Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Department Information
368 CB
Advisement Center
242 CB

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

The mission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is to produce graduates who possess technical competence in their chosen specialty area of civil engineering, integrity, and a commitment to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, that will prepare them to serve and contribute as innovators, professional engineers, and leaders in the global community.

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. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics through differential equations, calculus-based physics, chemistry, and geology.
  2. An ability to design and conduct civil engineering experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret the data.
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process in more than one civil engineering context to meet desired needs within realistic constraints.
  4. An ability to lead and function on multidisciplinary teams.
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility, and their relationship with faith.
  7. An ability to communicate effectively.
  8. The broad education necessary to understand sustainability—the impact of engineering solutions in a societal, environmental, and economic context.
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning, professional licensure, and service.
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues including globalization.
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  12. An ability to explain basic concepts in management, business, and public policy.
  13. An ability to apply knowledge of geotechnical engineering.
  14. An ability to apply knowledge of structural engineering.
  15. An ability to apply knowledge of transportation engineering.
  16. An ability to apply knowledge of water resources engineering.

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.

A maximum of 9 credit hours with D grades are allowed in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering classes. Clearance for graduation will be denied until D credits are reduced to 9 hours or less.

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 and Technology 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.