Undergraduate Admissions - The University of Iowa

The University of Iowa

Print Header - IOWA Undergraduate Admissions

Civil Engineering


Civil Engineering (BSE)
Honors Courses
Four-Year Graduation Plan
Selective Admission

Civil engineering is about community service, development, and improvement. It involves the conception, planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities essential to modern life, ranging from transit systems to offshore structures to space satellites. Civil engineers are problem solvers, meeting the challenges of pollution, traffic congestion, drinking water and energy needs, urban redevelopment, and community planning.

Civil engineering is linked with environmental engineering, which works to devise environmentally friendly ways to remove pollutants from the water or air, destroy toxic substances, manage and process society's waste, and ensure the sustainable well-being of manufactured and natural environments.

Why Study at Iowa? 

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is committed to providing high-quality education and research experiences for students. Resources and efforts are focused on areas of unique strength, including water resources engineering, environmental solutions and sustainability, mechanics of solids and structure, transportation infrastructure, nanotechnology, and more.

The BSE in civil engineering is one of six Undergraduate Engineering Programs in the College of Engineering, which offers excellent opportunities for students to participate in research, internships, study abroad, and student organizations.

Students choose to study engineering at Iowa because of the college's academic excellence, individual attention, small-college environment, camaraderie, and tremendous opportunities. U.S. News & World Report ranks Iowa's undergraduate program in the top 20 percent of engineering programs nationwide.

Iowa admits incoming first-year students directly into engineering. About 525 first-year students and 100 transfer students enroll each year. Women account for over 21 percent of Iowa's engineering students; the national average is 17 percent.

BS/MS Fast-Track Degree Program

The BS/MS fast-track degree program is for eligible students who seek to complete both the BS and MS degrees in civil engineering at Iowa. Students interested in this program apply in the second semester of their junior year and, if admitted, enter that program in the first semester of their senior year. This program allows for 12 hours to be counted toward both their BS and MS degrees.

Course Work 

Iowa's civil engineering program provides graduates with a scientific and technical knowledge and equips them with problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills that will serve them throughout their careers. The program emphasizes both a broad education in civil engineering fundamentals and the opportunity for in-depth learning. Focus area options include:

  • Civil practice
  • Environmental engineering
  • Hydraulics and water resources
  • Management
  • Pre-architecture
  • Structures, mechanics, and materials
  • Transportation
  • Urban regional planning

See Civil Engineering in the UI General Catalog for more details.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements Tabs

Student Opportunities 

Engineering student support services include free tutoring for your first two years of math, science, and engineering courses.

Engineering student organizations, fraternities and sororities, and national honorary societies offer many opportunities to develop your leadership abilities.

In addition to nearly 500 Student Organizations, Iowa students choose from multiple Living-Learning Communities, Study Abroad Programs, and Undergraduate Research Opportunities.

Engineering students may enjoy the People in Engineering Living-Learning Community or the Be WISE: Women in Science and Engineering Living-Learning Community in the residence halls.


On average, 93-98 percent of our graduates are employed in their field of study or pursuing advanced education within seven months of graduation.

Engineering is a well-respected profession that is used as a foundation for a variety of careers in industry, medicine, law, government, and consulting. Engineering majors hold eight of the top ten spots on the list of top-paid majors for bachelor's degree graduates, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).

Engineering Professional Development (EPD) develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including an engineering career fair and other career-development programming each semester.

EPD also offers individual advising and class presentations on resume and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.


Apply early for scholarships. The college offers Engineering First-Year Scholarships as well as many other scholarship opportunities for sophomore, junior, and senior students. To learn more, visit College of Engineering Scholarships.

The Office of Admissions and the Office of Student Financial Aid are great resources for students seeking scholarships.

Application Process

Apply to the College of Engineering.

Application Process Tabs