Civil engineers, like all engineers, are problem-solvers. They find the best ways to construct, operate, and maintain bridges, buildings, dams, and highways. They design water plants and waste treatment systems, and look for ways to manage hazardous materials.
The curriculum prepares students for a variety of situations by emphasizing fundamental principles of engineering, an appreciation of the effect of human factors on technology, logical thinking, resourcefulness, and ethical considerations in applying science to human problems. In addition to a thorough grounding in science and technology, students select more than one-fifth of their courses in the liberal arts and humanities.
Students may choose to focus on structural, environmental, geotechnical, transportation, construction or hydraulic engineering. Facilities include laboratories for structural systems, materials, fluid mechanics, geotechnical engineering, geographical information systems, and environmental engineering. Design concepts and analytical techniques are integrated into the curriculum, which includes extensive use of state-of-the-art computer systems.
Juniors and seniors may undertake independent studies and research projects in conjunction with faculty. Seniors may also do honors theses.
CE majors are required to take Mathematics 161, 162, 263, and 264; Physics 131; Chemistry 121; Engineering Science 101, 226, and 230; Civil and Environmental Engineering 201, 251, 271, 311, 321, 331, 341, 351, 361, 472, 473 and three departmental electives; three science/mathematics electives; (at least one math/science must be a basic science from a department other than physics or chemistry and one math/science must be a civil engineering-approved mathematics elective); two technical electives (upper-level mathematics, science, or engineering courses, requiring a course number of 200+ or one or more prerequisites); a First-Year Seminar and English 110; VAST 203 or any VAST course and another approved course with sustainability outcomes; five courses chosen from an approved list of humanities and social science courses with requirements for depth and breadth; courses beyond the depth and breadth requirement, specific to the approved list, may be taken in humanities, social sciences, and/or interdisciplinary programs; and two free electives.
The CEE Advisory Board at Lafayette was formed to provide educators with real-time insight on the current trends in the CEE community. The seven-member Board reviewed the current curriculum and its applicability to professional and academic life after Lafayette. Similarly, the Capstone design experience and laboratories were reviewed. The Department will be reviewing and will attempt to implement the Board’s recommendations for the benefit of CEE students.