The Department of Civil and Urban Engineering develops engineering graduates capable of contributing to and advancing the practice of civil engineering and its subdisciplines. Through its research programs, the department strives to be at the forefront in selected areas in the development of new knowledge and applications in civil engineering. Through its educational programs, graduates will be well rounded in state-of-the-art techniques and will develop the skills needed in a complex profession. Among these skills are the abilities to communicate effectively and to understand the context of civil engineering projects in a complex society.
Program Educational Objectives
Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve. NYU Tandon School of Engineering’s undergraduate program in civil engineering is strongly practice-oriented, heavily emphasizing design. The breadth of the core courses prepares students for entry-level positions in any civil engineering subdiscipline or for graduate study; some graduates eventually may work in other professions. Within three to five years of earning undergraduate degrees, graduates will:
Apply scientific principles, interdisciplinary knowledge, critical thinking skills, cutting-edge technology, and a passion for civil engineering to solve complex engineering and societal problems.
Demonstrate leadership in professional careers, pursue continuous and lifelong learning, and progress towards professional licensure.
Communicate and collaborate effectively with industry professionals, decision-makers, and community stakeholders.
Work in an ethical and professional manner towards sustainable and resilient civil and urban infrastructure systems.
Successfully perform functions of civil engineering practice, including analysis, design, project management, experimentation, interpretation of data, application of new knowledge, and use of sound engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
Student outcomes are those abilities and skills that graduates are expected to have upon graduation with a BS in Civil Engineering degree. For these, the Department has adopted the seven fundamental outcomes specified by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. They cover the full breadth and depth of the abilities and skills needed by modern engineering professionals. They are listed below with brief discussions of how each relates to the civil engineering profession.
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics. Virtually all of civil engineering involves the application of mathematics and basic sciences to the solution of real-world infrastructure problems. Fundamental engineering skills evolve directly from science and mathematics. Students are immersed in these applications across all subdisciplines of civil engineering. The program is frequently updated to incorporate the latest approaches to engineering solutions, and to include the use of modern engineering tools. Important “tools” include a variety of computer programs for data analysis, simulation and design. The program is heavily design-oriented. Several courses include full design-project laboratories. Many additional courses have design components, and all students finish their academic programs with a comprehensive civil engineering capstone project.
- An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors. Engineers do not just solve problems brought to them by others. Engineers must spot problems before they become evident and describe them in terms that expedite their solution. As students progress through the program, they increase their participation in identifying and framing problems, as well as in developing comprehensive solutions.
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences. Engineers do not solve problems in a vacuum. Everything engineering professionals do affects the world around them. In the modern world economy, the “world” includes local neighborhoods, regions, states, nations and, indeed, the world. Solutions must be couched in a firm understanding of the impacts they will have on the environment, the economy and society.Engineers must explain their views and solutions to problems in ways that can be understood clearly by other professionals and by the public. Modern communication involves written and oral forms, and a wide variety of electronic media.
- An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts. All professionals must be keenly aware of their general and professional ethical responsibilities to society in general, and to others who require and pay for their services. Like many professions, engineers, and civil engineers in particular, have specific ethical codes issued by professional societies with which they must comply. General ethical considerations are discussed throughout the curriculum, and several courses have a strong focus on the basis for, and application of, professional ethical code.
- An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives. Any significant project involves several engineers, perhaps with different engineering backgrounds, as well as non-engineers (planners, architects, financiers, managers, etc). Students have the opportunity to work in teams in several courses, but particularly in the capstone design project.
- An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions. Civil engineers must engage in a number of basic experiments, and be aware of how to collect, organize, report and interpret the results of basic experiments and direct field observations of infrastructure operations. In the program, students are exposed to a wide range of laboratory experiments, including experiments in fluid mechanics, material behavior under loading, soil properties and behavior, and others. They also are exposed to the collection of field data related to environmental conditions and problems, highway and street traffic, and the monitoring of structures.
- An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies. The engineering profession changes rapidly with the technological world. While general principles tend to change slowly, the specific materials, analysis techniques and approaches to engineering change quite rapidly. The body of knowledge graduates leaves with must be updated constantly and expanded during their professional lives. The program provides opportunities for students to appreciate this need, and develop useful skills for self-learning, now and in the future.
The undergraduate curriculum for the BS in Civil Engineering provides a solid foundation in all major subdisciplines through required courses. It also requires a concentration in one of five areas (structural engineering, transportation engineering, environmental engineering, urban informatics, or construction management). Table 1 summarizes the curriculum and its requirements in subject-area categories. A typical four-year course of study for civil engineering majors is shown on the full-page chart at the end of this section.
Student have progressive design exposure throughout the curriculum. An introduction to design is provided by EG-UY 1003 in the freshman year. Courses CE-UY 2343 , CE-UY 3183 , CE-UY 3223 , CE-UY 3243 , and CE-UY 3153 have subdiscipline-specific design content. Many civil engineering elective courses also have strong design components. All students must complete two capstone design courses (CE-UY 4803 and CE-UY 4813 or CE-UY 4833 or CE-UY 4843 or CE-UY 4853 or CE-UY 4863 ) during their senior year.
Undergraduate civil engineering elective courses are provided in structural, geotechnical, environmental, water resources and transportation engineering, and construction management and engineering. These allow students to gain significant depth in these areas. Selected students with sufficient gradepoint averages may take graduate courses in these areas. Special topics courses are provided in each major subdiscipline and are offered as needed.
Communication skills are emphasized throughout the curriculum. The humanities and social sciences portions of the curriculum focus strongly on developing writing and oral skills. The freshman engineering program also includes substantial emphasis on oral presentations and written report assignments. All courses with associated laboratories require written laboratory or project reports; many design courses require formal submission of design reports, some with oral presentations. The senior design-project experience includes many oral and written progress reports and is formally presented and defended as part of final submission.
Humanities and social sciences courses also help students to understand the societal context of their profession. CE-UY 1002 and CE-UY 4092 reinforce this understanding with specific civil engineering references and provides a focused treatment of professional ethics. These aspects are also highlighted in other civil-engineering curriculum courses.
- After a student completes four semesters or 64 credits at NYU (whichever is earlier), the student must have a combined GPA of at least 2.333 in the following six required CE courses, all of which must be completed by this point: CE-UY 1002 Introduction to Civil Engineering , CE-UY 2133 Engineering Mechanics , CE-UY 2143 Analysis of Determinate Structures , CE-UY 2213 Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics , CE-UY 2343 Transportation Engineering , and CE-UY 2533 Construction Project Management . If a student has a combined GPA below 2.000 in the above six classes, the student may not be allowed to remain in the major. If a student has a combined GPA of at least 2.000 and below 2.333, the student may be required to re-take at least one of the courses to raise the GPA to 2.333 before being allowed to enroll in some junior-level required CE courses. If the student has not yet completed all six of the courses, the student will be required to enroll in them that semester.
- Since the capstone design course, CE-UY 4803 Civil Engineering Capstone requires a thorough understanding of all aspects of civil engineering, students registering for the course must have a cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better in all civil engineering courses taken thus far, excluding civil engineering electives.
- To promote interest in professional registration, students must register for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, which is administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). In senior year all students are required to register to take the FE Exam and enroll in CE-UY 4990 Fundamentals of Engineering Exam Registration for CUE . In addition, CE-UY 4092 includes a zero-credit recitation that provides preparation for the exam. Students who are not legally eligible to hold a professional engineer’s (PE) license are exempt from this requirement, but must still take CE-UY 4092 .
The BS in Civil Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.