynthetic testing.
Michael Waring, PhD (University of Texas-Austin) Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Programs; Director of Architectural Engineering Program. Associate Professor. Indoor air quality and building sustainability; indoor particulate matter fate and transport; indoor chemistry and particle formation; secondary impacts of control technologies and strategies.
Jin Wen, PhD (University of Iowa). Associate Professor. Architectural engineering; Building Energy Efficiency; Intelligent Building; Net-zero Building; and Indoor Air Quality.
Aspasia Zerva, PhD (University of Illinois). Professor. Earthquake engineering; mechanics; seismology; structural reliability; system identification; advanced computational computational methods in structural analysis.

Emeritus Faculty

Harry G. Harris, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Structural models; dynamics of structures, plates and shells; industrialized building construction.
Richard Weggel, PhD (University of Illinois) Samuel S. Baxter Professor Emeritus; Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Emeritus. Coastal engineering; hydraulics engineering; hydrology.
Richard Woodring, PhD (University of Illinois) Dean of Engineering Emeritus. Professor Emeritus. Structural engineering, reinforced concrete.
  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees
LEARN MORE