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2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog
University of Pittsburgh
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog 
  May 09, 2021
2016-2017 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Civil Engineering

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Civil engineers are concerned with safeguarding life, health, and property while promoting the general welfare of society. They are the designers of the public and private works that affect large segments of the population. However, because problems of expanding population and increasing human needs that confront our civilization, the responsibility of civil engineers extends beyond mere physical structures into the social, political, and economic welfare of the United States and other countries. In brief, the work of the civil engineer has a significant impact on the quality of life in all areas of modern society.

The civil engineer deals in environmental control and in the development or redevelopment of a geographic area through overall planning, as well as in the design, construction, and operation of structures and facilities for public and private use. This broad field of activity includes all types of structures for the following areas: buildings, bridges, and industrial installations; soil mechanics and foundations; transportation, including highways, traffic, airports, and harbors; hydraulic engineering, including irrigation; water resources, including power plants and dams; water supply; waste disposal; air pollution; hazardous and solid wastes; and environmental sanitation. Modern-day requirements have necessitated involvement in the medical and dental fields, oceanography, polar exploration, energy resources, and the space effort.

The educational objectives of the civil engineering major are as follows:

  • Program graduates will have the skills to become successful civil engineering professionals and problem solvers;
  • Program graduates will actively engage in lifelong learning, pursue professional licensure, and be professionally active;
  • Program graduates will become leaders in shaping engineering and public policy; and
  • Program graduates will be prepared for the successful pursuit of advanced degrees.

The undergraduate program begins by providing study in the humanities, social sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics, and proceeds to the fundamental aspects of civil engineering. The curriculum focuses on the electives available for designing individualized programs suited to the student’s career goals. Emphasis is placed on societal needs and ways of meeting those needs. Thus, graduates are prepared to begin work in any of the several branches of civil engineering or to continue their education at the graduate level. The civil engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. more information on the civil and environmental engineering department, contact or see




      Civil & Environmental Engineer

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