Civil engineering, the oldest and broadest of the divisions of engineering, implements a range of public and private projects for improving society’s physical infrastructure and the environment. The civil engineer integrates scientific principles with engineering experience to plan, design, and construct networks of highways and railroads, airports, bridges and dams, environmental pollution control systems, industrial structures, water purification and distribution systems, and urban transportation systems that maintain, protect, and enhance the quality of life. Civil engineers are trained to consider the social effects as well as the physical and environmental factors that constrain the planning, design, construction, and operation of their projects. Environmental engineering, a technical specialization with its origins in civil engineering, is a growing discipline dedicated to the protection of the environment.
The undergraduate program gives students the theoretical background, instruction in engineering application of scientific principles, and professional attitude to serve the public. It typically leads to entry-level positions or to graduate work in technical specialties (e.g., environmental, geotechnical, structural, and transportation), business administration, or other professions.
Courses that address the behavior and design of steel and reinforced concrete structures, environmental pollution, control systems, water resources systems, foundations, and surface transportation systems are integrated into the curriculum, culminating in a series of senior-level professional design courses. These simulate the design processes used in the major areas of civil engineering and prepare students for entry-level positions. Most faculty members are licensed professional engineers. KU graduates have successful records in professional practice, research in academic institutions, government and private laboratories, and in managing firms and corporations of all sizes.