Search Google Appliance

Bachelor of Science - Civil Engineering

Program Description

The Bachelor of Science - Civil Engineering (BSCE) degree includes required courses in the analysis and design of structures, applied hydraulics, surveying, soil mechanics and foundations, engineering project management, transportation engineering and environmental/water resources engineering.

Link to useful advising information for the BSCE program

Students often choose a specialty area in their senior year: structural analysis and design, environmental engineering, water resources, transportation engineering or geotechnical engineering. Students are encouraged to speak with faculty members in specialty areas to find out more about these fields.

The BSCE curriculum at Portland State University is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD  21202-4012 – telephone: 410-347-7700. This national organization sets standards for engineering education defined in terms of curricular content, quality of faculty, and adequacy of facilities.

Educational Objectives

Educational objectives describe the “career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve” (ABET, 2010) within a few years of their graduation.

The educational objectives of the Civil Engineering program at Portland State University are as follows:

Graduates are expected to practice civil engineering responsibly and ethically by (1) working effectively in the professional engineering community and (2) continuing to learn and enhance their abilities in civil engineering.

Educational Outcomes

Program outcomes are goals that describe our expectations as BSCE students graduate from our program.
Graduates of the Civil Engineering program at Portland State University will have the skills and abilities to prepare them to begin professional practice or to succeed in graduate studies.

Graduates will have:

  1. An ability to apply principles of mathematics, science, and engineering to the analysis and design of civil engineering projects.
  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 participate in projects that cross disciplines and to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
  6. An understanding of the professional and ethical responsibility of engineers in a broad societal context.
  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 continuing professional development and life-long learning.
  10. A knowledge of relevant contemporary issues.
  11. An ability to use the modern techniques, skills, and engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  12. An ability to apply knowledge in the following civil engineering discipline areas: structural, geotechnical, environmental/water resources, and transportation.
  13. An awareness of the need for professional registration in career development.

Admission Criteria

Admission process and criteria to the BSCE program is described in this MCECS document

Continuation Criteria

After admission, students will be expected to make satisfactory progress toward their declared degree and will be subject to the following rules:

  1. The term GPA in all courses taken at PSU must be 2.00 or higher.
  2. Students will be placed on probation when their term GPA is below 2.00 or their progress toward the degree is less than 12 credits per  academic year.
  3. Students placed on probation for two consecutive terms or for a total of three terms will be suspended from their degree program. Students also will be suspended if not enrolled in engineering courses for three consecutive terms.
  4.  Students who are suspended must wait at least one term before reapplying.


Pass/No Pass Grading Policy

All courses specifically required by the University or by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering must be taken for a letter grade unless a required course is only offered with a pass/no pass option.

Degree Requirements

BSCE majors must complete the following University and department degree requirements:

  1. Junior and senior engineering courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C-;
  2. Pre-requisite courses must be passed with a grade of C- or better in order to move ahead in the sequence;
  3. The student’s cumulative PSU GPA must be 2.33 or higher to graduate from the BSCE program;
  4. Any deviation from the required courses including engineering and mathematics substitutions must be approved in writing by the chair of the department.

Link to BSCE degree requirements in a 4-year course plan grid.

Freshman Year (Credits)*

CE 111 Intro do Civil and Environmental Engineering (2)
CE 112 Civil and Environmental Engineering Computations (2)
CE 115 Civil Engineering Drawing and Spatial Analysis (3)
Ch 221, 222 General Chemistry (8)
Ch 227, 228 General Chemistry Laboratory (2)
Mth 251, 252 Calculus I, II (8)
Mth 261 Linear Algebra (4)
Freshman Inquiry (15)
Total (44)

Sophomore Year (Credits)*

EAS 211 Statics (4)
EAS 212 Strength of Materials (4)
EAS 215 Dynamics (4)
CE 211 Plane Surveying and Mapping (3)
CE 212 Field Problems in Plane Surveying (1)
Mth 254 Calculus IV (4)
Mth 256 Applied Differential Equations I (4)
Ph 221, 222, 223 General Physics (with Calculus) (9) [Ph 211, 212, 213 can be substituted, 4 credits each, 12 total]
Ph 214, 215, 216 Physics Laboratory (3)
Sophomore Inquiry (12)
Total (48)

Junior Year (Credits)

CE 315 CEE Profession Seminar (1)
CE 321 CEE Materials (4)
CE 361 Fluid Mechanics (4)
CE 324 Elementary Structural Analysis (4)
CE 325 Indeterminate Structures I (4)
CE 341 Soil Classification and Properties (4)
CE 351 Transportation Systems: Planning and Design (4)
CE 362 Hydraulics (4)
CE 364 Water Resources Engineering (4)
CE 371 Environmental Engineering (4)
G 301 Geology for Engineers (3)
ME 321 Engineering Thermodynamics (4)
STAT 451CM Applied Statistics for Engineers & Scientists (4)
†EC314 Private and Public Investments Analysis (4)
Total (52)

Senior Year (Credits)

CE 444 Geotechnical Design (4)
CE 454 Urban Transportation Systems (4)
CE 484 Engineering Project Management (3)
CE 494 Civil Engineering Design (3)
CE 432 Steel Design OR CE 434 Principles of Reinforced Concrete (4)
Approved civil engineering electives** (19)
Upper Division Cluster (8)
Total (45)

The entire BSCE curriculum is 189 credit hours.  

† EC 314U is a required course that can be taken as a part of some upper-division clusters.

*Transfer students should follow the requirements as listed under the “Eligibility - BSCE” section above.

**Approved Civil Engineering Electives: CE 401 (4 credits maximum), CE 403 (4 credits maximum), CE 404 (4 credits maximum), CE 405 (4 credits maximum), CE 406 (4 credits maximum), CE 407/507 (3 credits maximum), CE 410-499, and CE 510-599. Courses outside CEE Department require prior approval of CEE Chair.