FAQs about Civil Engineering Majors

Find Out the Answers to Commonly Asked Questions for Civil Engineering Majors

Read these frequently asked questions about what a civil engineering major is, and what it can mean for your educational and professional future when you graduate from Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.

What is Civil Engineering and How Is It Different from Other Engineering Majors?

Civil engineering consists of designing and constructing infrastructure used by people in their everyday lives. This could be a variety of projects from highways, water treatment facilities, airports, etc. Civil engineering majors have perhaps the most diverse career paths inside the engineering field.

Compared to electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer engineering, civil engineering is geared toward public service, public structures and public systems. This means that civil engineers are more focused on providing infrastructure expertise for the greater good of the communities they live in.

What Kind of Classes Does a Civil Engineering Major Consist of?

At SLU’s Parks College, core curriculum for a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering includes:

  • Freshman Engineering I & II
  • Civil Engineering Computing
  • Sustainability and Environmental Engineering/Lab
  • GIS in Civil Engineering
  • Structural Analysis/Lab
  • Civil Engineering Materials
  • Introduction to Surveying
  • Engineering Project Management
  • Geotechnical Engineering/Lab
  • Transportation Engineering /Lab
  • Hydraulic Engineering/Lab
  • Introduction to Structural Design
  • Senior Engineering
  •  Capstone Design I & II

Notable is the introduction of computer-aided design and other state-of-the-art computational techniques starting with courses taken during the freshman year, and an emphasis across the degree program’s curriculum on environmental impact and sustainability.

Who Hires Civil Engineering Majors after Graduation?

Civil engineering majors are sought-after professionals employed by the government, private business, and are even sometimes self-employed.

Utility companies hire civil engineers to design plans for underground pipeline routes and transfer systems that deliver electricity, gas and water to homes and businesses. And as utilities make renewable energy a larger part of their energy portfolio, they need civil engineers to conduct land surveys, prepare permits, design special foundations, roads and storm water control systems, conduct geotechnical investigations and do general civil design for large-scale wind, solar and hydroelectric projects.

Environmental regulation agencies on the local, state and federal level staff their offices with civil engineers who know how to gauge and reduce soil contamination and air and water pollution and emissions from factories, power plants and various municipal facilities.

Architecture firms hire civil engineers to take the blueprints for proposed building projects and determine how they can be built to code for load bearing and wind. How much steel would be needed to ensure the safety of this project, and what would the specifications for that steel be? Civil engineers make calculations like that.

Land management firms hire civil engineers for land renewal and underground transit projects.

Local, state and the federal government requires civil engineers for fundamental social contract infrastructure projects, from roads and freeways, to bridges to dams to natural resource management. Government and private industry also hire civil engineers to design and regulate water and sewage treatment plants.

Companies involved in oil and gas extraction also hire civil engineers to plan and design extraction sites.

Civil engineering firms, of course, are staffed by civil engineers who serve and consult for clients in a range of industries.

Apply to Parks College Today

If you’re looking for a civil engineering program that emphasizes hands-on lab work and sustainability, Parks College is where your career begins. Apply online today.