This is an archive of the 2020-2021 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit

This is an archive of the 2020-2021 University Catalog.
To access the most recent version, please visit


Program: B.S., Civil Engineering

Program Description

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 they 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.

Program Requirements

The Civil Engineering program expects an 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.

CSUN provides the opportunity for students who have not had a complete background of pre-engineering work in high school to take courses to prepare for the major. These additional courses will not count toward the major and may increase the time to graduate. CSUN provides testing as outlined below to ensure that students start their engineering coursework at an appropriate level.

Placement Exam Requirements

  1. The Mathematics Placement Test (MPT) is required prior to enrollment in MATH 150A. Students should take this exam prior to enrolling in their classes so they may be placed in the appropriate mathematics course. Students with scores of 4 or 5 on the AP Calculus AB or BC exams are exempt from the MPT.
  2. The Chemistry Placement Test (CPT) is required with a minimum score of 40 prior to enrolling in CHEM 101. Students who have had high school chemistry and expect to enroll in CHEM 101 must take this test regardless of their score on the AP Chemistry exam. Students who do not achieve this CPT score must complete CHEM 100 with a grade of “C” or better before taking CHEM 101.

Special Grade Requirements

  1. All students must complete the lower division writing requirement before enrolling in 300-level engineering courses.
  2. All students must attempt the Upper Division Writing Proficiency Exam before enrolling in 400-level engineering courses.
  3. A grade of “C-” or better is required in all courses in the major. A grade of “C” or better is required in all undergraduate transfer courses.
  4. Senior-level courses cannot be taken unless the student previously completed or is concurrently completing all freshman-, sophomore- and junior-level core requirements.
  5. A grade of “C” or higher is necessary in MATH 150B to meet the prerequisite requirements for the next-level math courses.

Course Requirements

1. Lower Division Required Courses (46 units)

Freshman Year
Sophomore Year

CE 240 Engineering Statics (3)
CE 280/L Computer Applications in Civil Engineering and Lab (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 (54 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 335/L Structures I and Lab (3/1)
CE 340 Strength of Materials (3)
CE 408/L Surveying with GPS Applications and Lab (1/1)
ME 370 Thermodynamics (3)
ME 390 Fluid Mechanics (3)
MSE 304 Engineering Economic Analysis (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 Engineering Senior Design I and Lab (1/1)
CE 488B Civil Engineering Senior Design II (2)
CE 526 Geotechnical Foundation Design (3)
ME 493 Hydraulics (3)

3. General Education (48 units)

Undergraduate students must complete 48 units of General Education as described in this Catalog.
22 units are satisfied by coursework in the major. Completion of the Civil Engineering major satisfies A3 Critical Thinking. 6 units of Physical Science may be used to satisfy sections B1-3. 1 unit of C1 Arts or C2 Humanities is waived. MATH 150A satisfies Basic Skills B4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning; ME 370 satisfies B5 Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative Reasoning; MSE 304 satisfies 3 units of upper division D1 Social Sciences; and CE 101/L and CE 280/L satisfy E Lifelong Learning.

Total Units in the Major: 100

General Education Units: 26

Total Units Required for the B.S. Degree: 126


Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management
Chair: Nazaret Dermendjian
Jacaranda Hall (JD) 4507
(818) 677-2166

Student Learning Outcomes

Educational Objectives

To carry out the mission of the Civil Engineering program, the faculty has established the following educational objectives. During the first few years following graduation, the graduates of the Civil Engineering program will have the following qualities:

  1. Graduates will obtain their certifications, and/or professional registration, and accept increasing levels of responsibility.
  2. Graduates will continue further studies in engineering and other professional disciplines throughout their careers.
  3. Graduates will develop creative and appropriate solutions to project challenges which are ethically and environmentally sensitive, and cost effective.

Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates will have an ability to:

  1. Identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of knowledge of engineering, science and mathematics.
  2. Apply the engineering design process to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration for public health and safety, and global, cultural, social, environmental, economic and other factors as appropriate to the discipline.
  3. Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  4. Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  5. 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.
  6. Recognize the ongoing need to acquire new knowledge, to choose appropriate learning strategies, and to apply this knowledge.
  7. Function effectively as a member or leader of a team that establishes goals, plan tasks, meets deadlines, and creates a collaborative and inclusive environment.