Civil Engineering

Grainger College of Engineering


What is Civil Engineering?

Civil and environmental engineers apply basic science principles to address society's biggest challenges. They use mathematical and computational tools to support their work. 

Civil and environmental engineers focus on such matters as: 

  • Ensuring clean air, safe drinking water, and sanitation
  • Addressing our changing environment
  • Protecting the population from natural and man-made hazards
  • Designing a sustainable infrastructure that serves everyone
  • Reimagining human and commodity traffic for an automated future
  • Designing and constructing the world’s tallest buildings and most iconic bridges

Career Options

  • Air & Water Quality/Purification
  • Construction Management
  • Energy-Water-Food Nexus
  • Forensic Engineering
  • Foundation Design
  • Green & Blue Infrastructure
  • Hazard Mitigation
  • Material Manufacturing & Design
  • Risk Management
  • Site Remediation
  • Solid & Hazardous Waste Management
  • Structural Design
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water Resources Planning & Design

Post-Graduation Success1

93% employed or continuing education

58% employed after graduation

35% attending graduate school

$59,226 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Turner Construction Company, Kiewit, Lendlease View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Stanford University, University of California Berkeley View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong math and science coursework and performance
  • Calculus preferred and physics expected (if available at high school)
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interest in improving society through engineering
  • Demonstrated understanding of and interest in the engineering major selected

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

3.9 years to degree

94% first-year retention rate

77% four-year graduation rate

87% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $17,976
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $41,126


  • Tuition: $39,736
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $63,226


  • Tuition: $42,868
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $66,358