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Civil & Environmental Engineering at MSU

Civil and environmental engineers work to create a cooperative balance between the needs of people and protecting the natural resources in our environment. They plan, design, and construct many of the civil works that make modern life possible, such as highways, water and wastewater systems, tunnels, dams, buildings, airports, railroads, and bridges.

Civil and environmental engineers work as planners, designers, builders, researchers, plant operators, government employees, lawyers, teachers, and administrators. At MSU, our excellent faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, active student groups, and comprehensive educational programs combine to offer superior preparation for a professional career.

Our extensive facilities include outstanding environmental engineering laboratories, the new Civil Infrastructure Laboratory, and computing laboratories. The environmental laboratories contain sophisticated instrumentation for studying chemical and biological remediation techniques. The Civil Infrastructure Lab allows testing of large-scale structural and pavement components, as well as construction materials.


The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan State University will:

  • establish an outstanding undergraduate program capable of producing the future leaders of the profession;
  • establish nationally and internationally renowned research and graduate programs in the focus areas of environmental, infrastructure and transportation engineering, and provide leadership and support to federal, state and private agencies in these areas;
  • excel in outreach and service to the profession and the community at large in selected areas, in keeping with the land-grant philosophy of the university; and
  • employ principles of continuous quality improvement to enhance its programs and itssion.

Faculty & Staff

CEE is composed of 22 faculty members and 21 academic specialists and support staff. Most of the department's faculty are active both in teaching undergraduate and graduate courses and in research. Faculty specialties encompass construction materials, environmental engineering, hydrology and water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, pavement engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. All faculty members are either registered professional engineers or are pursuing registration.

Undergraduate Program

We offer undergraduate students an educational environment rich in opportunities to obtain knowledge and skills that facilitate civil engineering practice, life-long learning, and professional development, all of which lead to career success. Each year, approximately 350 undergraduate students are enrolled and 100 bachelor's degrees are awarded.

Students learn to:

  • Solve engineering problems
  • Integrate experimentation, analysis, and design
  • Refine writing and speaking for technical communication
  • Use interpersonal and social skills required for working on a team and in an organization
  • Be aware of professional ethics, societal impacts, and contemporary issues in engineering practice

Highlights of the program are:

Graduate Programs

We offer graduate degrees in both civil and environmental engineering disciplines. Within civil engineering, there are two primary focus areas: civil infrastructure engineering, which includes many of the traditional civil engineering areas, and transportation engineering. Each year, approximately 100 graduate students are enrolled and 30 students are awarded degrees.

Graduate students in all areas work with faculty as teaching assistants and/or as research assistants on funded research projects. Funded projects come from a variety of sources and are based on strong relationships with various state and national-level agencies and industry.

We provide significant financial support to graduate students through paid teaching and research positions. In 2003, we provided $217,000 to fund teaching assistants; $663,804 from external grants to support research assistantship positions; and $55,196 to fund fellowships.


Our department has leadership roles in environmental remediation, civil infrastructure, and transportation engineering. We operate or partner with five research centers--the Midwest Hazardous Substance Research Center; three Michigan Department of Transportation-sponsored centers of excellence in pavement research, bridges and structures, and transit research; and the National Center for Pavement Preservation. External research funding for 2002 totaled $3.3 million.

Our faculty conduct cutting-edge research in areas such as solid and hazardous waste treatment, environmental hydrology, pavement engineering, intelligent transportation--traffic operations and safety, and construction materials and structures. This research is strongly linked to our education programs through course offerings and the training of students.

Our facilities enable MSU researchers to address pressing needs within Michigan and across the nation, including:

  • Environmental remediation
  • Water quality
  • Repair and rehabilitation of deteriorating roads and bridges
  • Generation of stronger and more durable construction materials and pavements
  • Development of advanced transportation systems

Major Research Sponsors

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences
  • National Institute of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Michigan Department of State Police
  • U.S. Department of Transportation

Click here for a brief history of the department

The Michigan State University Community

MSU, founded in 1855, offers a broad range of academic, social, and living environments. It is located on 5,000 acres in East Lansing, in the Lansing metropolitan area, 90 miles west of Detroit. While the university itself is quite large (~42,000 students), it prides itself on being able to offer an environment which is very livable. The Lansing area boasts of the state capitol, a huge General Motors facility (Lansing has held the record of most vehicles produced in a single city several times in recent years), and the university. In addition to rich ethnic and cultural diversity, Lansing is also home to a new modern minor league baseball park (home to the Lansing Lugnuts), a symphony orchestra, several theater groups, and a wide variety of restaurants and clubs. The area offers a great mix of urban, suburban, and rural living within 20 minutes of campus. The university itself has tremendous diversity in both the student body and the faculty and staff. On-campus events over the last few years illustrate the breadth of the cultural experience that can be obtained at MSU-from hosting the Clinton-Dole-Perot presidential debates to a Rolling Stones concert in the stadium to national touring shows such as the "Phantom of the Opera" and "Cats" to country music to Big-10 sports and exciting minor league baseball to intimate coffee houses, MSU and the Lansing area offer it all!

While MSU is quite proud of being characterized as a research-intensive university, our faculty strive for excellence in teaching, research, and service to the profession and community. MSU offers literally hundreds of majors; osteopathic, human, and veterinarian medicine schools; and schools of law, business, and engineering among others. The engineering college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer, electrical, mechanical, mechanics and materials science, civil and environmental, biosystems, and chemical engineering along with computer science. There are also several innovative interdisciplinary programs within the engineering college including, for example, manufacturing engineering.

Phone: (517) 355-5107 Fax: (517) 432-1827 E-mail: cee@egr.msu.edu
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Michigan State University
Engineering Building
428 S. Shaw Lane, Room 3546
East Lansing, MI 48824