Civil engineers plan, design and construct our nation’s physical infrastructure, taking leadership roles in the responsible development and protection of our natural resources. Civil engineering encompasses several distinct disciplinary themes such as architectural engineering, construction engineering, environmental engineeringstructural engineering and water resources engineering, and at Clarkson, we give our students opportunities to be successful in all of these areas. 

Building your future is something that must be earned, and in Clarkson's civil engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program, you do just that. You gain experience working on projects and research that influences the future. In the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), courses in the civil engineering major are taught in a project-based and challenge-based manner. Not everyone can become a civil engineer. It takes focus and perseverance to develop the critical skills and knowledge for the job. Clarkson is here to transform you into the person with such skills.

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Civil Engineering Careers

With your bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Clarkson, you can pursue a career working in many industries and disciplines, such as:

  • structural design
  • water, land or other resource development
  • transportation systems
  • hazardous waste management
  • general project management

According to PayScale, the average entry-level civil engineer salary is currently over $56,000 per year, with high increases based on experience over time. Clarkson civil engineers from the Class of 2019 had an average starting salary of over $60,700, with the highest starting salary topping $72,000. Our civil engineering majors have been recruited in recent years by companies such as Burns & McDonnell, CHA, DEW Construction, Ducks Unlimited, Hunt Engineers, John Deere, Kiewit, National Grid, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, and Turner Construction. 

Civil engineering majors who have chosen to continue their studies by attending graduate school have been accepted at institutions such as Cornell University, Northeastern University, and University of Washington- Seattle. Many of them go on to complete Clarkson's civil and environmental engineering program (M.S. and/or Ph.D.), which has been ranked as one of the best in the country. 

Professor Erik Backus gives an overview of the Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate program at Clarkson, including unique, hands-on learning opportunities that lead to our students having the skills and experience employers want and need. 

Civil Engineering Curriculum & Academic Options

Major in Civil Engineering

The civil engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program consists of courses in civil engineering, environmental engineering, applied mathematics, engineering science and design, physics, chemistry and engineering economics. Civil engineering majors can take courses such as:

  • Construction Materials Engineering
  • Steel Design
  • Timber Design
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Strength of Materials
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Reinforced Masonry Design
  • Intro to Architectural Engineering
  • Transportation Systems Design

Civil Engineering Major Curriculum

Civil engineering major Autumn Rose Lennon talks about why she chose Clarkson and how her interest in architecture grew stronger thanks to the program.  

Relevant Minors & Concentrations

Civil engineering majors have the opportunity to choose a concentration in either architectural engineering, construction engineering management, or structural engineering as part of the bachelor's degree program. There are also several minors offered that complement the civil engineering major, such as project management or environmental engineering. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.

Architectural Engineering Concentration

Construction Engineering Management (CEM)

Structural Engineering Concentration

Water Resources Engineering Concentration

Environmental Engineering Minor

Project Management Minor

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Kyle Thomson
"A lot of my friends who have attended Clarkson got their dream jobs, and I know that alumni are strong and involved. Being a student here connects me to a big network of leadership and achievement. I am loving this opportunity to see how far and fast I can go!"

Kyle Thomson '20, BS Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering Undergraduate Research

Students in one of Clarkson's Civil Engineering undergraduate lab work on tensile testing

    As an undergraduate student in Clarkson's civil engineering program, you'll have the opportunity to do hands-on research alongside faculty and graduate students. Some of the research topics in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering include:

    • bridge monitoring and infrastructure health
    • novel concrete for drainage and corrosion resistance
    • strength of materials, ranging from Antarctic ice to novel composite building materials
    • indoor air quality
    • bioenergy production and the associated life cycle environmental impacts
    • fate of contaminants in air, water and soil systems
    • air quality monitoring and modeling
    • oil spill modeling and environmental impacts
    • river and ocean ice dynamics

    Learn more about our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty and their research expertise.

    Civil Engineering Co-ops & Internships

    Internships and co-op opportunities at Clarkson are wide-ranging for civil engineers. You'll be able to pursue an internship or co-op within your field of interest. Below is a list of organizations at which our civil undergraduate students have had internships and co-ops.

    • New York Power Authority
    • New York State Department of Transportation
    • Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C.
    • Kiewit/Jett Industries
    • Murnane Building Contractors
    • Iberdrola USA/NYSEG
    • Diehl Development, Inc.
    • GE Power & Water
    • Atlantic Testing Laboratories
    • Trane
    • Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
    • Headwaters Hydrology
    • Bernier, Carr & Associates
    • Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge research
    • O'Brien & Gere
    2018 Career Fair 6 Clarkson
    • Barrett Paving Materials, Inc.
    • Keystone Consulting Engineers
    • Turner Construction
    • Tetra Tech 
    • Dynamic Structures, Inc.
    • Positive Energies, LLC
    • Whiting-Turner
    • Amtrak
    • AECOM
    • MJ Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.
    • Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.
    • National Grid
    • CHA Consulting, Inc.
    • The Lane Construction Corp.

    Competitive Engineering Project Teams

    Undergraduate civil engineering students get hands-on experience through our SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design) teams, especially representing the department on several teams, including Construction Management, Steel Bridge, Concrete Canoe, Timber Bridge and SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge. Any major can join any of our 12 SPEED teams

    In 2020, the SAE Clean Snowmobile brought home a 1st place finish in the Diesel Utility Class at the 2020 SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge.

    In 2019, Construction Management won the regional competition to advance and eventually take 2nd place in the national Association of Construction Schools competition as the only team made up purely of undergraduate students.

    The Student Prototyping Machine Shop is a fully equipped engineering machine shop for student use. Manual lathes and mills, an extensive welding lab, water jet cutting, as well as computer driven machining centers are provided for students to use for research and engineering competitions. Multidisciplinary Project Team Undergraduate Courses (MT Courses) are offered to all students who are interested in learning everything from basic shop skills, lathes, milling, welding, MasterCam and CNC Machining. Students also use the Innovation Hub, a University-wide resource hosted by Clarkson Ignite, to hone their skills and ideas using state-of-the-art technology.

    Steel bridge team preparing their bridge for competition.

    Civil Engineering Student Clubs

    Female undergraduate engineering students from Clarkson's chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) host a table at an admissions open house

    Clarkson civil engineering students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to civil engineering. These include:

    • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
    • Associated General Contractors (AGC)
    • Chi Epsilon - National Civil Engineering Honor Society
    • Construction Engineering Management
    • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
    • New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA)
    • Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society
    • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
    • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
    • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
    • Tau Beta Pi - National Engineering Honor Society
    What's your purpose? Achieve it here.