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Undergraduate Programs

Curriculum Overview

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences (CEEES) focuses on knowledge related to civil infrastructure, natural and manmade hazards, environment, energy, water, and planet systems. Our programs emphasize strong fundamental knowledge of science and engineering, tackling critical societal problems with a focus in the areas of structural engineering, environmental engineering, environmental fluid dynamics and environmental earth sciences using innovative interdisciplinary approaches and promoting the common good as molded by University of Notre Dame’s Catholic character.

CEEES has very innovative undergraduate programs that synergize classroom teaching with research, field trips, seminar series and hands on experiences that expose students to the realities and professionals in their field. These programs are designed to be inspirational and lead to inquiry as well as lead to life-long connections in the field.  All of our students experience in-depth fieldtrips and the majority of our students participate in research programs, thematic professional competitions, and professional lecture series. In addition, our students have a strong tradition of service in programs such as NDSEED, a student organization that proposes, designs, finances and builds bridges for poor communities in Central America. The department has a long tradition of placing its graduates from both undergraduate and graduate programs into sectors that truly serve society from their most basic needs of clean water and shelter to the advanced energy and transportation systems that sustain a thriving economy and a high standard of living.  Our alumni have a history of success and exemplary leadership in academia, consulting, national laboratories, construction, and industry.

Undergraduate degree programs offered


Why Undergrad Civil Engineering or Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Notre Dame

Our Philosophy: We teach the fundamental underlying concepts of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences to understand the physics, mathematics and chemistry of the systems we analyze and design. We also teach students to be innovative users and creators of ideas and tools that are at the cutting edge of developing and applying engineering and science to enhance the performance, safety, reliability and usefulness of engineered systems

Strong Fundamentals: The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The civil engineering program offers concentrations in structural engineering and hydraulic engineering, in addition to an introduction to several other major topics in civil engineering. Meanwhile, the program in Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences emphasizes the inter-relationships of earth, hydrologic, geochemical and chemical systems and human impact on the environment in a unique curriculum. Learn more about our curriculum here.

Small student to faculty ratio provides an intimate setting where students are able to meet with their instructors on a regular basis and teachers know their students by name.

Hands on First Year Program: Engineering students at the University of Notre Dame are engaged in a year-long introductory project-based engineering course in a state-of-the-art collaboratory learning center.

Service Opportunities and the spirit of Notre Dame thrive in our department. Here students can elect to receive course credit to work on service projects in different capacities around the globe as true servants to society. As such, Notre Dame's program promotes high moral, ethical, and social values. One example is Notre Dame Students Empowering through Engineering Development (NDSEED), a self-funded, student-organized activity that works through the non-profit organization Bridges to Prosperity (B2P) to empower rural communities in developing countries. In the 2008-2009, school year NDSEED raised funds, designed and constructed its first footbridge for a rural Honduran community. The NDSEED project continues to grow through self-driven Notre Dame students and this year travels to Guatemala to continue this important work.  In addition, our students are involved in the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI),  American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Engineers without Borders (EWB), and Haiti, reaching out and helping our fellow humans.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities allow students to delve into a topic in detail while building a working relationship with faculty. This can be completed for pay or for course credit during the academic year, or paid as part of a summer research for undergraduates experience. Opportunities for academic year and summer research experiences, as well as other activities encouraging undergraduate scholarship, are coordinated by the newly founded Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE).

Summer Internships: Our students regularly intern with consulting firms, construction companies and national laboratories. The University's Career Center assists students in securing these positions, from preparing resumes, to hosting career fairs and coaching students through the interviewing process.

Interface with Practice: Hands-on, real-world design projects prepare students for the real world, while numerous lectures expose students to the applications of their discipline in practice. For example, the annual Challenges and Innovations in Civil & Environmental Engineering Seminar Series exposes students to the realm of possibilities available within civil and environmental engineering. Meanwhile, class field trips, such as the junior class civil engineering field trip, enhance the class-room experience and illustrate real-world applications and implications of our disciplines.

Integrated Study Abroad Programs: Students can spend the fall of their junior year studying in Perth, Australia without schedule disruptions provided proper planning has taken place. Other available options include spending the summer in Spain, London, Mexico and a variety of other locations.

Dual Degree Programs are offered in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters or the Mendoza College of Business, while a two-course engineering business sequence is open to all students as part of the standard undergraduate curriculum.

Alumni Networking provides students the opportunity to see what a Notre Dame education can do for them. Several alumni remain involved in the student experience through presentations to and meetings with undergraduate students. It is valuable and inspiring for students to see where they can be in 5, 10, or 30 years!

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Kerr , Director of Undergraduate Studies.