The curriculum in civil engineering within the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering has been designed to prepare students for entry-level positions in professional practice or for graduate study in the following subdisciplines of civil engineering:

  • construction engineering and management.
  • environmental engineering.
  • geotechnical engineering and geomechanics.
  • structural engineering and structural mechanics.
  • water resource engineering and management.

For undergraduates who want additional preparation for graduate study and careers in research and development within civil engineering, a theoretically-based engineering science track is also available.

Colorado Mesa University/University of Colorado Boulder Partnership Program

Colorado Mesa University (CMU) and CU Boulder have created a partnership to deliver specific engineering baccalaureate programs in their entirety in Grand Junction, Colorado. The first two years of coursework are taught by CMU faculty and the second two years of coursework are taught by CU Boulder faculty located in Grand Junction. Students completing the programs will be awarded a Bachelor of Science from CU Boulder.

Degrees are offered in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, and electrical & computer engineering, with additional details on the partnership program website.

Coursework requirements and plans of study specific to this partnership can be found on the Colorado Mesa University civil engineering partnership website. Learn more about this program on the CU Boulder partnership website.

Program Requirements

To earn a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, students must complete the curriculum in the undergraduate major program, as outlined below. For up-to-date program requirements, visit the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering webpage. Note: Some variations may be possible; see a civil engineering academic advisor. 

In addition, students must meet the general undergraduate degree requirements of the College of Engineering and Applied Science and all graduation requirements specified on the CEAE Department website.

Students are allowed to earn a BS in civil engineering + BS in integrated design engineering with a civil engineering emphasis.

Civil engineering is also offered in partnership with Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. Specific coursework requirements and plans of study can be found on the partnership website.

Prerequisites and Passing Grades

The minimum passing grade for a course that is a prerequisite or corequisite for another required course is C-. The minimum passing grade for a course that is not specifically a prerequisite or corequisite for another required course is D-.

It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the department if summer coursework and/or transfer credit will be used to meet a prerequisite requirement.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Courses
AREN 2110Thermodynamics3
or ASEN 2702 Introduction to Thermodynamics and Aerodynamics
or EVEN 3012 Thermodynamics for Environmental Science and Engineering
or GEEN 3852 Thermodynamics for Engineers
or MCEN 3012 Thermodynamics
or CVEN 2545 Construction Materials
CSCI 1200Introduction to Computational Thinking3
or ASEN 1320 Aerospace Computing and Engineering Applications
or CHEN 1310 Introduction to Engineering Computing
or CSCI 1300 Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
or ECEN 1310 C Programming for ECE
or MCEN 1030 Introduction to Engineering Computing
CVEN 1027Civil Engineering Drawing3
or AREN 1027 Engineering Drawing
CVEN 1317Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering1
or AREN 1316 Introduction to Architectural Engineering
or ASEN 1000 Introduction to Aerospace Engineering Sciences
or BMEN 1000 Exploring Biomedical Engineering
or CHEN 1300 Introduction to Chemical and Biological Engineering
or CSCI 1000 Computer Science as a Field of Work and Study
or ECEN 1100 Exploring ECE
or EVEN 1000 Introduction to Environmental Engineering
CVEN 2012Introduction to Geomatics3
CVEN 2017Excel Matlab R Primer1
CVEN 2121Analytical Mechanics 13
or GEEN 2851 Statics for Engineers
or MCEN 2023 Statics and Structures
or ASEN 2401 Statics
or ASEN 2701 Introduction to Statics, Structures, and Materials
CVEN 3111Analytical Mechanics 23
or MCEN 2043 Dynamics
CVEN 3161Mechanics of Materials 13
or MCEN 2063 Mechanics of Solids
CVEN 3227Probability, Statistics and Decision3
CVEN 3246Introduction to Construction3
CVEN 3313Theoretical Fluid Mechanics3
or AREN 2120 Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer
or CHEN 3200 Chemical Engineering Fluid Mechanics
or MCEN 3021 Fluid Mechanics
CVEN 3323Hydraulic Engineering3
CVEN 3414Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering3
CVEN 3525Structural Analysis3
CVEN 3698Engineering Geology3
CVEN 3708Geotechnical Engineering 13
CVEN 4897Professional Issues in Civil Engineering2
CVEN 4899Civil Engineering Senior Project Design4
GEEN 1400Engineering Projects 13
or ASEN 1400 Gateway to Space
or ASEN 1403 Introduction to Rocket Engineering
or CHEN 1400 Drugs, Driving and Dynamic Processes
or ECEN 1400 Introduction to Digital and Analog Electronics
Required Math and Science Courses
APPM 1350Calculus 1 for Engineers4
or MATH 1300 Calculus 1
or APPM 1345 Calculus 1 with Algebra, Part B
APPM 1360Calculus 2 for Engineers4
or MATH 2300 Calculus 2
APPM 2350Calculus 3 for Engineers4
or MATH 2400 Calculus 3
APPM 2360Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra4
or MATH 2130
MATH 3430
Introduction to Linear Algebra for Non-Mathematics Majors
and Ordinary Differential Equations
or MATH 2135
MATH 3430
Introduction to Linear Algebra for Mathematics Majors
and Ordinary Differential Equations
CHEM 1114Laboratory in General Chemistry 11
or CHEM 1221 Engineering General Chemistry Lab
CHEN 1201General Chemistry for Engineers 14
or CHEN 1211 Accelerated Chemistry for Engineers
or CHEM 1113 General Chemistry 1
or MCEN 1024 Chemistry for Energy and Materials Science
or ASEN 1022 Materials Science for Aerospace Engineers
PHYS 1110General Physics 14
or PHYS 1115 General Physics 1 for Majors
PHYS 1120General Physics 24
or PHYS 1125 General Physics 2 for Majors
PHYS 1140Experimental Physics 11
Required Proficiency Courses9
Choose three:
Construction Equipment and Methods
Water and Wastewater Treatment
Geotechnical Engineering 2
Engineering Hydrology
Steel Design
Reinforced Concrete Design
Required Technical Electives
At least 6 credits of technical electives must be upper-division AREN or CVEN courses.6
Remaining technical electives may be upper-division AREN or CVEN courses, or any course on the approved Technical Elective List. 26
Free Electives3
Humanities, Social Sciences and Writing18
Complete the College's Humanities, Social Sciences, and Writing requirements 3
Total Credit Hours128

Sample Four-Year Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
APPM 1350 Calculus 1 for Engineers 4
CHEN 1201 General Chemistry for Engineers 1 4
CHEM 1114 Laboratory in General Chemistry 1 1
CVEN 1317 Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering 1
CSCI 1200 Introduction to Computational Thinking 3
COEN 1830 Special Topics (First-Year Seminar) 1
Humanities & Social Sciences Elective 1 2
 Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
APPM 1360 Calculus 2 for Engineers 4
PHYS 1110 General Physics 1 4
CVEN 1027
Civil Engineering Drawing
or Engineering Drawing
First-Year Projects course or Basic Engineering Elective 3
 Credit Hours14
Year Two
Fall Semester
APPM 2350 Calculus 3 for Engineers 4
PHYS 1120 General Physics 2 4
PHYS 1140 Experimental Physics 1 1
CVEN 2012 Introduction to Geomatics 3
CVEN 2121 Analytical Mechanics 1 3
Humanities & Social Sciences elective 1 3
 Credit Hours18
Spring Semester
APPM 2360 Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra 4
AREN 2110
or Construction Materials
CVEN 2017 Excel Matlab R Primer 1
CVEN 3161 Mechanics of Materials 1 3
CVEN 3313 Theoretical Fluid Mechanics 3
CVEN 3698 Engineering Geology 3
 Credit Hours17
Year Three
Fall Semester
CVEN 3246 Introduction to Construction 3
CVEN 3323 Hydraulic Engineering 3
CVEN 3414 Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering 3
CVEN 3525 Structural Analysis 3
CVEN 3708 Geotechnical Engineering 1 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
CVEN 3111 Analytical Mechanics 2 3
CVEN 3227 Probability, Statistics and Decision 3
CVEN Proficiency I 3
College-approved writing course 2 3
Humanities & Social Sciences elective 1 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall Semester
CVEN 4897 Professional Issues in Civil Engineering 2
Technical Electives 3 6
CVEN Proficiency II 3
Free Elective 3
Humanities & Social Sciences elective 1 3
 Credit Hours17
Spring Semester
CVEN 4899 Civil Engineering Senior Project Design 4
CVEN Proficiency III 3
Humanities & Social Sciences elective 1 3
Technical Electives 3 6
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours128

Learning Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives

The program objectives for the bachelor of science degree in civil engineering are that within five years:

  • Graduates will be successfully employed in engineering, science or technology careers.
  • Graduates will be assuming management or leadership roles.
  • Graduates will engage in continual learning by pursuing advanced degrees or additional educational opportunities through coursework, professional conferences and training and/or participation in professional societies.
  • Graduates will pursue professional registration or other appropriate certifications.
  • Graduates will be engaged in activities that provide benefit to communities.

Student Outcomes

The outcomes that students are expected to have attained upon graduation with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering are:

  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  • 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 and economic factors.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Before their graduation, students in civil and environmental engineering will take a capstone design course in addition to training in structural and foundation design, civil engineering systems, construction, engineering geology, engineering materials, geotechnical engineering, soil mechanics, water quality, environmental engineering, fluid mechanics, computer-aided and manual engineering drawing, mechanics and dynamics, computer modeling, professional practice and ethics seminars, structural analysis and design, surveying and transportation systems via required and elective courses.

Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's Degree Program(s)

The bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) degree program options offer currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to receive a bachelor's and master's degree in a shorter period of time. Students receive the bachelor's degree first but begin taking graduate coursework as undergraduates (typically in their senior year).

Because some courses are allowed to double count for both the bachelor's and the master's degrees, students receive a master's degree in less time and at a lower cost than if they were to enroll in a stand-alone master's degree program after completion of their baccalaureate degree. In addition, staying at CU Boulder to pursue a bachelor's–accelerated master's program enables students to continue working with their established faculty mentors.

BS in Civil Engineering, MS in Civil Engineering or Architectural Engineering

Admissions Requirements

In order to gain admission to the BAM programs named above, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.000 or higher.
  • Completion of all MAPS requirements and no deficiencies remaining (students admitted to CU Boulder prior to Summer 2023 only).
  • Have at least junior status within the bachelor’s degree program.

Program Requirements

Students may take up to and including 12 hours while in the undergraduate program which can later be used toward the master’s degree. However, only six credits may be double counted toward the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. Students must apply to graduate with the bachelor’s degree, and apply to continue with the master’s degree, early in the semester in which the undergraduate requirements will be completed.

Please see the BAM degree program web page for more information.