The Washington State University Catalog

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sloan 101

Professor and Department Chair, B. Muhunthan; Professors, D. A. Bender, J. Boll, J. D. Dolan, T. Ginn, M. A. Hossain, B. T. Jobson, H. Liu, P. Qiao, V. P. Walden, R. J. Watts, M. P. Wolcott; Associate Professors, J. C. Adam, X. Shi, H. Wen, V. Yadama; Assistant Professors, I. Akin, I. Chowdhury, Y. Demissie, N. B. Engdahl, C. Gardner, A. Hohner, J. Lee, Y. Lee, C. Motter, S. Nassiri, A. Phillips, A. Richey; Teaching Professor, D. Pollock; Teaching Associate Professor, K. Olsen; Associate Research Professors, K. Englund, S. N. Pressley, J. Vaughan; Teaching Assistant Professors, S. Amarasiri; Assistant Research Professors, M. L. Liu, E. Russell; Scholarly Professor, R. Petersen; Professors Emeriti, C. S. Claiborn, W. F. Cofer, R. Itani, B. K. Lamb, G. Mount, D. R. Yonge.

Civil engineers plan, design, construct, and operate the physical works and facilities essential to modern life. Civil engineers are responsible not only for creating the facilities required by a modern civilization, but also are committed to the conservation and preservation of the environment. Examples of these facilities include bridges, highways, buildings, airports, flood control structures, purification plants for drinking water, waste treatment and disposal facilities, offshore structures, tunnels, irrigation systems, space satellites, and launching facilities.

The program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, which is the nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.

The mission of the undergraduate program of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is to provide a premier undergraduate education in civil engineering that prepares our graduates to contribute effectively to the profession and society, for advanced study, and for life-long learning; to conduct world-class disciplinary and interdisciplinary research that is integrated with both graduate and undergraduate education in selected areas of excellence; and to serve a diverse constituency through technology transfer, public service, and outreach.

Student Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes of the civil engineering undergraduate program are the following:

  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  • An ability to think logically, critically, and creatively

The objectives for graduates of our undergraduate program are as follows: 1) that they engage in entry-level engineering or related employment or advanced education; 2) that they demonstrate competence and ongoing development in their technical and professional skills; 3) that they demonstrate continued growth in effective communication; 4) that they pursue their careers with integrity, service, and professionalism; and 5) that they continue learning and they grow into positions of responsibility.

Courses can be selected to provide in-depth studies in environmental, infrastructure, water resource, structural, and construction engineering.

Because design and planning are essential in the civil engineering profession, these activities are introduced in early C E courses. As students advance, they face open-ended assignments with alternative solutions, feasibility studies, safety considerations, economics, social and environmental impacts, and other concerns that test their creative ability. All students complete a senior capstone design class in which much of earlier course work is applied.

All seniors are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam prior to graduation. Two purposes of this exam are: (1) It is a required step in becoming a licensed professional engineer; and (2) It serves as an assessment tool for meeting the department's objectives.

Because of the ever-increasing knowledge required to practice at high levels of competence in the specialized branches of civil engineering, an educational preparation of five or more years of college study is becoming more important. By an appropriate choice of electives the undergraduate curriculum may be integrated with a graduate program to provide a continuous schedule of studies leading to both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

The department offers courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Science in Civil Engineering, Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy (Civil Engineering), and Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering. The department also participates in interdepartmental programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Environmental Science, and Master of Regional Planning.

Computer Requirement

All incoming Civil and Environmental Engineering students are required to purchase laptop computers. Please contact the department for details and specifications and/or visit:

Transfer Students

Students who are planning to transfer to civil engineering at Washington State University from other institutions should coordinate their program with the department chairperson to establish an integrated program leading to the bachelor’s degree. Inquiries concerning specific questions are welcome. A strong preparation in mathematics and physics is necessary prior to transfer to minimize the time required to complete the degree requirements. The requirements for direct entry into the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering upon transfer are the same as listed for admission to the major under the Degree Programs. The Admissions Office will handle admissions applications from transfer students and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will handle admission to the major applications.

Preparation for Graduate Study

As preparation for academic work toward an advanced degree in civil engineering or environmental engineering, a student should have completed substantially the equivalent of the schedule of studies. For details on specific requirements for the various areas of specialty, visit


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