Civil Engineering

Mission Statement

To prepare our students as civil engineering professionals who will have the depth and breadth of knowledge, sense of social and ethical responsibility, commitment to a safe and sustainable environment and a desire to serve society in leadership positions.

Program Objectives

  • Our civil engineering graduates will engage in lifelong learning to stay abreast of the latest body of knowledge and professional practices in civil engineering and allied disciplines throughout their careers.
  • Our graduates will excel in teamwork, interdisciplinary concepts, organizational skills and problem-solving methodologies in their professional careers.
  • Our graduates will attain positions of leadership as professional practitioners, government officials, academicians, inventors, researchers, etc., during their professional careers.
  • Our graduates will have a strong sense of commitment to excellence, independent thinking, innovation and modern professional practices throughout their careers.
  • Our graduates will have a strong commitment to professional and ethical responsibility during their careers.
  • Our graduates who pursue careers in engineering will seek and successfully achieve professional licensure in their chosen fields.

Student Outcomes

The Civil Engineering Department has established the following set of outcomes that our undergraduate students are expected to achieve by the time of graduation:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well asto analyze and interpret data
  • 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
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engagein life-long learning
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • A broad fundamental knowledge to qualify for and pass the New York State FE Exam administered in April of the year of their graduation.

Program description

Civil engineering, earliest of the engineering professions, has evolved into a broad spectrum of specialties: structural, geotechnical, hydraulic, environmental, transportation, urban planning, construction management, sustainable design, urban security and infrastructure rehabilitation. Depending on his or her interests  and abilities, the modern civil engineer also may become involved in research, design and development related to projects in alternative energy sources, space structures, protection against natural and man-made disasters, etc. The civil engineer also studies and develops new materials, new structural systems and new strategies for optimizing design. Basic research, especially in the areas of applied and experimental mechanics, often arises either as a preliminary or adjunct requisite to these studies.

The civil engineer who wishes to practice creatively in any of these fields must be thoroughly grounded in the basic sciences, mathematics and applied mechanics, structures and structural mechanics, engineering sciences and computer applications. Members of the civil engineering faculty are actively engaged in research in their specialties, which include modern advances in structural engineering and materials, geotechnical engineering, alternative energy sources, green design of buildings, water pollution control technologies, water resources engineering and urban security.

Within the civil engineering program, students may elect to pursue specialized study through an appropriate choice of electives in two areas:

  • Structural and Geotechnical Engineering
  • Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

Graduate level courses in these areas are available to seniors with superior academic records as indicated in the following lists:

Structures and Geotechnical Engineering: CE 422, CE 425, CE 426, CE 427, CE 431, CE 432, CE 433, CE 434, CE  435, CE 436, CE 438, CE 450, CE 470, CE 481, CE 482, CE 483

Water Resources and Environmental Engineering: CE 437, CE 414, CE 440, CE 441, CE 442, CE 444, CE 446, CE 447, CE 448, CE 449, CE 485, CE 486, CE 487

Graduate Program

Completion of the master of engineering degree program in civil engineering is important for entry into the profession in any of the specialized areas discussed above. The civil engineering department offers many graduate level courses in the cited areas, such as structural engineering and environmental engineering.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.