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Accreditation and Curriculum

Accreditation

Virginia Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate, masters, baccalaureate and associate degrees. For questions about the accreditation of Virginia Tech, please contact the Commission on Colleges at:

1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
Phone: 404.679.4500

The Bachelor of Science program in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org/, under the commission's General Criteria and the Program Criteria for Civil and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

Contact:

Dr. Joseph Dove, Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (MC 0105)
750 Drillfield Drive, Rm. 110
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
USA
Phone: 540.231.2307, email: jodove(at)vt.edu

Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs) are statements that describe the expectations of CEE graduates within 3-5 years after graduation. The CEE faculty, alumni, and employers have defined the following PEOs for the Undergraduate Program.

The Program Educational Objectives of the Civil Engineering undergraduate program are that, within a few years of program completion, alumni should:

1.  Serve society in the practice of civil engineering or related professions and develop into leaders within their chosen fields.
2.  Adhere to state and local rules of professional conduct and uphold the American Society of Civil Engineers Code of Ethics.
3.  Apply civil engineering principles in the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of infrastructure and environmental systems, recognizing the complete life cycle, including deconstruction and reuse.
4.  Communicate effectively over all mediums, fostering meaningful interactions with other technical disciplines, coworkers, clients, the public, and policymakers.
5.  Exhibit proficiency in technical problem-solving.

Student Outcomes are statements that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do at the time of graduation.  At graduation, CEE students will have:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. 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
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

 

Program Enrollment and Graduation Data

Program enrollment in Fall semester by year (sophomore to senior):
2012: 480
2013: 454
2014: 483
2015: 530
2016: 568
2017: 561
2018: 625
2019: 616
2020: 695
2021: 700
2022: 675
2023: 620

BSCE degrees awarded by academic year:
2012-2013: 197
2013-2014: 175
2014-2015: 158
2015-2016: 195
2016-2017: 199
2017-2018: 175
2018-2019: 217
2019-2020: 189
2020-2021: 240
2021-2022: 204
2022-2023: 242
2023-2024: 213 (tentative)

Curriculum Overview

All College of Engineering students are enrolled in the General Engineering program during the first year.  The freshman year provides the mathematics, introductory design, and basic science training that serves as the foundation of upper-division courses.  Students also gain a common technical background in the major in this year.

The second year of the curriculum begins the journey within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  The second year introduces students to the field of civil and environmental engineering and requires continued training in basic science and mathematics.  Additional training is provided in precision civil engineering field measurements, engineering mechanics, introductory virtual modeling, and written, oral, and visual communication.  Selection of upper-division courses begins during the second semester of the sophomore year.

In the junior and senior years, each student selects fundamental and advanced coursework across six of the eight specialty areas within the civil engineering department, according to their personal interests.  Regardless of the specialty areas chosen, the required variety in technical content ensures that all students receive a strong fundamental civil engineering education.  Students in the junior and senior years also take courses in computer applications, data analytics, and they build additional communication skills.

Students earning the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering possess the technical skills required to enter practice as civil or environmental engineers in a wide range of organizations.  Students with strong academic records may transition during the senior year into the department's Master of Science program.  This program provides in-depth training within a specific area of civil engineering. 

A brief overview of the eight specialty areas within the department is provided below.  Additional information, including opportunities for graduate study, is available from the individual specialty area web pages that are accessible via this link.

Contact Lauren Varboncoeur, the CEE Director of Advising at 540.231.0981 or lvarboncoeur@vt.edu if you need more information.

Program Specialty Areas

Construction Engineering and Management— The Vecellio Construction Engineering and Management Program (VCEMP) offers opportunities through coursework and faculty research interests, for students to acquire expertise in all phases of the construction life cycle. Leading industry trends and technological innovations are hallmarks of this internationally prominent program.

Environmental— Environmental Engineering specialty area draws heavily upon the applied sciences of biology for biological treatment processes, chemistry for chemical treatment and contaminant fate and transport, and physics for air pollution. Computer programming is a useful skill in many advanced courses, especially for students considering advanced degrees.

Geotechnical—Geotechnical Engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the design and construction of structures built on, in, or with the earth. Geotechnical input is required for most projects.  Examples where geotechnical engineering is critical include: foundations for structures, earth slopes, earth dams, retaining walls, embankments, tunnels, levees, wharves, landfills, land development, energy exploration, and resource recovery. Geotechnical engineering is also vital for the assessment and mitigation of natural hazards such as earthquakes, liquefaction, sinkholes, rock falls and landslides.

Land Development—Land Development Design (LDD) has emerged as a discipline of critical importance in civil engineering education. LDD encompasses several unique topics, many of which are typically not addressed in the traditional undergraduate curriculum. These topics can generally be categorized into feasibility, planning and policy, conceptual design, and site engineering.

Materials—Materials Engineering focuses on the natural and manufactured substances used to construct human infrastructure. Although engineers employ a wide range of materials, those of primary significance to civil engineering are steel, concrete, and asphalt pavements.

Structural—Structural Engineering concerns the analysis and design of buildings, bridges beams, columns, and other components of the structural environment employed in all aspects of human social development.

Transportation—Transportation course content provides students with the ability to recognize the primary role that civil engineers play in ensuring the continuing adequacy of the transportation infrastructure to meet human needs. Courses include all areas of systems engineering, assessment of transportation system operations, optimization of transportation systems, infrastructure engineering including assessment of existing conditions and performance, planning and design of transportation systems.

Water Resources—Water Resources engineering deals with the movement of water through the hydrologic cycle and the ways that humans intervene in those natural processes. These interventions include efforts to enhance contributions such as water supply and to control negative aspects such as flooding. Increasingly, these efforts encompass projects to protect and rehabilitate natural aquatic environments impacted by human activities.