Course of Study

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Civil Engineering, the oldest branch of the engineering profession, utilizes knowledge of mathematics and science, while applying judgment, to design economic means for improving the well-being of humanity: by providing designs for community living, industry, and transportation; and by designing structures for the use of mankind.

One of the rare historical records of civil engineering within academia is contained in the first catalogue of this university, dated August 1821. Among the description of offerings to students in 1820 was… “Civil Engineering, including the construction of roads, canals, locks and bridges.” This institution was thus the first private school in the United States where students were taught engineering as a separate branch of education. Two of its earliest alumni, Alfred W. Craven and Moncure Robinson, were prominent in the formation of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1852.

During the first two years, students learn the fundamental mathematical and scientific principles essential for engineering analysis and design. Principles of the design process are introduced in the first engineering courses and are continually emphasized and practiced in the subsequent engineering courses. The last two years of the curriculum are devoted to providing a sound grounding in the six major civil engineering sub-disciplines: water resources, structural, environmental, geotechnical, construction, and transportation engineering. In the senior year, students may choose civil engineering electives from their areas of interest. The design experience is culminated in the senior year with a major design project.

Laboratory experience is deemed essential to learning. Participatory laboratories reinforce principles learned in lectures and permit students to learn through inquiry. To this end, laboratory sections are kept small and require student participation.

Use of the computer for both analysis and design is an integral part of the curriculum and the department maintains a computer laboratory for the exclusive use of civil engineering students. Software required for all courses and additional software for student inquiry is available.

The Norwich Civil Engineering graduate from this program is able to manage varying job demands and requirements and will be capable of adapting to rapidly changing technology. The graduate is also well prepared for further formal study in graduate school where a student can specialize in a civil engineering sub-discipline. The Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET. The curriculum is also strengthened by activities of the Norwich student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Chi Epsilon, Tau Beta Pi, and the Society of American Military Engineers.

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