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Undergraduate Programs

Toward responsible engineering

The expanding role of civil and environmental engineers

Civil and environmental engineers are the engineers who help society to function. Historically, civil engineers have been responsible for the creation and maintenance of the built environment, while environmental engineers have worked on methods to protect human health and the environment.

Stanford's Civil and Environmental Engineering Department has adopted as our central academic thesis that the built and natural environments are interdependent and inseparable, requiring that the next generation of civil and environmental engineers work jointly as never before. We are dedicated to positioning ourselves as world leaders in the field of Engineering for Sustainability, with the goal of producing professionals up to the task of wise and efficient use of resources while creating the next generations of the built environment.

An intimate and uniquely collegial environment

Because the future of the Civil and Environmental Engineering professions is increasingly multidisciplinary, the future of the profession requires that a multiplicity of disciplines come together in a cooperative, collaborative work model to produce the sustainable results that the world increasingly requires.

Our smaller department size and strong multidisciplinary focus create, by design, an academic experience that aligns with these growing industry needs. Our dedication to the close collaboration between disciplines begins with our emphasis on the collegial relationship between students and faculty and between graduates and undergraduates. Prospective students will find that our collegial milieu is often mentioned by current students as one of the most important aspects of their education here.

A synergy of academic strengths

A long-term strategic goal of the department has been to embrace and grow the synergy between our academic strengths of the Built Environment, Water Systems, and Atmosphere and Energy. Under the department's commitment to sustainability, we have focused on structuring our academic programs to provide students the full advantage of our broad vision of the future of Civil and Environmental Engineering professions. At the same time, CEE has a culture of giving students the opportunity to find their areas of specialized interest and pursue them.

Connections between the CEE department and other departments within and outside of the School of Engineering are strong and consciously maintained. Scholars from Computational Mechanics, Aero/Astro, and Management Science and Engineering, just to name a few, bring their expertise to bear upon CEE design problems as needs arise. Courses are offered in other School of Engineering departments that can expand upon the core curriculum and help tailor the academic experience to students' individual interests.

Relationships that start careers

The focus on maintaining close ties extends beyond Stanford to the professional community, where Stanford CEE has strong affiliate programs. CEE's affiliates are often early adopters of the cutting-edge technologies developed in the department. Many graduates from the CEE programs find their first professional homes within these affiliates. Being centrally located in the dense industrial base of the Bay Area, (as well as earthquake engineering activity for Structural Engineers), gives students ready access to these professional ties.