Civil Engineering

College of Engineering and Computer Science

Program Description

Civil Engineering involves the application of scientific principles and knowledge of mathematics and computers to the planning, analysis, design, and construction of all types of private and public works. Reduction of air and water pollution, disposal of hazardous wastes, renewal of our old cities, planning and building of new communities, providing water, power, and high-speed ground transportation systems are the responsibilities of the civil engineer. It is a continual challenge to the civil engineer to provide these services efficiently by the construction of dams, buildings, bridges, tunnels, highways, airports, waterways, and waste handling facilities in harmony with the natural environment.

Because of the broad range of demands on the civil engineer's services, the undergraduate program is devoted to fundamental principles in mathematics; basic and engineering sciences; the spectrum of Civil Engineering practice in both analysis and design; and required courses in the humanities and the social sciences, so that engineers may better relate to the world and society they serve. The upper division program permits students to select 9 units (3 courses) of electives. Students may increase the breadth or depth of their knowledge in Civil Engineering by selecting these electives in several areas: environmental and water quality engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation, and water resources engineering.

Degree Programs

BS in Civil Engineering

MS in Civil Engineering

Cooperative Education Program (Work Experience)


In addition to California State University, Sacramento's full accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering is also individually accredited by ABET, Inc.

Notice to Students RE: Professional Licensure and Certification

California State University programs for professions that require licensure or certification are intended to prepare the student for California licensure and certification requirements. Admission into programs for professions that require licensure and certification does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or certificate. Licensure and certification requirements are set by agencies that are not controlled by or affiliated with the California State University and licensure and certification requirements can change at any time.

The California State University has not determined whether its programs meet other states’ educational or professional requirements for licensure and certification. Students planning to pursue licensure or certification in other states are responsible for determining whether, if they complete a California State University program, they will meet their state’s requirements for licensure or certification. This disclosure is made pursuant to 34 CFR §668.43(a)(5)(v)(C).

Special Features

  • The BSCE degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (EAC/ABET).
  • A notable strength of the program is that most faculty are licensed professional engineers in California and have practical experience in industry. Thus, faculty bring an ability to relate theory to practice, and the program prepares the student for the profession as well as for advanced study.
  • Emphasis is placed on design which is the definition and solution of engineering problems in a practical manner. Lower division and first semester junior year coursework provides the preparation for design in courses such as mathematics, physics, descriptive geometry, CAD, surveying, computer applications, and engineering economics. Design courses are available to students in their last three semesters including a senior design project course in the final semester.
  • Class sizes are small providing for close interaction between students and faculty. This interaction is enhanced in laboratory courses which are an integral part of the curriculum.
  • Computers are used in many courses and students have free access to computer laboratories.
  • Communication skills and social and ethical responsibilities of professional practice are emphasized.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in the Student Chapter of American Society of Civil Engineers and other student organizations, to develop organizational skills, and to interact with practicing civil engineers.
  • Sacramento, the State Capital and the seat of county government, provides proximity to city, county, state and federal agencies, and many consulting firms with Civil Engineering departments. Thus, students have a unique environment to draw upon for semester projects, part-time or summer employment, and career opportunities.

Program Educational Objectives

The objectives of the civil engineering are to prepare graduates to:

  • ethically apply their hands-on, practice-oriented civil engineering education to succeed professionally;
  • engage in lifelong learning through graduate education, professional development, and/or active involvement in professional organizations; and
  • communicate effectively on multi-disciplinary teams to address diverse challenges, creating solutions that serve the general public.

Academic Policies and Procedures

The following is a summary of policies and procedures specific to the Department of Civil Engineering. Other University policies and procedures in this catalog also apply to Civil Engineering majors. The Department will not hear petitions for deviation from articulated policies made by students who disregard catalog policy.

  • Course Repeat Policy: Undergraduate engineering and Civil Engineering courses that are used to meet the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree requirements may be repeated only twice (for a total of three attempts). Grades of the second and third attempt will be averaged in grade point calculations.
  • Reinstatement Policy: Students seeking reinstatement to the Civil Engineering major must complete a Reinstatement Petition (obtained at Admissions and Records). That petition will be reviewed by the Department Chair for approval or rejection.
    Note: The only basis for reinstatement is the expectation (supported by evidence provided by the student) that the student is now likely to progress towards the satisfactory completion of the Department's degree requirements in a timely manner.
  • Minimum Grade Requirements: The purpose of this requirement is to assure that all Civil Engineering majors attain the minimum level of competency in all their coursework required for a Bachelor of Science Civil Engineering Degree.
    All required courses in the major, all electives in the major, ENGL 5, and ENGL 20 must be completed with a grade of "C-" or better.
    A minimum grade point average of 2.0 ("C") is required in the major courses applied to the degree.
  • Incomplete Grades: Incomplete grades are issued only in accordance with University policy.  The student must be passing the course at the time an “Incomplete” is requested. An Incomplete Petition (obtained in the Department Office) must be submitted to the Department with the student’s and the course instructor’s signature. The Incomplete Petition must specify the work to be completed, the basis by which the student’s final grade will be determined, and the last date for completion of the incomplete work. An incomplete grade that is not cleared by the set date will lapse to an F grade.

Career Possibilities

Bridge Engineer · Civil Engineer · Construction Engineer · Design Engineer · Environmental Engineer · Foundation Engineer · Geotechnical Engineer · Highway Engineer · Hydraulic Engineer · Hydrologic Engineer · Project Engineer · Public Works Engineer · Research Engineer · Sanitary Engineer · Soils Engineer · Structural Engineer · Traffic Engineer · Transportation Engineer · Urban Planner · Water Resources Engineer

Contact Information

Ghazan Khan, Department Chair
Ashley Mihok, Administrative Support Coordinator
Riverside Hall 4024
(916) 278-6982
Department of Civil Engineering Website