About the Department
By taking full advantage of our medium size, numerous multidisciplinary research projects, and close faculty and student interactions, students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering receive a distinctive, internationally recognized learning experience.
Our students become leaders in education, industry, and government. Our research deepens the understanding of the underlying science and engineering practice of building and managing an efficient, safe, healthy, and sustainable infrastructure and environments, especially in urban areas.
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At the undergraduate level, we offer two bachelor of science degrees: civil engineering and environmental engineering. Both programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. We also offer a minor in environmental engineering and a certificate in architectural engineering and design.
At the graduate level, the department provides graduate students with an exceptional range of opportunities to advance their knowledge and careers in a scholarly community that’s small enough to assure individual attention and effective mentoring.
We offer master’s and PhD degrees in civil and environmental engineering through the Northwestern University Graduate School. The MS emphasizes enhancement of professional skills, knowledge, and research techniques, while the PhD is a research degree involving novel, creative, and extensive approaches to problem solving.
Both the MS and PhD degrees in civil and environmental engineering are earned through the five academic programs that we offer:
- Environmental engineering and science (MS and PhD)
- Geotechnics (MS and PhD)
- Mechanics, materials, and structures (PhD)
- Structural engineering (MS)
- Transportation systems analysis and planning (MS and PhD)
For civil and environmental MS students whose focus is either geotechnics or structural engineering, the option to earn a simulation-driven specialization is available.
For civil and environmental MS students whose focus is structural engineering, the option to complete the advanced structural design program is available.
Finally, students earning a master of science in civil and environmental engineering with a focus in environmental engineering and science have the option of completing a certificate in global and ecological health engineering, an optional, four-quarter program.
We also offer the master of project management, a professional master’s program.
Our faculty members are internationally renowned scholars and researchers. Among them are six members of the National Academy of Engineers, two of whom are also members of the National Academy of Science. Four faculty members have received the Young Investigator Awards from the National Science Foundation. Numerous faculty members have also received various metals and prestigious awards from professional societies, including the National Metal of Science and the National Metal of Technology.
Our faculty members are organized into the following self-selected research area groups:
- Environmental engineering and science
- Mechanics, materials, and structures
- Transportation systems analysis and planning
Additionally, our faculty members participate in several interdisciplinary centers and institutes:
- Center for Intelligent Processing of Composites
- Center for Quality Engineering and Failure Prevention
- Center for Surface Engineering and Tribology
- Center for Sustainable Engineering of Geological and Infrastructure Materials
- The Institute for Sustainability and Energy
- Transportation Center
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering hosts several seminars during the academic year, enriching the learning experience our students receive.