About Civil and Environmental Engineering
The innovative, dynamic work of civil and environmental engineers can be seen everywhere
in today’s world. Civil and environmental engineers analyze, plan, design, and build
structures such as buildings, bridges, and dams; infrastructure systems for transportation;
water resources and natural hazard protection; and environmental control and remediation
of both the natural and constructed environment.
The USC Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
is at the forefront of education and research, expanding in
areas such as hurricane and earthquake design, sustainable development, intelligent
transportation systems, high-performance and novel materials characterization, bioelectrical
remediation, life-cycle analyses, nondestructive evaluation, and cardiovascular
While working on their degree, USC civil and environmental engineering undergraduate
students also have the opportunity to participate in research projects and work
with graduate students and professors as research assistants. Research projects
stem from the five areas of civil and environmental engineering and are often conducted
by multidisciplinary teams and researchers of different backgrounds.
Civil and environmental engineers enjoy high salaries and have a multitude of employment
opportunities. Our graduates are prepared to enter the job market with federal,
state, and municipal agencies; with private consulting firms involved with aspects
of planning, design, construction, or environmental sustainability; and with the
development of facilities, resources, and environmental control for industrial development.
Areas of Study
Within the field of civil and environmental engineering, the opportunities are numerous.
USC students can choose fields of specialized study and research from a variety
Engineering focuses on sustainability and environmental applications
and implications of nanotechnology, including water and wastewater reclamation,
bioreactor landfills, waste conversion processes, treatment technologies for developing
countries, application of nanamaterials for developing innovative remediation technologies,
quantum modeling of nanomaterials, and understanding fate, transport, and toxicity
of nanomaterials in the environment.
Engineering focuses on soil, rock and engineered geomaterials with
specific concentrations on field and laboratory investigations using standard and
novel testing technologies, design and performance of foundations and earth structures,
slope stability analyses, soil dynamics and liquefaction, pavement design and performance,
landfill design and instrumentation, and geoenvironmental studies.
Engineering focuses on structural design, and analysis for buildings,
bridges and other civil structures, materials characterization and modeling including
concrete, steel and fiber reinforced polymers, multi-scale structural testing, advanced
numerical simulations, structural health monitoring and prognosis, life-cycle and
environmental performance analysis, and seismic engineering and design.
Engineering focuses on modeling transportation system operations,
traffic sensing technologies and traffic data analyses, including intelligent transportation
systems, modeling and simulation of large-scale transportation networks, weigh-in-motion
systems, traffic studies, traffic signal simulation and pavement management systems
and performance modeling.
Engineering focuses on the study and computer modeling of natural
and industrial flow and transport processes, both in the laboratory and in the field,
including fluid mechanics, hydraulic transients, cardiovascular flow, river mechanics
and marine sediment transport, scour, hydrology of landfills, storm water modeling
and best management practices, and watershed scale hydrology.