The Civil Engineering program at Penn State Harrisburg is designed to provide the basic undergraduate education required for private and public service in civil engineering, and/or continue formal education. Emphasis is placed on the fundamentals of civil engineering principles and design techniques. The program requirements allow for flexible scheduling, enabling students to focus on one of following concentration areas: construction, environmental, structural, transportation, and general. Study through these areas may lead to opportunities as structural designers for buildings and infrastructures, project engineers for construction projects, or representatives for owners or contractors. Employers include consulting firms, contractors, industry, and governments.
Civil Engineering is distinguished by construction projects related to the formation of vital infrastructure. Civil and other related engineers perform duties in planning, designing, and supervision of heavy construction and maintenance of structures and facilities, in addition to systems for transportation, information, water, and other resources. The broad scope of work typically performed in the professional Civil Engineering discipline includes designing and constructing multi-stories buildings, highways, railroads, bridges, tunnels, airports, dams, harbors, channels, irrigation systems, oil and gas offshore platforms, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. General Civil, or Site Engineers, spend much of their time visiting project sites, developing community consensus, and preparing construction plans. Civil Engineering graduates are also found in areas where they serve as technical consultants or technical writers, such as government, education, law, or sales.
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) provides a network for engineers to develop local and national contacts and gain professional referrals throughout the industry, while also serving as a resource of information including publications and other opportunities throughout the engineering industry.
Most graduates of baccalaureate Civil Engineering programs work for engineering firms, industrial businesses, or agencies within the local, state, or federal government. The following list provides examples of the opportunities available for graduates: Civil Engineer, Construction Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Facility Engineer, Structural Designer, Project Engineer, Site Engineer, Transportation Engineer, Municipal Engineer, and Health and Safety Engineer.
The significance of Civil Engineering at a time of heightened awareness of the decaying national infrastructure, as well as environmental and energy concerns, keeps graduates of civil related programs in high demand. Opportunities are expected to grow and many of the job openings will result from employment growth as well as the need to replace retiring workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts the demand for civil engineers to continue to grow by more than 15-percent annually.
Accreditation and Licensure
This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
Civil Engineering graduates are encouraged to continue their professional development by taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination at the end of their senior year, a prerequisite for taking the Professional Engineering Examination.
The School of Science, Engineering, and Technology encourages student involvement in the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Scholarship, Award, and Fellowship Opportunities
In addition to the traditional types of financial aid offered by Penn State, outstanding undergraduate students may qualify for other available scholarships.
Selection of Major in Engineering or Engineering Technology
Excellent guidance for students, parents, friends, and others regarding the similarities and differences between engineering and engineering technology is provided at TryEngineering.org.
- Course Sequence Flowchart (program planning tool; not for use for advising)