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Civil & Environmental Engineering at MSUEngineering Building

Civil and environmental engineers work to create a synergistic balance between providing for 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 treatment systems, tunnels, dams, buildings, airports, railroads, and bridges.

Civil and environmental engineers work as planners, designers, builders, researchers, plant operators, lawyers, teachers, and administrators in work settings that include government agencies, corporations, and consulting firms. 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.

The Civil and Environmental (CEE) Department has a long and rich history. Our extensive facilities include outstanding teaching and research laboratories in civil and environmental engineering, the 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 its mission.

Faculty & Staff

The department's faculty members 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. Many of our faculty members are registered professional engineers.

Undergraduate Programs

We offer undergraduate students an educational environment rich in opportunities to obtain knowledge and skills that facilitate civil and environmental engineering practice, life-long learning, and professional development, all of which lead to career success. Each year, approximately 500 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:

  • An ABET-accredited program in civil engineering that offers courses in construction engineering and materials, environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, pavement engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, and water resources engineering
  • An ABET-accredited program in environmental engineering that allows students to specialize in water resources or various areas of environmental engineering.
  • Opportunities to study abroad
  • Strong cooperative education and internship opportunities
  • Regional and national successes at the ASCE sponsored intercollegiate concrete canoe and steel bridge team competitions
  • National successes at the Air and Waste Management ECi Student and US EPA RainWorks Competitions
  • Student memberships and student chapter participation in civil and environmental engineering-related student organizations.

Graduate Programs

We offer graduate degrees in both civil and environmental engineering disciplines. 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.


Faculty research encompasses the areas stated below. In the built environment, our research focuses on structural engineering, mechanics and materials, and transportation infrastructure systems. In the natural environment, our research encompasses studies in environmental microbiology, biological processes, environmental chemistry, physical chemical processes, and sustainability. At the interface of the built and natural environments, our research focuses on hydrology and water resources, and geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. Faculty operate or partner with a number of  research centers. Our research is strongly linked to our education programs through course offerings and the training of students.

Major Research Sponsors include

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences
  • National Institute of Health
  • National Science Foundation
  • US Department of the Interior (USGS)
  • US Department of Agriculture
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Indiana Department of Natural Resources
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Michigan Department of Environmental Quality
  • National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Federal Highway Administration

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 (~50,000 students), it prides itself on being able to offer an environment which is very livable. The Lansing area boasts of the state capitol, two General Motors assembly plants, a number of tech startups, the headquarters of four national insurance companies, and the university. In addition to rich ethnic and cultural diversity, Lansing is also home to a minor league baseball team (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.

While MSU is 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 medical schools; and schools of law, business, nursing, and engineering among others. The College of Engineering has eight academic departments, offering 10 undergraduate degree programs and MS and PhD degrees in nine majors.