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What do civil and environmental engineers do?

Civil and environmental engineers apply basic principles of science, supported by mathematical and computational tools, to address the biggest challenges facing society: ensuring clean air, safe drinking water and sanitation; addressing our changing environment; protecting the population from natural and man-made hazards; designing a sustainable infrastructure that serves everyone; reimagining human and commodity traffic for an automated future; and of course designing and constructing the world’s tallest buildings and most iconic bridges. 

What will CEE at Illinois students learn?

The CEE at Illinois program comprises seven main disciplines: Construction Engineering and Management, Construction Materials, Environmental Engineering and Science, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, and Water Resources Engineering and Science. Additionally, three interdisciplinary programs give students a broad, systems-level perspective on the complex civil and environmental challenges facing the world today: Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems, Energy-Water-Environment Sustainability, and Societal Risk and Hazard Mitigation. Our students' educational experience will include:

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Rigorous core courses will provide complete knowledge of the fundamentals of civil and environmental engineering.  


Big Data & Computational Skills

Coding, computational and modeling skills for design/decision-making are taught from freshman through senior years.


Experiential Learning

A focus on hands-on learning will lead to a deep understanding of real-life application of engineering concepts.



An emphasis on communication will prepare students for professions that take them from project sites to boardrooms.


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Critical Thinking

Our students learn how to arrive at a solution by thinking critically about a problem rather than simply memorizing a formula.


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By fostering innovation, leadership and entrepreneurship, the world of professional possibilities is wide open.


CEE helps prepare you for what comes next.

A degree from CEE at Illinois is the first step to becoming a successful professional. Graduates of CEE at Illinois are always in high demand and students approaching graduation are enthusiastically recruited for full-time positions. To help students prepare for the workforce while still in college, a number of department and college resources are available. including: a twice-yearly job fair for CEE students; Backpack to Briefcase, a fall semester professional development seminar series; and Engineering Career Services, which hosts college-wide career fairs and provides a variety of ways for employers to connect with students

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Fundamentals of Engineering Exam pass rate (national pass rate is 68%)


Principles & Practice of Engineering (PE) exam pass rate (national pass rate is 63.5%)

Diversity Programs

The Grainger College of Engineering supports diversity through several programs. From recruitment events, to fellowships, to mentoring, we provide a wide range of opportunities for individuals from different personal, cultural, and disciplinary perspectives.

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Photo: Civil Engineering majors studying during finals week.

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Become part of a tradition of excellence: of groundbreaking research, historic firsts, and future promise.

Plan Your Visit

One of the best ways to decide if you belong at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign is to experience campus first-hand, and our goal is to make your visit as informative and worthwhile as possible. In order to fit your schedule and interests, there are many options for you. Come see all that campus has to offer! 

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Take a photo tour of CEE

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Photo Tour of
Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory, Yeh Center. One of two main entrances to the building.

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Students studying in the Yeh Center.

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Students in CEE195 About Civil Engineering and CEE495 Field Methods in Water Resources help dye the Boneyard Creek orange to study methods of measuring pollutants in streams.

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A student prepares a hot-mix asphalt specimen with a gyratory compactor for further testing at the Advanced Transportation Research and Engineering Laboratory (ATREL), where technologies for airport, highway and rail systems are developed. 

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The Ven Te Chow Hydrosystems Laboratory offers more than 11,000 square feet of instructional and experimental space.

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CEE facilities are second to none, allowing students unparalleled educational and research experiences.

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Some of the concrete canoes from CEE's past hang on the wall in the crane bay of Newmark Lab.

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Two members of the 2020-2021 Concrete Canoe paddle team practice their rowing skills.

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Senator Duckworth, right, listens to UI graduate student Tom Roadcap explain how stresses around the bolt-holes at rail joints can lead to cracking during a visit to the Research and Innovation Laboratory (RAIL).

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The new CEE Building - which is home to several classrooms, faculty and graduate student offices, and laboratories - opened in Fall 2021. 

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The interior of the Kavita and Lalit Bahl Smart Bridge has several tables and seating areas, making it a popular spot for students to spend time between classes. The pedestrian bridge connects the third floors of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Building and the Newmark Civil Engineering Lab (Yeh Center).

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When not in the field, the CEE 458 Field Methods in Water Resources class meets in the water quality laboratory in the CEE building.

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Students and faculty conduct research in the environmental engineering and science laboratories located on the fourth floor of the Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory.

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