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College of Engineering

Civil Engineering


scholarships available


undergraduate students

in Civil Engineering


total credit hours

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Civil engineering emphasizes infrastructure—geotechnical, water resources, environmental, transportation, construction and structural engineering, as well as other related fields. Our program allows students to discover which area (or combination of areas) of civil engineering is right for them. We emphasize more than classroom learning. For example, the Kentucky Transportation Center, Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute and Environmental Research and Training Laboratories are housed within the Department of Civil Engineering, which also offers one of the nation’s few railroad engineering programs. Our graduates are properly equipped to meet the infrastructure challenges of today and tomorrow.

Civil engineers design, construct, supervise, operate, and maintain large construction projects and systems, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Students interested in the broad field of civil engineering must have a solid foundation in physics, chemistry and mathematics as well as excellent communication skills. They must be effective members of teams and implement interdisciplinary solutions to technical and socioeconomic problems of an increasingly complex world. All of our students have both a professional and a faculty advisor to help them plan their academic program and career.


"I ended up getting a summer co-op with Messer Construction after my freshman year, which made me realize that I had made the right choice by choosing civil engineering for a major."

Sarah Schweitzer

2017 Civil Engineering Graduate

Admission Requirements

Fall 2023 first-time freshmen: Automatic admission to the College of Engineering will be based on meeting the below requirements. However, if you cannot take or choose not to submit ACT or SAT scores with your admission application, a holistic review will be used to determine your admission to the engineering program.

Students may directly enroll as pre-engineering students; however, there are minimum admission requirements. Minimum freshman entry requirements are an ACT math score of 25 or higher (or a SAT Math score of 590 or higher) and a 3.0 or higher unweighted high school GPA. Additionally, students must also meet the minimum Kentucky statewide academic readiness requirements for reading and writing.If you do not meet the initial admission requirements, please contact for information about alternative routes to admission to the College of Engineering.

Admission requirements for transfer students can be accessed here

First-Year Engineering Program

The smartest, most talented engineers around the world are devoting themselves to tackling immense global challenges. As a First-Year Engineering (FYE) student, you get to join them!

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering identified 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”—opportunities to greatly increase humanity’s sustainability, health, security and joy of living. Themes include making solar energy economical, enhancing virtual reality, reverse-engineering the brain, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and more.

These ambitious goals demand engineers roll up their sleeves and get to work, which is why we put them front and center during your first year as an engineering student. We have designed the FYE program to inspire you. We want you to discover your passion. We want you to explore where you might make your unique contribution. We want you to get your hands dirty and make stuff that might, one day, lead to a breakthrough.

Why wait until you’re taking upper-level classes to figure out what interests you? Through real engineering classes taught by top faculty and exposure to engineering’s greatest challenges, the FYE program gets you into the game from day one.

Degree Requirements

In addition to fulfilling UK Core and College of Engineering requirements, students must complete the Civil Engineering curriculum. The following curriculum meets the requirements for the B.S. degree.

Student Involvement

Student organizations are an outgrowth of student interest and serve the needs of a variety of students. Many provide programs that supplement the classroom experience and extend into areas of service for the community. All provide learning and leadership training for participating students. Student organizations that are typically of interest to civil engineering students include: RailCats, American Society of Civil Engineers, Chi Epsilon, Institute for Transportation Engineers, the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, and Tau Beta Pi.

Scholarship Opportunities

Students in the Department of Civil Engineering may apply and compete each year for over one hundred scholarship awards. These annual scholarships range in value from $1,000 to $5,000, currently totaling around $125,000 per year. Applications are due in mid-semester of the spring semester for the following academic year.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet offers approximately 45 Transportation Scholarships each year to UK students who are also Kentucky residents. These provide each recipient with stipends of $9,600 for the academic year for freshman and sophomore students and $10,400 for the academic year for junior and senior students. These scholarships require the recipient to accept employment with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet after graduation for one year for each year the scholarship was accepted.

Videos and Multimedia



See what our Engineers Without Borders student chapter did in Malawi!

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Enhancing Your Time at UK

While there are endless ways to create an unforgettable journey as a Wildcat, we can only think of one that gives you the chance to step outside the classroom and into exploring new parts of the world around you: participating in an Education Abroad opportunity! Whether it’s in a study, research, service, or internship program, taking your UK experience international with EA is the most hands-on way for you to expand your global perspective while making yourself a more well-rounded, marketable candidate to future employers no matter your field. As you take these first steps towards investing in your future, EA encourages you to take advantage of all the opportunities UK has to offer. Take a look at some of the many suggested opportunities UK Education Abroad & Exchanges has to complement your major! #ukyabroad


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Career Prospects in Civil Engineering

From the water in your faucets, to the roads and bridges that you use for transportation, to electric distribution systems that power your home, civil engineers help make modern life possible. What’s more, thanks to the development of technologies like clean water treatment plants, civil engineers help improve the quality of life around the world. Civil engineers are employed by the construction industry, engineering or architectural firms, utility companies, energy companies, telecommunications businesses, manufacturing companies, consulting firms, railroads and state and federal governmental agencies.

Imagine Your Future

Civil Engineers

Civil engineers design, build, and supervise infrastructure projects and systems.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Number of Jobs


in 2021

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Civil engineers generally work in a variety of locations and conditions. It is common for them to split their time between working in an office and working outdoors at construction sites so that they can monitor operations or solve problems onsite. Most work full time.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Imagine Your Future

Environmental Engineers

Environmental engineers use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop solutions to environmental problems.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Number of Jobs


in 2021

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Environmental engineers work in a variety of settings because of the nature of the tasks they do. When they are working with other engineers and urban and regional planners, environmental engineers are likely to be in offices. When they are carrying out solutions through construction projects, they are likely to be at construction sites.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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