Civil Engineering, General

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About the Civil Engineering Major

Walk outside and take a good look around. You will see the work of civil engineers everywhere - from buildings to bridges to roads and reservoirs. Civil engineering majors learn how to use math and science to design large construction projects that make modern life possible.You will learn how to build skyscrapers, hang suspension bridges that support tons of cars and trucks each day, and create water systems that supply millions of city dwellers.

Civil engineers design and oversee the construction and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure, such as highways, tunnels, rail systems, airports, and water supply and sewage systems. Civil engineers spend a good amount of time in the planning stages studying survey reports and maps, breaking down construction cost, and considering government regulations and potential environmental hazards. 

Depending on the college or university, you will have the opportunity to concentrate on one specific area of civil engineering.The civil engineering major is traditionally broken into several sub-disciplines, including environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, geophysics, geodesy, control engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, earth science, atmospheric sciences, forensic engineering, municipal or urban engineering, water resources engineering, materials engineering, offshore engineering, quantity surveying, coastal engineering, surveying, and construction engineering.

Civil engineering degrees are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. Entry-level civil engineering jobs require a bachelor's degree and all 50 states and the District of Columbia mandate licensure for engineers who offer their services directly to the public. Technical projects and management responsibility often require a master's degree, while teaching requires a Ph.D.

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