Areas of Study: Specialization
Primary and Secondary Areas of Specialization
As part of the requirements for the degree of B.S. in Civil Engineering, each student must complete courses in both a primary and secondary specialization.
At least 12 hours must be taken in the primary field and at least 6 hours must be taken in the secondary field.
The primary field must be one of the following disciplines of civil engineering:
- Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability (interdisciplinary)
- Societal Risk Management (interdisciplinary)
- Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems (interdisciplinary)
- Construction Engineering and Management
- Construction Materials
- Environmental Engineering and Science
- Geotechnical Engineering
- Structural Engineering
- Transportation Engineering
- Water Resources Engineering and Science
The secondary fields can be selected from one of the ten disciplines (different from the primary) or a student can select from another group of secondaries listed in this chapter. A student can also elect the General Option in lieu of primary and secondary fields. This section of the handbook gives, for each discipline, a general description of the area and the curricular requirements for a primary or a secondary in that field.
General advice on selecting a primary and secondary field
After the basic decision to major in civil engineering, the next crucial decision is the program requirement of selecting a primary and secondary field of specialization. This decision affects the choice of core courses, the science elective, and the advanced technical courses. This choice affects over 30 hours of elective credit and involves up to 3 semesters of prerequisite dependencies. Hence, this decision should be made early in the third year of study. The Academic Program Plan must be submitted by your junior year in the first two weeks of the spring semester. For normal progress, this time corresponds with the second semester of the 3rd year of study. (see Section 3.3).
There are many things that can be useful in deciding on your specialties—from childhood dreams to recent work experiences. While your experience in the core courses in the various areas may be helpful in making this decision, remember that those courses give only introductory knowledge to fields that harbor lifetimes of interesting experiences that require knowledge far beyond what you can learn in the first course. Your faculty advisor or the Academic Advisor is probably your best resource for sorting out this important career decision.