Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental engineers address many of the vital needs of our modern society. They improve quality of life, promote economic growth, and protect people from hazards of natural and human origins.

Civil and Environmental Engineers create, construct, and manage the infrastructure systems we use in our everyday lives: transportation, water, power distribution, waste disposal, environment, and residential, industrial, and commercial structures.  Civil and Environmental Engineers support the global economy, secure the health and security of diverse communities, and operate our nations infrastructure – highways, bridges, wharf and harbor structures, industrial facilities – and address the challenges of ground water and air pollution as well as industrial and hazardous waste management.  They monitor the quality of the air, water, and land, and enhance the protection of our environment.

Curriculum and Emphases

While many students choose a primary degree in civil engineering with no added specialization, we also offer the opportunity to deepen your education in a few different ways. Check them out!

Civil Engineering

The Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering provides a broad base of core civil engineering courses and prepares students for both engineering practice and graduate studies.  Students explore structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, construction, transportation, environmental engineering, and water resources.

Course Plan

Environmental Engineering

A Bachelor’s degree in Environmental engineering covers engineering approaches required to provide safe drinking water, maintain air quality, control water pollution, and remediate sites contaminated due to spills or improper disposal of hazardous substances.  Our students are broadly educated and technically trained to address the spectrum of issues facing the environment.

Course Plan

Civil Engineering (Structural)

The structural engineering emphasis focuses on the design of safe and efficient structural systems.  Students will be prepared to design structures such as bridges, buildings, and offshore structures that can resist a variety of forces such as earthquakes and wind loadings.

Course Plan

Civil Engineering (Building Science)

Building Science is a joint architecture and engineering program.  Students will learn all aspects of building technology from site selection to building construction, in addition to gaining a holistic perspective of building design from architectural design to structural design, and from the artistic to the functional.

Course Plan

Civil Engineering (Environmental)

The environmental emphasis includes study in both environmental and civil engineering topics.  Students will learn engineering approaches required to provide safe drinking water, maintain air quality, and protect the environment.

Course Plan


ASCE’s Concrete Canoe weighs 210 Pounds, and it floats!

The American Society of Civil Engineering club on campus also houses the concrete canoe team! This group of students come together to design and build a canoe made of concrete (that does actually float) and races it in competition. This year, they placed 5th overall!

Research Highlights

The civil and environmental engineering department takes part in state of the art research and has many hands on opportunities for students.  Recently completed are brand new, state of the art labs for the environmental engineering department.  Students also have access to the civil engineering lab, which contains a water channel, shake table, tools for tensile testing, and more. Research highlights in the department include: sustainable development, water quality, access, and distribution, disaster and extreme event responses, complex systems, and more!

 Featured Podcast Episodes

Viterbi Voices: The Podcast is your chance to hear stories about research, classes, student life, and more directly from our faculty, students, and other members of our engineering community.  Below are featured episodes highlighting Civil and Environmental Engineering as a discipline and the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Career Options

When you graduate with a degree in civil or environmental engineering, here are just a few of the future career paths that might lay before you.

  • Become a structural engineer and build sustainable buildings
  • Develop land and mitigate risks of natural and manmade disasters
  • Manage civil infrastructure
  • Design and build roads, bridges, dams, tunnels, and airports
  • Develop environmental public policy
  • Create waste removal systems and treatment processes
  • Design transportation systems

Companies Hiring Civil and Environmental Engineers

  • Campbell Concrete
  • CH2M Hill
  • Chevron
  • City/ County of Los Angeles
  • Kiewit Pacific Company
  • Leighton Group
  • PPG Industries
  • Rudolph and Sletten
  • The Reynolds Group
  • And Many More!

#ViterbiClass: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Meet a few current Civil & Environmental Engineering students and faculty, learn about what Civil & Environmental Engineers study, hear why students choose to study Civil & Environmental Engineering, and see the research and career opportunities available here at Viterbi!

#ViterbiLife: Meet Students

Desiree James

Civil Engineering (Structural), '19

She is a senior studying Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Structural Engineering, while also taking classes toward an M.S. in Transportation Engineering. She has interned for BNSF Railway in Kansas City, Kansas.

Don’t just take our word for it

Find out what current students have to say by heading over to

Check it out now!

Have questions? Ask a Viterbi Admission staff member!