What will I learn?

Civil engineers are innovators, creators, and entrepreneurs. They design and build buildings, bridges, dams, roller coasters, and even sound stages for rock bands. They devise complex systems like transportation and water-supply networks, or information systems for design and management of engineering projects. They also design water treatment and wastewater treatment systems and hazardous waste remediation projects that protect the environment.

As a civil engineering student at Cornell, you will work with some of the world’s top engineering faculty and fellow students. You will not only learn engineering theory and how to apply it, you will also learn to navigate the ins and outs of today’s complex business and regulatory arenas. Many civil engineering graduates go on to take leadership positions in established companies or start their own firms. You may also decide to continue on for an additional year to participate in Cornell’s graduate-level management program, which is taught by Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) faculty members.

Civil engineers strive for harmony and balance between the constructed human environment and the natural world. At Cornell, you’ll have the opportunity to specialize in one or more areas of civil engineering, including: environmental fluid mechanics; geotechnical engineering; hydrology; structural engineering; transportation engineering; physical, chemical, and biological water and wastewater treatment processes; and water resources. If you are most interested in environmental engineering, there is a degree program devoted to that specialty area (see the environmental engineering flyer), or you can work with an advisor to plan a more general civil engineering program that suits your interests.

You will have ample opportunity to participate in community activities by joining the award-winning chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Every year the ASCE chapter participates in national competitions to build and race a concrete canoe and to design and build a steel bridge. The group also sponsors community service projects. In addition, ASCE hosts several intramural teams, organizes social outings, and sets up study sessions for the professional-licensing exam. Students can also participate in the multidisciplinary program AguaClara, which involves students in the design of sustainable water treatment systems for underdeveloped countries.

Which department am I in?

College of Engineering

Study options

Full Time (4 years)

Tuition fees
US$56,550.00 per year
Start date

29 August 2019, 2 January 2020, 21 January 2020


College of Engineering

Carpenter Hall,

313 Campus Rd.,


New York,

14853, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Other English Language Requirements: 600 (paper exam) on TOEFL.

For international students

Students completing their high school during the 2018-19 academic year or if they've graduated from high school but have earned fewer than 12 credits at a college or university are eligible for admission as first year students.

TOEFL - Score of 100 (Internet-based exam) and 600 (paper exam); IELTS - Score of 7.

Find your nearest IELTS test centre and test dates

There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.