Feb 19, 2020  
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) 
2013-2014 General Catalog (Spring 2014) [ARCHIVED CATALOG Please see current catalog]

Civil Engineering - BS

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College of Engineering

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Effective for students beginning degree Summer Sem. 2013 thru Spring Sem. 2014

Admission to the College of Engineering

In addition to the policies of the University concerning admission of students, the following regulations apply to the College of Engineering:

1. Transfer students from other colleges or universities will be referred to the Engineering Admission Committee for evaluation. Criteria considered in admission decisions for transfer students include resources available in the requested department and the transfer GPA, along with an evaluation of the program of the former college or university. Decisions concerning academic standing once the student is admitted to USU will be based solely on USU grades.

2. Students registered on campus (including Undeclared) must be approved by the Engineering Admission Committee before transferring to the College of Engineering. Students in this category must have demonstrated, by courses taken at USU, a potential to succeed in the major of their choice.

Pre-Engineering and Professional Engineering Requirements

Students interested in Engineering careers enter the University with a wide variety of educational backgrounds. Therefore, it is necessary for all students to demonstrate a satisfactory level of proficiency in basic engineering, mathematics, science, and English before they are admitted into a professional engineering program. Specific courses used to evaluate this proficiency are listed on the applications to the Professional Program available in the individual departments or in the Engineering Advising Center. The professional engineering program consists of the last two years of study listed in the departmental sections of the General Catalog. Students will not be admitted into engineering classes numbered 3000 or higher until they have been admitted into a professional engineering program. Applications listing the required pre-professional courses and admission standards are available from the various departments and the office of the Dean of Engineering. The minimum requirements a student must satisfy in order to be considered for admission to a professional program are:

1. The student must achieve a grade of C- or better in every required pre-professional course. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used except in freshman English composition.

2. Civil and Environmental Engineering students must achieve an overall grade point average of 2.3 or better for all required pre-professional coursework completed at USU.

3. A student can repeat no more than three of the required pre-professional courses in order to satisfy the eligibility requirements. Multiple repeats of the same course are included in the total of three repeats. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the college academic advisor. Satisfying minimum eligibility requirements does not ensure that a student will be admitted to a professional program in a specific department. The number of students accepted will be based upon the number of students that can be accommodated in upper-division classes. Applicants will be ranked and selected in order of their academic standing in the required pre-professional courses.

The Program

Civil Engineering is the oldest branch of the engineering field, offering graduates numerous opportunities to attain important positions which have great influence on many of humankind's endeavors. Civil and Environmental Engineering is concerned with planning, designing, constructing, and operating various physical works; developing and utilizing natural resources in an environmentally sound manner; providing the infrastructure which supports the highest quality of life in the history of the world; and protecting public health and renovating impacted terrestrial and aquatic systems from the mismanagement of toxic and hazardous wastes. This includes designing and supervising the construction of bridges, buildings, dams, aqueducts, sport complexes, energy complexes, and other structures; irrigation and transportation systems (highways, canals, rapid transit lines, etc.); developing water resources for municipal, industrial, and recreational use; land reclamation, soil mechanics, and urban planning; and the control of water quality through water purification and proper waste treatment, as well as solving problems of air pollution and solid and hazardous waste management. Projects of this magnitude require engineers who can understand the relationships of environment, resources, and production, and who are able to design and implement programs and procedures which bring these projects into being.

The undergraduate Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org 

Students in this program take such courses as engineering graphics, surveying, mechanics, dynamics, numerical methods, mechanics of fluids and solids, hydraulics, hydrology, soils, engineering, structural design, and legal aspects of engineering. Students entering the professional program are required to have a basic knowledge of computer skills in the areas of operating systems, spreadsheets, word processing, and a programming language. Course requirements also include basic understanding of engineering principles, analytical geometry and calculus, linear analysis, principles of chemistry and physics, and physical geology. Students are also provided with a variety of technical electives which can develop areas of specialty and competence. A number of humanities and social sciences courses must also be completed, adding breadth of study and increasing employment opportunities. Passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination is the first step in becoming a licensed professional engineer. Students should plan to take the exam the spring of their junior year. Students may graduate after two valid attempts to pass the FE exam. Students in this program will be required to purchase and use an approved scientific calculator.

Graduates of the program are expected to have attained the following outcomes to prepare them to meet the Program Educational Objectives.

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

(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

(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g) an ability to communicate effectively

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

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

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues

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

The Program Educational Objectives for the Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering are that within five years:

1. Graduates will be successfully employed in civil engineering or related careers and will become independent thinkers and effective communicators, team members, and decision makers

2. Graduates will incorporate economic, environmental, social, ethical, and sustainability considerations into the practice of civil engineering and will promote public health and safety

3. Graduates will engage in life-long learning by pursuring advanced degrees or additional educational opportunities through coursework, professional conferences and training, or participation in professional societies

4. Graduates will pursue professional licensure or other appropriate certifications

Annual student enrollment and graduation data for the program are available from the USU Office of Analysis, Assessment, and Accreditation: www.usu.edu/aaa/.

The schedule provided in this guide should be followed as closely as possible, as many of the courses are presented in, and must be taken in, a specific sequence. Students should seek recommendations for coursework from their advisor and use this guide as an aid in planning a program of study.

Career Opportunities

Graduates in Civil and Environmental Engineering have found employment in supervisory or administrative positions, ranging from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer to top-level executive. Civil engineers work as members of teams with other physical and biological scientists and engineers in aerospace, naval, forestry, medical, and consulting fields, with numerous employment opportunities in private industry; large and small engineering consulting firms; federal, state, county, and city governments; public utilities; regulatory agencies; and educational institutions. Many of the department's past graduates now have their own consulting offices and often hire new graduates from the department.

Recommended High School Courses

Students interested in entering any field of engineering should take two or three years of algebra, one year of geometry, and one-half year of trigonometry while in high school, as well as calculus, if possible. Four years of English and courses in chemistry, physics (especially AP Physics), and mechanical drawing are also recommended. If the suggested mathematics courses are not taken in high school, they must be taken in college prior to starting calculus. This additional work need not cause a delay in graduation if CLEP orAP credit is earned or if summer semester enrollment is used to supplement course credits.

Academic Advisement

All students should contact their academic advisor for assistance with course selection, program planning, and meeting graduation requirements. If they do not know who their advisor is, students should contact the Engineering Advising Center, ENGR 314A.

Academic Requirements

The Engineering Advising Center maintains a handout sheet giving current details of all academic regulations of the college. It is the responsibility of the student to know the current regulations and to follow these regulations.

Pre-professional Program

Students must maintain a USU GPA of 2.0 to remain in good standing both in the college and the University. Students in a pre-professional program who are not making satisfactory progress toward acceptance into a professional program or who become ineligible to enter a professional program will be suspended from the college. Students in good standing in a pre-professional program must still meet the entrance requirements for admission into a professional program.

Professional Program

For all engineering majors in the professional program, the following academic regulations apply in addition to University regulations:

1. A GPA of 2.0 or higher must be maintained in all upper-division engineering/ math/science courses required for, or used as technical electives in Civil Engineering. Courses which were part of the pre-professional program requirements and University Studies courses are not included in this GPA calculation.

2. No more than 10 hours of D or D+ credit may be applied toward meeting graduation requirements in engineering/math/science classes.

3. College of Engineering courses may be repeated only once. Audits count as a time taking a class unless prior written approval is obtained from the department head.Amaximumof three required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program can be repeated in order to meet graduation requirements. (Courses completed as part of a pre-professional program are not included in this total of three repeats.)

4. The P/D+, D, F grading option may not be used in required or elective courses completed as part of a professional program. (The P/D+, D, F grading option is approved for University Studies Courses.)

5. The academic regulations listed above (1-4) apply to required coursework and any elective engineering/math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree. That is, once a student completes a particular technical elective, it becomes a required course for that student.

6. Students in violation of departmental or college academic regulations, no longer eligible for graduation, or not making satisfactory progress toward a degree, will be placed on probation.

  1. a. Students will be placed on probation if they (i) earn an F in an engineering/ math/science course which could be used to satisfy graduation requirements for the chosen degree (see No. 5 above); (ii) have more than 10 hours of D credit (see No. 2 above); or (iii) have an upper-division GPA of less than 2.0 (see No. 1 above).
  2. b. Students remain on probation until they improve their standing by repeating and passing all failed classes, repeating classes to reduce the number of D credits to 10 or less, and/or by raising their upper-division GPA above 2.0.
  3. c. While on probation, a student must earn a semester GPA of 2.0 or higher in engineering/math/science classes and must not earn any grades of D or F. While on probation, a student may not preregister. The student's major code will be changed to a pre-professional code. The student must meet at least once per semester with the college academic advisor to work out a schedule having the primary goal of correcting the existing academic problems. 

Students must complete the General Education Requirements :

  • GEO 1110  or GEOG 1000  will fulfill the Physical Sciences requirement
  • BIOL 1010  will fulfill the Life Sciences requirement
  •   and   will fulfill the Quantitative Literacy (QL) and/or Exploration requirement

Students must also complete the University Studies Depth Requirements :

  • CEE 4870  and CEE 4880  will fulfill the Communications Intensive (CI) requirement
  • MATH 2250  will fulfill the Quantitative Intensive (QI) requirement
  • Complete at least 2 credits in 3000-level or above courses from each of the following two categories: Humanitites and Creative Arts (DHA) and Social Sciences (DSS). MGT 3110  (required) will fulfill the DSS requirement.


 Transfer Students

Transfer students coming to USU with an associate degree from a regionally- accredited institutution may be deemed as having satisfied the General Education portion of the USU University Studies Requirements, but not necessarily the College of Engineering requirements. For example, BIOL 1010  is required, even if a BLS class has been taken. Students with transfer credits in University Studies areas will need to have their transfer credit evaluated by the College of Engineering to determine which of the University Studies requirements it will satisfy. In general, transfer students will still need to satisfy the Depth Education portion of University Studies. Also, since not all associate degrees granted by institutions outside of Utah include an American Institutions course (a State of Utah requirement), studentsmayneed to complete such a course while at USU.


Undergraduate Course Requirements for Civil Engineering (128-129 credits)

See note 1

Pre-engineering Program: Freshman and Sophomore

Professional Engineering Program: Junior and Senior

Junior Year (31 credits)

Senior Year (31-32 credits)

Fall Semester (14 credits)

Spring Semester (17-18 credits)

Engineering Science Electives (6 credits minimum)

Students in the Civil Engineering program must complete two engineering science electives chosen from the three courses below. 

Technical Elective Courses (15 credits minimum required)(5)

Students in the Civil Engineering program must complete a senior design elective (see list below). They must also establish proficiency in at least four areas of Civil Engineering by taking a minimum of two courses in each area.

The sum of the Group B class, the Senior Design Elective, and other technical electives from the approved list must be at least 15 credits.

Students will also demonstrate proficiency in one of Geotechnical Engineering, Transportation Engineering, or Water Resources Engineering by taking a Group B course (see list below).


1 Passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam is required for graduation. A provision has been made to graduate a student who has made two valid attempts to pass the FE exam.  The exam is usually taken during fall semester of the senior year.

2 These courses are required for admission to the Professional Engineering Program (PEP).

3 CEE 3610  and ENGL 3080  must be taken concurrently or ENGL 3080  may be taken before.

4 Students must complete all five of the Group A Courses. The order in which they are taken will dictate the choice of technical elective courses (as they are prerequisites for various technical elective courses).

5 Civil Engineering students are required to complete a Senior Design elective course concurrent with CEE 4870 . In addition, they must complete three Technical Elective Courses (one of which must be selected from Group B), for a total of 12 credits. Following is a list of Technical Elective Courses and Senior Design Elective Courses.

6 If a student takes all three Engineering Science classes, the third one counts as a technical elective.

7 Students satisfying PHYS 2210  with AP taken before Fall 2011 will not need PHYS 2215 .

Civil and Environmental Engineering Mentors

The following list of faculty interests is provided to help students select the appropriate faculty member to contact for career and elective selection counseling.

C. D. Adams, environmental engineering
N. Allen,
S. L. Barfuss, hydraulics
P. J. Barr, structures, concrete, bridges
J. A. Bay, geotechnical engineering, soil dynamics
A. B. Bishop, engineering systems and planning
J. A. Caliendo, geotechnical engineering, piles, drilled shafts
A. Chen, transportation, network planning
W. J. Doucette, environmental analytical chemistry
R. R. Dupont, environmental engineering, hazardous waste management
M. W. Halling, structures, earthquake engineering
K. Heaslip, transportation
J. S. Horsburgh, hydroinformatics
M. C. Johnson, hydraulics
J. J. Kaluarachchi, subsurface hydrology, transport process
R. S. Martin, environmental engineering, air pollution
M. J. McFarland, environmental engineering, biosolids
M. McKee, water resource planning and analysis
J. E. McLean, fate and behavior of metals in subsurface
L. S. McNeill, environmental engineering, drinking water
G. P. Merkley, irrigation engineering, drip irrigation system design
C. M. U. Neale, irrigation engineering, remote sensing
B. T. Neilson, environmental engineering, surface water modeling
R. C. Peralta, groundwater modeling optimization, groundwater remediation
W. J. Rahmeyer, hydraulics, hydraulic structures
J. D. Rice, geotechnical engineering
D. Rosenberg, water resources
D. K. Stevens, environmental engineering, treatment process analysis, water quality
D. G. Tarboton, hydrology, water resources
B. P. Tullis, hydraulics, hydraulic structures
G. E. Urroz, hydraulics, hydraulic structures

Requirement Changes

Graduation requirements shown on this sheet are subject to change. Students should check with their assigned advisor concerning possible changes.

For information contact

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department; Engineering Laboratory 211; Utah State University; 4110 Old Main Hill; Logan UT 84322-4110; tel. (435) 797-2938; marlo@engineering.usu.edu; www.cee.usu.edu/


Minimum University Requirements

Total Credits


Grade Point Average (most majors require higher GPA)

2.00 GPA

Credits of C- or better


Credits of upper-division courses (#3000 or above)


USU Credits (30 USU credits, 20 of which must be upper-division courses, 10 of which must be courses required for student's major)

30 USU credits

Completion of approved major program of study

See college advisor

Credits in minor (if required)


Credits in American Institutions (ECN 1500 ;HIST 1700 , HIST 2700  or HIST 2710 ; HONR 1300 POLS 1100 ; or USU 1300 )


General Education Requirements  and University Studies Depth Requirements 




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