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 apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  3. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
  4. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  7. An ability to communicate effectively.
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

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 position in technical or managerial areas.
  3. Demonstrate initiative and innovative thinking in project work.
  4. Demonstrate keen awareness of ethical, social, environmental, and global concerns.
  5. Remain engaged in continuing learning, including advanced degrees.
  6. Obtain a Professional Engineering license.

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 section) to satisfy major requirements. This includes:
    • 16 courses (40-41 credit hours) from General Math and Science courses.  
    • 9 courses (24 credit hours) from core coursework. 
    • 4 courses (12 credit hours) from 1 Area of Specialization (see below).
    • 2 courses in each of the 3 remaining Areas of Specialization (see below) for a total of 6 courses (18 credit hours). 
  • A minimum of 133-134 credit hours to satisfy degree requirements. 
  • A minimum of 19 courses (54 credit hours) taken at the 300-level or above. 

The four Areas of Specialization and their key topics within the BSCE degree are listed below:

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 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
Select 1 from the following:3
MATRIX ANALYSIS 1
HONORS LINEAR ALGEBRA
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
Select 1 from the following:3-4
INTRODUCTORY BIOLOGY
ECOLOGY
EARTH STRUCTURE AND DEFORMATION
EARTH'S INTERIOR 2
MATH 101SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS I3
MATH 102SINGLE VARIABLE CALCULUS II3
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 310PROBABILITY AND STATISTICS3
Core Requirements 3
CEVE 101FUNDAMENTALS OF CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING 43
CEVE 211 / MECH 211ENGINEERING MECHANICS 43
CEVE 310PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING 43
CEVE 311 / MECH 311MECHANICS OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES 43
CEVE 312STRENGTH OF MATERIALS LAB 41
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
Areas of Specialization
Select 4 courses from 1 Area of Specialization (see below for course lists for each Area of Specialization)12
Area I - Environmental Engineering
Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
Select 6 courses consisting of a minimum of 2 courses from each of the remaining 3 Areas of Specialization (see below for course lists for each Area of Specialization)18
Elective Requirements
Select electives to fulfill the remaining BSCE degree requirements (see below for suggested elective courses) 5
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) as listed below in the 4 areas of specialization:

  • 4 courses (12 credit hours) from 1 area of specialization.
  • 6 courses (18 credit hours), consisting of a minimum of 2 courses (6 credit hours) from each of the remaining 3 areas of specialization found below. 
Area of Specialization: Area I - Environmental Engineering
CEVE 302 / ENGI 302SUSTAINABLE DESIGN3
CEVE 307 / ENST 307 / ESCI 307ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT3
CEVE 308INTRODUCTION TO AIR POLLUTION CONTROL 13
CEVE 404ATMOSPHERIC PARTICULATE MATTER 13
CEVE 406 / ENST 406INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW 13
CEVE 411ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES3
CEVE 434FATE AND TRANSPORT OF CONTAMINANTS IN THE ENVIRONMENT3
CEVE 442WATER REUSE AND RESOURSE RECOVERY3
CEVE 444ENVIRONMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY AND MICROBIAL ECOLOGY3
Or any approved (Area I - Environmental Engineering) course from CEVE course offerings3
Area of Specialization: Area II - Hydrology and Water Resources
CEVE 314SUSTAINABLE WATER PURIFICATION FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD3
CEVE 412HYDROLOGY AND WATER RESOURCES ENGINEERING3
CEVE 418 / ESCI 418QUANTITATIVE HYDROGEOLOGY3
CEVE 420ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION RESTORATION3
CEVE 512ADVANCED HYDROLOGY AND HYDRAULICS3
CEVE 518CONTAMINANT HYDROGEOLOGY3
Or any approved (Area II - Hydrology or Water Resources) course from CEVE course offerings3
Area of Specialization: Area III - Structural Engineering and Mechanics
CEVE 304STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS I3
CEVE 400 / MECH 400ADVANCED MECHANICS OF MATERIALS3
CEVE 405STEEL DESIGN3
CEVE 407REINFORCED CONCRETE DESIGN3
CEVE 408CONCRETE AND STEEL STRUCTURES LABORATORY1
CEVE 427 / MECH 427COMPUTATIONAL STRUCTURAL MECHANICS AND FEM3
CEVE 476STRUCTURAL DYNAMIC SYSTEMS 13
Or any approved (Area III Structural Engineering and Mechanics) course from CEVE/MECH course offerings3
Area of Specialization: Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management
CEVE 313 / STAT 313UNCERTAINTY AND RISK IN URBAN INFRASTRUCTURES3
CEVE 424TIME-DEPENDENT SYSTEM RELIABILITY METHODS AND APPLICATIONS 13
CEVE 452URBAN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS3
CEVE 460BRIDGE ENGINEERING AND EXTREME EVENTS 13
CEVE 479ENGINEERING PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS3
CEVE 492MODELING AND ANALYSIS OF NETWORKED SYSTEMS 13
Or any approved (Area IV - Urban Infrastructure, Reliability and Management) course from CEVE/MGMT/ECON/CAAM/STAT course offerings3
Footnotes and Additional Information  

Suggested Electives for the BSCE Degree

CEVE 314 / BIOE 365 / GLHT 314SUSTAINABLE WATER PURIFICATION FOR THE DEVELOPING WORLD3
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
ARCH 317LANDSCAPE AND SITE STRATEGIES FOR HOUSTON3
CHEM 211
CHEM 213
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
and ORGANIC CHEMISTRY DISCUSSION
3
ECON 100PRINCIPLES OF ECONOMICS3
ECON 445MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS3
STAT 385METHODS OF DATA ANALYSIS AND SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION4
CAAM 336DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING3
CAAM 378INTRODUCTION TO OPERATIONS RESEARCH AND OPTIMIZATION3
CAAM 453NUMERICAL ANALYSIS I3
CAAM 471LINEAR AND INTEGER PROGRAMMING3
MECH 343MODELING OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS4
MECH 412VIBRATIONS3

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: http://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.

For additional information, please see the Civil and Environmental Engineering website: http://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): http://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: http://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): http://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: http://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: http://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).  

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