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Civil and Environmental Engineering Degree

Program Offerings

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology offers:
• Bachelor of science degree in Civil Engineering
• Accelerated Master’s in Civil and Environmental Engineering (earn your bachelor’s and master’s in as little as five years)
• Master’s of science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Construction Engineering and Management MS
• Doctor of philosophy degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Minors in Environmental Engineering, Global Engineering and Sustainable Engineering
• Certificates - Engineering Management and Leadership Certificate, Geospatial Technology, Global Engineering Certificate, HBX CORe (Credential of Readiness for Business)

What is Civil and Environmental Engineering?

Civil engineering deals with the design and construction of public works such as roads and bridges, airports and water systems, pipelines and treatment facilities, and much more. It is one of the oldest engineering disciplines, dating back to ancient times. Watch this video from the American Society of Civil Engineers to learn more.

Environmental engineering is the use of engineering principals, soil science, biology and chemistry to find a solution to environmental problems.

What does a civil and environmental engineer do?

Civil engineers build the framework of our world by designing, building and maintaining critical infrastructure. Depending on the civil engineering specialization chosen, a civil engineer might have a variety of duties, from designing and building water systems to designing a hurricane-proof baseball stadium roof.

Some of the duties a civil engineer might have include:
• Preparing cost estimates materials and equipment.
• Surveying reports, maps and other data in order to plan and design a project.
• Submitting permit applications to local, state and federal agencies.
• Analyzing soil testing to ensure the strength of foundations
• Analyzing such things as concrete, wood, asphalt or steel for projects.
• Using design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems or structures.
• Overseeing the survey of a project location, marking elevations, grades and reference points for construction.
• Holding supervisory or administrative positions, including that as a public works director, city manager or city engineer.

Environmental engineers work on projects that improve recycling, waste disposal, public health and water and air pollution control. Some of the duties might include:
• Prepare, review and update environmental investigation reports.
• Analyze scientific data and do quality control checks.
• Advise corporations and government agencies about procedures for cleaning up contaminated sites.
• Monitor the progress of environmental improvement programs.
• Design projects that lead to environmental protection.
• Inspect industrial and/or municipal facilities.

First-Year Courses

Examples of the required courses for civil engineering at Mines:
• General Chemistry
• Calculus
• Introduction to civil and environmental engineering/lab
• Fluid mechanics
• Technical communications
• Hydraulic systems design/lab
• Geology for engineering

Examples of the required courses for environmental engineering at Mines
• General chemistry
• Calculus
• Introduction to civil and environmental engineering/lab
• Fluid mechanics
• Applied numerical methods
• Environmental engineering unit operations and processes
• Construction engineering and management

Course Curriculum

Link to Catalog

Internships and Co-ops

Civil engineering students intern at such companies as Houston Engineering Inc., Caterpillar and Kiewit. The average wage paid - $18.45/hour. This wage does not include housing stipends and relocation assistance, often provided by companies.

Career Outlook

The average starting salary for a Mines civil and environmental engineering graduate is $53,210.


Civil engineers are problem solvers, entrepreneurs and innovators, developing solutions for our more pressing challenges. They work in a wide variety of careers and fields.
• A structural civil engineer might work with architects and builders to ensure materials being used for construction exceed the needs of a project.
• Civil and environmental engineers work in the field of hydrology, doing such things as constructing canals, building dams and designing pipelines.
• Transportation civil engineers oversee the building of roads, highways and bridges.
• Environmental civil engineers examine soil quality, design treatment systems for water, air and wastewater and often work with agricultural businesses to improve and maintain soil quality.

Employment opportunities for environmental engineers are projected to grow eight percent between 2016 and 2026, similar to job growth for all occupations. They work in a variety of fields, including:
• Wastewater design engineer
• Air quality engineer
• Consultant
• Project manager
• Geology
• Solid Waste engineer
• Lecturer
• Hazardous materials project manager


SD Mines civil and environmental engineering graduates work for such companies as:
Baker Concrete
Black Hills National Forest
SD Department of Transportation

Civil and Environmental Engineering Research

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is actively engaged in research aimed at enhancing society by developing new materials, preserving and protecting the environment, creating sustainable solutions, increasing our understanding of engineering systems and their design, and examining the best approaches for training a new engineering workforce.

CEE research is focused on the following strategic areas:
• Energy and the Environment
• Civil Engineering Materials
• STEM Education

Other research areas include:
• Mine safety at Sanford Underground Research Facility
• Shotcrete stability
• Musculoskeletal disorders in miners



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