Graduates of a civil engineering program must have the engineering skills needed to plan, design, construct, and maintain infrastructure and industrial facilities. In addition, graduates must have the broad education necessary to communicate effectively with other engineers, architects, planners, administrators, government officials, and the general public. The faculty and staff of the Civil Engineering program at Cal Poly understand these needs and take pride in preparing their students for the challenges associated with engineering practice.
The Civil Engineering program at Cal Poly has quickly grown into one of the largest and most respected programs in California and the nation. The program consistently attracts top student candidates because of its modern, well-equipped laboratories, the close interaction that occurs between undergraduates and full-time faculty, and a strong reputation among employers in the civil engineering and construction industries. Scientific depth is included within the curriculum for those students who are interested in graduate study.
The Civil Engineering program recognizes the importance of student organizations and strongly supports the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Student Chapter as well as Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society. These student groups sponsor opportunities for professional development, community service, and social activities which help to complement the formal academic program. The ASCE Student Chapter, an active member of the campus community, has been recognized as the nation’s most outstanding civil engineering student organization twice during the past decade.
The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. The program’s mission is to prepare students for successful careers in civil engineering by providing a high quality, practice-oriented education that emphasizes design project experiences, “hands-on” laboratory activities, and teamwork. The program’s faculty, in consultation with civil engineering practitioners and alumni, have developed a number of educational objectives to support this mission. These objectives are:
- Successfully perform engineering functions in Civil Engineering practice;
- Communicate effectively with industry professionals, decision makers and community members;
- Work in an ethical and professional manner to positively impact society and the environment in a regional, national and global context;
- Pursue life-long learning and service to the profession through continuing education opportunities, professional organizations, leadership, graduate degrees and/or other certification; and
- Progress toward professional licensure.
The undergraduate curriculum in civil engineering is designed to support the educational objectives. Therefore, the curriculum includes broad coverage of mathematics, engineering and basic sciences, liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences. The program also includes a number of required engineering courses designed to ensure students become proficient in a breadth of civil engineering sub-disciplines: geotechnical, construction, structural, transportation, environmental, and water resources.
All CE majors must complete a quarter course in professional practice and a two quarter senior design capstone sequence that focuses on current civil engineering design procedures, standards and multiple realistic constraints. The professional practice course includes topics on interpersonal communication, teamwork, leadership, and ethics. Together, the three quarters promote an understanding of the issues and skills to become a successful design professional.
Flexibility within the curriculum allows students to select from a wide range of upper division civil engineering technical electives. Students use these technical electives to focus in one of the four areas of civil engineering noted above or to design a “general” curriculum that allows for a broad range of civil engineering interests. Students should consult with a faculty advisor prior to selecting and enrolling in upper division civil engineering technical electives.