About Civil and
Civil Engineering encompasses just about anything form bridges, highways, and dams to water supply, treatment and transport. It is not just a nuts-and-bolts career, but a practical way for the young to fulfill lofty dreams of changing the world.
- Allman, F. Williams, U.S. News and World Report, 1991
A Career in Civil Engineering
In our classes and laboratories you will learn to design safer construction, build smart transportation systems, and adapt the natural water supplies to people's needs. Our civil engineering program teaches students to make decisions while considering a broad range of factors such as sustainability, aesthetic values, and environmental, economic, legal, sociological, and technological limitations.
A Career in Environmental Engineering
Environmental engineers apply scientific and engineering principles to preserve, restore and sustain the natural environment while maintaining clean air, water, and land resources. For example, Environmental Engineers provide safe drinking water supplies, prevent pollution of the aquatic environment, understand the fate and transport of contaminants, treat contaminated effluents and restore polluted sites.
We offer a four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree. The Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Civil Engineering are also available. You may also choose Civil Engineering as a minor.
The employment outlook for civil engineers is very good. Graduates may work for private companies; or for governmental agencies at local, county, state, or federal levels.
Most civil engineering jobs involve a combination of field work dealing with clients and the public; and office activities, including research.
You will need a total of 131 credits for the Bachelor of Science degree. Civil Engineering majors take courses in three basic areas: math, physical and engineering sciences, analysis and design. Specialization in the following subdisciplines is available: environmental, geotechnical, pavement/materials, transportation, and structural/earthquake engineering.
The Civil Engineering faculty are dedicated professionals whose active interest in research puts them at the forefront of current technology. Because classes are relatively small, you will get to know and interact with your professors and fellow students. You will receive a solid, will-rounded education. Many of our undergraduates also participate in ongoing research projects.
At UNR, the CEE department works with local professionals such as the Nevada Department of Transportation, Associated General Contractors, and other national and international civil engineering employers to provide meaningful summer cooperative training programs, and even full time employment after graduation.
A new, state-of-the-art laboratory center for the College of Engineering has been in operation since January 1992. This 50,000 square-foot facility houses major state-of-the-art laboratories for bridge engineering, construction materials, environmental engineering, and geotechnical engineering. Three large shake tables combined give the department the largest payload capacity for any earthquake simulation in the United States.
The university's library is the largest in the state and contains more than 900,000 volumes, 7,000 periodical subscriptions, and 3.8 million microforms. The library is a member of the Online Computer Library Consortium (OCLC), a system shred by many other research libraries on the West Coast. The government publications department, one of the largest in the western states, is a depository for state and federal documents and also receives publications from many international agencies.
Master's and Ph.D. candidates work closely with their faculty advisors on a wide variety of cutting edge research topics to solve difficult problems and find better methods of designing and building. Areas of specialization include environmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, pavement materials and structural engineering. A sizeable number of research and teaching assistantships are available.
The University of Nevada, Reno Civil and Environmental Engineering program is designed to support eventual licensure as a professional engineer (PE). It is strongly recommended that all students consider professional registration as part of their career path. Obtaining registration as a PE is a multi-step process that normally includes graduation with a B.S. degree from an ABET-accredited program. Once a student has completed junior-year coursework, he/she is eligible to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, usually while still enrolled as a student. After graduation, the new engineer must accumulate a specified period of experience (usually 4 years) working under the supervision of a licensed PE. The final requirement for registration is the successful completion of the PE exam, which is administered on a state-by-state basis. In most states, completion of a master's degree will reduce the required experience (e.g., from 4 to 3 years). More information about professional licensure is available from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the National Council of Engineering Examiners, and the Nevada State Board of Engineers.
For more information about the FE exam and recent announcements, please contact:
College of Engineering
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557-0256
Phone: (775) 784-6925
Fax: (775) 784-4466
The ASCE/AGC Student Chapter of the University of Nevada, Reno offers review sessions for those who are scheduled to take PE and FE exams.