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Civil engineering is the oldest of the engineering disciplines. Historians believe that the profession may have begun with the building of the Great Pyramids in Egypt, around 2,700 B.C.  Since then, civil engineers have determined the fate of nations. Think about the roads and bridges that armies have traveled.  The dams that provide hydro-electric power.  The sanitation systems that have saved more lives than all the medical doctors in history by providing clean water to the general public. Today, civil engineering includes the sub-disciplines of structural, environmental, geotechnical, transportation, and water resources engineering, to name a few.  When you complete our bachelor’s program, you’ll be ready for professional practice in this tremendously exciting field.

Be a problem solver for society.

Innovativeness is a defining characteristic of the civil engineer.  It’s what will enable you to solve the challenging problems facing society today — environmental pollution, traffic congestion, infrastructure rehabilitation, drinking water and energy needs, urban redevelopment, and community planning.  Your work will also put you at the forefront of technology — you’ll be a leading user of some of the most sophisticated high-tech products available, such as GPS (Global Positioning Systems), GIS  (Geographic Information Systems), CAD (Computer Aided Design systems), and task-specific computer software.

You’ll need good written and oral communication skills as well.  Civil engineering is a people-oriented profession and requires heavy use of those skills.

Get the interdisciplinary foundation you need for success.

The tools you need for success in civil engineering are the tools you’ll find in our bachelor’s program.  As you become steeped in a climate that inspires innovation, you’ll broaden and deepen your knowledge through a painstakingly designed, interdisciplinary curriculum.  The curriculum combines mathematics, basic and engineering sciences, communication, humanities, and social sciences with a broad base of civil engineering technologies.

Along with theory, you’ll learn from practical and laboratory experiences, problem solving, and engineering design applications, integrated throughout the curriculum.

Also, because the field of civil engineering is so broad, you’ll likely choose an area of specialty.  We offer:

  • Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • and coursework in project management, city planning, transportation, and surveying

Surround yourself with real-world engineering opportunities.

When you choose to study engineering at the University of New Haven, you’re choosing an area packed with companies that hire engineering students for summer jobs, co-op placements, and internships. What about after graduation? Just take a look at the list of local and regional companies and agencies that have hired our graduates for full-time positions:

Civil Engineering related FAQs

Q: IS CIVIL ENGINEERING THE OLDEST OF THE ENGINEERING DISCIPLINES?

A: Civil Engineering is the oldest of the engineering disciplines, and today, covers many specialties.

Q: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CIVIL ENGINEERING SPECIALTIES?

A: Specialties or sub-discipline areas of Civil Engineering include: Construction Engineering and Management, Structural Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Management, Engineering Mechanics and Materials, Transportation and Coastal Engineering, Water Resources Engineering.

Q: WILL I NEED TO MASTER ALL OF THESE SUB-DISCIPLINE AREAS?

A: Because civil engineering is so broad, it is not generally possible to become proficient in all its specialties. Therefore, a civil engineer will usually specialize in one of the fields above, or a sub-area of a field, and will have only a general knowledge of the other fields. 

Employment related FAQs

Q: WHAT DO CIVIL ENGINEERS DO?

A: Civil engineers plan, design, and supervise the construction of:· structures of various forms, such as bridges, buildings, industrial plants, stadiums, dams, docks, marine platforms, oil drilling rigs, missile bases and launching facilities for space exploration and travel. · transportation systems such as highway, railroads, airports, canals, harbors and pipelines; · systems for water supply, hydropower, irrigation, drainage, flood control, and navigation; and · systems for waste disposal, water and air pollution control.

Q: WHAT ABOUT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES?

A: There are ample employment opportunities in industry, consulting practice, as well as research and development firms

Q: WHERE DO CIVIL ENGINEERS FIND EMPLOYMENT?

A: Employment can be found among a wide variety of industrial, public, governmental, construction and private consulting organizations.

Q: ARE THERE ANY SELF-EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS?

A: Many civil engineers are self-employed. In fact, with a Civil Engineering degree you will have a much higher chance to be self-employed than with any other engineering degree.

Q: HOW DO CIVIL ENGINEERS SPEND THEIR ON-THE-JOB TIME?

A: Depending on their responsibilities, Civil Engineers may spend most of the time in the office or in the field, or may divide time between indoor and outdoor work. 

Skills & tools related FAQs


Q: WHAT SKILLS ARE NECESSARY FOR CIVIL ENGINEERS?
A: Civil engineering is a people serving profession and relies more than any other engineering discipline upon communication skills (written and oral), the perception of, and sensitivity to, the needs of society. Also, in many projects civil engineers must interact with other engineers, architects, city planners, and scientists with diverse backgrounds. Thus, working in teams is another important skill for Civil Engineers.

Q: DO CIVIL ENGINEERS USE COMPUTERS AND COMPUTER TECHNOLOGIES?
A: An enormous amount of the engineering software on the market is written by and for Civil Engineers. Geographical Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are examples of modern telecommunication/informatics technologies that are incorporated into many civil engineering projects. Civil Engineers are among the first to embrace the available high technology; indeed, they are a very important driving force behind many breakthroughs in automation and computer-aided design (CAD).