Civil Engineering Degree Requirements

Civil engineers design and manage large-scale projects characterized by great size, complexity, longevity and cost. Society relies and commerce thrives upon the systems and structures they create—from buildings and the plants that power them to the roads, bridges, tunnels and waterways that connect it all.

Our students receive rigorous training in the fundamentals of the physical sciences, mathematics, and scientific methods, coupled with complementary studies in the humanities and social sciences. They acquire critical thinking and problem-solving skills, develop their powers of analysis and design, learn how to communicate effectively, and work as part of a team. And they graduate with broad technical knowledge and a strong sense of how best to apply it in a globalized society.

About the Curriculum

It takes approximately 131 credit hours of course work to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering (BSCE) at Lehigh. Elective courses total 36 credit hours of the BSCE degree.

Engineering majors typically complete 28-30 credits their first year. Here's what a typical civil engineering course curriculum looks like:

Freshman year, first semester (15 - 16 credits)

  • Composition and Literature (3)
  • Calculus I (4)
  • Required natural science course*
  • Engineering Computations (2) or Introduction to Engineering Practice (2)

Freshman year, second semester (15 - 16 credits)

  • Composition and Literature: Fiction, Drama, Poetry (3)
  • Calculus II (4)
  • Required natural science course*
  • Engineering Computations (2)  or  Introduction to Engineering Practice (2)
  • Principles of Economics (4)

*The required science courses, one taken fall semester and the other taken in spring, are:

  • Introductory Chemical Principles and Laboratory (4)
  • Introductory Physics I and Laboratory (5)

Sophomore year, first semester (17 credit hours)

  • Calculus III (4)
  • Engineering Statics (3)
  • Engineering/Architectural Graphics and Design (3)
  • Surveying (1)
  • Civil Engineering Statistics (2)
  • Humanities/Social Sciences electives (4)

Sophomore year, second semester (18 credit hours)

  • Linear Methods (3)
  • Strength of Materials (3)
  • Introduction to Environmental Engineering (4)
  • Introductory Physics II (4)
  • Introductory Physics Lab II (1)
  • Free Electives (3)

Junior year, first semester (16 credit hours)

  • Mechanics of Fluids (3)
  • Civil Engineering Materials (3)
  • Soil Mechanics (3)
  • Structural Analysis I (4)
  • Basic Science Elective (3)

Junior year, second semester (17 credit hours)

  • Numerical Methods in Civil Engineering (2)
  • CEE Planning and Engineering Economics (3)
  • Hydraulic Engineering (3)
  • Geotechnical Engineering (3)
  • Fundamentals of Structural Steel Design (3) or Fundamentals of Structural Concrete Design (3)
  • Approved Elective (3)

Senior year, first semester (17-18 credit hours)

  • Professional Development (2)
  • Humanities/Social Sciences electives (7-8)
  • Approved Electives (8)

Senior year, second semester (15-16 credit hours)

  • Capstone Design (3)
  • Humanities/Social Science Electives (3-4)
  • Approved Electives (6)
  • Free Electives (3)

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