Civil engineers play a vital role in creating the man-made environment and in protecting the natural environment, bringing together science and art to create much of the tangible fabric of today's society. They plan, design, construct, maintain, and manage airports, bridges, tunnels, buildings, harbor facilities, dams, highways, waterways, pipelines, sanitation systems, and other aspects of the built environment. The field of civil engineering is about community service, development and improvement, planning, design, construction, and operation of facilities essential to modern life, ranging from transit systems to offshore structures to space satellites. They are problem solvers, meeting the challenges of pollution, traffic congestion, drinking water and energy needs, urban redevelopment, and community planning. The scope of civil engineering also includes responsibility for environmental and social impact, which takes on ever-increasing importance as citizen awareness of society's problems, environmental quality, energy sources, and improvement of the quality of life. As a result, students in this field learn to address complex social problems and develop facilities that support community values and protect the environment.
Graduates of the civil engineering program may work as construction, environmental, geotechnical, hydraulic, structural, transportation, or water resource engineers. Students may also choose to attend graduate school, thus preparing for careers in research or teaching, or to solve more sophisticated design problems. Civil engineers are employed by federal, state, and local governments, as well as the private sector. Students are taught to apply state-of-the-art computer technologies to the solution of problems in these areas, ensuring that graduates of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are well-prepared to contribute to the betterment of tomorrow's society.
During the first three years as an undergraduate in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, a student acquires a solid base in science, with introductory courses in all of the civil engineering technical areas. Generally, it is at this point in the junior or senior year when a student chooses a specialty. However, a student may continue exploring several areas. The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering offers the Bachelor of Science, Master of Engineering, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.