Areas of 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:

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.

Certificate in Data Science and Computing

Earn a CEE-focused Certificate in Data Science and Computing by taking a series of four courses that focus on data handling and processing; data analysis, including machine learning; computing; and data presentation. All are presented within the context of the CEE sub-disciplines. This certificate is open to both currently enrolled and incoming undergraduate students, beginning with the Fall 2021 semester. The program requires taking additional credits but can typically be accomplished during the normal course of completing your Bachelor of Science degree.

The four required courses are:

  • CS101 Introduction to Computing
  • MATH257 Linear Algebra with Computational Applications (instead of the normally required MATH 225)
  • CEE498DS Data Science in CEE
  • Plus one of these two courses: CEE498MLC Machine Learning in CEE or CEE498ISL Infrastructure Sensing Laboratory

Students interested in earning this Certificate should contact the CEE Academic Adviser to review the necessary steps and required courses.


More Questions? 

Becky Stillwell


Becky Stillwell
Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs

1102 Newmark Civil Engineering Lab
205 N. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL  61801
(217) 333-3812

Advising Appointments:
To register for an advising appointment with Becky, CEE undergraduates can visit: Advising Calendar