Civil Engineering Major

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Civil engineers are responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of structures that form the transportation, resource distribution, environmental systems and physical infrastructure of contemporary society. From bay-spanning bridges to earthquake-safe buildings, civil engineers design and build solutions to an enormous variety of problems. Increasingly, civil engineers are called upon to safeguard the health of our environment by managing and improving air, land and water quality with air, water and waste treatment systems. As a civil engineering student at UC Davis, you will gain skills that will enable you to serve society while indulging your love of design and construction.

Real-World Outcomes

UC Davis civil engineering majors are well prepared to put their skills to work with a variety of municipal, state and federal agencies and private companies throughout California, the nation and the world.

    Major Requirements

    Degree Worksheets & Check Offs

    Engineering students are required to complete degree requirements in effect the academic year they graduate or the academic year prior to the year of graduation. For example, students who plan to graduate during the 2018-2019 academic year must meet requirements for 2017-2018 or 2018-2019.

    At a Glance

    • Lower Division STEM (53-57 units)
      Courses in Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, and Engineering
    • Other Lower Division (17 units)
      Courses in Biology, Geology, Communications, and Programming.
    • Upper Division Engineering (21 units)
      Courses in foundational engineering concepts
    • Upper Division Breadth & Depth Courses (32-33 units)
      In-depth courses in our five areas of specialization:
      1) Environment
      2) Structures
      3) Geotechnical
      4) Transportation
      5) Water Resources
    • Civil Engineering Electives (16-20 units)
      Any upper division ECI course from any of the five areas or from our selected list of electives
    • Upper Division Composition (0-4 units)
      One upper division English course or pass out by taking the English Composition Exam
    • Senior Design (8 units)
      A large-scale group project taken consecutively in the final Winter and Spring quarters at UC Davis. Under faculty supervision, students are lead through the process of brainstorming and designing an engineering project in one area of specialization of their choice. 


    Senior Design: More Info

    The senior design project can only be completed in one of the two depth-areas a student takes courses in. The course itself is offered in four sections, with each section having unique prerequisites that must be fulfilled by the end of the Fall quarter before senior design occurs with a grade of a C- or better. Prerequisites are listed below:

    • Environment
      • ECI 140CN
    • Geotechnical
      • ECI 171-171L; one other ECI depth course
    • Structures
      • 2 of the following: ECI 132, 134, or 135
    • Transportation
      • ECI 163 or 161; one other ECI depth course
    • Water Resources
      • ECI 141-141L; one other ECI depth course

    *Note: Geotech will not be offered as a senior design project in the year 2023-24.