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    Feb 17, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog

Civil Engineering B.S.C.E.

(CIP = 14.0801) (ECE)

Civil engineers will be entrusted by society to create a sustainable world and enhance the global quality of life. Civil engineers will serve as master planners, designers, constructors, and operators of society’s economic and social engine, the built environment (i.e., infrastructure); innovators and integrators of ideas and technology across the public, private, and academic sectors; managers of risk and uncertainty caused by natural events, accidents, and other threats; stewards of the natural environment and its resources; and, leaders in discussions and decisions shaping public environmental and infrastructure policy.

Mission Statement

The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida will provide undergraduate students with strong, broad-based, engineering education which gives them the basic intellectual and organization skills that allow them to work with complex systems with technological, social and environmental components.

As many of the major’s graduates begin work upon graduation in industry or with governmental organizations, the curriculum is designed to prepare students for these roles by requiring a number of courses in the various fields of civil engineering and by providing limited specialization in one given area. The curriculum is designed to encourage lifelong learning and to prepare students for undertaking advanced studies in engineering or in other professional areas.

Program’s Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes

The Civil Engineering major and curriculum of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are designed to meet the needs of all students within the context of the Major’s Mission Statement. The Major Educational Objectives associated with the Major’s Mission Statement are:

  1. Graduates can obtain positions in both public and private organizations.
  2. Graduates are continuing their professional development by extending their professional knowledge through independent learning, continuing education courses, conferences, workshops, short courses, graduate study and involvement in professional societies.
  3. Graduates who are working in public or private organizations which encourage professional registration, will have made appropriate progress towards achieving that registration.

The following list defines the Student Outcomes of the Civil and Environmental Engineering program:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics 
  2. 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 
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences 
  4. 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 
  5. 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. 
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies

Please refer to the mission statement on the department website for additional information.

Entrance and Continuation Requirements for the Civil Engineering Major

College of Engineering students who have fully met the below admission requirements and are in good academic standing, may declare a major in Civil Engineering. Prior to being admitted to a department, a student may be permitted to take no more than two departmental engineering courses. Once admitted, the Department may have continuation requirements which specify minimum performance standards in core engineering courses which must be met before further registration in the Department is granted.

Minimum Admission Requirements for the Civil Engineering Department

  1. Completion of with a minimum grade of a C in each course and a 3.0 GPA (based on best attempt) in these prerequisites:
    1. Calculus I (MAC 2311  or MAC 2281 ) and Calculus II (MAC 2312  or MAC 2282 ) and Calculus III (MAC 2313  or MAC 2283 )
    2. Calculus-based Physics I with Lab (PHY 2048  and PHY 2048L )
    3. Calculus-based Physics II with Lab (PHY 2049  and PHY 2049L )
    4. General Chemistry I with Lab (CHM 2045  and CHM 2045L ) or (CHS 2440  and CHS 2440L )
  2. A minimum overall GPA of 2.0
  3. A minimum USF GPA of 2.0

Minimum Continuation Requirements for the Civil Engineering Department

Continuation requires a minimum grade of C- as well as a 2.5 GPA (based on best attempt) for the following courses:

GPA and Grade Requirements

Unless otherwise stated, the minimum acceptable grade in all BSCE required courses is a C- or higher.


In addition to designated common coursework in engineering mechanics, civil, and environmental engineering, students undertake a concentration of 18 hours of coursework plus a 3-hour capstone design course and a 1 hour Professional and Ethical Issues in Engineering. These courses are based on the student’s choice of track.

Departmental Policies

In addition to the College’s graduation requirements, the department has the following policies:

  • All students must participate in mandatory advising prior to each term.
  • All students must participate in department assessment activities and successfully complete an exit interview before graduating.
  • All students must consider the advice of the Department to complete and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam (F.E. Exam).
  • All students must periodically provide writing samples as part of the department’s writing assessment program.

State Mandated Common Course Prerequisites

Students wishing to transfer to USF should complete an A.A. degree at a Florida College System institution. Some courses required for the major may also meet General Education requirements thereby transferring maximum hours to the university.

If a student wishes to transfer without an A.A. degree and has fewer than 60 semester hours of acceptable credit, the student must meet the university’s entering freshman requirements including ACT or SAT test scores, GPA, and course requirements.

Transfer students are also required to comply with the immunization, foreign language, and continuous enrollment policies of the university.

Students should complete the following prerequisite courses at the lower level prior to entering the university. If these courses are not taken at a Florida College System institution, they must be completed before the degree is granted.

Unless stated otherwise, a grade of C is the minimum acceptable grade in prerequisite courses.

Students qualify for direct entry to their intended department if they have completed the following courses at a Florida College System institution or University in the Florida State University System (SUS) and meet all of the other admissions requirements of the University and College.

The following are transferable courses from a Florida College System institution that will be accepted in the Math/Science/Engineering areas:

Courses at USF

Courses at a Florida College System Institution

  • MAC X311 or MAC X281 - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X312 or MAC X282 - 4 credit hours
  • MAC X313 or MAC X283 - 4 credit hours
  • MAP X302 or MAP X305 - 3 credit hours

Natural Sciences:
Courses at USF

Courses at a Florida College System Institution

  • (CHM X045 and CHM X045L) or CHM X045C or  (CHS X440 and CHS X440L) - 4 credit hours
  • (PHY X048 and PHY X048L) or PHY X048C or (PHY X041 and PHY X048L) - 4 credit hours
  • (PHY X049 and PHY X049L) or PHY X049C or (PHY X044 and PHY X049L) or (PHY X042 and PHY X049L)

Total Major Hours: 117

Major Core (117 Hours)

Continuation Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Technical Writing (3 Credit Hours)

Capstone Design (3 Credit Hours)

Structures/Materials/Geotechnical Track

Geotechnical/Transportation Track

Environmental/Water Resources Track

Civil Engineering Track (18 credits) and Capstone Design Requirements

Civil Engineering students choose one of the three tracks listed below:

Structures/Materials/Geotechnical Track

Geotechnical/Transportation Track

Environmental/Water Resources Track

Technical Elective Courses for the Tracks

Consult with the department undergraduate advisor for additional electives that may be available. The approved list of technical elective courses for the tracks include: 

GPA Requirements

Students must have and maintain a minimum 2.0 Engineering GPA, 2.0 Specialization GPA, 2.0 USF GPA, 2.0 Overall GPA, and 2.5 Continuation GPA.

Grading Requirement

A total of only two D grades are allowed in all BSCE required engineering, and most specialization courses. Students cannot graduate with Ds in the following lists of courses that correspond to their track (specialty):

  • Environmental/Water track: Environmental Systems Engineering, Hydraulics, Water Quality and Treatment, Water Resources Engineering I, and Capstone Design (CWR 4812 ).
  • Geotechnical/Transportation track: Mechanics of Materials, Geotechnical Engineering I, Geotechnical Engineering II, Transportation Engineering I, Transportation Engineering II, and Capstone Design (CEG 4850 ).
  • Structures/Materials/Geotechnical track: Structures, Materials Engineering I, Mechanics of Materials, Geotechnical Engineering I, Concepts of Steel Design, Concepts of Concrete Design, Concrete Construction Materials, and Capstone Design (CES 4750 ).

Residency Requirement

Transfer students must complete a minimum number of approved specialization courses in the major at USF. The minimum number of USF specialization credit hours required is established by the respective academic department. In no case will this be less than 18 hours. Basic engineering courses are not considered specialization courses. The University residency requirement must also be met.

A dual degree student must meet the requirements of each major and have a minimum of 18 approved specialization hours taken in the degree granting department beyond those specialization hours required for the first degree.

Research Opportunities

The Research Experiences for Undergraduate Students program in the USF College of Engineering offers undergraduate students an opportunity to directly participate in state-of-the-art research. Graduate students and professors serve as research partners and mentors as undergraduate research assistants participate in the scientific process and gain relevant experience.

There are a number of options to receive academic credit for a mentored research experience and to have the experience show on the official transcript. Students who wish to enroll in an undergraduate research course should consult with their academic advisor to understand how the credit will apply towards the degree requirements. If no credit is needed, students may be eligible to enroll in the 0-credit IDS 2912 , IDS 4914  or IDS 4910  courses. These courses will not impact degree credits or GPA but will show on an official transcript and document the experience.

Internship Opportunities

The College of Engineering and USF’s Career Services Cooperative Education (Co-Op) program provides services for students interested in experiential educational experiences. A wide variety of industries and government agencies offer internships and cooperative education employment opportunities for engineering students. Participants gain valuable expertise in practical applications and other aspects of operations and development in a professional engineering environment. Students normally apply for participation in this program during their first year in the College of Engineering and pursue actual internships during their sophomore, junior and senior years. 

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program

Students majoring in Civil Engineering have the option to pursue one of the following accelerated programs:

  • B.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering and M.C.E. in Civil Engineering
  • B.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering and M.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering
  • B.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering and M.E.V.E. in Environmental Engineering
  • B.S.C.E. in Civil Engineering and M.S.E.V. in Environmental Engineering

For more information, see the Graduate Catalog for Accelerated Majors.

Accreditation Information

The Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Advising Information

All incoming freshman and transfer students must meet with one of the college advisors in the Engineering Student Services (ESS).

Engineering Student Services

Office: Engineering Building III (ENC) 1302
Phone: (813) 974-2684

Students who have completed the entrance requirements and are accepted into the major:

Civil Engineering Faculty

Chairperson: M. Gunaratne; Professors Emeriti: M. W. Anderson, W. Carpenter, S. Kranc; Distinguished University Professor: A.A. Sagüés; State of Florida 21st Century World Class Scholar: J. Mihelcic; Professors: R. Bertini, S. Ergas, M. Gunaratne, F. Mannering, J. Mihelcic, A.G. Mullins, M. Nachabe, M.A. Ross, A.A. Sagüés, R. Sen, M. Trotz, A. Zayed; Associate Professors: J. Cunningham, X. Li, Q. Lu, D. Simkins, A. Tejada, D. Yeh, Q. Zhang, Y. Zhang; Assistant Professors: M. Arias; Instructors: K. Nohra; M. Stokes; Courtesy Faculty: N. Albergo, B. Behzadi, K.Ghebremichael, P. Lin, J. Lu, A. Pinjari, S.E. Polzin, N. Poor, A. Stuart.

Plan of Study

Click here for Plan of Study. Once on this page, select the program from the available drop-down and then click ‘View Selected Plan.’