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Civil Engineering

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Undergrad Degree: BS

Civil engineers are innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs. They design and build structures such as bridges, buildings, dams, and even roller coasters. They also devise complex systems such as transportation and water supply networks, and information systems for design and management of engineering projects. Students drawn to civil engineering enjoy science and math and the opportunity to serve society by creating, maintaining, and renewing the infrastructure on which we all rely.

Civil engineers know how to evaluate risk and insure the high reliability of their designs. (When creating skyscrapers, suspension bridges, and drinking water systems, failure is not acceptable.) Cornell's undergraduate program in civil engineering develops the skills required to make sound business decisions. Many civil engineering graduates go on to take leadership positions in established companies, or start their own. At Cornell, we are educating some of the top engineers in the country, and teaching our students how to use their intellect to participate in the business arena. The civil engineering faculty also teaches the University's graduate level engineering management program.

Students in the undergraduate program have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas such as structural engineering, transportation engineering, geotechnical engineering, environmental fluid mechanics/hydrology/water resources, or plan a more general civil engineering curriculum. In addition, the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a distinct option in Environmental Engineering.

Students have ample opportunity to participate in community activities by joining the award-winning student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). This student group participates annually in national competitions to build and race a concrete canoe, and design and build a steel bridge. This group also sponsors community service projects. Examples include building a neighborhood playground, constructing a pedestrian bridge in Ithaca, and creating an educational demonstration for the Ithaca "ScienCenter." ASCE also hosts several intramural teams, social outings, and study sessions for the professional licensing exam.