Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department Information: 
430 EB
Advisement Center: 
246 EB

Admission to Degree Program

The degree program in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is open enrollment.

The Discipline

The BYU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering prepares students for professional involvement in structural, water resources, environmental, geotechnical (soils), and transportation engineering.

Structural engineers analyze and design buildings, bridges, and other structures. The engineer applies principles of physics, mathematics, and engineering to develop efficient yet safe designs. Sophisticated computer models are used in these analyses. Materials used by structural engineers include steel, aluminum, concrete, masonry, wood, and composites.

Water resource and environmental engineers design pipeline systems, water treatment plants, dams, flood control structures, waste disposal sites, and environmental restoration projects. Computer modeling and analyses are used in design and to forecast storm runoff, flooding, and movement of contaminants in surface and subsurface waters. Environmental engineers evaluate and reduce pollutants from natural, human, agricultural, and industrial sources to preserve the beauty and quality of air, land, and water.

Geotechnical engineers design structures composed of or located within earth materials, including foundations for buildings and bridges, retaining walls, earth dams, highway embankments, tunnels, and liners for landfills. Field and laboratory tests on soil and rock, along with empirical and computer models, are used to assure safety and economy in design.

Traffic and transportation engineers apply scientific principles to the planning, design, construction, operation, and management of transportation systems, including highways, airports, and mass transit facilities. Transportation engineers are responsible for the safe, rapid, comfortable, convenient, economical, and environmentally compatible movement of people and goods. Computer models and simulations are frequently used by traffic engineers for geometric design and for planning, operating, and managing transportation networks, including intermodal systems.

Department Mission Statement

We strive to prepare world-class civil engineers and leaders who are committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Program Educational Objectives

The undergraduate program in civil engineering has the following educational objectives:

  1. Develop innovative engineers who competently apply recognized technical methods to meet human needs for water, shelter, and transportation.
  2. Develop leaders with global awareness who hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public while sustaining and protecting the environment.
  3. Develop citizens with moral character and commitment to the gospel of Jesus Christ who provide life-long service to the public, church, and professional community.

Expected Learning Outcomes

These objectives are intended to develop the following outcomes in students graduating from the civil engineering program:

  1. Problem Solving Applying Math and Science. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  2. Design and Contemporary Issues. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. Communication. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. Ethics, Faith and Sustainability. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. Teamwork. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. Experiments and Data. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. Life-long Learning and Service. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies. 

Career Opportunities

Civil engineers are employed in industry, private consulting, and government. Industries employing many civil and environmental engineers include construction, transportation, aerospace, petroleum, and mining. Many civil engineers enter private consulting practices, and many eventually establish their own firms. The yellow-page directories for major cities generally list many civil, structural, environmental, geotechnical, and transportation engineering firms.

Civil engineers are also employed by national, state, and local governments. Most cities and counties have engineering departments staffed largely by civil engineers. Departments of transportation, environmental protection agencies, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation hire many civil engineers.

Civil engineering may be used as a preprofessional program for careers in architecture, law, and business.

Because civil engineers design structures that affect public health and safety, licensure as a Professional Engineer is required for most positions. A necessary prerequisite for licensure is graduation from an accredited engineering program. The civil engineering program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

General Information

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the department regarding their course scheduling.

Qualified students from junior colleges with adequate preengineering programs can normally complete the BS degree in two additional years. Students who transfer into the department from other universities or from other departments at BYU will be placed in the civil engineering program according to an evaluation of completed work. Prospective transfer students should contact the department as soon as possible so that any variations can be accommodated with a minimum loss of time.

No more than 9 credit hours of grades below C- in major courses may be applied toward graduation.

Professional Engineer Registration

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering encourages graduates to become registered Professional Engineers. General qualifications for becoming registered are explained in the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering section of this catalog. This status is vital to engineering practice in the public sector and to much consulting work. The civil engineering program prepares graduates to successfully complete the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, an important step in becoming registered. Students who wish to strengthen their preparation for the FE exam should select the required engineering courses with this need in mind.

Graduation Requirements

To receive a BYU bachelor's degree a student must complete, in addition to all requirements for a specific major, the following university requirements:

  • The University Core, consisting of requirements in general and religious education. (For a complete listing of courses that meet university core requirements, see here.)
  • At least 30 credit hours must be earned in residence on the BYU campus in Provo as an admitted day student
  • A minimum of 120 credit hours
  • A cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Be in good standing with the Honor Code Office

Students should see their college advisement center for help or information concerning the undergraduate programs.

Graduate Programs Available

This department also offers graduate degree programs. For more information, see Graduate Studies.