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Civil Engineering is the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines. As the name implies, civil engineers serve people, and thus they have been called "the engineers and architects of our constructed world."
Civil engineers conceive, plan, design, construct, operate and maintain the facilities and systems that serve the basic needs of our society. This infrastructure includes buildings, bridges, water tanks, transmission lines, pipelines, highways, railroads, airports, harbors, water and wastewater collection/treatment/ distribution systems, dams and power plants. More than any profession, civil engineers can have a positive effect on the protection of our environment.
As an example of the diversity of the skills utilized in civil engineering, the area of construction draws heavily from the basic engineering sciences; fundamental economic business and management principles; computer applications; and just plain common sense and practicality. On the other hand, the area of structural analysis and design is as sophisticated in mathematical and computer modeling as any area in engineering. In fact, the most flexible and powerful numerical modeling/analysis method available to engineers today—the finite element method—was pioneered by civil engineers.
Because civil engineers are involved in almost every area that is fundamental to basic human needs, the job market for graduates is strong and stable. Civil engineers are employed in urban and rural areas; they may work for local, state and federal governments, for the smallest consulting firm, or for a large international conglomerate.
Civil engineering graduates occupy leadership positions in industry and government throughout the United States and are in wide demand because of the excellent education that they receive at Auburn. The department has one of the strongest scholarship programs available at Auburn for qualified students, which can be a real help in offsetting the cost of a college education.
The undergraduate curriculum features coursework in all these areas, while at the graduate levels, students typically concentrate on one or two of these specialty areas. To learn more about one of these specialty areas, click on the name in the list above.