The Civil Engineering curriculum at Northeastern University aims to prepare students to contribute to society as civil engineers and in other professions that benefit from a technical education.
Our graduates will be technically competent, creative, critical thinkers, and skilled as communicators. They will have the educational background they need to become licensed Professional Engineers and/or to pursue graduate study in civil engineering. They will also have a broad knowledge base in science, engineering, and general studies that allows them flexibility in career development and graduate education. By participating in our cooperative education program, our graduates will better understand what career objectives fit their own skills and interests. They will have valuable professional experience, career management skills, and contacts that will help get them started in their professional career. At the same time, our graduates will be responsible and scientifically educated citizens, prepared to contribute personally as well as professionally to an educated, democratic society.
Our curriculum has been designed accordingly to provide our graduates with important knowledge, skills, and experiences.
First, our students gain an understanding of the natural and cultural world. A foundation in math and basic science is essential to understanding engineering principles, and makes the Northeastern education one that can keep pace with the advances in this dynamic field. Students learn to appreciate the cultural and political context in which engineering takes place and to understand the social and environmental impacts of engineering projects.
Second, our students become technically prepared for engineering practice. They acquire a common base of knowledge in the engineering sciences, including mechanics and environmental science. They learn to analyze and design building frames and bridges, water and wastewater treatment systems, highways and traffic systems, hydraulic systems, earth dams, building foundations, and construction management techniques. Our program emphasizes sustainable engineering practices that limit environmental impacts and resource consumption, particularly in urban contexts. It is designed to give students proficiency in at least four areas of civil engineering, design experience in at least two areas of civil engineering, and a culminating design project that requires depth in one area of civil engineering.
Third, our students develop skills in critical thinking, communication, and modern computing tools. These subjects are integrated into courses throughout the program. Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of effective writing and public speaking.
Fourth, our students develop a personal and professional ethic; that is, an understanding of the profession, its ethical codes, history, contemporary issues, the need for lifelong learning, the value of community service, and the value of participation in democratic government. Coursework, cooperative education, and participation in extracurricular activities such as Engineers Without Borders and the department's award-winning student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers help students meet this goal.