Who We Are:  Civil engineers are stewards of our natural resources and—using sustainable and ethical practices—design, construct, maintain, and improve the facilities, services, and systems that support modern society.

What We Do:  Civil engineers are the planners, designers, construction experts and operators of our built environment (i.e. buildings, neighborhoods, highways, and supporting infrastructure such as storm-water control, water supply, and energy networks), and the stewards of the natural environment and its resources.

How We Prepare You:  The department provides an exceptional broad-based undergraduate education in a liberal arts environment emphasizing student-faculty interaction, integrated study-abroad experiences, opportunities for hands-on learning, scholarship and service, and an understanding of the professional, societal, ethical, and environmental implications of the engineering practice.

Why Lafayette: Distinctive features of our program include the excellence with which we incorporate a personalized hands-on education – through faculty taught, laboratory intensive classes, project based electives, and extracurricular clubs such as our student American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) chapter, Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES), and Green Building Club. Flexibility – Students can choose between a focused engineering education enhanced with an integrated liberal arts component or a broad-based, integrated engineering and liberal arts education. Our robust Study Abroad program, of which between 30 to 50% of our sophomore civil engineering students regularly participate, is one of the strongest in the nation, and our diverse student body and faculty, both composed of more than 30% women – combine with the personalized, hands-on education and flexibility to make for an outstanding education.

Acopian Engineering Center


Excellent facilities support instruction and research by students and faculty, including a computer lab and labs for material testing, fluid mechanics, soil mechanics, surveying, and environmental analysis.

Learn more about our facilities

Student Research

Classes, student groups, independent studies, honors projects, and EXCEL Scholars research give students great opportunities to conduct research with faculty and one another.

Learn how to get involved in student research

Kristen Sanford Bernhardt Receives National Engineering Honor

Kristen Sanford Bernhardt is this year’s recipient of the George K. Wadlin Distinguished Service Award given by the Civil Engineering Division of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Sanford Bernhardt, who accepted the award at the ASEE annual conference held this June in Indianapolis, is the first woman to receive the award in its 27-year history.

Read more about Kristen Sanford Bernhardt

Emily Crossette ’15 Receives EPA Fellowship for Wastewater Research

Civil engineering major Emily Crossette ’15 (Glennfield, Pa.) is contributing to the cleanup of the local ecosystem by helping to develop an improved metric for quantifying compounds that may cause mutations in fish.

Read more about EPA Fellowship

Engineering Executive John Pierce ’81 Helps Foster Students’ Success

With a deep commitment to being a mentor, Pierce welcomed more than 100 Lafayette students as interns or externs during his 10 years at Turner Construction Company, where he was vice president and regional manager, Latin American and the Caribbean, before joining Phoenix House. He is mentoring several students and recent alumni and will be hosting several externs during January.

Read more about John Pierce '81

Alumni Connections

The department is very excited to implement an Alumni Connections Program, designed to foster student-alumni connections.

Learn more about Alumni Connections