Civil Engineering Major

buildings and roadways in a city at night

Civil engineering immerses you in the built environment. Civil engineers oversee the smart and responsible design and creation of structures and systems that are familiar to all of us: roads, bridges, buildings, airports, sewer systems, and more. Increasingly they are concerned not only with the what of the world around us, but the how: the ways in which people live in and utilize the built environment, and how we can optimize that for the benefit of human beings and the planet.

Civil engineering is a field with many pathways, and a UIC education will open them for you. Students who pursue an undergraduate major in civil engineering may find themselves drawn to careers in structural engineering (including designing structures to manage an increasing incidence of natural disasters), urban planning, coastal preservation, transportation engineering, water-resources management, materials science, environmental engineering, and beyond.

Your vision of your future career will be shaped by your UIC coursework, the faculty mentors you encounter here, and the strong support of your fellow students.

Civil Engineering Major Requirements

Civil engineering majors complete coursework in three categories:

  • Nonengineering and general education courses: Nonengineering and general education courses will make you a well-informed graduate in disciplines outside of civil engineering. You will take 55 credit hours in this category, including chemistry, physics, math, and a range of “chart-your-own-path” classes in areas such as Exploring World Cultures and Understanding the Individual and Society. For details on general education requirements, consult the course catalog.
  • Required engineering courses: Students earn 64 credit hours from engineering courses that all civil engineering majors must take. These courses—including Strength of Materials, Environmental Engineering, and Geometric Design of Highway Facilities—offer a thorough introduction to the field. Details on these requirements are in the course catalog.
  • Technical electives: Civil engineering majors complete 9 credit hours of courses that will prepare them for the specific careers or research they have in mind. Options include Design of Masonry Structures, Railroad Track Engineering, Engineering Hydrology, Bridge Design I, and more (see the course catalog for details).

Concentration Areas

Students majoring in civil engineering have the chance to create an area of specialization in their undergraduate degree by completing a concentration. We offer several concentration areas, which can be explored through enrollment in the relevant technical elective courses. Expand the sections below to learn about each concentration.

ABET Accreditation

UIC’s civil engineering major is fully accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Visit our accreditation page to learn more about this certification and what it means for you.

Learn More About the Civil Engineering Major