Civil Engineering Sub-Disciplines

Suggested Courses for each Sub-Discipline 

Because of Civil Engineering's broad scope, cadets can choose to concentrate their studies in one of several of the sub-disciplines of Civil Engineering or they may select courses across all topic areas for a more general focus.

Regardless of the specific concentration or course mix selected, graduates of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

The seven Civil Engineering sub-disciplines available to cadets at VMI are:

  • Construction Management is the application of engineering to time, material, labor, cost, and quality management of construction projects including the complex coordination of construction events, conformance with design specifications, and design and contract modifications to meet project-specific field conditions.
  • Environmental Engineering encompasses a wide spectrum of activities to help protect human health and promote environmental quality. Issues addressed include air quality and air pollution, municipal and industrial solid waste, hazardous waste, risk assessment, soil and groundwater contamination, water and wastewater treatment, water quality monitoring and protection, and others.
  • Fluid Mechanics & Hydraulic Engineering address the properties and analysis of fluids for applications in static and dynamic systems such as pressure on immersed objects, hydraulic machinery such as pumps and turbines, conveyance of water and other fluids.
  • Geotechnical Engineering involves soil and its properties relevant to groundwater flow, bearing capacity for foundations, settlement and compaction, slope stability, tunneling and mining, and a variety of other issues associated with activities on or below the ground surface. Think the “Leaning Tower of Pisa.”
  • Hydrology & Water Resources Engineering focus on surface and ground water quantity and supply, storm water runoff and control, canals and river channels, reservoirs, flood control, irrigation supply, water policy, and many other related activities.
  • Structural Engineering is the understanding of material properties and static and dynamic forces that affect structures built on a framework of concrete, steel, wood, and other materials. Structural engineering is the basis for anything that is built.
  • Transportation & Planning Engineering applies to the efficient movement of people and goods by planning, designing, building, and maintaining facilities such as highway, rail, airport, and mass transit systems. These systems are the infrastructure backbone of much of the developed world's economy.

To view suggested course selections for each of the seven Civil Engineering sub-disciplines, please click on any one of the sub-disciplines underlined above.