Civil Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Science (BS)

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering's (CEE) undergraduate program offers opportunities for rigorous academic learning, fellowship, hands-on experience, and leadership. Classes are relatively small, so students get to know both the faculty and fellow students.

The program in civil and environmental engineering, which is top-ranked nationally, provides students with a strong fundamental background in engineering science, design, and practice. Students learn to solve societal problems—in California, the United States, and the world—such as:

  • Improving civil infrastructure
  • Protecting resources
  • Mitigating hazards
  • Creating efficient and sustainable civil systems

CEE's four-year curriculum leads to an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Civil Engineering. Undergraduates at Berkeley have opportunities for professional interactions and community service. CEE has active student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the national honor society of Chi Epsilon as well as seven competition teams.

Areas of Emphasis

Students with a specific interest within civil engineering may choose to emphasize one of the following areas: engineering and project management; environmental engineering; geosystems; structural engineering, mechanics and materials; or transportation engineering. See suggestions for elective courses and the capstone design project.

Selection of an area of emphasis is optional. A BS in Civil Engineering is awarded whether or not a student follows the broad and general program or chooses an area of emphasis.

Accreditation

The BS program in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the ABET, Inc.

Admission to the Major

Prospective undergraduates to the College of Engineering will apply for admission to a specific program in the college. For further information, see the College of Engineering's website.

Admission to Engineering via a Change of College application for current UC Berkeley students is highly unlikely and very competitive as there are few (if any) spaces that open in the college each year to students admitted to other colleges at UC Berkeley. For further information regarding a Change of College to Engineering, see the college's website.

Minor Programs

CEE does not offer a minor in Civil Engineering. Instead, the department offers the following specialized minors:
Environmental Engineering
Geotechnical Engineering
Structural Engineering

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All technical courses taken in satisfaction of major requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student’s major and minor programs.

  3. A minimum overall grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for all work undertaken at UC Berkeley.

  4. A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required for all technical courses taken in satisfaction of major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, see the College Requirements tab.

For a detailed plan of study by year and semester, see the Plan of Study tab.

Lower Division Foundation Requirements

MATH 1ACalculus4
MATH 1BCalculus4
MATH 53Multivariable Calculus4
MATH 54Linear Algebra and Differential Equations4
CHEM 1AGeneral Chemistry3
PHYSICS 7APhysics for Scientists and Engineers4
PHYSICS 7BPhysics for Scientists and Engineers4
ENGIN 7Introduction to Computer Programming for Scientists and Engineers4
CIV ENG 11Engineered Systems and Sustainability3
CIV ENG C30/MEC ENG C85Introduction to Solid Mechanics3
CIV ENG 60Structure and Properties of Civil Engineering Materials3
CIV ENG 92ADesign for Future Infrastructure Systems (recommended)2
CIV ENG 92BCornerstone Structural Design (recommended)2
CIV ENG 93Engineering Data Analysis3
DATA C8Foundations of Data Science4
Basic Science Elective - Complete one of the following: 1
CIV ENG 70Engineering Geology3-4
or CHEM 1B General Chemistry
or BIOLOGY 1B General Biology Lecture and Laboratory

Subject Matter Requirements

Students with a specific interest within civil engineering may choose to emphasize one of the following areas in their choice of electives: engineering and project management, environmental engineering, geosystems (geoengineering), structural engineering, or transportation engineering. See suggested courses for each area of interest.

Fundamentals
CIV ENG 100Elementary Fluid Mechanics4
or CIV ENG 132 Applied Structural Mechanics
Engineering Fundamentals Elective - Complete one of the following:3-4
Engineering Dynamics and Vibrations [3]
Engineering Thermodynamics [4]
Thermodynamics [3]
Engineering Mechanics II [3]
Principles & Techniques of Data Science [4]
Optimization Models in Engineering [4]
CEE Applications - Complete three of the following (9 units):9
Terrestrial Hydrology [4]
Environmental Engineering [3]
Structural Engineering [3]
Transportation Systems Engineering [3]
Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering [3]
Civil and Environmental Engineering Systems Analysis [3]
Professional Preparation
CIV ENG 167Engineering Project Management3
Capstone Design - Complete one of the following:3-4
Design for Global Transformation [3]
Water & Wastewater Systems Design and Operation [3]
Design of Steel Structures [3]
Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures [3]
Transportation Facility Design [3]
Geosystems Engineering Design [3]
Life-Cycle Design and Construction [4]
Design of Internet-of-Things for Smart Cities [3]
CEE Extensions: Complete nine units of additional CIV ENG courses 29
1

Basic Science Elective cannot be fulfilled by an exam score.

2

CEE Extensions-Nine letter-graded units chosen from upper division CIV ENG courses not being counted toward other major requirements. Students may use up to three units of CIV ENG graduate courses numbered 200-295, taken Fall 2017 or later, toward their CEE Extensions units. Students must have a technical GPA of 3.0 or higher to obtain permission to enroll in CIV ENG graduate courses. Students may receive up to three units of credit toward their CEE Extensions units for work on a research project in CIV ENG H194 (Honors Undergraduate Research).

College Requirements

Students in the College of Engineering must complete no fewer than 120 semester units with the following provisions: 

  1. Completion of the requirements of one engineering major program of study. 
  2. A minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 (C average) and a minimum 2.00 grade point average in upper division technical coursework required of the major.
  3. The final 30 units and two semesters must be completed in residence in the College of Engineering on the Berkeley campus.
  4. All technical courses (math, science, and engineering) that can fulfill requirements for the student's major must be taken on a letter graded basis (unless they are only offered P/NP). 
  5. Entering freshmen are allowed a maximum of eight semesters to complete their degree requirements. Entering junior transfers are allowed five semesters to complete their degree requirements. Summer terms are optional and do not count toward the maximum. Students are responsible for planning and satisfactorily completing all graduation requirements within the maximum allowable semesters. 
  6. Adhere to all college policies and procedures as they complete degree requirements.
  7. Complete lower division technical courses before enrolling in upper division technical courses. 

Humanities and Social Sciences (H/SS) Requirement

To promote a rich and varied educational experience outside of the technical requirements for each major, the College of Engineering has a six-course Humanities and Social Sciences breadth requirement, which must be completed to graduate. This requirement, built into all the engineering programs of study, includes two Reading and Composition courses (R&C), and four additional courses within which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. See the humanities and social sciences section of our website for details.

Class Schedule Requirements

  • Minimum units per semester: 12.0
  • Maximum units per semester:  20.5
  • Minimum technical courses: College of Engineering undergraduates must include at least two letter graded technical courses (of at least 3 units each) in their semester program. Every semester students are expected to make normal progress in their declared major. Normal progress is determined by the student's Engineering Student Services Advisor. (Note: For most majors, normal progress will require enrolling in 3-4 technical courses required of your current major each semester.) Students who are not in compliance with this policy by the end of the fifth week of the semester are subject to a registration block that will delay enrollment for the following semester. 
  • All technical courses (math, science, engineering) that satisfy requirements for the major must be taken on a letter-graded basis (unless only offered as P/NP).

Minimum Academic Requirements

  • Students must have a minimum overall and semester grade point average of 2.00 (C average). Students will be subject to suspension or dismissal from the University if during any fall or spring semester their overall UC GPA falls below a 2.00, or their semester GPA is less than 2.00. 
  • Students must achieve a minimum grade point average of 2.00 (C average) in upper division technical courses required for the major curriculum each semester.
  • A minimum overall grade point average of 2.00 and a minimum 2.00 grade point average in upper division technical course work required for the major are required to earn a Bachelor of Science in the College of Engineering.
  • Students must make normal degree progress toward the Bachelor of Science degree and their officially declared major.

Unit Requirements

To earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, students must complete at least 120 semester units of courses subject to certain guidelines:

  • Completion of the requirements of one engineering major program of study. 
  • A maximum of 16 units of special studies coursework (courses numbered 97, 98, 99, 197, 198, or 199) is allowed to count towards the B.S. degree, and no more than 4 units in any single term can be counted.
  • A maximum of 4 units of physical education from any school attended will count towards the 120 units.
  • Passed (P) grades may account for no more than one third of the total units completed at UC Berkeley, Fall Program for First Semester (FPF), UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), or UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) toward the 120 overall minimum unit requirement. Transfer credit is not factored into the limit. This includes transfer units from outside of the UC system, other UC campuses, credit-bearing exams, as well as UC Berkeley Extension XB units.

Normal Progress

Students in the College of Engineering must enroll in a full-time program and make normal progress each semester toward their declared major.  Students who fail to achieve normal academic progress shall be subject to suspension or dismissal. (Note: Students with official accommodations established by the Disabled Students' Program, with health or family issues, or with other reasons deemed appropriate by the dean may petition for an exception to normal progress rules.)

UC and Campus Requirements

University of California Requirements

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by satisfying the Entry Level Writing Requirement (ELWR). The UC Entry Level Writing Requirement website provides information on how to satisfy the requirement.

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions (AH&I) requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

Campus Requirement

American Cultures

The American Cultures requirement is a Berkeley campus requirement, one that all undergraduate students at Berkeley need to pass in order to graduate. You satisfy the requirement by passing, with a grade not lower than C- or P, an American Cultures course. You may take an American Cultures course any time during your undergraduate career at Berkeley. The requirement was instituted in 1991 to introduce students to the diverse cultures of the United States through a comparative framework. Courses are offered in more than fifty departments in many different disciplines at both the lower and upper division level.

 

Plan of Study

For more detailed information regarding the courses listed below (e.g., elective information, GPA requirements, etc.), see the College Requirements and Major Requirements tabs.

Freshman
FallUnitsSpringUnits
CHEM 1A3CIV ENG 113
MATH 1A4CIV ENG 933
DATA C84MATH 1B4
Reading and Composition Course Part A64PHYSICS 7A4
 CIV ENG 92A or 92B12
 15 16
Sophomore
FallUnitsSpringUnits
CIV ENG 603CIV ENG C30 or MEC ENG C853
MATH 534ENGIN 74
Basic Science Elective23-4MATH 544
Reading and Composition Course Part B64Humanities/Social Science Course63-4
 14-15 14-15
Junior
FallUnitsSpringUnits
CIV ENG 100 or 1323-4CEE Applications Electives36
CEE Applications Elective33CIV ENG 126, MEC ENG 40, MEC ENG 104, EECS 127, or COMPSCI C1003-4
PHYSICS 7B4Upper Division Humanities/Social Sciences course3-4
Humanities/Social Sciences course63-4Free Electives3
Free Electives3 
 16-18 15-17
Senior
FallUnitsSpringUnits
CIV ENG 1673CEE Extensions Electives46
CEE Extensions Elective43Free Electives9
CE Capstone Design53-4 
Upper Division Humanities/Social Sciences course63-4 
Free Elective3 
 15-17 15
Total Units: 120-128
1

CIV ENG 92A or CIV ENG 92B is recommended.

2

Basic Science Elective - Choose one course from the following: BIOLOGY 1B, CHEM 1B, or CIV ENG 70.  This requirement cannot be fulfilled by an exam score.

3

CEE Applications - Choose three courses (9 units) from the following: CIV ENG C103N/ESPM C130/GEOG C136, CIV ENG 111, CIV ENG 120, CIV ENG 155, CIV ENG 175, CIV ENG 191.

4

CEE Extensions - Complete nine letter-graded units chosen from upper division CIV ENG courses not being counted toward other major requirements. Students may use up to three units of CIV ENG graduate courses numbered 200-295, taken Fall 2017 or later, toward their CEE Extensions units. Students must have a technical GPA of 3.3 or higher to obtain permission to enroll in CEE graduate courses. Students may receive up to three units of credit toward their CEE Extensions units for work on a research project in CIV ENG H194 (Honors Undergraduate Research).

5

Capstone Design - Choose one course from the following:  CIV ENG 105CIV ENG 112CIV ENG 122CIV ENG 123, CIV ENG 153CIV ENG 179CIV ENG 180CIV ENG 186

6

The Humanities/Social Sciences (H/SS) requirement includes two approved reading and composition courses and four additional approved courses, with which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. Reading and Composition “A” and “B” must be completed by no later than the end of the sophomore year. The remaining courses may be taken at any time during the program. See engineering.berkeley.edu/hss for complete details and a list of approved courses.

Student Learning Goals

Mission

The Civil Engineering undergraduate program educates engineering leaders who will contribute to solving societal problems by improving the civil infrastructure, resource protection, natural hazard mitigation, and the efficient and sustainable functioning of engineered and natural systems in California, the United States, and the world. These objectives are achieved by:

  • Educating students with fundamental mathematical, scientific, and engineering knowledge to have a significant and positive long-term impact on the field of civil and environmental engineering.
  • Inspiring students and preparing them for successful professional careers, for further studies in high-quality graduate programs in engineering or other professional fields, and for a lifetime of learning.
  • Emphasizing the importance of professional and personal ethics, business and management leadership, and service to society.

Learning Goals for the Major

  1. Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  2. Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
  4. Ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
  5. Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  7. Ability to communicate effectively.
  8. Understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context.
  9. Recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  10. Knowledge of contemporary issues.
  11. Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Major Map

Major Maps help undergraduate students discover academic, co-curricular, and discovery opportunities at UC Berkeley based on intended major or field of interest. Developed by the Division of Undergraduate Education in collaboration with academic departments, these experience maps will help you:

  • Explore your major and gain a better understanding of your field of study

  • Connect with people and programs that inspire and sustain your creativity, drive, curiosity and success

  • Discover opportunities for independent inquiry, enterprise, and creative expression

  • Engage locally and globally to broaden your perspectives and change the world

  • Reflect on your academic career and prepare for life after Berkeley

Use the major map below as a guide to planning your undergraduate journey and designing your own unique Berkeley experience.

View the Civil Engineering Major Map PDF.

Advising

Faculty Advisers

Students in CEE are encouraged to seek mentoring from CEE faculty advisers.

Faculty advisers (and, indeed, all faculty members) hold office hours throughout the school year to help students with course content; to advise on courses, career objectives and graduate school; to provide guidance about summer internships; to mentor students researchers; and to write letters of recommendation as appropriate. They also can be contacted (by e-mail or phone) to schedule an appointment. 

CEE students should meet with a faculty advisor of their choice at least twice a year for academic advising.  The department hosts Academic Advising Forums each semester to facilitate advising.  The faculty advisor reviews the student's proposed academic schedule, suggests coursework based on the student's interest and offers mentoring for career development.  If a student struggles academically, as evidenced by their GPA, the department will require academic advising prior to enrollment in classes the following semester.

College of Engineering Advising

Students are also assigned an engineering student services (ESS) adviser in the College of Engineering. ESS advisers help with a wide range of issues by assisting with course selection and academic decision-making, suggesting enrichment opportunities, explaining graduation requirements and college policies, monitoring progress towards the degree, and providing support or referrals to campus resources to help students reach their academic and personal goals. Explore the ESS website for detailed information on advising services.

Departmental Advising

CEE's undergraduate adviser answers registration questions, assists with course selection and academic decision-making, describes courses, interprets departmental policy, and makes referrals to resources on campus. The department’s undergraduate adviser is located in the CEE Academic Affairs Office, 750 Davis Hall.

Further Information

See CEE Advising for more advising resources.

Academic Opportunities

Student Organizations

Join one or more of the active student organizations with CEE and the College of Engineering. Learn to apply CEE knowledge outside of the classroom, get leadership and teamwork experience, meet students with similar interests, go on tours and field trips, and participate in community service projects. 

CEE organizations

COE organizations

Undergraduate Participation in Research

Gain hands-on research experience while at Berkeley. Research experience adds to the quality of the undergraduate program and introduces students to the importance of graduate study. 

Research opportunities 

Study Abroad

Civil and environmental engineering is a profession that depends on collaboration with colleagues nationally and internationally. Thus, the department strongly encourages its students to expand their horizons through an international educational experience. See the CEE Department Study Abroad page for policy details, sample study plans and a list of pre-approved courses for the major.  Also read Berkeley's extensive Education Abroad Program.

Courses

Civil Engineering

Contact Information

Department of Civil Engineering

760 Davis Hall

Phone: 510-642-3261

Fax: 510-643-5264

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Joan Walker, PhD

763 Davis Hall

chair@ce.berkeley.edu

Vice Chair for Undergraduate Studies

Dimitrios Konstantinidis

727 Davis Hall

konstantinidis@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Advisor

Erin Leigh Inama

750 Davis Hall

cee-ug@berkeley.edu

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