Accreditation and Curriculum
Virginia Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate, masters, baccalaureate and associate degrees. For questions about the accreditation of Virginia Tech, please contact the Commission on Colleges at:
1866 Southern Lane
Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097
The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) undergraduate program at Virginia Tech is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. For questions regarding accreditation and curriculum, please contact:
Dr. Joseph Dove, Director of Curriculum and Assessment
Via Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (MC 0105)
750 Drillfield Drive, Rm. 110
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Phone: 540.231.2307, email: jodove(at)vt.edu
BSCE Program Educational Objectives
The educational objectives of the Civil Engineering undergraduate program are that, within a few years of program completion, graduates should be effectively serving society as practicing civil engineers and in related capacities with a commitment to design, construction, and maintenance practices that will contribute to sustainable development, provide for the continued well-being of spaces and infrastructure, and hold paramount the health, safety and welfare of the public. Additionally, the program’s graduates should continue to grow both technically and professionally so that they develop into leaders within their chosen fields of endeavor. Growth experiences could include activities such as professional licensure, graduate level education, self-directed study, and participation in professional society activities.
BSCE Student Outcomes
At graduation, students of the Civil Engineering undergraduate program demonstrate the following:
1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, economic, and other factors.
3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
BSCE Enrollment and Graduation Data
Program enrollment in Fall semester by year (sophomore to senior):
BSCE degrees awarded by academic year:
The first year, all College of Engineering students are enrolled in the General Engineering program. This provides a common first year, after which students select the major that they wish to pursue. The second year of the curriculum requires basic science, engineering mechanics, and continuing mathematics training. In the junior and senior years, each student selects fundamental and advanced coursework across several specialty areas within the civil engineering discipline according to their personal interests. Regardless of the specialty areas selected, the required variety in technical content ensures that all students receive a strong fundamental civil engineering education.
A brief overview of the eight specialty areas within the Via Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech is provided below.
Specialty Areas within CEE
Construction Engineering and Management — The specialty area of construction offers opportunities through course work and faculty research interests, for students to acquire expertise in all phases of the construction life cycle. Leading industry trends and technological innovations are hallmarks of this internationally prominent program.
Environmental— Environmental engineering draws heavily upon the applied sciences of biology for biological treatment processes, chemistry for chemical treatment and contaminant fate and transport, and physics for air pollution. Computer programming is a useful skill in many advanced courses, especially for students considering advanced degrees.
Geotechnical — Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the design and construction of structures built on, in or with the earth. Examples of projects where geotechnical engineering principles are applied include: foundation systems, earth slopes, earth dams, retaining walls, embankments, tunnels, levees, wharves, landfills, land development, energy exploration and resource recovery. Geotechnical engineering is also vital for the assessment and mitigation of natural hazards such as earthquakes, liquefaction, sinkholes, rock falls and landslides.
Land Development — In the last decade, land development design (LDD) has emerged as a discipline of critical importance in civil engineering education. LDD encompasses a number of unique topics, many of which are typically not addressed in the traditional undergraduate curriculum. These topics can generally be categorized into feasibility, planning and policy, conceptual design, and site engineering.
Materials — Materials engineering focuses on the natural and manufactured substances used to construct human infrastructure. Although engineers employ a wide range of materials, those of primary significance to civil engineering are steel, concrete, and asphalt pavements.
Structural— Structural engineering concerns the analysis and design of buildings, bridges beams, columns, and other components of the structural environment employed in all aspects of human social development.
Transportation — Transportation course content provides students with the ability to recognize the primary role that civil engineers play in ensuring the continuing adequacy of the transportation infrastructure to meet human needs. Courses include all areas of systems engineering, assessment of transportation system operations, optimization of transportation systems, infrastructure engineering including assessment of existing conditions and performance, planning and design of transportation systems.
Water Resources — Water Resources engineering deals with the movement of water through the hydrologic cycle and the ways that humans intervene in those natural processes. These interventions include efforts to enhance contributions such as water supply and to control negative aspects such as flooding. Increasingly, these efforts encompass projects to protect and rehabilitate natural aquatic environments impacted by human activities.