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Academic Guide



In order to satisfy the requirements for the civil engineering baccalaureate degree in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences a student must:

  • take and pass or gain credit in an approved manner, all courses specified in the curriculum,
  • take and pass or gain credit in an approved manner, all elective courses in the specified subject area,
  • have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0, and
  • comply with all requirements of the University of Notre Dame.

 In addition to registering for and completing with a passing grade courses offered at Notre Dame, other means of gaining credit "in an approved manner" include:

  • advanced placement credit,
  • credit by exam,
  • taking, passing and causing an official transcript to be sent to the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a course at an accredited institution of higher learning which had been previously approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, and
  • courses taken at another institution prior to enrollment at the University of Notre Dame, which have been evaluated and accepted for transfer credit by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

 Credit obtained by any means other than enumerated above requires petition and justification by the student and approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  


Degree Requirements

Elective Requirements

    • University Requirements
    • CE Electives
    • Engineering Electives
    • Technical Electives

Pre-requisite course flow-charts 

Transfer Courses


Study Abroad

Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Dual Degree Programs


University Requirements or Arts and Letters Electives

First-year students entering Notre Dame prior to the Fall of 2018 must include eight (8) three-credit courses and must be distributed as indicated in the Academic Code in the following areas:

  • University Seminar one course
  • Composition one course
  • History one course
  • Social Science one course
  • Literature or Fine Arts one course
  • Philosophy two courses
  • Theology two courses

 A University Seminar course taken during the First Year of Studies satisfies a distribution requirement in history, social science, literature or fine arts, philosophy or theology, depending on the subject matter of the University Seminar course.

 First-year students entering Notre Dame in or after the Fall of 2018, are required to follow the new core curriculum for the University Requirements, which can be found at the following link: https://corecurriculum.nd.edu/starting-fall-2018/.

  • Liberal Arts 1: Quantitative Reasoning*
  • Liberal Arts 2: Science & Technology*
  • Liberal Arts 3: Quantitative Reasoning or Science & Technology*
  • Liberal Arts 4: Art & Literature or Advanced Language and Culture
  • Liberal Arts 5: History or Social Science
  • Liberal Arts 6: Integration or Ways of Knowing not chosen from 4 or 5
  • Theology 1: Foundational
  • Theology 2: Fundamental
  • Philosophy 1: Introductory
  • Philosophy 2 or CAD: Philosophy Elective or Catholicism and the Disciplines
  • Writing 1: University Seminar**
  • Writing 2: Writing & Rhetoric or Other Writing-Intensive Course
  • Moreau: one credit course for two semesters

 *Liberal Arts 1, 2, and 3 are satisfied through the College of Engineering course requirements.

**A University Seminar course may be double-counted to fulfill both the USEM requirement and one of the other liberal arts requirements.


CEEES or CE Electives must be satisfied by taking courses within the CEEES Department that are not required of the major. These are identified in the Bulletin of Information and the Schedule of Class booklet with the program abbreviation (CE) and must be level 30000 or higher. There are some exceptions to this, such as the courses listed below.

Courses Accepted in addition to those that follow the definition:

  • CE 20600: Intro to CAD
  • CE 20700: Sustainable Development in a Changing World
  • CE 20710: Resiliency of Engineering Systems
  • CE 23600: Challenges Seminar
  • AME 20222. Mechanics II

Engineering Electives must be satisfied by taking courses within the College of Engineering. These are identified in the Bulletin of Information and the Schedule of Class booklet which is level 30000 or higher.

Technical Elective requirements must be satisfied by taking a course offered by a Department in the College of Engineering or by a Department in the College of Science, which is numbered 30000 or higher.

The above stated general rule notwithstanding, the following exceptions are noted:


Courses not accepted:      

  • ACMS 40390. Introduction to Numerical Methods
  • Phys 30389. Philosophical Issues in Physics
  • AME 50561. Reliability Engineering
  • Special Studies courses without the CE designation are accepted only after approval using the Course Acceptance Petition.


Courses accepted:

  • CHEM 10172. Organic Structure and Reactivity
  • CHEM 20273. Organic Reactions and Applications
  • CHEM 10182. Organic Structure and Mechanism
  • CHEM 20283. Organic Reactions and Applications
  • BIOL 20201 and 20202. General Biology A and B
  • AME 20222. Mechanics II
  • CSE 20232. C/C++ Programming
  • EE 20224. Intro Electrical Engineering


A student may submit a Course Acceptance Petition for any other course other than those included in the general rules or an exception for any of the required Departmental electives. The submitted course must have explicit written approval of the Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences and concurrence by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs to satisfy a Technical Elective, CEEES Elective or Engineering Elective requirement for any degree program in the Department.


Non-traditional and Variable Credit Courses

            Up to six credits of non-traditional variable credit course-work may be used to satisfy CE, Engineering, and Technical Elective credit.

CE 47600, Special Studies, allows a student or a small group of students to conduct independent study of a subject not covered in a regularly scheduled course. Typically, this would closely follow a lecture course format using a single textbook.  The study will be under the direction of a faculty member.

CE 48600 Undergraduate Research, allows undergraduates to conduct independent research with a faculty advisor. Students are encouraged to develop a research relationship with a faculty member early in their career by enrolling for one or two credits during the sophomore and junior years and two or three credits during the senior year. A student may earn up to six credits applied as CEEES or CE Electives. Additional CE 48600 credits may be applied to satisfy either Technical Elective program requirements.

CE 23600, CE 33600, and CE 43600, Challenges and Innovation in Civil Engineering seminar series is intended to show the multidisciplinary aspects of civil engineering and provides students with a broad view of opportunities available to them by showcasing major civil engineering projects. Up to 3 credits can be amassed by Civil Engineering students taking this half-credit course each semester of their sophomore, junior, and senior years. These credits can be used to satisfy either a CE, EG, or Technical elective.

CE 45610, Engineering International Development 1 Engineering for International Development I Engineering for International Development I partners students with community organizations to put their engineering skills into service, in this case Bridges2Prosperity, a nonprofit organization providing pedestrian bridges to communities worldwide who lack such basic infrastructure. Under the banner of the ND SEED (Notre Dame Students Empowering Engineering Development), up to a dozen students will be accepted each academic year for this course and will supervise all aspects of bridge design and construction, including fundraising and international study via site surveys over Fall Break and construction in May following the spring semester. To join this course in the fall of any academic year, students must apply and be accepted by ND SEED in the prior spring semester. Students are expected to participate in the course for a full academic year, through bridge construction in May. The project is also affiliated with the Center for Social Concerns International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) and has additional curricular requirements through ISSLP.


Challenges Seminar

All Civil & Environmental Engineering students are encouraged to register for the Challenges and Innovation in Civil Engineering Seminar Series to allow all students in the Department the opportunity to attend the seminars. Registration for the seminars as a 0-credit was required for the through the Class of 2016. Students who register for the 0.5 credit Challenges and Innovation in Civil  & Environmental Engineering & Earth Science seminar can count it towards CE or Tech elective credit.



Students in the Department of Civil and Environmental and Earth Sciences will not be permitted to use Advanced Placement, Credit by Exam or Transfer credits to satisfy any degree requirement if the number of the course for which credit is granted is lower than the initial course in that discipline required in the curriculum.

 No credits granted for participation in any music organization or completion of applied music instruction (e.g., marching band, glee club, piano class, guitar class) may be used to satisfy any degree requirement.



Beginning in the spring semester junior year Civil Engineering students are required to select either the “structures” concentration or the “hydraulics” concentration. Note that by suitable choice of electives, both tracks may be satisfied.  The concentration designation allows the specialization to be displayed on a student’s transcript. In order to receive this designation on the transcript, a student is required to approve a change of curriculum eform to update their academic record to show the chosen concentration. This form must be initiated by a CEEES Department representative.  Please see the “Civil Engineering Curriculum” for a list of the courses required in each concentration.


Structures Concentration Requirements:

CE 30210: Structural Analysis

CE 40270: Reinforced Concrete Design

CE 40280: Steel Design


Hydraulics Concentration Requirements:

CE 40450: Hydraulics
CE 40460: Groundwater Hydrology
CE 40420: Air Quality & Reactive Transport


Pass-Fail Grades

Pass-Fail grades are allowed only in Free Electives, taken outside of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, and courses taken and not needed to satisfy the degree requirement. Approval is required by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.


How Other Program Courses Apply

Three programs (i.e., ROTC, EG/BUS, and MBA) have been approved to satisfy degree requirements as described below. However, a student participating in more than one program may use no more than one Civil Engineering or more than the number of Technical electives than the degree program requires. 



One EG/BUS (Integrated Engineering Business Practice, as administered by the College of Engineering) course may be used to satisfy a CEEES or Technical elective degree requirement. A second course may be used to satisfy a Technical elective degree requirement.



Through the Class of 2017, one MBA (Masters of Business Administration) course may be used to satisfy a Technical elective degree requirement upon approval from the CEEES Department.


Grand Challenges Scholars Program

The College of Engineering at the University of Notre Dame is one of 40 engineering schools around the world selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP). As a GCSP school, our engineering curriculum incorporates five competencies designed to prepare students to address the grand challenges they will face as engineers.

The five dimensions of the GCSP include:

  1. Research Project or Experience
  2. Interdisciplinary Curriculum
  3. Business/Entrepreneurship
  4. Multicultural/Global Experience
  5. Social Consciousness/Community Engagement

The ND-GCSP program is open to all engineering undergraduates in good academic standing (≥ 2.0 GPA). While participation is voluntary, each student must apply to be part of the program, during your first two years of study. Follow the instructions under “How to Apply” link for application requirements and submission deadlines.

More information can be found on the Notre Dame Grand Scholars Program website.


Study Abroad in International Programs

Students seeking to participate in international programs should follow the approach outlined below. Failure to follow this recommended approach could result in completion of international courses that do not contribute to the degree requirements, which may result in failure to meet the degree requirements in the time expected.

The recommended approach is as follows:

  • The student should prepare a written plan, including the list of courses that they expect to take abroad, and an indication on how these will be used to satisfy their degree requirements. If two or more international programs are being considered, each program should have a written plan. A copy of the Proposed Courses for international study is included in the Appendix.
  • The students should review these plans with the Director of Undergraduate Studies, currently Dr. Elizabeth Kerr, who will indicate approval by signing and dating a copy of the plan.
  • A copy of the advisor approved plan will be taken to the associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, currently Mr. Michael Ryan, for his final approval, and a copy filed in the students department file. The Director of Undergraduate Studies and Mr. Ryan will inform the student of the approvals by completing the approval form on the web site of the International Study Program, http://www.nd.edu/~intlstud/.
  • The engineering summer study abroad programs in London and Alcoy, Spain are administered separately, and courses taken there will typically count towards a technical elective at the minimum. The Civil Engineering technical advisors should be contacted for information regarding the curricular requirements the courses in these programs will count towards for the Civil Engineering degree.
  • For the program in Australia, which currently is being administered by the Department through Dr. Clive Neal, the Department will prepare and post on the Academic Guide web site, an equivalent course list.  The Department’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will review the courses in Australia, which are being proposed to be substituted for required Notre Dame courses, and prepare this equivalence list. Mr. Ryan will provide the final approval before it is posted as part of the academic guide.
  • Participation in other international programs will require the student to provide course description information to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, which will allow the approval of both the Department’s Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and Mr. Ryan. This approval will be noted in the student’s Department file. 

Dual Degree Programs

In general, to obtain two undergraduate degrees, the student must satisfy requirements of both degrees. A more detailed explanation is provided in the Bulletin of Information for undergraduate programs.


Transfer Students

Transfer credit may be awarded for EG 10111and EG 10112.  Physical Education (PE) or the Moreau First Year Experience is not required for transfer students.


Summer Transfer Courses

For a course to be accepted as a transfer course to be accepted for a specific degree requirement for a current student, the student must submit an eform for approval prior to registering for and taking the course at another institution. Upon approval of the form, the student may take the course, and have the credits transferred to Notre Dame provided that the student receives at least a B in the course.



Study Abroad in International Programs: Study Plan
Form attached. <<download pdf>>

Course Acceptance Petition
Form attached. <<download pdf>>

Challenges Seminar Semester Waiver
Form attached <<download>>



There are two types of advisors within the civil & environmental engineering program; a professional advisor and a technical advisor. The program has one technical advisor:  the Director of Undergraduate Studies. The role of the technical advisor is to schedule one registration meeting for each class year (sophomores – seniors) per semester, answer specific curriculum questions, and be available to speak with students to ensure their course plan will allow them to graduate on time at the request of students. Each student is assigned a professional advisor when they enter the Department in the sophomore year. The role of the professional advisor is to meet with their 10-12 advisees 2-3 times each semester either individually or as a group. It is the professional advisor’s role to serve as the link between the department and the student, to provide career advice and support, as well as to assist students in putting together a plan when a student is falling behind in course-work. A list of the advisors can be found in the link below. The Director of Undergraduate Programs, currently Elizabeth Kerr, coordinates the advising procedures and serves as a resource person.