- Offered as:
- Graduate program
Civil engineering involves the planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities and systems that are essential to modern life and infrastructure. Civil engineers create and manage bridges, highways, buildings, airports, dams and waterways, water purification plants and distribution systems, foundations and tunnels, waste treatment and disposal facilities, and conventional and renewable energy supply systems.
In addition to on its Pullman campus, WSU offers a civil engineering degree at WSU Tri-Cities.
Specialization tracks available
- Strengths of the program
- More than 30 civil engineering laboratories are available on the Pullman campus.
- Pursue opportunities to conduct research with the best scholars and professionals in the country.
- Learn fundamental engineering principles of environmental, geotechnical, hydraulics, structures, and transportation engineering.
- Join other science, math, and engineering students in WSU Pullman's Stephenson residence hall—share classes with your neighbors, study together, get free tutoring, and use the hall’s computer lab.
- Elective courses can be tailored for individual needs and interests.
- WSU students score among the highest in the country on the national Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is the first step toward professional licensing.
- Requirements and core courses
As a civil engineering major at WSU, you can focus your degree with a senior-year study program built around one of the following:
- Environmental Engineering: Provides a broad environmental background with emphasis in air and water quality, air pollution control, water and wastewater treatment, and hazardous waste management and remediation, including both natural and engineered systems.
- Infrastructure engineering: A combination of transportation, geotechnical and materials engineering. Infrastructure engineering deals with understanding and improving the capacity of soil to support the weight of our nation’s infrastructure and the various human and material design aspects of transportation facilities, including traffic, geometrics, planning, pavements, and materials. Other examples of infrastructure engineering include preventing excessive settlement of new buildings or roadways, ensuring that tunnels retain their integrity, and maintaining the stability of earthen dams and embankments.
- Structural Engineering: Focus on designing safe and economical structures for a changing society; improve aging infrastructure, increase the efficiency in utilization of construction materials.
- Water resource engineering: Study the technologies and infrastructure systems that deliver water and ensure the availability and quality of a vital, but limited resource.
A few of the engineering courses you could take at WSU:
Mechanics of Materials
Innovation in Design
Intro to Surveying
Note: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Transfer information
To certify your major in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture, you will need to complete specific prerequisite courses. Use our list of transfer equivalencies to make sure you take the right transfer courses at your current college.
Also check out the University's transfer student guide for more information on transferring to WSU.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For engineering students
The College of Engineering and Architecture offers more than 300 scholarships a year to students in their first and second years.
Once certified in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (usually the third year), students who meet academic requirements may apply for departmental scholarships. Consistently, 90 percent or more of students who apply receive scholarship awards from the department.
- Campus organizations and activities
WSU’s student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers is consistently ranked among the nation's best. It provides valuable opportunities to interact and network with civil engineering professionals through monthly meetings and regional or national conferences. The WSU chapter has won numerous awards in concrete canoe and bridge building contests at national ASCE competitions.
The environmental engineering club, made up of the student chapters of the Water Environment Foundation and the Air and Waste Management Association, is an academic, professional, and social club for students interested in a career in environmental engineering. The group works to promote student and public interest in environmental engineering and environmental issues through public outreach, conferences, and seminars.
The WSU student chapter of Engineers Without Borders does community-based, sustainable engineering projects around the world.
The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has an active chapter on campus.
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
- Enjoyment in solving problems and putting ideas into action
- Curiosity about how things work and how to improve them
- Interest in improving the environment
- Social awareness and interest in helping people live better
- High school math through trigonometry and calculus, and high school sciences (all essential preparation for success in the undergraduate program)
- Careers in civil engineering
Perhaps more than any other field of engineering, a civil engineering degree offers the greatest variety of employment opportunity. Washington State University civil engineering graduates are in high demand by employers throughout the Northwest and the nation.
Traditional civil engineering employers include architectural and engineering firms. Other options include careers in government agencies, utility companies, telecommunications businesses, oil and natural resource industries, consulting firms, aerospace manufacturing companies, construction industries, biotechnology, and information technology firms.