Civil engineering evolved as a formal discipline at the start of the 19th century as a response to society's need for increased mobility and convenience. Today's civil engineers deal primarily with public and private infrastructure and its relation to the environment, which includes planning, design, construction and maintenance of transportation systems, bridges, dams, buildings, water supply/distribution /treatment systems, wastewater and storm water collection/treatment/disposal systems, irrigation systems, and flood control. Civil engineers also operate public and private works, and design environmental protection for water, air, and land.
The Department of Civil Engineering offers B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering. Undergraduate students take fundamental courses in various civil engineering disciplines and gain depth in the discipline of their choice: construction management, environmental, geotechnical, pavements, structures, surveying, transportation, or water resources. M.S. and Ph.D. students focus their programs of study in construction engineering, environmental, geotechnical,enviro-geotechnical, pavements, structures, transportation or water resources. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available for the M.S. degree.