Department of Civil Engineering

Professor Emeritus: E. John Finnemore

Professors: Mark A. Aschheim (Peter Canisius S.J. Professor and Department Chair), Edwin P. Maurer (Robert W. Peters Professor), Reynaud L. Serrette, Sukhmander Singh (Wilmot J. Nicholson Family Professor)

Associate Professors: Steven C. Chiesa, Rong He

Assistant Professor: Hisham H. Said

Senior Lecturer: Tonya Nilsson

Civil engineers are responsible for designing, building, and sustaining the infrastructure on which society relies and that shapes our physical surroundings. Consequently, the Department of Civil Engineering offers a well-balanced undergraduate program that develops graduates capable of solving complex problems with fixed and often limited resources. The application of state-of-the-art skills, a sound understanding of engineering principles, the ability to communicate and articulate ideas, and preparation for lifelong learning are some of the key areas of focus in the civil engineering curriculum. At the completion of the undergraduate program, graduates are well equipped to enter the practice or pursue advanced studies in any of the civil engineering disciplines. The department provides students with the necessary guidance to develop their full potential within the context of their own personal experiences, the expectations of the profession, and societal needs. As graduates of the civil engineering program, engineers plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain the infrastructure that is critical to daily life, including buildings, transportation systems, airports, irrigation systems, water supplies, supply systems, and environmental protection facilities.

The Department of Civil Engineering works with its advisory board and other key constituencies to produce the set of program educational objectives shown below. Specifically, the department has committed itself to providing a program that produces graduates who, within five years of graduation, will:

  • Capably design, build, maintain, or improve civil engineering-based systems in the context of environmental, economic, and societal requirements.
  • Serve the community as ethical and responsible professionals.
  • Engage in lifelong learning for professional growth.

Requirements for the Major

In addition to fulfilling the Undergraduate Core Curriculum requirements for the bachelor of science degree, students majoring in civil engineering must complete a minimum of 195 units and the following department requirements:


  • ENGL 181

Mathematics and Natural Science

  • MATH 11, 12, 13, 14
  • AMTH 106 (or MATH 22) and AMTH 112 (or AMTH 108)
  • CHEM 11
  • PHYS 31, 32, 33
  • CENG 20, 20L


  • ENGR 1
  • ELEN 49 (or ELEN 50, 50L)
  • CENG 7, 7L, 10, 10L, 15, 15L, 41, 44A, 44AL, 44B, 115, 115L, 121A, 121AL, 121B, 125, 125L, 128, 132, 140, 140L, 141, 141L, 143, 143L, 145, 148, 148L, 192A, 192B, 192C, 193, 194, and either 160 or 182


  • Four technical electives from those listed below, with at least two design-focused electives and at least one analysis-focused elective:
    • Design-focused electives: CENG 119, 133, 134, 135 & 135L, 136, 137, 138, 142, 144 & 144L, 146, 147, 150
    • Analysis-focused electives: CENG 118, 123 & 123L, 124, 139, 149, 151, 160, 161, 162, 163, 182, 184, 186 & 186L, 187 & 187L
  • One free elective (4 units)

The technical electives should be selected in consultation with an academic advisor to satisfy the requirements of the general civil engineering program or one of the approved emphasis area programs in civil engineering. The program requires that students take either CENG 160 or CENG 182; whichever course is not taken to satisfy this requirement may be taken as a technical elective.

Combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Program

The Department of Civil Engineering offers a combined degree program leading to a bachelor of science and a master of science. Under the combined degree program, an undergraduate student begins taking courses required for a master's degree before completing the requirements for a bachelor's degree and typically completes the requirements for a master of science in civil engineering within a year of completing the bachelor's degree.

Undergraduate students admitted to the combined degree program are required to enroll in the program between February of their junior year and December of their senior year. Students in this program will receive their bachelor's degree after satisfying the standard undergraduate degree requirements. To earn a master's degree, students must fulfill all requirements for the degree, including the completion of 45 units of coursework beyond that applied to the bachelor's degree. The program of studies for the master's degree may include up to 20 units taken while enrolled as an undergraduate student; however, no individual course can be used to satisfy requirements for both the bachelor's degree and master's degree.

Civil Engineering Laboratories

The Concrete Testing Laboratory contains facilities for mixing, casting, curing, and testing concrete cylinders and constructing reinforced-concrete test specimens.

The Environmental Laboratory is equipped with instrumentation needed for basic chemical and biological characterization of water, wastewater, and air samples as well as several pilot-scale treatment systems.

The Geology Laboratory is equipped with extensive rock and mineral samples as well as topographic, geologic, and soil maps.

The Hydraulics Laboratory is shared with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and contains a tilting flume that can be fitted with various open-channel fixtures.

The Simulation and Design Laboratory maintains Windows-based personal computers (PCs) that are used in course assignments and design projects. Commercial software packages in all the major areas of civil engineering are available on the systems with user documentation available to students.

The Soil Mechanics Laboratory contains equipment for testing soils in shear, consolidation, and compaction; equipment for other physical and chemical tests; field testing and sampling equipment; and a complete cyclic triaxial testing system with computer controls used for both research and instructional purposes.

The offsite Structural Laboratory Annex is a high-bay test facility equipped with a closed- loop hydraulic system, modern data acquisition and control system, dedicated frames for beam and columns tests, and instrumentation for displacement, pressure, strain, temperature, and acceleration measurements. The Annex has the capability to test unique building components that incorporate walls/frames and floor systems with heights up to 8.0 meters.

The Structures and Materials Testing Laboratory is equipped with three universal testing machines and an interim high-bay structural test system. These machines/systems are used for testing a variety of construction materials and assemblies under quasi-static and pseudo- dynamic loading. Complementing this equipment are a series of digital and analog instruments, and high-speed data acquisition and control systems.

The Surveying Laboratory has a wide variety of equipment including automatic levels, digital theodolites, total stations, and GPS-based surveying instruments available for instructional purposes.

Lower-Division Courses

5. Project Impacts on the Community and the Environment

Introduction to the decision-making concepts that determine the feasibility of a project. Aspects of project planning, evaluation, and implementation. Identification of impacts on the community and the environment. (4 units)

7. Graphic Communication

Introduction to technical drawing including isometric and multiview drawings, use of sectional views and dimensioning, understanding blueprints and scales. Co-requisite: CENG 7L. (3 units)

7L. Graphic Communication Laboratory

Freehand drawing, manual and computer- aided drafting of physical models, construction of models from drawings. Co-requisite: CENG 7. (1 unit)

10. Surveying

The use and care of survey instruments. Principles of topographic mapping, linear measurements, leveling, traverses, curves, boundary, and public surveys. Co-requisite: CENG 10L. (3 units)

10L. Surveying Laboratory

Field work using common surveying instrumentation and equipment. Co-requisite: CENG 10. (1 unit)

15. Computer Applications in Civil Engineering

Solution techniques for civil engineering problems using common computer software. Introduction to matrix analysis, graphical and numerical solution methods, regression analysis, and linear optimization using some of the basic features in spreadsheet and math analysis programs to aid engineering solutions. Introduction to Visual Basic programming. A paper and presentation on an analytical topic developed with analytical tools used in the course. Co-requisites: CENG 15L and 41. (2 units)

15L. Computer Applications in Civil Engineering Laboratory

Hands-on work using analytical tools contained in common software programs to solve problems, and written and oral communication of solutions. Co-requisite: CENG 15. (1 unit)

20. Geology

Development and formation of geologic materials. Significance of structure, land form, erosion, deposition. Stream and shoreline processes. Surface water. Co-requisite: CENG 20L. (3 units)

20L. Geology Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 20. Co-requisite: CENG 20. (1 unit)

41. Mechanics I: Statics

Resolution and composition of force systems and equilibrium of force systems acting on structures and mechanisms. Distributed forces. Friction. Moments of inertia. Prerequisite: PHYS 31. (4 units)

43. Mechanics II: Strength of Materials

Analysis of stresses and strains in machines and structural members. Fundamental study of the behavior and response of statically determinate and indeterminate structural members subjected to axial, torsional, flexural, shear, and combined stresses. Introduction to the stability of columns. Prerequisite: CENG 41. Co-requisite: CENG 43L. (4 units)

43L. Mechanics II: Strength of Materials Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 43. Co-requisite: CENG 43. (1 unit)

44A. Strength of Materials I

Analysis of stresses and strains in structural members. Fundamental study of the behavior and response of statically determinate structural members subjected to axial, torsional, flexural, shear, and combined stresses. Stress transformation, principal stresses, and Mohr's circle. Prerequisite: CENG 41. Co-requisite: CENG 44AL. (3 units)

44AL. Strength of Materials I Lab

Laboratory for CENG 44A. Co-requisite: CENG 44A. (1 unit)

44B. Strength of Materials II

Continuation of topics covered in CENG 44A. Shear flow and shear center. Indeterminate systems. Introduction to plastic behavior and column stability. Prerequisite: CENG 44A. (2 units)

Upper-Division Courses

115. Civil Engineering Materials

Common civil engineering materials, focusing on steel, concrete, and wood, and touching on asphalt and epoxy. Structure and properties of materials, their production processes, and experimental methods used for determining their key properties. Sustainability implications of materials choices. Prerequisites: CHEM 11 and CENG 44A. Co-requisite: CENG 115L. (4 units)

115L. Civil Engineering Materials Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 115. Co-requisite: CENG 115. (1 unit)

118. Construction Engineering

Introduction to construction roles and responsibilities, construction project phases, building systems, bidding and cost estimating, resource utilization, planning and scheduling, project documentation, and safety and quality management. Also listed as CENG 218. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (3 units)

119. Design for Sustainable Construction

Design strategies for sustainable commercial and residential construction. Use of LEED criteria for assessing sustainable construction. Team-based project planning, design, and construction. Economic evaluation of sustainable technologies. Prefabrication. Overall project management. Also listed as CENG 219. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (4 units)

121A. Geotechnical Engineering

Origin, development, and properties of soils. Classification of soils and applications of engineering mechanics to soils as an engineering material. Water in soils. Soil-testing methods. Compaction, stabilization, consolidation, shear strength, and slope stability. Prerequisites: CENG 20 and 44A. Co-requisite: CENG 121AL. (3 units)

121AL. Geotechnical Engineering Laboratory

Application of soil testing methods. Co-requisite: CENG 121A. (1 unit)

121B. Geotechnical Engineering

Theory and basic factors related to earth pressure, slope stability, and foundations. Prerequisite: CENG 121A. (2 units)

123. Environmental Reaction Engineering

Reaction stoichiometry and kinetics. Reactions of environmental significance. Dynamic and equilibrium system modeling. Reactor configurations and their effects on extent of the reaction. Prerequisites: CHEM 11 or equivalent, AMTH 106, and junior standing. Co-requisite: CENG 123L. (3 units)

123L. Environmental Reaction Engineering Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 123. Co-requisite: CENG 123. (1 unit)

124. Water Law and Policy

Introduction to the legal and regulatory concepts related to water. Examines rights, policies, and laws, including issues related to water supply and access (water transfers/water markets, riparian and appropriative doctrines), flood control, water pollution and quality (the Clean Water Act, EPA standards, stream flows for fish), and on-site storm water management/flood control. A focus on California water law and policy is complemented with some national and international case studies. Also listed as CENG 258 and ENVS 124. (4 units)

125. Municipal Engineering Design

Various aspects of civil engineering as applied in municipal (public works) design practice. Maps and plats; site layout and earthworks; drainage; streets and utilities. Prerequisites: CENG 10 and 15. Co-requisite: CENG 125L. (3 units)

125L. Municipal Engineering Design Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 125. Co-requisite: CENG 125. (1 unit)

128. Engineering Economics and Business

Time value of money. Economic analysis of engineering projects, planning and capital budgeting, rate-of-return analysis, depreciation, cash-flow analysis, organizational behavior, business organization forms, design of organizational structures, financial analysis and management. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (3 units)

132. Structural Analysis

Loads and their distribution in structures. Analysis of statically determinate and indeterminate beams, trusses, and frames. Influence lines for beams and trusses. Analysis of statically indeterminate structures. Modeling and analysis of structures using commercial software programs. A team-based structural analysis project and presentation. Prerequisite: CENG 44A. Co-requisite: CENG 44B. (4 units)

133. Timber Design

Timber structural systems. Design of structural members for tension, compression, bending, and shear. Introduction to shear wall and diaphragm design. Connection and hardware design and specification. Design project. Also listed as CENG 233. Prerequisite: CENG 132. (4 units)

134. Structural Steel Design I

Design of steel members for tension, flexure, shear, compression, and combined loading. Design of composite floor beams. Introduction to connection design. Prerequisite: CENG 148. (4 units)

135. Reinforced Concrete Design

Design of one-way slabs, tee beams, and doubly-reinforced beams for flexure and shear; moment coefficient method; deflection estimates; longitudinal bar cutoffs and detailing; biaxial bending and slender columns. Prerequisite: CENG 148. Co-requisite: CENG 135L. (4 units)

135L. Reinforced Concrete Laboratory

Experimental tests of reinforced concrete building components; problem solving and review sessions; field trip(s). Co-requisite: CENG 135. (1 unit)

136. Advanced Concrete Structures

Confinement, moment-curvature and shear- displacement response; modeling; design and detailing of special moment frames, shear walls, and diaphragms; pre-stressed concrete beams. Also listed as CENG 236. Prerequisite: CENG 135 or consent of instructor. (4 units)

137. Earthquake Engineering Design

Introduction to seismic sources, wave propagation, and effects on structures. Spectral representations of demands. Design according to current code provisions and using simplified pushover methods. Also listed as CENG 237. Prerequisite: CENG 148. (4 units)

138. Geotechnical Engineering Design

Foundation exploration; bearing capacity and settlement analysis; spread foundations; piles and caissons; earth-retaining structures; loads on underground conduits; subsurface construction. Also listed as CENG 238. Prerequisite: CENG 121. (4 units)

138L. Geotechnical Engineering Design Laboratory

Structural design of footings, piles, and retaining walls. Also listed as CENG 238L. Prerequisite: CENG 148. Co-requisite: CENG 138. (1 unit)

139. Groundwater Hydrology

Groundwater occurrence, flow principles, flow to wells, and regional flow. Ground water contamination, management, and modeling. Field methods. Field trips. Also listed as CENG 269. Prerequisite: CENG 141. (3 units)

140. Water Resources Engineering

Concepts, analysis, and engineering design related to water resources: hydrologic cycle, evaporation, infiltration, precipitation, snow, flood frequency, water supply, and runoff management. Impacts of development, land use, and climate changes on water supply, and the importance of these changes to society. Prerequisite: CENG 141 or permission of instructor. Co-requisite: CENG 140L. (4 units)

140L. Water Resources Engineering Laboratory

Computational exercises for water resources analysis, field trips demonstrating hydrologic monitoring systems and complex regional water management systems. Co-requisite: CENG 140. (1 unit)

141. Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering

Fundamentals of fluid behavior with an emphasis on water. Covers basic fluid properties, flow classification, and fluid statics including forces on submerged surfaces. Introduces and applies fundamental relationships: conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. Hydraulic applications include flow in pipes and pipe networks, steady flow in open channels, and hydraulic machinery. Laboratory. Prerequisites: CENG 41, PHYS 31. Co-requisite: CENG 141L. (4 units)

141L. Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory

Experiments demonstrating the principles of fluid flow and hydraulics for flow in pipes and in open channels. Use of modern data acquisition and writing of formal lab reports. Co-requisite: CENG 141. (1 unit)

142. Water Resources Design

Design of system components for water supply and flood control projects including storage facilities, closed conduits, open channels, well fields, and pumping systems. Also listed as CENG 242. Prerequisite: CENG 140 and CENG 141 or permission of instructor. (4 units)

143. Environmental Engineering

Water and air quality. Water supply and pollution control; air pollution control. Management of solid wastes. Prerequisites: CHEM 11, MATH 12, and junior standing. Co-requisite: CENG 143L. (3 units)

143L. Environmental Engineering Laboratory

Laboratory analysis of aqueous samples and ideal reactor systems. Analysis of non-point pollution prevention strategies. Solid waste characterization. Co-requisite: CENG 143. (1 unit)

144. Environmental Systems Design

Design of treatment and distribution systems for potable water. Design of collection and treatment systems for water pollution control and wastewater reclamation. Prerequisites: CENG 141 and 143. Co-requisite: CENG 144L. (3 units)

144L. Environmental Systems Design Laboratory

Use of commercial software packages to design elements of potable water and wastewater management systems. Oral presentations. Co-requisite: CENG 144. (1 unit)

145. Transportation Engineering Design

Transportation systems analysis. Dynamics and traffic flow. Highway geometric design, traffic control, transportation planning. Transportation policies and economics. Prerequisites: CENG 10 and junior standing. (4 units)

146. Design of Cold-Formed Steel Frame Structures

Introduction to the fundamentals of cold- formed steel frame construction. Current design and construction practice. Practical design of members for tension, compression, shear, and torsion. Connection detailing. Also listed as CENG 246. Prerequisite: CENG 148. (4 units)

147. Pavement Design

Paving materials. Geometric and structural design of highways. Urban street layout and details. Layout and design of airport runways. Also listed as CENG 247. Prerequisites: CENG 115 and 121. (4 units)

148. Structural Systems

Structural performance requirements and structural systems; load sources, combinations, and load paths; accommodation of fire, sound, thermal, and mechanical requirements on structural systems; allowable stress and ultimate strength design philosophies; introduction to design of steel and reinforced concrete beams and columns. Prerequisite: CENG 132. Co-requisite: CENG 148L. (4 units)

148L. Structural Systems Laboratory

Simulation and modeling of structural system behavior. Structural drawings/schematics. Co-requisite: CENG 148. (1 unit)

149. Civil Systems Engineering

Introduction to engineering systems analysis and management technologies and their applications to civil engineering problems such as transportation, assignment, critical path, and maximum flow problems. Topics include linear programming, nonlinear programming, probability, and queuing theory, as well as relevant applications to civil engineering problems. Also listed as CENG 249. Prerequisites: MATH 13 and junior standing. (4 units)

150. Traffic Engineering: Design and Operations

Basic characteristics of motor vehicle traffic, highway and intersection capacity, applications of traffic control devices, traffic data studies, signal design, and traffic safety. Also listed as CENG 250. Prerequisite: CENG 145. (4 units)

151. Special Topics in Transportation Engineering

Coverage of special topics in transportation engineering including dynamic traffic flow forecasting, analysis and application of traffic flow patterns, and static and dynamic traffic analysis and modeling for short-term and long-term planning and optimization. Also listed as CENG 251. Prerequisite: CENG 145. (4 units)

160. GIS in Water Resources

Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology with applications in watershed analysis and hydrology. Obtaining and processing digital information for watersheds, mapping terrain, spatial analysis, computing river networks from digital elevation models, and preparing data for hydrologic modeling for water supply and flood studies. Also listed as CENG 260. Prerequisites: Junior standing and experience with Windows directory and file management. (3 units)

161. Sustainable Water Resources

Analysis and design of water resource systems, from flood control projects to drinking water supply, as environmental constraints and societal values shift. Includes sustainable and low-impact design techniques, climate change impacts on water, assessing sustainability, life-cycle economics, and current topics. Also listed as CENG 261. Prerequisite: CENG 140 or permission of instructor. (3 units)

162. Computational Water Resources

Use of professional applications software to design and evaluate facility components and systems for water resources engineering projects. Also listed as CENG 262. Prerequisites: CENG 140, which may be taken concurrently. (3 units)

163. Solid Waste Management

Characterization of solid waste streams. Overview of collection, transport, processing, and disposal options. Waste stream reduction and resource recovery strategies. Also listed as CENG 263. (4 units)

182. Introduction to Building Information Modeling

Parametric design and modeling, BIM- based scheduling and estimating, model checking and validation, 4D visualization, green building design, applications in integrated project delivery and facilities management, interoperability, standardization, and Web-based collaboration. Also listed as CENG 282. Prerequisites: CENG 125 and junior standing. (3 units)

184. Construction and Contract Administration

Project stakeholders authorities, project organization, compensation schemes, bidding, contracts, quality control, preconstruction operations, project documentation, electronic administration, labor laws and relations, safety, risk and liability sharing, payments and change orders, schedule delay analysis, claims, and disputes, project closeout. Also listed as CENG 284. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (3 units)

186. Construction Planning and Control

Work breakdown structure; work sequencing and logic; activity duration estimates; schedule network representations; critical path method; resources loading, allocation, and leveling; planning of repetitive tasks; cost estimates; time-cost tradeoffs; project cash flow analysis; and time-cost control. Use of commercial scheduling software. Group project on construction planning. Also listed as CENG 286. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Co-requisite: CENG 186L (3 units)

186L. Construction Planning and Control Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 186. Also listed as CENG 286L. Co-requisite: CENG 186. (1 unit)

187. Construction Operations and Equipment

Earthmoving with dozers, scrappers, and excavators; hauling, compacting, and finishing. Piling, lifting; concrete operations, asphalt paving, equipment economics, operations planning using computer simulation, and discrete-event simulation. Group project on construction operations analysis. Also listed as CENG 287. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Co-requisite: CENG 187L. (3 units)

187L. Construction Operations and Equipment Laboratory

Laboratory for CENG 187. Also listed as CENG 287L. Co-requisite: CENG 187. (1 unit)

188. Co-op Education

Integration of classroom study and practical experience in a planned program designed to give students practical work experience related to their academic field of study and career objectives. The course alternates (or parallels) periods of classroom study with periods of training in industry or government. Satisfactory completion of the work assignment includes preparation of a summary report on co-op activities. P/NP grading. May not be taken for graduate credit. (1-2 units)

189. Co-op Technical Report

Technical report on a specific activity such as a design or research project, etc., after completing a co-op assignment. Approval of department advisor required. Letter grade based on content and quality of report. May not be taken for graduate credit. Prerequisite: CENG 188. (2 units)

192A. Civil Engineering Project Development

Introduction to problem-solving methodology for the design of civil engineering systems and components. Selection of Capstone Design Project, definition of problem, and conceptual design. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (1 unit)

192B. Elements of Civil Engineering Practice

Further development of problem-solving methodology; introduction to project management. Applications of engineering techniques and procedures to civil engineering design. Schematic designs, alternatives analysis and cost estimates. Preliminary design of critical components or subsystems of Capstone Design Project. Environmental impact assessment. Prerequisite: CENG 192A. Co-requisite: CENG 192C. (2 units)

192C. Professional Development Seminar

Importance of licensing and lifelong learning in the practice of civil engineering. Advanced workshops on topics relevant to Capstone Design Projects. Review of topics covered on FE/EIT professional licensing exam. Prerequisite: Senior standing or consent of instructor. (1 unit)

193. Detailed Project Design

Investigation of an approved Capstone Design Project. The design process, including problem formulation, analysis, preliminary design, final design, and plans, is completed. Formal presentation of preliminary and final designs. Prerequisite: CENG 192B. (4 units)

194. Design Project Communication

Completion of design project documentation and public presentation of results. Prerequisite: CENG 193. (1 unit)

197. Special Topics in Civil Engineering

Subjects of current interest. May be taken more than once if topics differ. (1-4 units)

198. Internship

Time off campus with an engineering organization. Different aspects of work in the assigned professional office. Oral and written reports. Prerequisites: Senior standing and approval of internship coordinator. (4-5 units)

199. Directed Research

Investigation of an approved engineering problem and preparation of a suitable project report. Conferences with faculty advisor are required. Prerequisite: Junior standing. (1-5 units)

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