New Civil Engineering Major at CCSU

Dr. Clifford Anderson, PE, D.WRE, CCSU Civil Engineering Program Coordinator, Department of Engineering


Central Connecticut State University has a new four-year civil engineering degree program. In June 2009, the Connecticut Board of Governors for Higher Education licensed CCSU to begin the program, and the first civil engineering students were admitted in fall 2009. The new program will replace the civil engineering technology program offered since 1987.

Civil engineering is found in historic construction that occurred long before the title “civil engineering” existed. The pyramids of Egypt, the Mayan pyramids in Guatemala and Mexico, the Lighthouse at Alexandria, the Roman aqueducts, the Roman roads, and the Inca city at Machu Picchu are all marvels of civil engineering. But civil engineering constantly grows and applies new technologies. The England-to-France Channel Tunnel, the Netherlands North Sea Protection Works, the Millau Viaduct in France, Cowboys Stadium in Texas, and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the world’s tallest building) all employ new materials, innovative construction techniques, and computer-aided analysis and document preparation.

Civil engineering contains many engineering fields: bridge, coastal, construction, development, environmental, geotechnical, hydraulic, hydrologic, structural, surveying, and transportation engineering. These technical fields require extensive professional experience, and often advanced education, and the new civil engineering program will provide a solid foundation for graduates to enter these specialized fields.

Civil engineering graduates will be prepared in advanced mathematics, in science, and at least one additional area of science. On graduation, students will have knowledge of the fundamental engineering sciences common to most engineering disciplines (statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and mechanics of materials) and a solid undergraduate foundation in general civil engineering principles, enabling continued education at advanced levels. The new civil engineering program will prepare students to successfully complete the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying fundamentals of engineering examination that is the first step toward professional engineering registration.

The civil engineering curriculum was established to meet the accreditation requirements of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc. CCSU will apply for accreditation when the first students graduate from civil engineering. Upon ABET approval, accreditation will include the first graduating class.

Civil engineers commonly find employment in federal and state agencies and municipalities. While government agencies are major employers, the many civil engineering consulting firms that serve federal, state, and local government and private enterprise are expected to employ the most graduates.

Admission to the civil engineering program requires eligibility to enroll in calculus and freshman composition courses. High school students planning to enter the program should take mathematics courses that include trigonometry and pre-calculus. Taking high-school calculus and physics courses will provide added value. Many students can begin by enrolling in the Engineering Science Associates Degree program at most Connecticut community colleges, where they can complete two years of the four-year civil engineering degree. Further information about the new program can be obtained online at or at (860) 832-1815.