Prospective Students

Undergraduate Students

Considering Civil & Environmental Engineering?

Civil Engineering – Creating the Built Environment

The civil engineering profession is concerned with the built environment. Civil engineers plan, design, and construct major facilities including highways, transit systems, dams, tunnels, energy facilities, harbors, canals, buildings, and bridges. Civil engineers help manage our air, water, and energy resources and help protect society from natural catastrophes, such as earthquakes, as well as dealing with the hazards society itself generates in the form of toxic wastes.

Beam Test
Structural Engineering - beam test.

The undergraduate major in Civil Engineering (CE) provides for two alternative tracks, one focusing on structures and construction and the second focusing on environmental and water studies. The CE degree program is ABET accredited and prepares students for professional practice or possible graduate study in engineering or other fields.

The Civil Engineering Curriculum

The undergraduate civil engineering curriculum includes a core, to be taken by all declared majors, that provides a broad introduction to the major areas of civil engineering. Two tracks then allow students to take additional specialized course work in either Environmental and Water Studies or Structures and Construction. For specific course listings and requirements, see the Civil Engineering section of the School of Engineering's undergraduate studies handbook (PDF document).

Environmental Systems Engineering - incorporating environmentally sustainable design, strategies and practices into natural and built systems

For civil and environmental engineering in the 21st Century, engineers must be equipped to be adaptable, ready to take on new, complex challenges involving natural and built environments. The Environmental Systems Engineering major is designed to prepare students for incorporating environmentally sustainable design, strategies and practices into natural and built systems and infrastructure involving buildings, water supply, and coastal regions.

Scale Model Kelp Forest
A 1/25 scale model kelp forest (Macrocystis pyrifera) in the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory

The Environmental Systems Engineering Curriculum

The undergraduate Environmental Systems Engineering major provides the math, science, engineering fundamentals, and tools and skills considered essential for an engineer, along with a choice of 3 focus areas for more in-depth study, including a capstone experience. Focus areas are:

» Urban Environments: Focus is on sustainability in the constructed urban environment, ranging from building-scale to urban-scale issues. Considerations include sustainable design and construction practices, energy technologies, water supply systems, and urban planning.

» Freshwater Environments: Focus is on incorporating sustainability into the design, management, and protection of water supply systems. Study areas include water resources, water treatment processes, aquatic chemistry and biology, and design principles for urban waterways.

» Coastal Environments: Focus is on the impacts of urban areas on coastal waters, and vice versa. Study areas include physical oceanography, biological and chemical processes and contaminants in the marine environment, and issues in coastal planning and policy.

This major was added to Stanford's undergraduate curriculum in 2014. The B.S. in Environmental Systems Engineering is not ABET accredited.

» Those undergraduates potentially interested in an ABET-accredited major should examine the Environmental and Water Studies specialization of the Civil Engineering major as a possible alternative. For specific course listings and requirements, see the Environmental Systems Engineering section of the School of Engineering's undergraduate handbook.

If you would like more information on the BS or BAS in Environmental Systems Engineering, please contact Jill Filice in Room 316 of the Yang and Yamazaki Environment & Energy (Y2E2) building.


Architectural Design - Designing for a Sustainable Future

The Architectural Design major seeks to integrate engineering and architecture in ways that blend innovative architectural design with cutting-edge engineering technologies. Combining hands-on architectural design studios with a wide variety of courses, students can choose from a broad mix of elective courses concerning energy conservation, sustainability, building systems, structures, as well as design foundation and fine arts courses.

Visit Architectural Design »

In addition to preparing students for advanced studies in architecture and construction management, the program's strong math and science requirements prepare students well for graduate work in other fields, such as civil and environmental engineering, law, and business. The major provides a background for individuals wanting to explore a diversity of careers in architecture, engineering, construction, and structures.

This undergraduate major grants a degree of Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a specialization in Architectural Design. This engineering major is not an ABET accredited engineering degree, nor is it designed to lead directly to professional licensure in architecture. In order to become a professional architect or engineer, additional graduate training is required.

Architectural Model
CEE 130: Introduction to Architecture Studio. Light, wall and roof studies - "heliodon" - study model for chapel.

The Architectural Design Curriculum

The Architectural Design curriculum focuses on three themes: Representation, Process and Sustainability.

Representation - the visual expression of a design. Courses provide hands-on experience in freehand drawing, mechanical drawing, model building and 3-D and 4-D computer modeling.

Process - the methodologies to design and construct architectural forms and systems. While gaining an understanding of the entire lifecycle of the collaborative design and contstruction process, students will learn to think clearly, reason critically and document and manage the evolution of creative ideas.

Sustainability - designs that meet the needs of the present without depleting or permanently damaging the resources required to execute on those designs. Coursework includes topics such as energy systems, ecologically friendly building materials, water conservation and indoor air quality.

Atmosphere/Energy - Improving Climate and Air Quality Through Renewable and Efficient Energy Systems

Atmosphere/Energy encompasses two broad themes: understanding energy effects on air pollution, climate, and weather and mitigating such problems through development, implementation, and analysis of renewable and efficient technologies and renewable energy resources.

The Atmosphere/Energy undergraduate degree is a pre-approved School of Engineering Individually-Designed Major (IDM) and first became available during the 2007-2008 academic year. The degree conferred is

"Bachelor of Science with an Individually Designed Major in Engineering: Atmosphere/Energy"

Please visit the link here for more information, including the curriculum.

Those undergraduates interested in the Atmosphere/Energy major should contact the Student Services Specialist of the Yang and Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building.

Related Topics

Detailed information on all of the CEE undergraduate majors can be found in the School of Engineering Undergraduate Handbook, Section 5 - Program Descriptions and Requirements for Engineering Majors.