Civil Engineering and Construction Management

B.S., Civil Engineering

Requirements for the Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Degree 

The high school preparation program is based upon an expectation of adequate high school preparation in science, mathematics and English. High school courses should include algebra, plane geometry, trigonometry and chemistry or physics (both desirable), and four years of English. Beginning engineering students must take the Entry Level Mathematics Test (ELM), Mathematics Placement Test (MPT), Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) and English Placement Test (EPT) before registration in basic courses will be permitted.

Required test scores:

1. ELM (Entry Level Mathematics): A passing score is required to earn college credit for mathematics. Students are exempt from this exam if they score 550 or above on the SAT, 23 or above on the enhanced ACT, or a 3, 4 or 5 on the AP (Advanced Placement) Calculus AB or BC.

2. MPT (Mathematics Placement Test): Thsi is required to enroll in MATH 150A. Students with scores of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB or BC are eligible for MATH 150B and exempt from the MPT.

3. CPT (Chemistry Placement Test) a minimum score of 40 is required to enroll in CHEM 101. All students who had high school chemistry and expect to enroll in CHEM 101 must take this test regardless of score on the AP Chemistry exam.

4. EPT (English Placement Test): A score of 151 or above is required to enroll in ENGL 155. Students with scores of 3, 4 or 5 on AP English Language and Composition receive college credit for ENGL 155 and a score of 3, 4 or 5 on the AP English Literature and Composition receive credit for ENGL 155 and 255.

Students are referred to Appendix A of the Catalog for rules and regulations as to earned college credit. Students who have not had an adequate background of pre-engineering work in high school may be required to take some additional work in their first year and may not be able to complete an engineering program in eight semesters.

Special Grade Requirements

1. All students must pass the English Placement Test with a score of 151 or higher before enrolling in 200-level engineering courses.

2. All students must complete the Lower Division writing requirement before enrolling in 300-level engineering courses.

3. All students must attempt the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam before enrolling in 400-level engineering courses.

4. Grade of C- or better is required in all courses in the major.

5. Senior-level courses cannot be taken unless the student previously completed or is concurrently completing all freshman-, sophomore-and junior-level Core requirements.

1. Lower Division Required Courses (44 units) 

Freshman Year 

BIOL 106 Biological Principles I and Lab (3)

or GEOL 101 Geology of Planet Earth (3)

CE 101/L Introduction to Civil Engineering and Lab (1/1)

CHEM 101/L General Chemistry and Lab (4/1)

MATH 150A Mathematical Analysis I (5)

MATH 150B Mathematical Analysis II (5)

PHYS 220A Mechanics (3)

PHYS 220AL Mechanics Lab (1)

Sophomore Year 

CE 240 Engineering Statics (3)

CE 280/L Computer Applications in Civil Engineering (1/1)

ECE 240 Electrical Engineering Fundamentals (3)

MATH 250 Calculus III (3)

MATH 280 Applied Differential Equations (3)

MSE 227 Engineering Materials (3)

MSE 227L Engineering Materials Lab (1)

PHYS 220B Electricity and Magnetism (3)

PHYS 220BL Electricity and Magnetism Lab (1)

2. Upper Division Required Courses (56 units) 

Junior Year 

AM 316 Engineering Dynamics (3)

AM 317 Mechanics Lab (1)

CE 308/L Surveying and Lab (2/1)

CE 315/L Construction Engineering and Lab (2/1)

CE 340 Strength of Materials (3)

CE 335/L Structures I and Lab (3/1)

CE 408/L Surveying with GPS Applications and Lab (1/1)

ME 370 Thermodynamics (3)

ME 390 Fluid Mechanics (3)

MSE 304 Engineering Economy (3)

Senior Year 

AM 410 Vibration Analysis (3)

CE 426/L Soil Mechanics and Lab (3/1)

CE 438 Reinforced Concrete Design (3)

CE 439 Structural Steel Design (3)

CE 460/L Engineering Hydrology and Lab (2/1)

CE 488A/L Civil Senior Design I and Lab (1/1)

CE 488B Civil Senior Design II (2)

CE 526 Geotechnical Foundation Design (3)

ME 493 Hydraulics (3)

General Education (27 units): 

Civil Engineering majors follow a modified General Education program depending upon the year and enrollment status as a college student. Returning and transfer students should consult an advisor before planning their General Education programs.

Civil Engineering students are required to take courses in the following GE sections: Analytical Reading and Expository Writing (3 units); Oral Communication (3 units); Social Sciences (3 units); Arts and Humanities (6 units), Comparative Cultures (6 units); and U.S. History and Local Government (6 units). All other GE requirements are met through completion of courses in the major.

CE majors may count CE 101/L and CE 280/L in Lifelong Learning.

Mission Statement

To provide students with a sound basic civil engineering education and to prepare them for entry into the professional practice of civil engineering, as well as to instill in them a recognition that civil engineering is a people-serving profession. In keeping with these goals, we aim to develop in students an understanding that a successful professional career is one that addresses the needs of society and requires a lifetime of learning and leadership.

The Major

Department faculty provides instruction in statics and strength of materials, dynamics and mechanics lab, as well as our degree programs.

Civil Engineers design the infrastructure of our world, from bridges and freeways to sewer systems and libraries. Their work touches nearly every facet of our society’s everyday lives, including but not limited to structures, water supply, waste management, materials, construction, geotechnical, the environment and transportation. Their work is vital, particularly in Southern California where environmental, transportation and water issues are of major importance ,and where structural problems, especially related to earthquakes, demand sound engineering solutions.

Civil Engineering majors at CSUN receive a solid, broad-based education. During the first two years and into the third year, all Engineering majors complete a common engineering Core curriculum. Among the many topic areas in the Core curriculum are mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering materials, electrical circuits, engineering mechanics, thermodynamics, and engineering economy.

The junior and senior years in Civil Engineering build on the common engineering Core curriculum. These two years include instruction in structures, vibration analysis, hydraulics, soil mechanics, surveying, computer-aided design and graphics, strength of materials, concrete and steel design, construction engineering and senior design.

Civil Engineering students take classes and work in the following facilities: the Applied Mechanics Lab, where students apply engineering techniques to the static and dynamic behavior of mechanical systems; the Civil Engineering Senior Design Laboratory is used in a two-semester course that simulates a professional civil engineering environment; the Geotechnical Laboratory, where students look at the behavior of soil as an engineering material; and the Structural Analysis Research Center, where students have the opportunity to work with faculty on such diverse projects as dams, buildings, towers and spacecraft.

Besides these facilities, students use Los Angeles itself as a laboratory, studying buildings, spacecraft, dams and other structures.

With the broad-based education students receive at CSUN, it is highly recommended that students prepare to take the EIT (Engineering in Training), now commonly referred to as the FE (Fundamentals in Engineering) Exam, before graduation. This is a national exam, 8 hours in length and covering the basic topics that comprise the common Core in engineering. The EIT or FE exam is the first of two exams that are required to become a registered engineer in the state of California. To sit for the second exam, additional work experience is required beyond the bachelor degree. In today’s society, it is almost imperative that students, preparing for the Civil Engineering profession, become registered. CSUN has an excellent reputation of preparing students for this goal.

Civil Engineering students have opportunities to participate in student chapters of such professional societies as ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) and AWMA (Air and Waste Management Association), as well as interdisciplinary student organizations in the College, such as Tau Beta Pi, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society for Black Engineers and the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers.

The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), (410) 347-7700.


Civil Engineering is the oldest of the engineering disciplines, responsible for projects dating back more than 5,000 years. Rebuilding and expanding the civil engineering infrastructure of the U.S.—including roads, bridges, rail networks, sewage treatment plants, deep-water ports and municipal water systems—is one of the technology areas that has been targeted for rapid development by the National Science Foundation.

Most practicing Civil Engineers are employed in the areas of structural engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, construction engineering or surveying. Many of these areas, such as structural engineering, encompass the design of such diverse items as spacecraft and office buildings. Although the majority of Civil Engineers are employed in private industry, many are involved in consulting or own their own firm, sand a significant number are employed in the government sector where they are involved in the provision of highways and other public works for state and local government.

The degree can be used as a stepping stone to graduate work in engineering, law, business or even medicine. Many Civil Engineering graduates return to CSUN to earn their M.S. Degree in Structural Engineering.