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 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

Clarkson Class of 2020 97 percent employment

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

Civil Engineering Major Curriculum

The civil engineering program consists of 24 credit hours in civil engineering, 16 credit hours in science, 12 credit hours in mathematics, 14 credit hours in electrical science, and 3 credit hours in economics. 18 credit hours are in free electives, which is enough to complete a minor if you so choose.

Click here for a sample curriculum schedule

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Clarkson Common Experience

The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credits)
UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)


Civil Engineering Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Civil Engineering:

  • CE212 Introduction to Engineering Design 
  • CE301 Geographical Information Systems 
  • CE305 Construction Planning and Management 
  • CE310 Geotechnical Engineering I: Soil Mechanics 
  • CE320 Structural Analysis 
  • CE330 Water Resources Engineering I 
  • CE340 Introduction to Environmental Engineering 
  • CE441 Reinforced Concrete Design
  • CE442 Steel Design 
  • CE490 Senior Design (Structures, Transportation, Geotechnical)

Professional Experience:

Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:
ES499 Professional Experience (0 credits)


School of Engineering Common First Year

Students must complete the following courses in their first year:

  • CM131 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • ES100 Introduction to Engineering Use of the Computer (2 credits)
  • ES110 Engineering & Society 
  • MA131 Calculus I 
  • MA132 Calculus II 
  • PH131 Physics I (4 credits)
  • PH132 Physics II (4 credits)


Civil Engineering Core Electives

Students must complete the following courses:

  • EC350 Economic Principles & Engineering Economics 
  • ES220 Statics 
  • ES222 Strength of Materials 
  • ES330 Fluid Mechanics 
  • MA231 Calculus III 
  • MA232 Elementary Differential Equations 

Professional Electives:

Students should contact their academic advisor about professional electives.

Knowledge Area/University Course Electives:

Students will have at least 18 credit hours available to use toward Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives to satisfy the Clarkson Common Experience requirements.

Free Electives:

Students will have approximately 18 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

Relevant Minors & Concentrations

Civil engineering majors have the opportunity to choose a concentration in either construction engineering management, water resources engineering 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 the new architectural and facilities engineering minor, project management or environmental engineering. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.

All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

Architectural and Facilities Engineering Minor

Architectural & Facilities Engineering is the detailed study of how to make, revamp, and operate buildings. Facilities engineering, is similar and has the same four basic curriculum areas, but focuses on making existing buildings better. If you are interested in designing and constructing new or revamped buildings, this is the minor for you.

The Architectural & Facilities Engineering (AFE) minor at Clarkson University is housed within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), but is open to all majors. Majors in Civil, Mechanical, Environmental, and Electrical Engineering, and Engineering & Management will pair best with the AFE minor.

The AFE minor builds on the success of the Clarkson Construction Engineering Management program (CEM) and its numerous impressive and national award-winning accomplishments. Industry leading firms are looking to find their top talent at Clarkson, including those with a minor in Architectural & Facilities Engineering.


Architectural & Facilities Engineering Opportunities

At Clarkson, we like to get hands on. So, in addition to curricular opportunities, students in the Architectural & Facilities Engineering minor are able to take part in a range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities that round out the total experience, including: 

  • Meet the Pro
  • Local Field Trips
  • MEGA Project Field Trips
  • Greenbuild Scholarships
  • C3G Projects
  • Blueprint Bootcamp
  • AutoCAD Seminar
  • Construction Engineering Management SPEED Team
  • Internships & Co-Ops
  • OSHA 10-hour Certification
  • Clarkson Construction Club/AGC Student Chapter
  • Kiewit Women in Construction


Architectural & Facilities Engineering Curriculum & Core Requirements

The minor in architectural and facilities engineering is a total of 27 credit hours, plus students must have an architectural and facilities engineering focus for their capstone experience in their major (CE490/491, ME446, EE412, EM456, or equivalent). 

The curriculum has been designed to give students a well-rounded understanding of architectural and facilities engineering. 

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

Students must complete the following courses:

Civil and Environmental Engineering:

  • CE305 Construction Planning and Management
  • CE408 Building Information Modeling/Integrated Project Delivery
  • CE409 Fundamentals of Building Systems
  • CE448 Introduction to Architectural Engineering

Data Science/Mathematics:

  • DS241 Intro to Data Science
  • or MA330 Advanced Engineering Math
  • or STAT383 Probability and Statistics
  • or STAT389 Probability and Statistics with Multivariate Analysis


Architectural & Facilities Engineering Core Electives

Students must complete two of the following courses:

  • CE407 Intro to Scheduling and Estimating
  • CE410/510 Sustainable Infrastructure and Building
  • CE411 Construction Materials Engineering
  • CE415/515 Foundations and Retaining Structures
  • CE441 Reinforced Concrete Design OR CE442 Steel Design
  • ME310 Thermodynamic systems Engineering
  • ME411 Intro to Heat Transfer
  • ME444 Computer Aided Engineering
  • EE221 Linear Circuits
  • EE331 Energy Conversion
  • EE333 Power System Engineering
  • EE/ME450 Control Systems
  • EHS330 Safety Analysis
  • ES238 Intro to Energy Systems
  • EV305 Sustainability and the Environment


Architectural & Facilities Engineering Electives

Management/Law Elective:

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • EM/OM380 Project Management
  • FN361 Financial Management
  • OS286 Organizational Behavior I
  • LW270 Law and Society I

Art Elective:

Students must complete one course in art history, architectural history, art appreciation, applied art, or related study (3 credits).

Construction Engineering Management

Construction engineering management (CEM) is a sub-discipline of civil engineering that focuses on the execution of engineering and architectural design projects. It involves managing the design and construction process from the inception of a project all the way to, and including, the operations and maintenance of infrastructure and buildings.

The professional concentration in CEM is available to civil engineering students, enabling them to focus their electives on courses pertinent to the field of CEM.

Electives used to satisfy requirements of the concentration include a set of courses that reflect the sub-disciplines of construction engineering as defined by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, ABET, Inc.


Companies That Hired Class of 2019 Civil Engineering Majors

Brierley Associates
Burns & McDonnell
C&S Companies
Canandaigua VA Medical Center
CBG Building Company
CH Nickerson
CHA Consulting, Inc.
Creighton Manning Engineering
Exelon Corporation
Flatiron Construction Corp.
Froehling & Robertson, Inc.
General Dynamics, Electric Boat
H2M architects + engineers
Haley and Ward, Inc.JLL
JUB Engineers
KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.
Kubricky Construction Corp.
M.J. Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C.
Napierala Consulting Professional Engineer, PC
Proper and O'Leary
SRF Associates
T.Y. Lin International
The Pike Company
The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company
Town of Greece
Tutor Perini Civil East
Urban Engineers, Inc.
WEB Engineering, P.C.


CEM Concentration Tracks


For students planning a career in heavy construction management.

Architectural Engineering & Building Construction:

For students planning a career in sustainable building design and construction management.


Concentration Requirements

The concentration requirements change periodically to address industry trends, technological innovations, and new techniques. The current requirements can be found here. In order to obtain a certificate for the concentration, students must complete those requirements that are in place at the time they declare the concentration. As the requirements change, students will remain responsible for the requirements they began with, or they may opt to take on the new requirements at the discretion of their advisor and the director of CEM.


Structural Engineering Concentration

A Professional Concentration in Structural Engineering is available to civil engineering undergraduate majors who are planning a career in structural design through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE).

The professional concentration allows students to satisfy the accreditation requirements in civil engineering while pursuing a course of study in structural engineering and mechanics with the aim of developing the necessary analytical skills for the structural design of buildings, bridges, harbors and waterways, highways, water treatment facilities, vehicle structures, and more. Students receive a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a certificate of professional concentration in Structural Engineering.


Structural Engineering Curriculum

Courses required for a concentration in structural engineering are listed below. The total number of credits required is 21.

Required Courses:

  • CE 420/520 Advanced Structural Analysis
  • CE 415/515 Foundation Engineering
  • CE 441 Reinforced Concrete Design
  • CE 442 Steel Design
  • CE 490 or CE 492 Senior Design


At least two of the following

  • CE 411 Construction Materials
  • CE 421/521 Composite Mechanics and Design
  • CE 438/538 Finite Element Methods
  • CE 444/544 Advanced Concrete Design
  • CE 453/553 Properties and Performance of Concrete Materials
  • CE 455/555 Structural Damage, Rehabilitation, and Repair
  • CE457/557 Environmental Degradation of Concrete Structures
  • ME 444 Computer Aided Engineering
  • CE 512 Fundamentals of Dynamics and Vibrations

Or other course as designated by CEE Department Chair

Total Credits for Concentration: 21


In addition to the required number of credits, it is recommended that students in the structural engineering concentration take MA 339 (Applied Linear Algebra) as their mathematics elective. A minimum grade point average of 2.0 is required in the courses taken for this professional concentration. At least nine of the credit hours required in the concentration must be completed at Clarkson University unless the Dean of the School of Engineering approves an exception

Water Resources Engineering Concentration

A professional concentration in Water Resources Engineering is available to undergraduate students who are planning a career in hydraulics, open channel flow, water treatment, or hydrology. The professional concentration allows students to satisfy the accreditation requirements in civil engineering while pursuing a course of study in water resources engineering and is offered through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Students receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering with a certificate of professional concentration in Water Resources Engineering.


Curriculum & Requirements

To obtain a Professional Concentration in Water Resources Engineering, a student must choose required and professional electives in order to complete the following seven courses:

Four required courses include:
CE 430 Water Resources Engineering II
CE 470 Stream Riparian System and Fluvial Morphology
CE 479 Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes
CE 490/ 491 Senior Design with Water Resources Focus

Choose any two from the following:
CE 315 Geology for Engineers
CE 340 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CE 380 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
CE 434 Sustainable Development Engineering
CE 435 Groundwater Hydrology and Geochemistry
CE 478 Solid Waste Management and Landfill Design
CE 481/581 Hazardous Waste Management and Engineering
CE 482/582 Environmental Systems Analysis and Design

And choose at least one from the following:
BY 330/ EV 330 Great Lakes Water Protection
BY 431 Limnology
ES 436 Global Climate Change: Science, Engineering & Policy
COMM 428 Environmental Communication
EV 305 Sustainability and the Environment
POL 470/ SOC 470 Environmental Policy

Environmental Engineering Minor

Clarkson University offers a minor in environmental engineering for students in other majors who would like exposure to this fast-growing field. Environmental engineers provide the knowledge, leadership and guidance needed to improve the quality and ensure the sustainability of our natural world by working to responsibly develop water resources, minimize the effects of pollution, eliminate hazardous and solid wastes, and restore, preserve and sustain the environment.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Environmental Engineering Minor Core Requirements

Students are required to complete the following courses:

Core Courses:

Complete one of the following:

  • CE340 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
  • CE380 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering
  • CH220 Materials Balances

Professional Experience:

Students are required to complete a Capstone Design course with specific environmental focus (such as CE490/1/2. MP401, AE451, CH420, EE412, EM456, or ME446) or an Environmental-related research (such as CE495, CE496, ES443/4/5/6/7).


Science Courses for Environmental Engineering Minor

Students must complete one course from each of the following areas:


  • CH210 Chemical Engineering Principles
  • CH221 Spectroscopy
  • CM241 Organic Chemistry I
  • CM371 Physical Chemistry I


  • BY214 Genetics
  • BY222 Ecology & BY224 Ecology Laboratory
  • BY320 Microbiology
  • BY330/EV330 Great Lakes Water Protection


Environmental Engineering Minor Core Electives I

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • ES432 Risk Analysis
  • CE479 Water and Wastewater Treatment Processes
  • CE481 Hazardous Waste Management Engineering
  • CE482 Environmental Systems Analysis and Design
  • CE486 Industrial Ecology


Environmental Engineering Minor Core Electives II

Students must complete one of the following courses:

  • BY314 Bioinformatics
  • BY328 Conservation Biology
  • BY412 Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • BY425 Biological Systems & Environmental Change
  • BY431 Limnology & BY432 Limnology Laboratory
  • BY486 Molecular Biotechnology
  • CE430 Water Resources Engineering II
  • CE434 Sustainable Development Engineering
  • CE435 Groundwater Hydrology & Geochemistry
  • CE477 Atmospheric Chemistry
  • CE478 Solid Waste Management and Landfill Design
  • CH434/ES434 Air Pollution Control
  • ES436 Global Climate Change: Science, Engineering & Policy
  • EHS406 Industrial Hygiene Control Methods
  • EHS416 Principles of Occupational Health
  • EV314 Adirondack Integrated Research Project


Project Management Minor

Quality-based project management is a field that entails managing people, resources and budgets to ensure that projects are completed on-time, on-budget and within performance.

This minor is available to all undergraduate students and is intended for students who want to prepare themselves for potential careers in project-centered work. This is the most popular minor in the School of Business and draws students from the School of Engineering, the School of Arts & Sciences and the School of Business. Students with this minor can pursue jobs in construction management, contract administration and cost engineering, to name a few.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted.


Quality-Based Project Management Minor

Clarkson University offers a Minor in Quality-Based Project Management, a field that entails managing people, resources, and budgets to ensure projects are completed on-time, on-budget, and within performance.  
The minor is:

  • Open to all students in all majors and is useful for engineers, science and business majors.  
  • An opportunity for students to pursue certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI), a great resume item and source of value recognized by employers.
  • An opportunity for certain students to sit for the American Society for Quality’s 
    “Certified Quality Improvement Associate” exam.


Quality-Based Project Management Minor Core I

Students must take the following courses:

  • OM/EM380 Project Management 
  • OM/EM451 Quality Management and Lean Enterprise 

Students must take one of the following courses:

  • OM/EM484 Advanced Project Management 
  • EM482 Systems Engineering and Management


Quality-Based Project Management Minor Core II

Students must complete one of the following options:

Option 1

  • OS/EM286 Organizational Behavior 
  • OS352 Strategic Human Resource Management 

Option 2

  • OS/EM286 Organizational Behavior 
  • OS466 Negotiations and Relationship Management 

Option 3

  • OM/EM331 Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • OM/EM476 Management of Technology
  • or EM482 Systems Engineering and Management
  • or EM/OM484 Advanced Project Management , whichever is not selected in Core I


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.