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Civil Engineering

Civil engineers solve modern problems. In this program you’ll study today’s environmental challenges and take courses in:

  • geography
  • math
  • statistics
  • engineering

Potential careers

What can you do with a civil engineering degree? Here are a few jobs that relate to the program:

  • municipal engineer
  • project engineer
  • researcher
  • entrepreneur
  • policy maker
  • marine engineer
  • geophysicist
  • environmental engineer
  • project manager
  • construction and risk analyst
  • consultant
  • safety engineer
  • structural designer
  • professor
  • geotechnical engineer

Some of these roles may require post-graduate studies or training. 

Find a career that fits you

Experience & connections

Opportunities in the civil engineering program

  • With the Co-op Program you can alternate study with paid work. 

Opportunities outside your program

  • With a work study position you can develop skills during your study term.
  • Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while you build skills.

Networks you can connect to

Here are a few professional associations related to civil engineering:

Hands-on learning opportunities

These courses in the civil engineering program offer extensive hands-on learning.


Co-op work terms       
Alternate academic study with paid work terms to gain workplace experience


CIVE 351 - Design of Steel and Timber Structures
Study the life cycle of steel and timber structures 

CIVE 410 - Solid Waste, Air, and Water Pollution
Learn how solid waste, air and water pollution affect health

Creative or design project

CIVE 310 - Environmental Engineering
Design, planning and management of engineered environmental systems

CIVE 340 - Sustainable Water Resources
Design an environmental integration of a water resource system

CIVE 352 - Reinforced Concrete Structural Design
Learn about building envelopes, building science and green buildings

CIVE 400 - Cross-disciplinary Capstone Design Project        
Complete a design project and report results

ENGR 110 - Design and Communication I     
Gain skills with practical projects and engage with industry experts

ENGR 120 - Design and Communication II
Gain skills with practical projects and engage with industry experts

Field experience          

CIVE 299 - Geomatics Engineering
Collect data and conduct field surveying

CIVE 385 - Geotechnical Engineering
Inspect site design and construction aspects; calculate pile foundations and earth pressure


CSC 111 - Fundamentals of Programming with Engineering Applications
Experiment with alternative solutions through real-world engineering           

CIVE 200 - Engineering Drawing
Create designs with engineering drawing        

CIVE 285 - Civil Engineering Materials
Explore the influences and uses of engineering materials

CIVE 444 - Water and Sanitation for Low Resource Contexts
Attend labs to learn about technologies related to water supply and treatment         

CIVE 457 - Behaviour and Design of Steel Structures
Explore the behaviour and design of trusses, frames, members and connections in steel structures

Research project         

CIVE 499 - Research Project
Pursue a research project and technical paper

Professional and technical skill development

ENGR 110 - Design and Communication I
Develop writing and presentation skills

ENGR 120 - Design and Communication II
Further develop writing and presentation skills

ENGR 130 - Introduction to Professional Practice
Gain skills such as resume writing and career development

ENGR 498 - Engineering Law
Learn engineering laws and assess ethics in professional practice

These courses are not always offered as described.

What you'll learn

Every student at UVic builds skills all employers look for. At UVic Co-op & Career we call these  "competencies". This is what you’ll learn in the civil engineering program.

Professional practice

  • focus on the safety, health and welfare of the public
  • focus on environmental protection
  • promote health and safety in the workplace
  • take on professional assignments only when qualified
  • maintain confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interest
  • keep informed to maintain competence
  • act with fairness, courtesy and good faith toward clients, colleagues and others
  • extend public knowledge and appreciation of engineering

Reliability, safety and failure analysis

  • understand quality assurance standards and testing procedures
  • ensure that systems or components perform their required function
  • maintain a current knowledge of safety standards
  • establish the mean time between failures when assessing reliability


  • gather full requirements for a project
  • understand the client’s needs
  • model a solution using the appropriate tools
  • communicate the design process to the client
  • use safe and effective designs
  • understand how a design integrates into its environment

Engineering tools

  • design equipment and systems using a variety of software packages
  • simulate mechanical and electronic systems using the appropriate tools
  • analyze systems, equipment and data using the correct tools
  • operate mechanical equipment in a lab or workshop
  • use electronics and electrical equipment
  • develop software and scripts in a variety of environments and languages
  • use computer software and systems
  • understand and use databases
  • research and recommend new tools where existing tools are inadequate
  • choose tools based on their strengths and weaknesses

Engineering knowledge

  • understand the mathematical fundamentals of engineering
  • use the correct statistical methods to analyze and investigate data
  • understand the natural sciences for their discipline of engineering
  • understand engineering fundamentals
  • understand engineering economics
  • understand how engineering specifics integrate into a larger project
  • study related subjects to aid a project’s success


  • understand the property differences between materials
  • determine project needs by considering the characteristics of materials
  • estimate requirements
  • optimize performance using best practices in material extraction and processing
  • manage the recovery, reuse, recycling or disposal of materials
  • take part in material research and development

Structures and machines; statics and dynamics

  • use the fundamentals of statics and dynamics to solve engineering problems
  • consider force, torque, stress and strain in the design process
  • determine the safe operating limits for structures or machines
  • work with trusses, cranes, hoists, gear units and ratios
  • take part in the research and development of structures and equipment

Advanced thermodynamics and fluids

  • use math to solve thermodynamic engineering problems
  • understand the science of fluid dynamics
  • design fluid movement systems
  • choose the appropriate pump for the application
  • design heat transfer systems
  • take part in the research and development of new heat transfer

Water and environmental systems

  • use the fundamentals of hydraulics, hydrology and environmental engineering to understand water resource systems
  • design, plan and manage engineered and natural environmental systems
  • understand the sources, characteristics, transport and effects of air and water contaminants
  • solve issues with biological, chemical and physical processes in water
  • solve issues with unit operation or air and water quality control
  • solve issues with water and wastewater treatment processes and solid waste management
  • understand environmental policy

Sustainable resource development and responsible infrastructure

  • use environmental and sustainability metrics and life cycle assessment framework in design
  • assess sustainable technologies from a technical, economic, environmental and social perspective
  • do environmental impact assessments and environmental audits
  • do assessments on contaminated sites
  • do site investigation and remediation
  • understand the behaviour and life cycle of materials like steel, timber and concrete
  • understand building envelopes, building science and green buildings
  • take part in the research and development of structures and equipment

Transportation systems

  • understand social, economic and policy impacts of transportation in urban development and planning
  • assess transportation networks, design and flow predictions
  • design transportation systems to meet planning policies or the goals of a community
  • handle traffic safety issues such as ice roads and mountain highway engineering

What's next?

To explore more visit the civil engineering site. For degree planning contact your adviser for help.