Civil Engineering Program

The Civil Engineering Program is designed to enable the student, upon completion of the BS degree program, to enter the profession—for example, in industry, on a construction project, in a consulting engineering office, through a government agency—or to begin graduate study, or both. 

Undergraduate Admissions

Explore the options available to students looking to pursue a Bachelor of Science at Columbia Engineering.

Degree Track

We’ve provided a semester-by-semester listing of the required and recommended courses to earn a BS in Civil Engineering degree

The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  and provides a broad traditional civil engineering background that focuses on basic theory and design. Technical electives can be selected to obtain a strong technical base in a particular field of civil engineering or other engineering disciplines.

Undergraduate Program in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Program Educational Objectives

In developing and continually updating our program to achieve the stated mission of the department, we seek to achieve the following objectives:
  1. Graduates with a broad and fundamental technical base will be able to enter the professional civil engineering workforce either with a BS to develop specialized expertise by way of apprenticeship or through the increasingly common path of a specialized MS.
  2. Graduates with a firm foundation in the basic math, science, and engineering science which underlie all technological development will be well equipped to adapt to changing technology in the profession.
  3. Graduates equipped with a broad technical background will be able to follow other technical or non-technical career paths.
  4. Graduates will practice their profession with effective writing and communication skills, with professional ethics, as well as with awareness of societal issues.

Student Outcomes

  1. Ability to apply knowledge fundamentals of the civil engineering field
  2. Ability to apply math (differential equations, statistics, calculus) and science (physics, chemistry, earth science)
  3. Ability to design and conduct experiments and analyze and interpret data in more than one of the four civil engineering practice areas: Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Construction Management, and Water Resources/Environmental Engineering
  4. Ability to design a system, component, structure, or process to meet desired needs
  5. Ability to function as a member of a multi-disciplinary team
  6. Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  8. Ability to communicate effectively in written reports
  9. Ability to communicate effectively through public speaking
  10. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
  11. Demonstrate the ability to appreciate and engage in life-long learning
  12. Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary issues
  13. Ability to utilize techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for civil engineering
  14. Demonstrated proficiency in the four civil engineering practice areas: Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Construction Management, and Water Resources/Environmental Engineering
  15. An understanding of professional practice issues such as procurement of work, bidding versus quality-based selection processes, interaction of design and constructions professionals in the construction of a project, the importance of professional licensure and continuing education, and/or other professional practice issues


The prerequisites for this program are the courses listed in the First Year–Sophomore Program or their equivalents. The Civil Engineering Program offers four areas of concentration: civil engineering and construction management, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and water resources/environmental engineering. An optional minor can be selected in architecture, education, economics, and any of the engineering departments in the school. In the junior and senior years, 18 credits of technical electives are allocated.

The department offers a first-year design course, CIEN E1201: The Art of Structural Design, which all, except Combined Plan students are required to take in the spring semester of the first year or later. An equivalent course could be substituted for E1201. Also, all students are required to take the course, CIEN E3004: Urban Infrastructure Systems, but Combined Plan students are allowed to substitute an elective, which must be a civil engineering technical elective