B.S. in Civil Engineering

The civil engineering major requires a minimum of 128 credit hours to graduate. A minor in civil engineering can be declared and requires the completion of 15 credit hours of Civil Engineering courses, with no more than 6 credit hours at the 2000 course level.

All students must complete the unified set of general requirements for all engineering majors. These courses are often completed during the first two years in SEAS, with the exception of STS 4500 and 4600, which are taken during the fall and spring of the fourth year, respectively.

Tracks Overview

The Infrastructure Systems (IS) track provides a broad civil engineering education to prepare students to become practicing, licensed civil engineers, while still providing great career flexibility. This track includes training in structural design and materials, transportation, water resources, and geotechnical infrastructure design and planning. This track emphasizes hands-on laboratories and computer modeling and simulation workshops.

The Environmental & Water Resources (EWR) track focuses on courses designed to provide a foundation for students interested in pursuing a career in environmental and water resources. The motivation for this track is the ever-increasing professional and societal emphasis on environmental quality and sustainability.

The Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) track prepares students to transform engineering designs into infrastructure. The construction of civil engineering infrastructure typically requires the orchestration of a complex team of contractors, regulatory and safety constraints, and substantial investment. The CEM track combines civil engineering skills with the business and management skills required to create infrastructure.

The Structural Engineering (SE) track allows students to focus on developing skills to design and construct large structures, such as bridges, stadiums, and high-rises. All students in this track learn the basics of CEM and complete additional courses emphasizes design using various building materials. Students in this track are well-prepared for practice or advanced studies in structural engineering.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is typically the student that is "off-schedule" that may need a modification in our standard curriculum (see next question). You may request a modification in the curriculum. You should download and complete the Engineering Curriculum Modification Request Form. On the form you should clearly describe why you need a modification and state the change in curriculum requested. The form needs to be approved by your academic advisor, by the Director of the Undergraduate Program in Civil Engineering, and then by the Undergraduate Dean.

Note: we may not be able to approve all requests.

You may always graduate under the same curriculum as your 4-year colleagues. That is if you had entered anticipating graduating in 2023, but do not graduate until 2024, you may still follow the curriculum for the Class of 2023. However, students that have been away for a semester or more (possibly due to illness, academic suspension, co-op program, international study, etc.) may find that the course offerings and/or the curriculum have changed during their absences. If it is no longer possible to complete the curriculum that you started on, you may request appropriate modification in your program (see question 1). Or if you simply would prefer to graduate using the newer curriculum, you may also formally request to do so using an Engineering Curriculum Modification Request Form see previous question.

A “D” grade (D-, D, D+) is considered a passing score, albeit indicating some significant weaknesses. The civil engineering program does not have any special requirements related to D-level course work. Thus, you may take subsequent courses after receiving such a grade in a prerequisite course. However, as per school policy, you may also choose to repeat the class to improve your understanding. If so the two grades for the course will be averaged in your GPA. Overall, your cumulative GPA must be at least a 2.0 to remain in good academic standing and to graduate. You should discuss your options with your academic advisor.

Senior theses are composed of a technical paper and an STS paper. Early in STS 4500, each student must select a technical project for their senior thesis and find a faculty member to be the technical advisor of that project. Senior thesis technical projects may be design or research, and they do not even have to be in the area of civil or environmental engineering. During the STS 4500, the main thesis related product is a thesis prospectus (proposal) describing the proposed technical and STS projects. The final thesis document is due during the second semester (STS 4600). The technical thesis paper may be authored by a team or by an individual, and the basic structure of the technical paper is defined by the technical advisor. An STS professor will supervise the STS paper. Most Civil students will find that their CE 4991/4990 projects (see next question) are the best choice for the technical component of their senior theses. Note that while you may use the same project for both the STS4500/STS4600 and CE4991/CE4990 sequences, there will be different supervising faculty members directing courses with differing goals.  Therefore, a student should expect at times to have to modify write-ups to satisfy the expectations of each course.  A student may choose to do a different thesis project.  Such a student usually is involved in undergraduate research or has had a unique summer experience that they choose to use for their thesis topic.

There are two components to the CE4991/CE4990 sequence (7-credit hours total).  Each semester approximately 1-credit hour of your time will be for a professional development workshop to help prepare you for professional practice.  The rest of the hours are for the technical project that you will begin in the fall and continue into the spring. At the start of your fourth year, you will be provided with a list of project topics that span the diversity of civil engineering.  All projects will include at least 2-credit hours of design.  The remaining three-hours may be design, research and/or analysis, depending on project.  You will be asked to submit your project preferences from which we will create project teams that allow all students to pursue a project that supports their career interests.

As per school policy, you must be a fourth-year student with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2. If so you may ask permission of the instructor to take 6000-level course. If they concur, ask the professor to send an email to the Undergraduate Registrar (Jesse Rogers jr7up) requesting they add you to the course. (An undergraduate cannot directly register in a 6000-level class.)

The CE6xxx course may be applied to your undergraduate degree as civil engineering elective, as an unrestricted elective or as another appropriate elective (please complete the Engineering Curriculum Modification Request Form to document this change in your curriculum). If this is an “extra” course and you do not need the credits for any undergraduate requirement, then you may later apply these credits towards a graduate degree. Note, however, you generally cannot apply the same credits towards both your bachelor’s and a graduate degree.

The information contained on this website is for informational purposes only.  The Undergraduate Record and Graduate Record represent the official repository for academic program requirements. These publications may be found here.

Licensure Disclosure

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

Upon completion of an engineering degree program which prepares graduates for licensure or certification, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state. Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).