The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers an ABET-accredited B.S. degree in civil engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in civil and environmental engineering. The B.S. degree in civil engineering may be accompanied by an option in environmental engineering, fluid systems engineering, or in construction engineering and management.

Civil engineers have been and still are the builders of our world, involved in the planning of our cities, communities, and larger regional areas. They are responsible for the conception, design, and construction of public works such as highways, streets, bridges, drinking water distribution systems, wastewater collection systems, drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, stormwater management systems, dams, reservoirs, power production, navigation and recreation, as well as the buildings, theaters, stadiums, factories and airports in which we live, work, and play.

The environment has long been the province and concern of civil engineers. Thus, civil engineers are continuously responding to society's ecological and environmental problems by joining with other engineers, as well as with physical, biological, chemical, and social scientists, to protect our natural resources and to create a sustainable physical and social environment for all people. Civil engineers are aware of the complexities of these problems and that they cannot merely focus on building and construction; they must understand the impact of engineering designs on society and the environment, and be prepared to play a vital role on interdisciplinary environmental teams.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a curriculum that provides a balanced program of technical and nontechnical courses to meet the needs of students interested in studying civil and environmental engineering. The curriculum includes basic courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, biology, earth sciences, engineering sciences, as well as the fundamentals of civil engineering in the areas of structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, construction engineering and management, transportation engineering, land information and surveying, water resources engineering and environmental engineering. Students may then choose elective courses in multiple areas or specialize in one or more areas of interest. Also, the department cooperates with interdisciplinary programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including business, environmental studies, water resources management, oceanography and limnology, land resources, environmental monitoring, geological engineering, and environmental chemistry and technology.

In view of the increasing demands of modern technology, the traditional undergraduate curriculum can only offer the fundamentals of civil and environmental engineering to the student. Qualified undergraduates are encouraged to pursue the civil and environmental engineering master's degree program as a means of incorporating additional courses on engineering analysis, design, and synthesis into their academic studies.The undergraduate degree is also sufficiently broad to prepare students for advanced degrees in other fields such as law, medicine, public health, and business.

Civil Engineering Program Educational Objectives

Prepare BSCE graduates to contribute to their communities through the following career and professional accomplishments:

  1. Design and construct both natural and built processes and systems to meet determined needs using technical knowledge; computer tools; design principles; and communication, leadership, and team skills.
  2. Utilize measurement and analysis tools along with experimental data in investigating natural and built systems.
  3. Understand and incorporate economic, environmental, political, social, safety and global considerations in design, investigation and construction of natural and built systems.
  4. Maintain analysis and design tools and experience through life-ong learning and serve others through participation in professional and/or civic activities and responsibilities.

Admission to the College as a Freshman

Students applying to UW–Madison need to indicate an engineering major as their first choice in order to be considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering. Direct admission to a major means students will start in the program of their choice in the College of Engineering and will need to meet progression requirements at the end of the first year to guarantee advancement in that program.

Cross-Campus Transfer to Engineering

UW–Madison students in other schools and colleges on campus must meet the course and credit requirements for admission to engineering degree granting classifications specified in the general college requirements. The requirements are the minimum for admission consideration. Cross-campus admission is competitive and selective, and the grade point average expectations may increase as demand trends change. The student’s overall academic record at UW–Madison is also considered. Students apply to their intended engineering program by submitting the online application by stated deadlines for spring and fall. The College of Engineering offers group information sessions for students to learn about the cross-campus transfer process.

Off-Campus Transfer to Engineering

With careful planning, students at other accredited institutions can transfer coursework that will apply toward engineering degree requirements at UW–Madison. Off-campus transfer applicants are considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering by applying to the Office of Admissions with an engineering major listed as their first choice. Those who are admitted to their intended engineering program must meet progression requirements at the point of transfer or within their first two semesters at UW–Madison to guarantee advancement in that program. A minimum of 30 credits in residence in the College of Engineering is required after transferring, and all students must meet all requirements for their major in the college. Transfer admission to the College of Engineering is competitive and selective, and students who have earned more than 80 transferable semester credits at the time of application are not eligible to apply.

The College of Engineering has dual degree programs with select four-year UW System campuses. Eligible dual degree applicants are not subject to the 80 credit limit.

Off-campus transfer students are encouraged to discuss their interests, academic background, and admission options with the Transfer Coordinator in the College of Engineering: or 608-262-2473.

Second Bachelor's Degree

The College of Engineering does not accept second undergraduate degree applications. Second degree students might explore the Biological Systems Engineering program at UW–Madison, an undergraduate engineering degree elsewhere, or a graduate program in the College of Engineering.

University General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.

General Education
  • Breadth—Humanities/Literature/Arts: 6 credits
  • Breadth—Natural Science: 4 to 6 credits, consisting of one 4- or 5-credit course with a laboratory component; or two courses providing a total of 6 credits
  • Breadth—Social Studies: 3 credits
  • Communication Part A & Part B *
  • Ethnic Studies *
  • Quantitative Reasoning Part A & Part B *

* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.

Summary of Requirements

The following curriculum applies to students who were admitted to the civil engineering degree program (classification changed to CEE) in fall 2016 or later.

Introduction to Engineering3
Mathematics and Statistics19
Basic Science16
Engineering Mechanics10
Civil Engineering Mechanics6
Civil Engineering Tools5
Civil Engineering Breadth23
Civil Engineering Design10
Civil Engineering Electives12
Liberal Studies16
Total Credits128

Introduction to Engineering

INTEREGR 170 Design Practicum3
Total Credits3

Mathematics and Statistics Requirement 

MATH 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 15
or MATH 217 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry II
or MATH 275 Topics in Calculus I
MATH 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry 24
or MATH 276 Topics in Calculus II
MATH 234 Calculus--Functions of Several Variables4
One of the following courses:3
Introductory Applied Statistics for Engineers
Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I
One of the following advanced mathematics courses:3
Techniques in Ordinary Differential Equations
Linear Algebra and Differential Equations
Total Credits19

Basic Science Requirement

One of the following:5
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Advanced General Chemistry
One of the following:5
General Physics
General Physics
One of the following:3
Introductory Geology: How the Earth Works
Environmental Geology
One of the following:3
Introductory Biology
Introductory Biology
Introductory Ecology
General Microbiology
Total Credits16

Engineering Mechanics Requirement

E M A 201 Statics3
E M A 202 Dynamics3
or M E 240 Dynamics
E M A 303 Mechanics of Materials3
or M E 306 Mechanics of Materials
E M A/​M E  307 Mechanics of Materials Lab1
Total Credits10

Civil Engineering Mechanics Requirement

CIV ENGR 310 Fluid Mechanics3
CIV ENGR/​E M A  395 Materials for Constructed Facilities3
Total Credits6

Civil Engineering Tools Requirement

M E 170 Civil Engineering Graphics2-3
or M E 231 Geometric Modeling for Design and Manufacturing
CIV ENGR/​G L E  291 Problem Solving Using Computer Tools3
Total Credits5-6

Civil Engineering Breadth Requirement

CIV ENGR 311 Hydroscience3
CIV ENGR 320 Environmental Engineering3
CIV ENGR/​G L E  330 Soil Mechanics4
CIV ENGR 340 Structural Analysis I4
CIV ENGR 370 Transportation Engineering3
CIV ENGR 494 Civil and Environmental Engineering Decision Making3
CIV ENGR 498 Construction Project Management3
Total Credits23

Civil Engineering Design Requirement

CIV ENGR 578 Senior Capstone Design4
Every student must take at least one class in at least two of the following CEE disciplines, for a total of 6 credits. One of the two classes MUST be completed BEFORE taking CIV ENGR 578 Senior Capstone Design.6
Water Resources
Hydrologic Design
Design of Wastewater Treatment Plants
Solid and Hazardous Wastes Engineering
Water Treatment Plant Design
Hazardous Waste Management
Wood Structures I
Steel Structures I
Concrete Structures I
Highway Bridges
Seepage and Slopes
Retaining Structures
Geometric Design of Transport Facilities
Traffic Control
Advanced Pavement Design
Note: If a student takes three or more courses from the above list, two of those courses will count toward this civil engineering design requirement and the other classes will count towards the electives requirement (see section below).
Total Credits10

Engineering Electives Requirement

  1. Students must take at least 3 credits of coursework from an ABET-accredited degree-granting program outside of the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering program. INTEREGR and E P D courses do not qualify for meeting this requirement; any courses cross-listed with Civil Engineering (CIV ENGR) do not qualify for meeting this requirement.
  2. Students must take at least 3 credits of CEE coursework in addition to the civil engineering design requirement. Note:  Students in the Construction Engineering Management or Environmental Engineering option programs must select from a set of CIV ENGR courses approved for those options. 1,2
  3. Students must take at least 6 credits of coursework that meets at least one of the following1,2:
    1. Any course offered by an engineering department, including but not limited to CIV ENGR.
    2. Any Intermediate or Advanced level course with a breadth designation of Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences and/or Natural Sciences. These courses cannot also carry a breadth designation of Social Sciences, Humanities or Literature.
    3. Any of the following business courses: ACCT I S 300 Accounting Principles, FINANCE/​ECON  300 Introduction to Finance, GEN BUS 301 Business Law, M H R 300 Managing Organizations, REAL EST/​A A E/​ECON/​URB R PL  306 The Real Estate Process

Total Credits: 12


Communications A (choose one)3
Introduction to College Composition
Science and Storytelling
Introduction to Speech Composition
Academic Writing II
Speech-Related Course (choose one)2
Technical Presentations 1
Public Speaking
Elements of Speech-Honors Course
Theory and Practice of Argumentation and Debate
Theory and Practice of Group Discussion
Writing-Related Courses (choose one)3
Technical Communication 1
Intermediate Composition
Total Credits8

Liberal Studies Requirements

College of Engineering Liberal Studies Requirements
Complete Requirements 116
Requirements specific to Civil Engineering:
An economics course must be selected from the following list:
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Principles of Economics-Accelerated Treatment
A minimum of three credits of environmental studies course that meets the breadth designations of humanities, literature, and/or social science. Courses that also carry breadth designations of Biological Sciences, Natural Sciences, or Physical Sciences will not count towards this requirement.
Total Credits16

Named Options

University Degree Requirements

Total Degree To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.
Residency Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.
Quality of Work Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.

1. (a) An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.

2. (b) An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.

3. (c) An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.

4. (d) An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.

5. (e) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.

6. (f) An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.

7. (g) An ability to communicate effectively.

8. (h) The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.

9. (i) A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.

10. (j) A knowledge of contemporary issues.

11. (k) An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

12. (l) An ability to explain basic concepts in management, business, public policy, and leadership.

13. (m) An ability to explain the importance of professional licensure.

14. (n) An ability to understand common failure mechanisms of a component, process, or system and their causes and prevention.

First Year
MATH 2215MATH 2224
CHEM 1095E M A 2013
INTEREGR 1703M E 170 or 2312
 GEOSCI 100 or 1063
 16 15
Second Year
MATH 2344MATH 319 or 3203
E M A 2023E M A 303 or M E 3063
CIV ENGR 3203E M A/​M E  3071
STAT 324 or 3113CIV ENGR 3103
 ECON 101, 102, or 1114
 16 16
Third Year
CIV ENGR 3113CIV ENGR/​G L E  3304
CIV ENGR 3404CIV ENGR/​E M A  3953
CIV ENGR/​G L E  2913CIV ENGR 4983
E P D 3973PHYSICS 202 or 2085
 16 18
Fourth Year
 15 16
Total Credits 128


Each College of Engineering program has academic advisors dedicated to serving its students. Program advisors can help current College of Engineering students with questions about accessing courses, navigating degree requirements, resolving academic issues and more. Students can find their assigned advisor on the homepage of their student center. 

Engineering Career Services

Engineering Career Services (ECS) assists students in identifying pre-professional work-based learning experiences such as co-ops and summer internships, considering and applying to graduate or professional school, and finding full-time professional employment during their graduation year.

ECS offers two major career fairs per year, assists with resume writing and interviewing skills, hosts workshops on the job search, and meets one-on-one with students to discuss offer negotiations.

Students are encouraged to utilize the ECS office early in their academic careers. For comprehensive information on ECS programs and workshops, see the ECS website or call 608-262-3471.


Noyce (chair)

Associate Professors


Assistant Professors



Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Note: Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes are made publicly available at the Departmental website. (In this Guide, the program's Student Outcomes are designated by our campus as "Learning Outcomes.")