Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) Degree

The program leading to the BSCE degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Program Learning Outcomes (Student Outcomes) for the BSCE Degree

Upon completing the BSCE degree, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. 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.
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Program Educational Objectives for the BSCE Degree 

Within 3 to 5 years of graduation, graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (BSCE) degree are expected to attain the following program educational objectives:

  1. Demonstrate strong problem-solving and communication skills. 
  2. Achieve leadership positions in technical or managerial areas.
  3. Demonstrate initiative and innovation in professional endeavors. 
  4. Demonstrate engagement in addressing ethical, social, environmental, and global concerns.
  5. Remain engaged in continuing learning, including advanced degrees.
  6. Obtain a Professional Engineering license, if appropriate. 

Requirements for the BSCE Degree 

For general university requirements, see Graduation Requirements. Students pursuing the BSCE degree must complete a minimum of 133 credit hours to complete the degree to include the following:  

  • A minimum of 35 courses (94-95 credit hours depending on course selection) to satisfy major requirements.
  • A minimum of 133-134 credit hours (depending on course selection) to satisfy degree requirements. 
  • A minimum of 19 courses (54 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above.
  • The requirements for one area of specialization (see below for areas of specialization). The BSCE degree offers four areas of specialization:
  • A minimum of 16 courses (40-41 credit hours) from the General Math and Science courses.
  • A minimum of 9 courses (24 credit hours) from the Core Requirements.  

Civil and Environmental Engineering's innovative and challenging BSCE degree's engineering curriculum is designed to provide significant flexibility to the student. Specific details and typical course layouts by semester can be found on the departmental website

The courses listed below satisfy the requirements for this major. In certain instances, courses not on this official list may be substituted upon approval of the major’s academic advisor, or where applicable, the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies. (Course substitutions must be formally applied and entered into Degree Works by the major's Official Certifier.) Students and their academic advisors should identify and clearly document the courses to be taken.

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Civil Engineering 94-95
Total Credit Hours Required for the BSCE Degree 133-134

Degree Requirements

General Math and Science Requirements 1
CAAM 210INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING COMPUTATION3
CAAM 335MATRIX ANALYSIS 13
or MATH 354 / MATH 355 HONORS LINEAR ALGEBRA
CHEM 121
CHEM 123
GENERAL CHEMISTRY I
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY I
4
CHEM 122
CHEM 124
GENERAL CHEMISTRY II
and GENERAL CHEMISTRY LABORATORY II
4
ESCI 115INTRODUCTION TO THE EARTH 23-4
or BIOC 201 INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
or MATH 105 AP/OTH CREDIT IN CALCULUS I
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
or MATH 106 AP/OTH CREDIT CALCULUS II
MATH 211ORDINARY DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS AND LINEAR ALGEBRA3
MATH 212MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS3
PHYS 101
PHYS 103
MECHANICS (WITH LAB)
and MECHANICS DISCUSSION
4
PHYS 102
PHYS 104
ELECTRICITY & MAGNETISM (WITH LAB)
and ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM DISCUSSION
4
STAT 310 / ECON 307PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS 33
Core Requirements 4
CEVE 101FUNDAMENTALS OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING 53
CEVE 211 / MECH 211ENGINEERING MECHANICS 53
CEVE 310PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING 53
CEVE 311 / MECH 311MECHANICS OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES 53
CEVE 312STRENGTH OF MATERIALS LAB 51
CEVE 363APPLIED FLUID MECHANICS3
CEVE 401CHEMISTRY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING AND SCIENCE LAB4
or CEVE 470 PRINCIPLES OF SOIL MECHANICS
CEVE 480SENIOR DESIGN3
CEVE 481INTRODUCTION TO SENIOR DESIGN1
Area of Specialization
Select 1 from the following Areas of Specialization (see Areas of Specialization below):30
Area I - Environmental Engineering
Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
Elective Requirements
Select electives to fulfill the remaining BSCE degree requirements (see below for suggested elective courses) 6
Total Credit Hours Required for the Major in Civil Engineering94-95
University Graduation Requirements *39
Total Credit Hours133-134

Footnotes and Additional Information 

Areas of Specialization

To fulfill the remaining BSCE degree requirements, students must complete a total of 10 courses (30 credit hours) from the four areas of specialization as follows: 

  • 8 courses (24 credit hours), consisting of a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from each of the four areas of specialization as breadth.
  • 2 additional courses (6 credit hours) from one of the four areas of specialization for a total of 4 courses (12 credit hours, including breadth) in that specific area as an area of specialization.   

Area of Specialization: Area I - Environmental Engineering

All students must select a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area I. Students pursuing the Area I - Environmental Engineering area of specialization must complete:

  • 4 courses (12 credit hours) from Area I - Environmental Engineering
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
Select 4 courses from the following:12
SUSTAINABLE DESIGN
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
INTRODUCTION TO AIR POLLUTION CONTROL 1
ATMOSPHERIC PARTICULATE MATTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 1
ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES
FATE AND TRANSPORT OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT
WATER REUSE AND RESOURCE RECOVERY
ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY AND MICROBIAL ECOLOGY
Or any approved (Area I - Environmental Engineering) course from CEVE course offerings
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management Area of Specialization6
Total Credit Hours30
Area of Specialization: Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources

All students must select a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area II. Students pursuing the Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources area of specialization must complete:

  • 4 courses (12 credit hours) from Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area I - Environmental Engineering
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
Select 4 courses from the following:12
SUSTAINABLE WATER PURIFICATION FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD
HYDROLOGY AND WATER RESOURCES ENGINEERING
QUANTITATIVE HYDROGEOLOGY
ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION RESTORATION
ADVANCED HYDROLOGY AND HYDRAULICS
CONTAMINANT HYDROGEOLOGY
Or any approved (Area II - Hydrology or Water Resources) course from CEVE course offerings
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area I - Environmental Engineering Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management Area of Specialization6
Total Credit Hours30
Area of Specialization: Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics

All students must select a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area III. Students pursuing the Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics area of specialization must complete: 

  • 4 courses (12 credit hours) from Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area I - Environmental Engineering
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
Select 4 courses from the following:12
STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS I
ADVANCED MECHANICS OF MATERIALS
STEEL DESIGN
REINFORCED CONCRETE DESIGN
CONCRETE AND STEEL STRUCTURES LABORATORY
COMPUTATIONAL STRUCTURAL MECHANICS AND FEM
STRUCTURAL DYNAMIC SYSTEMS 1
SYSTEM IDENTIFICATION OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS
Or any approved (Area III Structural Engineering and Mechanics) course from CEVE/MECH course offerings
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area I - Environmental Engineering Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management Area of Specialization6
Total Credit Hours30
Area of Specialization: Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management

All students must select a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area IV. Students pursuing the Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management area of specialization must complete:

  • 4 courses (12 credit hours) from Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area I - Environmental Engineering
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
  • 2 courses (6 credit hours) from Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
Select 4 courses from the following:12
ENGINEERING ECONOMICS AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
UNCERTAINTY AND RISK IN URBAN INFRASTRUCTURES
TIME-DEPENDENT SYSTEM RELIABILITY METHODS AND APPLICATIONS 1
URBAN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS
BRIDGE ENGINEERING AND EXTREME EVENTS 1
MODELING AND ANALYSIS OF NETWORKED SYSTEMS 1
Or any approved (Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management) course from CEVE/MGMT/ECON/CAAM/STAT course offerings
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area I - Environmental Engineering Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources Area of Specialization6
Select 2 courses (6 credit hours) from the Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics Area of Specialization6
Total Credit Hours30
Footnotes and Additional Information  

Suggested Electives for the BSCE Degree

CEVE 320 / ENGI 320ETHICS AND ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP3
CEVE 417 / MECH 417FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS3
CEVE 424TIME-DEPENDENT SYSTEM RELIABILITY METHODS AND APPLICATIONS3
CEVE 454 / BIOE 454 / MECH 454COMPUTATIONAL FLUID MECHANICS3
CEVE 499SPECIAL PROBLEMS1-12
CAAM 336DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
CAAM 378INTRODUCTION TO OPERATIONS RESEARCH AND OPTIMIZATION3
CAAM 453NUMERICAL ANALYSIS I3
CAAM 471LINEAR AND INTEGER PROGRAMMING3
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
ECON 100PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS3
ECON 445MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS3
MECH 343MODELING OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS4
MECH 412VIBRATIONS3
STAT 385METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS AND SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION4

Policies for the BSCE Degree 

Transfer Credit 

For Rice University’s policy regarding transfer credit, see Transfer Credit. Some departments and programs have additional restrictions on transfer credit. The Office of Academic Advising maintains the university’s official list of transfer credit advisors on their website: https://oaa.rice.edu. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic program’s transfer credit advisor when considering transfer credit possibilities. 

Departmental Transfer Credit Guidelines

Students pursuing the BSCE degree should be aware of the following departmental transfer credit guidelines:

  • Requests for transfer credit will be considered by the program director (and/or the program’s official transfer credit advisor) on an individual case-by-case basis.

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Civil and Environmental Engineering website: https://ceve.rice.edu/

Opportunities for the BSCE Degree 

Academic Honors

The university recognizes academic excellence achieved over an undergraduate’s academic history at Rice. For information on university honors, please see Latin Honors (summa cum laude, magna cum laude, and cum laude) and Distinction in Research and Creative Work. Some departments have department-specific Honors awards or designations.

Departmental Honor, Award, and Scholarship Opportunities

  • Distinction in Research and Creative Work: The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will recognize graduating seniors for outstanding creative contributions with the award of Distinction in Research and Creative Work. The Department recognizes this award as being a significant honor. As such, it will be awarded to no more than 20% of a graduating class (rounded up to next whole number). This award shall be given for significant contributions in research, design, and creative projects beyond class assignments (except CEVE 499). Generally, it is expected that the student recipients will have performed research/design for a minimum of two academic segments (one segment = one academic year or one summer) during their undergraduate career (either for credit or pay). It may be given for one outstanding piece of work for consistent meaningful contributions made over the course of an undergraduate career. All majors (BA and BS) with a GPA of 3.30 or higher in all courses completed at Rice are eligible and will be considered for this distinction in the spring prior to their graduation. 
  • Rice Global Forum: Rice Global Forum (RGF) is an engineering and construction industry funded center which is in its second decade of operation. It was founded by Ahmad Durrani, past chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rice. RGF funds and facilitates interaction with the engineering and construction industry, particularly oil and gas related work. RGF funds $25,000 worth of scholarships every year. In addition, RGF also consistently sponsors and supports Engineers Without Borders (EWB) and has donated to other student clubs as well in addition to holding an engineering design competition every year in February during National Engineers Week. 

Student Organizations and Clubs

  • American Society of Civil Engineers Student (ASCE): https://www.asce.org/membership/student/.
    ASCE seeks to promote civil and environmental engineering, expose students to real world engineering, and connect students to alumni and professionals. Throughout the year we invite speakers from the industry, visit plants and sites, and organize social events. The objectives of this Chapter are to encourage the development of a professional consciousness, to afford an opportunity for civil engineering students to become acquainted and to practice working together effectively, to promote a spirit of congeniality among them, and to provide friendly contact with the engineering profession. We also support the Concrete Canoe competition (see below) and the Seismic Design Competition of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI). 
  • Chi Epsilon: https://www.chi-epsilon.org/xewebgeneral2/.
    Chi Epsilon is dedicated to maintaining and promoting the status of civil engineering as an ideal profession. Chi Epsilon was organized to recognize the characteristics of the individual civil engineering deemed to be fundamental to the successful pursuit of an engineering career, and to aid in the development of those characteristics in the civil engineering student. 
  • Engineers Without Borders (EWB): https://ewb.rice.edu/
    EWB partners with developing communities worldwide to design engineering solutions that will improve their standards of living. It is an important component of the Civil and Environmental Engineering program. BA students with their flexible curriculum are encouraged to participate. This exciting endeavor allows undergraduates to have an experience in a developing country, where they are able to design and build a project to help society. Students have been attracted to the EWB program in large numbers and our local chapter is one of the most successful in the United States. Some CEVE courses are EWB-related, providing the opportunity to also obtain credit hours.
  • Concrete Canoe: https://concretecanoe.rice.edu/
    Rice Concrete Canoe is a student-run club that creates a functional concrete canoe to race and present at the yearly ASCE sponsored competition. Through the year, members gain engineering experience through the research, planning and constructing of a concrete canoe. By offerings members exposure to the engineering design process, small-group work, software such as Matlab and Adobe Illustrator (and possibly more starting this year), and laser cutters, Concrete Canoe offers a unique experience to students regardless of whether or not they want to become engineers. 
  • Society of Women Engineers: https://swe.rice.edu.
    The Society of Women Engineers aims to empower women to pursue and achieve their full potential in science and engineering related fields. We provide opportunities in professional development, academic and post-graduate planning, community outreach, and social events. 

Professional Engineering Master’s 5th Year Degree Option for Rice Undergraduates  

Rice undergraduate students have the option to earn the Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering (MCEE) degree by adding an additional year after completing their bachelor's degree. Advanced Rice undergraduate students in good academic standing may apply to the graduate program during their junior or senior year. Upon acceptance, depending on course load, financial aid status, and other variables, they may complete part of the course requirements for the MCEE program during their senior year. A plan of study based on their particular focus area will need to be approved by the chair of the department graduate studies committee.

As part of this option and opportunity, Rice undergraduate students:

  • must complete the requirements for their bachelor's degree and the MCEE degree independently of each other (i.e. no course may be counted toward the fulfillment of both degrees).
  • should be aware of the financial aid implications, if the conversion of undergraduate coursework to that of graduate level reduces their earned undergraduate credit for any semester below that of full-time status (12 credit hours).  

Additional Information 

For additional information, please see the Civil and Environmental Engineering website: https://ceve.rice.edu/