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The Undergraduate Program

Civil Engineering

The art and science of civil engineering help adapt the needs of people and natural resources to the environment. Thus, the civil engineer is involved in the planning, design, and construction of many of the developments that make modern life possible. Dams, tunnels, bridges, buildings, housing, highways, airports, railroads, and water and wastewater systems are all creations of the civil engineer.

Civil engineers work in planning, design, building construction, research, plant operation, government, law, teaching, and administration. Whatever their jobs, civil engineers must combine the technical expertise of the engineering profession with a social awareness and an interest in humanity. Because of the growing dependence of society on engineering technology, the civil engineer will always be in demand.

Environmental Engineering

Environmental engineering is that branch of engineering concerned with the application of scientific and engineering principles for the:

  • protection of human populations from the effects of adverse environmental factors;
  • protection of environments, both local and global, from the potentially deleterious effects of natural and human activities; and
  • improvement of environmental quality.

Environmental engineers use the principles of biology and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems. They are involved in water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. Environmental engineers conduct hazardous-waste management studies in which they evaluate the significance of the hazard, advise on its treatment and containment, and develop regulations to prevent mishaps. They design municipal water supply and industrial wastewater treatment systems, conduct research on the environmental impact of proposed construction projects, analyze scientific data, and perform quality-control checks. Environmental engineers are concerned with local and worldwide environmental issues, including protecting water quality, global warming, automobile emissions, and ozone depletion. Many environmental engineers work as consultants, helping their clients to comply with regulations, prevent environmental damage, and clean up hazardous sites.

Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes for the Undergraduate Programs in Civil and Environmental Engineering

The following is the statement of program educational objectives for the undergraduate programs in civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University (MSU) and was most-recently ratified in the 2013-2014 academic year according to established procedures. These objectives are revisited every three (3) years to ensure currency.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has adopted the following program educational objectives (PEOs) which are shared by its baccalaureate programs in both civil and environmental engineering. Recent graduates (e.g., 3-5 years after graduation) of the programs will be enjoying career success and:

  • have advanced in civil or environmental engineering practice and/or pursued advanced studies;
  • be engaged in life-long learning;
  • be engaged in professional practice consistent with the principles of sustainable development;
  • have pursued continuing professional development and leadership; and
  • have obtained licensure.

Student outcomes describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. There relate to the skills, knowledge, and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program. The student outcomes for both of the departmentís undergraduate programs are provided below. Some of them are specified by ABET (A through K) while the rest are defined by the department.

A. apply knowledge of math, science and engineering

B. design and conduct experiments, analyze/interpret data

C. design system, component, or process to meet needs within realistic constraints

D. function on multi-disciplinary teams

E. identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

F. understand professional and ethical responsibility

G. communicate effectively

H. understand impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts

I. recognition of need for and ability to engage in life-long learning

J. knowledge of contemporary issues

K. use techniques, skills, and tools for engineering practice

P1. explain basic concepts in management

P2. explain basic concepts in business

P3. explain basic concepts in public policy

P4. explain basic concepts in leadership

P5. explain importance of professional licensure

S1. apply principles of sustainability in design

The undergraduate curriculum, courses, organizations and activities prepare graduates to:

  • apply mathematics, science and contemporary methods to the formulation and solution of engineering problems;
  • specify and conduct standard laboratory analyses, interpret data, formulate recommendations based on test results, and build understanding through experimentation;
  • design systems, components and processes that conform to specifications and produce the intended benefits;
  • communicate effectively in writing and speech;
  • employ interpersonal and social skills required for working on a team, in an organization, and with the general public;
  • honor professional ethics;
  • respect societal and environmental impacts of engineering; and
  • understand contemporary issues in engineering practice.
The educational objectives are promoted and supported by a departmental community of students, faculty and staff characterized by integrity and by respect for individuals, society, the environment, the engineering profession, and engineering education and institutions.


Annual student enrollment and graduation data for the programs are maintained by the College of 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