Curriculum

On This Page:

Specialization Tracks

Overview of Curriculum

The current civil engineering curriculum is best visualized by referring to the relevant flowsheet, which shows the courses by semester and also indicates any pre or co-requisites. An overview of the curriculum and course descriptions for the civil engineering program can also be viewed in the UB Undergraduate Catalog. For questions regarding the curriculum, contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies. A general overview of the curriculum by year is provided as follows:

Freshman-Sophomore

The first two years of study build the basic science and mathematics skills needed for the practice of civil engineering: two semesters of physics, two semesters of chemistry, math through differential equation, mechanics and dynamics of rigid bodies, and mechanics of deformable bodies. These courses give a solid foundation in problem solving and analytical thinking, which are essential for civil engineering students. The curriculum in the first two years is consistent with an engineering science associates degree offered at many community colleges.

Junior

The third year builds on the basic science courses and provides fundamental knowledge in areas of civil engineering such as fluid mechanics and hydraulics, structural analysis, soil mechanics and environmental engineering. Hands-on laboratories build practical skills from the classroom instruction.

Senior

With the background acquired in the junior year, students are equipped to take design classes and to engage in the professional practice/capstone design sequence. Required classes also include foundation design and transportation. For the rest of the senior year, technical elective courses are available. Five separate specialization tracks are available, which students may pursue by choosing relevant technical electives. Most students take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam in spring of their senior year.

General Education

All UB students must take a specified number of general education courses. Several sets of requirements are potentially applicable depending on when (year) and how (transfer or freshman) a student entered UB.

Technical Electives

Four (4) upper-level technical electives are required for the B.S. civil engineering program. The flexibility in technical electives provides students with an opportunity to specialize in one of the civil engineering sub-disciplines. However, any combination of approved technical electives may be selected, subject to the following constraints:

  • At least one course must be selected from CIE 428, CIE 429, CIE 430, CIE 438, or CIE 442.
  • Only three credits of informal courses (CIE 498, CIE 499, CIE 496 EAS 396/496).
  • In some cases, graduate courses or senior-level courses from outside of civil engineering may be taken as technical electives with prior approval from the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

Co-Op/Internship

In addition to the above courses, students may obtain practical experience by enrolling in CIE 496 (Civil/Env. Engineering Internship), which may be used as a technical elective if taken summer after junior year, or later. The internship will involve working on an engineering project in a practical setting (private design, consulting and/or construction company office, governmental agency office, construction site, etc.) under the joint guidance of a practicing engineer and a faculty advisor. Students must have a "Good Senior Standing" (senior with overall and engineering GPA above a 2.0). Projects shall involve applying knowledge acquired in course work to practice civil engineering.

Specialization Tracks

Civil engineering majors may pursue a general degree program or configure their electives to provide specialization in one of five sub-disciplines, as detailed in the subsequent sections.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental Engineering addresses diverse problems such as drinking water supply, air pollution control, industrial hygiene, radiation protection, hazardous waste management, storm water management, solid waste disposal, public health, and ecosystem management. Environmental engineering is a multidisciplinary profession that blends engineering principles with the natural sciences (chemistry, biology, geology), mathematics, statistics, and computer science. Environmental engineers find employment in a wide range of positions including engineering consulting firms, industry, government agencies, municipalities, public and private laboratories.

The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering offers a BS degree in environmental engineering in addition to the specialization track within the BS civil engineering program. The latter program is designed to equip students for a variety of career opportunities. As part of the required civil engineering curriculum, all students take the following courses related to environmental engineering:

CIE 340 Environmental Engineering

CIE 343 Hydraulic Engineering

CIE 354 Fluid Mechanics

For students who desire additional specialization in environmental engineering within the civil engineering program, the following technical electives are recommended:

CIE 441 Ecological Engineering

CIE 442 Treatment Process Engineering

CIE 447 Sustainability

Other environmental engineering technical electives include:

CIE 444 Hydrologic Engineering

CIE 445 Groundwater Engineering

CIE 448 Chemical Principles in Environmental Engineering

CIE 449 Environmental Engineering Design

CIE 469 Hazardous Waste Management

Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering plays a vital role in the design and construction of the nation's civil infrastructure against natural forces, as well as in its maintenance and rehabilitation. Geotechnical engineers design foundations, ground improvement, slopes and embankments, retaining walls, dams, shoring, underpinning of structures, below-ground waste containment, soil clean-up, landfills, and wetland drainage systems. They also work in conjunction with environmental engineers in the areas of solid waste management and groundwater protection, maintaining the quality of our land and groundwater resources.

The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering offers a broad-based education in civil engineering designed to equip students for a variety of career opportunities. As part of the required civil engineering curriculum, all students take the following courses related to geotechnical engineering:

EAS 209 Mechanics of Solids

CIE 354 Fluid Mechanics

CIE 334 Soil Mechanics

CIE 435 Foundation Engineering

For students interested in a specialization in geotechnical engineering, the following technical electives are recommended:

CIE 438 Advanced Foundation Design and Construction

CIE 445 Groundwater Engineering

CIE 476 Design and Construction of Earth Structures

Other relevant technical electives include:

CIE 437 Pavement Design and Materials

In some cases, students may also select from certain graduate courses in the geotechnical engineering program (see section on Registration in the CSEE Graduate Studies Manual). Typical selections include:

CIE 530 Mechanical Behavior of Materials

CIE 534 Earthquake Engineering and Foundation Dynamics

Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering focuses on the design and analysis of different types of structural systems. All structures, regardless of their function, are subjected to natural forces (wind, water and earthquakes) and by man-made forces (cargo and automobile traffic), and they must be designed to withstand these forces. These structures can be as varied as buildings, bridges, pipelines, machinery, automobiles, and spacecraft. The job of the structural engineer is to create new designs or to evaluate and improve the capabilities of existing structures. In order to accomplish this, the structural engineer must be knowledgeable about the behavior of deformable bodies, about the sources, magnitudes and probability of occurrence of applied loads, about material properties, design philosophies and governmental design codes, and about computer programs and their usage. As most of the building codes have seismic design requirements, structural engineers must also learn about earthquake resistant design of new structures and seismic retrofitting of existing structures.

The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering offers a broad-based education in civil engineering designed to equip students for a variety of career opportunities. As part of the required civil engineering curriculum, all students take the following courses related to structural engineering:

EAS 209 Mechanics of Solids

CIE 323 Structural Analysis

CIE 324 Introduction to Structural Design

For students who desire additional specialization in structural engineering, the following technical electives are recommended:

CIE 423 Structural Engineering III

CIE 428 Steel Design

CIE 429 Reinforced Concrete Design

CIE 430 Design of Wood Structures

CIE 423 is particularly valuable for those students planning to attend graduate school to specialize in structural engineering. Other relevant technical electives include:

CIE 424 Computer-Aided Design in Civil Engineering

CIE 438 Advanced Foundation Design and Construction

In some cases, students may also select from certain graduate courses in the structural engineering program (see section on Registration in the CSEE Graduate Studies Manual). Typical selections include:

CIE 519 Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering I

CIE 521 Plastic Analysis and Design

CIE 524 Steel Structures

CIE 525 Concrete Structures

CIE 527 Design and Construction of Structural Systems

CIE 534 Earthquake Engineering and Foundation Dynamics

Transportation Engineering

Transportation Engineering is the profession responsible for the planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance of transportation infrastructure such as highways, airports, railways, etc. Employment opportunities exist with federal agencies, state government, private consulting firms and special transportation agencies. Because transportation systems provides indispensable societal and economical functions, transportation engineers, in addition to a basic understanding of transportation principles, must be broadly educated with knowledge of engineering fundamentals, science, statistics, economics and social sciences.

The Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering offers a broad-based education in civil engineering designed to equip students for a variety of career opportunities. As part of the required civil engineering curriculum, all students take the following courses related to transportation engineering:

EAS 209 Mechanics of Solids

CIE 303 Geodesy, GPS, and GIS

CIE 308 Engineering Statistics

CIE 334 Soil Mechanics

CIE 439 Transportation System Analysis

For students who desire additional specialization in transportation engineering, the following technical electives are recommended:

CIE 424 Computer-Aided Design in Civil Engineering (MicroStation)

CIE 429 Reinforced Concrete Design

CIE 436 Traffic Operations and Design

CIE 437 Pavement Design and Materials

CIE 440 Travel Demand Forecasting

In some cases, students may also select (please see the Director of Undergraduate Studies for approval) from certain out-of-department courses, such as:

GEO 481 Geographic Information Systems

ECO 421 Urban Economics