Curriculum Philosophy

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) defines Civil Engineering as The profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and physical sciences gained by study, experience, and practice is applied with judgment to develop ways to utilize economically, the materials and forces of nature for the progressive well-being of humanity in creating, improving, and protecting the environment; in providing facilities for community living, industry, and transportation; and in providing structures for the use of humankind.

The UTSA Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) has established a curriculum that prepares graduates for the Civil Engineering profession. Students must first complete the University Core Curriculum requirements and the Department's General Engineering requirements. The University Core Curriculum requirements consist of 42 credit hours and provide the scientific foundation required for advancing successfully to the General Engineering requirement courses. They include courses in Communications, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Humanities and World Issues.

The General Engineering requirements consist of 25 course credits geared towards advancing the technical abilities and skills necessary to meet the educational objectives of the College of Engineering. They include a number of the Core Curriculum required courses, namely MAT 1214 Calculus I, CHE 1103 General Chemistry I, PHY 1903 Engineering Physics I, and PHY 1911 Engineering Physics I Laboratory. Students are also encouraged to take ECO 2013 Introductory Macroeconomics or ECO 2023 Introductory Microeconomics. In addition, General Engineering requirements include MAT 1223 Calculus II, PHY 1923 Engineering Physics II, PHY 1931 Engineering Physics II Laboratory, EGR 2323 Applied Engineering Analysis I, and EGR 3713 Engineering Economic Analysis.

Subsequently, students need to take 70 additional semester credit hours of Civil Engineering courses. Courses for 64 of these credit hours are required. The remaining 6 credit hours can be selected as follows: 3 credit hours from CE elective courses and 3 credit hours from Life and Physical Sciences. The elective courses allow some specialization in one of the traditional Civil Engineering areas, namely, Environmental Geotechnical, Hydraulics, Structures and Transportation. Graduates are encouraged to become registered Professional Engineers and to pursue life-long learning.

Design is integrated throughout the curriculum starting with a freshman introductory course, CE 1301 Introduction to Civil Engineering, and ending with the senior capstone Civil Engineering Design course CE 4813. Design components are contained in most required engineering topics courses. These include CE 3213 Reinforced Concrete Design, CE 3233 Steel Design, CE 3413 Geotechnical Engineering and Applications, CE 3633 Water and Wastewater Treatment, CE 4123 Highway Engineering, and CE 4603 Water Resources Engineering. Design is also included in many of the technical elective courses offered. The design experience culminates in a major senior capstone design course, CE 4813 Civil Engineering Design. The capstone design project is multidisciplinary in that it involves three or more civil engineering areas and draws upon most prior coursework. The course involves teamwork, and both written and oral presentations in the form of a final design report and a formal presentation in front of a panel of professional engineers.