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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree in Civil Engineering

Majors Overview August 9, 2014

Students enrolled in the civil engineering degree program learn about designing and creating large-scale projects such as tunnels, dams, roads and bridges. Those who complete a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in this major can pursue continued education by earning a master’s degree in engineering or another science field.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) Degree Programs in Civil Engineering

Students can choose to enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree program in Civil Engineering. Liberal arts elements are usually available in the coursework of the engineering curriculum of a BA program to suit the needs of students who plan to continue their education in business, political science or economics, or in another science-related field, or some other branch of engineering.

Students wishing to enroll in a BA in Civil Engineering program are expected to be proficient in chemistry, statistics, math and physics. To pursue a career as a professional civil engineer, students would need to enroll in a Bachelor of Science (B.S) degree program. Licensure is mandatory for professional civil engineers, and only by completing a BS program would they be able to fulfill the accreditation and education prerequisites that would help them qualify for licensing exams.

In this article, we take a look at some specific courses included in the curriculum a BA program in Civil Engineering:

Introduction to Civil Engineering

The essential knowledge and skills necessary for continued education through enrollment in an undergraduate civil engineering degree program are taught to students who complete this foundation course. An introduction is given to theory and applications in general civil engineering. They are taught professional behaviors and ethics in addition to standard approaches to civil engineering projects. Students are introduced to environmental impacts, sustainable design, material analysis, project design and management, hydrology, and fluid mechanics.

Civil Engineering for Transportation Systems

Students learn how to plan and implement transportation designs, including public transit lines, airports, and streets and highways. Coursework also includes the uses and properties of paving materials, technologies and processes. Also, covered in the curriculum are the social, environmental and physical impact of transportation projects, facilities and operations, in addition to traffic flow and types of traffic. Topics discussed may include environmental issues, traffic safety, and rural, suburban and urban transport considerations.

Civil Engineering with Steel

Civil engineering projects often incorporate steel, and students gain the knowledge of the background theory and applications they need in order to work with steel. The lessons include the typical properties of steel and structural considerations. Through lab work, students learn how to evaluate and analyze steel, based on its use as a framing member, in an assembly or as a connector.

Common Material Strength

This course involves the examination and analysis of common building materials, including nonferrous metals, iron alloys and iron. This class often incorporates lab work. Civil engineers need a firm grasp of the general characteristics of building materials, including resistance to torque, compression and tension, and how civil engineering projects are impacted by these characteristics.

Engineering with Concrete

As civil engineers commonly use concrete, this course involves the exploration of issues pertinent to working with concrete, especially common stressors and recommended uses. Students learn how to select the proper material and concrete composition needed for pre-stressed, poured and reinforced concrete. Properties of concrete are measured by students; these include hydration, durability and strength. This class usually transpires in the middle of the program or its later stages.

Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics

This class stresses both the practical applications and theoretical principles of fluid mechanics. Lab work and lectures are used to teach students about the behavior of fluids, including viscosity, momentum and flow through a variety of material types including oceans, streams or lakes. The application of coursework in fluid dynamics is usually related to water; however, other fluids may also be included.

Hydrology for Civil Engineers

Students enrolled in this program learn concepts including hydrology and civil engineering principles, among others. This is a mandatory course that usually transpires midway through the program or in its later stages, following a class on fluid mechanics. Coursework includes the measurement of free-flowing and standing water, wells, and groundwater. It also includes analysis of runoff and flood plains, in addition to environmental civil engineering concerns, and issues related to quality of water.

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