Engineering Civil Engineering

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College: Engineering
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Hours Required: 130
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.4 for graduation
Minor Available:
Advisor: Dan Linzell
  1. Intro

Civil Engineering

COLLEGE: Engineering

MAJOR: Civil Engineering

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.4 for graduation


ADVISOR: Dan Linzell


Chair: Daniel Linzell

Professors: Dahab, Dvorak, Linzell, Ray, Rilett, Tuan, Zhang

Associate Professors: Admiraal, Bartelt-Hunt, Guo, Hu, Jones, Khattak, Kilic, Kim, Krause, X. Li, Y. Li, Moussavi, Song, Stansbury, Szerszen

Assistant Professors: Sangster, Sim, Steelman, Wood, Zhu

Associate Professor of Practice: Peters

Research Assistant Professors: Faller, Schmidt

The Department of Civil Engineering offers a complete undergraduate program to students on the Lincoln and Omaha campuses of the University of Nebraska. Curriculum requirements are nearly identical on both campuses. The goal is to prepare students for entry into the civil engineering profession immediately after graduation or to pursue graduate-level studies.

The general educational objectives of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln civil engineering undergraduate program are to prepare our graduates to:

  • APPLY their solid foundation in civil engineering toward the practice and to obtain an advanced-degree education toward a broad range of career choices;
  • PERFORM technical analysis or design of a complex system, component or process as acting representatives of governmental agencies, private consulting engineering firms, research organizations or industry;
  • EXPLAIN engineering concepts accurately and effectively to inform technical and non-technical audiences using appropriate verbal, written, virtual and graphical means;
  • APPLY basic project management and business concepts and processes;
  • ENGAGE in lifelong learning to foster technical growth, ethical conduct, and the practice of professional communication, teamwork and leadership skills; and
  • OBTAIN licensure in a profession such as civil engineering, after a requisite number of years of practice.

As a professional discipline, civil engineering is closely related to the total human environment. In all professional endeavors, the civil engineer must consider ecological effects as well as the social, economic, and political needs of people. The civil engineer designs systems to control and manage our water resources to provide electric power, agricultural irrigation, flood control, recreation, water supplies and wastewater treatment systems for our urban and industrial needs.

The civil engineer plans, designs, and constructs our transportation systems including highways, railroads, waterways, and airports to connect rural, urban, and industrial areas. The civil engineer also designs and constructs housing and facilities for recreational, industrial, and commercial complexes, which comprise the urban environment. It is the responsibility of civil engineering to minimize air, water, and land pollution and protect the environment.

Instructional emphasis is placed on fundamental engineering principles derived from mathematics, chemistry, physics, and engineering science. These subjects provide a sound background for the subsequent introductory courses in environmental, geotechnical, structural, transportation, and water resources engineering. Students are introduced to design concepts in the freshman year. Design is incorporated throughout the curriculum that culminates in two senior-level courses, CIVE 385 Professional Practice and Management in Civil Engineering and CIVE 489 Senior Design Project.

Instructional laboratories in environmental engineering, hydraulics, geotechnical engineering, structures, and surveying provide each student with an opportunity to learn, through individual participation, the operation of the testing equipment used to establish engineering design criteria and to monitor and model engineering facilities such as water and wastewater treatment plants, river control systems, and structural systems.

Some students may desire to obtain a degree in construction management in addition to the degree in civil engineering. Because some civil engineering courses require prerequisites beyond those required for similar construction management courses, students should obtain the civil engineering degree first. Advising will be done by a civil engineering faculty member familiar with the construction management curriculum. After completing the civil engineering degree, the student will move to the construction management department to complete requirements for the second undergraduate degree in construction management.

The Departments of Civil Engineering and Architecture have a joint program awarding licensing degrees in both fields of study. A bachelors degree in civil engineering and masters degree in architecture are awarded, after approximately seven years of study. The departments work with individual students in tailoring a joint degree program. More information can be obtained from either department office.


Professional Admission Requirements

Criteria for Professional Admission to the Civil Engineering Degree Program

Pre-professionally admitted College of Engineering students majoring in civil engineering must have their academic records reviewed for professional admission to the Civil Engineering Degree Program during the fall, spring or summer immediately following the term in which:

  • at least 43 credits applicable to the degree have been earned, and
  • PHYS 211, MECH 223, MECH 325 and MECH 373 have been completed with “C” letter grades or better.

It is likely a student may need to complete four full semesters of credits applying to the Program before these requirements are able to be completed.

To be considered for professional admission, the following College of Engineering general criteria must be met:

  • Completion of at least 12 credits (one semester) after admission to the College of Engineering,
  • Cumulative grade point average of 2.4 or greater, and
  • No more than two declined admission requests to other engineering majors.

Professional admission approval to the Civil Engineering Degree Program requires the following Departmental-specific criteria must also be achieved:

  • Earn a “C” letter grade or better in PHYS 211, MECH 223, MECH 325 and MECH 373, and
  • Earn a “C” letter grade or better in ALL math, science and engineering courses required for the bachelor of science in civil engineering degree if the cumulative grade point average is less than 2.700.

Students approved for professional admission to the Program are then allowed to take 400-level civil engineering courses to complete their degree.


Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (Lincoln and Omaha campuses)

Students must have completed the equivalent of the fourth semester before admission to the civil engineering program. Transfer students must have all transfer hours accepted before being considered for the degree program.

First Semester

CIVE 112 Introduction to Civil Engineering1

CSCE 155N Computer Science I: Engineering & Science Focus3

ENGR 10 Freshman Engineering Seminar0

MATH 106 Calculus I5

CHEM 109 General Chemistry I4

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.


Second Semester

CIVE 130 Computer-aided Design (BSEN 130)2

MECH 130 is an acceptable substitute.

CIVE 221 Geometric Control Systems (CONE 221)3

MATH 107 Calculus II4

PHYS 211 General Physics I4

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.


Third Semester

ENGR 20 Sophomore Engineering Seminar0

JGEN 200 Technical Communication I3

MATH 208 Calculus III4

MECH 223 Engineering Statics3

PHYS 212 General Physics II or CHEM 110 General Chemistry II4

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.


Fourth Semester

CIVE 361 Highway Engineering3

COMM 286 Business & Professional Communication3

MATH 221 Differential Equations for Engineers3

MECH 325 Mechanics of Elastic Bodies3

MECH 373 Engineering Dynamics3


Fifth Semester

CIVE 310 Fluid Mechanics (MECH 310)3

CIVE 319 Hydraulics Lab1

CIVE 326 Introduction to Environmental Engineering (BSEN 326)3

CIVE 327 Environmental Engineering Lab (BSEN 327)1

CIVE 341 Introduction to Structural Engineering4

MATH 380 Statistics & Applications or MECH 321 Engineering Statistics & Data Analysis3


Sixth Semester

CIVE 334 Introduction to Geotechnical Engineering4

CIVE 352 Introduction to Water Resources Engineering3

CIVE 378 Materials of Construction3

CIVE 385 Professional Practice & Management in Civil Engineering3

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.


Seventh Semester

Technical Elective3

A description of allowable technical elective courses is available from the civil engineering department.

Design Electives6

A full list of approved elective courses is available from the civil engineering department.

ACE Elective3

Choose one course each from ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 elective courses.

Science Elective4

Approved science elective courses include BIOS 101 & BIOS 101L, CHEM 251 & CHEM 253, and GEOL 101.

CIVE 498 Special Topics in Civil Engineering1

A list of allowable alternative courses is available from the civil engineering department.


Eighth Semester

CIVE 489 Senior Design Project3

Technical Electives9

A description of allowable technical elective courses is available from the civil engineering department.

Design Elective3

A full list of approved elective courses is available from the civil engineering department.

Professional Development Elective3

A full list of approved professional development elective courses is available from the civil engineering department.


Total Credit Hours Required130

Design Electives

CIVE 419 Flow Systems Design (3 cr)

CIVE 425 Process Design in Water Supply & Wastewater Treatment (BSEN 425) (3 cr)

CIVE 426 Design of Water Treatment Facilities (3 cr)

CIVE 427 Design of Wastewater Treatment & Disposal Facilities (3 cr)

CIVE 436 Foundation Engineering (3 cr)

CIVE 440 Reinforced Concrete Design I (3 cr)

CIVE 441 Steel Design I (3 cr)

CIVE 452 Water Resources Development (3 cr)

CIVE 462 Highway Design (3 cr)

CIVE 463 Traffic Engineering (3 cr)


College Admission

College Admission

College Entrance Requirements

Students must have high school credit for (one unit is equal to one high school year):

1. 4 units of mathematics: 2 of algebra, 1 of geometry, 1 of precalculus and trigonometry.

2. 4 units of English.

3. 3 units of natural science that must include 1 unit of physics and 1 unit of chemistry (chemistry requirement waived for students in construction management).

4. 2 units of a single foreign language.

5. 3 units of social studies.

6. Students having a composite ACT score of 28 or greater (or equivalent SAT score) will be admitted to the College of Engineering even if they lack any one of the following: trigonometry, chemistry, or physics.

7. Students having an ACT score of 19 or less in English (or equivalent SAT score) must take ENGL 150 or ENGL 151.

A total of 16 units is required for admission.

Students must have an ACT (enhanced) score of 24 or greater (or equivalent SAT). Students who lack entrance requirements may be admitted based on ACT scores, high school rank and credits, or may be admitted to pre-engineering status in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center. Pre-engineering students are advised within the College of Engineering.

Students for whom English is not their language of nurture must meet the minimum English proficiency requirements of the University.

Students who lack entrance units may complete precollege training by Independent Study through the UNL Office of On-line and Distance Education, in summer courses, or as a part of their first or second semester course loads while in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center or other Colleges at UNL.

Students should consult their advisor, their department chair, or the Office of the Dean if they have questions on current policies.

Other Admission Requirements

Students who transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from other accredited colleges or universities and wish to be admitted to the College of Engineering (COE) must meet COE freshman entrance requirements and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for Nebraska residents or 3.0 for non-residents. Students not meeting either of these requirements must enroll in the Explore Center or another UNL college until they meet COE admission requirements.

The COE accepts courses for transfer for which a C or better grade was received. Although UNL accepts D grades from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and at Omaha, not all majors in the COE accept such low grades. Students must conform to the requirements of their intended major and, in any case, are strongly encouraged to repeat courses with a grade of C- or less.

All transfer students must adopt the curricular requirements of the undergraduate bulletin current at the time of transfer to the COE—not that in use when they entered UNL. Upon admission to UNL, students wishing to pursue degree programs in the COE will be classified and subject to the policies defined in the subsequent section.

College Degree Requirements

Grade Rules

Grade Appeals

In the event of a dispute involving any college policies or grades, the student should appeal to his/her instructor, and appropriate department chair or school director (in that order). If a satisfactory solution is not achieved, the student may appeal his/her case through the College Academic Appeals Committee on his/her campus.

Bulletin Rule

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year in which they are first admitted at UNL. In consultation with advisors, a student may choose to follow a subsequent bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Engineering. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. The bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.


This is the site for old bulletin data. Please head to UNL's Course Catalog for updated course and program information.