College Prep for Civil Engineering Program

Civil engineers are professionals who possess broad technical knowledge, possess strong problem solving skills and enjoy working with people. Their work is directly related to the public well being and safety, and has a significant impact on decision making processes.

You need some preparation to enter the best grad schools. Blend of right aptitude along with right education prep in college can take you high up on the ladder of success as Civil Engineer. Selection of colleges based on some factors such as accreditation is very essential. Many engineering programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Graduation from an ABET-accredited program is a requirement for civil engineering licenses and positions. Civil Engineering specific coursework includes engineering science, analysis, theory, and design.

Preparation and requirements for the graduate schools:

i. Math classes: Studying higher forms of math help prepare the aspiring civil engineers to face the problems, analyzing them and seeking practical solutions. Finding the easiest way to solve an equation teaches how to approach a problem from a number of different angles, seeking the best possible solution. So, the students should prepare themselves and work hard.

ii. Computer Classes: Computer science is another important area of study for civil engineering students. Today, the engineer has given up his slide rule and drafting table for computers. Not only is this more efficient, but things can be done in a computer drawing that can’t be done well on paper. Computer aided design (CAD) programs are used to design structures and systems to be built. Flow analysis programs are used to determine the filling of a lake created by a new dam. Stress analysis programs are used to simulate the effect of high winds and earthquakes on skyscrapers. The modern civil engineer needs to be a computer expert, as well as an expert in his chosen field.

iii. Writing classes: Civil engineers must learn to write well. The product of their work is often a report or a set of blueprints which are accompanied by specifications and analysis. The ability to write clearly is an essential part of being effective as a civil engineer. So, the students must focus and learn to write and communicate the same effectively.

iv. Technical classes: Civil engineering requires technical information thereby allowing the students a better understanding of the concepts which they will have to use once they graduate and start working. Technical classes in subjects such as construction materials, hydrology, foundation engineering, environmental engineering, structural analysis and fluid flow must be considered at the undergrad level. Also, Fundamentals of material science, thermodynamics and statistical analysis studies prepares the civil engineering students for understanding and analyzing stress loads of materials and environmental impacts on the structures.

v. Lab Classes: Since civil engineering has to be applied in the real world, civil engineering students should back up their classroom work with lab work, where they experiment with materials and designs, gaining experience in working with the theories they have learned from their textbooks.

vi. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): The applicants must provide official GRE scores from an examination taken within the last 5 years. All applicants from a university outside the US are required to submit General GRE scores for admission consideration.

vii. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)/IELTS: All applicants from countries in which the official language is not English are required to submit official evidence of English language proficiency. Hence, the applicants are required to take TOEFL/IELTS and submit the scores of the same.

viii. Statement of Purpose: Prepare a Statement of Purpose that articulates your professional development goals. A well-written statement of purpose must be prepared which clearly states that you have a solid mastery of the English language, and your reason for seeking a civil engineering degree, specific areas of interest, and why you have an interest in this field.

ix. Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation are required for the admission. These should be from faculty you have worked with closely or supervisors from industry-related work experience. A recommendation letter is a detailed discussion of the personal qualities, accomplishments, and experiences that make you unique and perfect for the program to which you've applied.

x. Real-world Experiences: Applicants who receive real-world experience often are viewed as a graduate school material because experience resides at the core of the graduate school and counts when applying for jobs as well. Construction experience in the civil engineering field may have as much, if not more, value for your future career as a civil engineer.

xi. Undergraduate GPA: The applicant must have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0.}

xii. Academic Transcripts: Transcripts which include your name, the name of the institution, the courses undertaken at the undergrad level, and grades or scores along with the application for initial departmental review are required. You can also attach a brief, one-page note describing any inconsistencies in your transcripts such as bad semester or medical problems.

Civil engineering is one of the fields of study where everything the student learns is directly applicable to their career.

Course work

The civil engineering program includes courses in the following subjects:
  • Civil Engineering Materials
  • College Algebra and Trigonometry
  • Concrete Structural Design
  • Construction Estimating and Planning
  • Engineering Graphics
  • Statistics
  • Steel Structural Design
  • Strength of Materials
  • Structural Analysis
  • Surveying
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