Why CEE

What is Civil and Environmental Engineering?

Like civilization? Thank a civil engineer.

Throughout modern history, civil engineers have always been at the forefront of the drive to improve our standard of living. They remain the central figures in the planning, design, and construction of many developments, large and small, that make modern life possible. Civil and environmental engineers create the advanced infrastructure of the world around us. Buildings, bridges, dams, roads, railway systems, sanitation systems, flood canals: all of these projects are lead by civil and environmental engineers, through the initial plans, final design and construction.

Why CEE at Illinois?

Top-Ranked Programs

CEE at Illinois programs are consistently ranked among the top Civil and Environmental Engineering programs in the nation. See the Rankings and Statistics page for details.

Outstanding Faculty

Our faculty are known for their leadership in research, teaching, and innovation. The faculty of CEE at Illinois includes world-class experts in all areas of study. Members of the CEE faculty are leaders in their fields, yet they remain highly accessible to and involved with their students. Most appear regularly on the University’s List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students.

Global Experiences

CEE students have the opportunity to travel the world. In recent years, students in the CEE 449 course have traveled to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Mexico. The Global Leaders in Construction Management group has visited construction sites in Johannesburg, Seoul, Istanbul and Bucharest, just to name a few. Graduate students working with faculty members on research projects have found themselves in Sub-Saharan Africa, Nepal and India. Closer to home, a diverse student body that includes graduate and undergraduate students from around the globe means that all students are exposed to different cultures and backgrounds within every classroom. Our more than 20 student organizations feature several with an international focus, such as the Illinois student chapter of Engineers without Borders, whose mission is to promote community-driven engineering projects fostered by local partners for a sustainable global future. 

For students interested in more international learning experiences, the College of Engineering's Office of International Programs offers guidance in choosing among many available international study abroad programs.

World-Class Research & Lab Facilities

Several high-profile research centers enhance the curriculum and offer students—both graduate and undergraduate—ample opportunity to participate in cutting-edge projects with significant societal impact. Faculty members in all areas of study have active research programs.

Collegial, Collaborative University & Community

CEE at Illinois is widely known for its friendly, welcoming atmosphere where students, faculty, and visitors come from Illinois, across the U.S. and worldwide to learn, study, and conduct leading research in civil and environmental engineering. The department is part of the University of Illinois College of Engineering.

Research Areas

CEE has 50+ faculty members in 10 research areas, including three cross-cutting interdisciplinary areas:

Future Prospects

Students who graduate from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are highly sought-after by employers in industry and academia. CEE at Illinois offers students many opportunities for professional development so that they graduate fully prepared for the workplace. CEE at Illinois holds two Job Fairs each academic year, bringing company recruiters to the department and offering students the opportunity to find internships and full-time employment.

Alumni from our department can be found in many major organizations throughout the global economy: in large and small engineering firms, in government agencies, consulting firms, major corporations, universities and more. With its reputation for excellence, students graduating with a degree from CEE at Illinois have the world at their feet.