College of Civil Engineering

What do Civil Engineers Do?

Civil Engineers design, construct, and maintain society’s infrastructure – the highways, buildings, and water systems we use daily. A few areas in which civil engineers work include: construction management; groundwater contamination; transportation design and planning; design, construction, and monitoring of waste containment facilities; disaster prevention; river mechanics and stream restoration; earthquake engineering; flood prediction, forecasting, and control; community development; surveying and mapping; and wind engineering.

Civil Engineers employ scientific principles to serve society. Many Civil Engineers work internationally to improve the quality of life throughout the world. Civil Engineers apply modern tools such as global positioning systems (GPS) and geographic information systems (GIS) to solve problems related to water resources, transportation, or structures. They use information technology to protect infrastructure from natural hazards or terrorist threats.

How Can You Become an Engineering Student?

In high school, focus on academic courses emphasizing English, mathematics, sciences, social studies, and complete:

  • Four units of English including reading, composition, grammar, literature, and speech.
  • One unit each of algebra I, geometry, algebra II, and one-half unit of trigonometry/precalculus.
  • One unit each of chemistry or physics and natural science (including laboratory work).
  • Two units of social science and one additional unit of either natural or social science.
  • Three units of academic electives (can include foreign language).

You will also need to develop good study habits and strong time management skills.

As a Civil Engineering Student, You Will:

  • Participate in freshman and senior design projects, allowing you to apply multiple tools to solve engineering problems.
  • Understand the impact a civil engineer has on society.
  • Have opportunities to get involved with active student organizations.
  • Work with outstanding faculty members who conduct strong research programs, bringing new knowledge to your classes.

During Your First Year, You Will:


  • Take mathematics and science courses to build a foundation for future civil courses.
  • Learn how to apply important concepts to engineering problems in the introductory civil courses.
  • Practice writing and speaking clearly in composition and arts and humanities courses.
  • Explore Fort Collins and discover some of its great recreational and cultural opportunities.

Civil Engineering Program Objectives

Graduates of the Civil Engineering program will be able to:


  1. Identify, analyze, formulate, and design solutions to Civil Engineering problems, both independently and in a team environment;
  2. Apply considerations of technical, legal, regulatory, social, environmental, and economic factors towards managing multi-faceted and multi-disciplinary projects;
  3. Communicate effectively in both technical and non-technical settings with co-workers, professional clients, and the public; and
  4. Demonstrate commitment and progress in lifelong learning, professional development, and leadership, including participation in continuing education courses, workshops, and/or graduate study, and the pursuit of licensure as a Professional Engineer.

Civil Engineering Student Outcomes

The civil engineering program outcomes are consistent with the eleven DETC Criterion 3 outcomes, a-k.Graduates of the undergraduate civil engineering program will have the following:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics (including probability and statistics), science and engineering principles, with emphasis on applications for civil engineering
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments and analyze and interpret data, and use standards in more than one major civil engineering area
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, constructability, and sustainability
  4. An ability to function in multi-disciplinary teams
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems in at least four of the recognized major civil engineering areas
  6. An understanding of civil engineering professional practice topics, the importance of professional registration, and the principles of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. An ability to communicate effectively
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Outcomes a-k are very similar for all majors in the College of Engineering (COE). Outcomes a, b, c, e, and f have been modified and made more specific to reflect the requirements of the DETC Civil Engineering Program Criteria. Additionally, it is important to note that the outcomes listed in the General Catalog have been rearranged and some of the verb tenses changed in order to aid readability

April 2018
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