Civil and Environmental Engineering

Become a CivilHawk!

Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Iowa

Do you want to make the world a better and safer place?

Do you care about the environment and sustainability?

Are you interested in a profession with a 98 percent job placement rate?

If You Answered Yes

to any of these questions, you may find civil and environmental engineering (CEE) is a good fit for you — especially at the University of Iowa, where you’ll be part of a close-knit community of friends and faculty that truly feels like family.

Civil and environmental engineers are on the front lines of some of the world’s most pressing problems, building solutions and putting technology to work for the good of all. The world needs your passion for doing good — for abundant clean drinking water, for safe roads and bridges, for flood protection and reduction, and much more.

At the University of Iowa, you won’t find yourself being “weeded out” of the program. Instead, we want every student to succeed, and we offer the support and programs to make that happen.

You’ll work closely with faculty members who not only know your name but also your interests and aptitudes. They may even ask you to work with them on a research project.

But don’t take our word for it. Listen to what University of Iowa students have to say about civil and environmental engineering at Iowa. Then plan a campus visit so you can sit in on a class, meet students and faculty, and see our state-of-the-art facilities. Call or email today to schedule your visit!

"Civil and environmental engineering will provide you with the analytical tools to develop and implement structures, projects, and techniques that reduce the overall impact of the built environment,” says senior Isaac Schrock. “As a student, there are numerous opportunities within the CEE major to learn about, question, and engage with the principles of sustainability and to apply these principles throughout your life, schoolwork, and extracurricular projects. Professionally, the major serves as a gateway for a diverse array of positions from which you can positively impact the world around you."

Isaac Schrock, Senior, Moundridge, Kansas.

"A lot of my friends have found jobs already, and I've had no issues getting into graduate school. The professors really want to make sure we have the tools to succeed. My professor not only wrote me a recommendation letter, but also spoke to potential advisors at graduate schools himself on my behalf! He walked me through the entire process, and now I'm going to be attending the University of Minnesota for my PhD, with not only my tuition paid for, but also a research stipend. You can also take some graduate courses as an undergraduate to help prepare you for graduate school."

Meghan O'Connor, Senior, Phoenix, Arizona.

“Before I came to college, I was worried about finding my niche,” says Katie Langenfeld, a senior and a native of Iowa City, Iowa. “But I really didn't need to be concerned because the university has so many excellent programs in place to help students fit in and find their place, from student organizations to living-learning communities. Personally, I was nervous about the gender ratio at the College of Engineering. The best decision I made was to live in the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) living-learning community. I was surrounded by engineering women who were in most of my classes and I met some of my best friends there."

Katie Langenfeld, senior, Iowa City, Iowa.

“Help with coursework is readily available if a student seeks it out. There are multiple ways to get help. Professors and teaching assistants have designated office hours each week — these office hours can be a great opportunity to learn a difficult subject in a one-on-one setting. Likewise, the Student Development Center offers free tutoring for many of the core engineering courses taken during the first two years.”

Matt Gazdziak, Senior, Mokena, Illinois.

“The University of Iowa engineering program truly has no classes designed to ‘weed out’ students,” says Kevin Garrone, “Iowa’s College of Engineering expects the highest quality work from all students, no matter what program you enroll in. Regardless, the engineering faculty aim to see that every first-year student becomes a successful graduate, and they put the necessary effort and resources toward this goal, year after year. In fact, most faculty I’ve encountered here relate to our hectic college lifestyle and accommodate homework due dates, projects, and exams accordingly, making sure you have additional time for student organizations, volunteering, and extracurricular activities!”

Kevin Garrone, Senior, St. Louis, Missouri.

Why Civil and
Environmental Engineering?

Get a job!
( No problem. )

Employment opportunities abound for civil and environmental engineering graduates. According to a 2014 Washington Post survey, civil and environmental engineering is the "least underemployed major." And here at the University of Iowa, we love to boast about our 98 percent job placement rate for CEE graduates.

Amazing feats of engineering!

Here's a sample of what civil and environmental engineers do:
  • Design and construct safe and functional structures, such as bridges, dams, buildings, and more
  • Design transportation systems so we can travel to work, school, and around the world
  • Plan and design facilities to capture, treat and distribute water
  • Protect the environment by keeping the water, air and soil clean and by developing sustainable practices to guard the Earth's resources
  • Develop and perfect systems to use renewable energy sources such as the sun and the wind to power our homes and businesses
  • Design and construct safe and functional structures, such as bridges, dams, buildings, and more
Photo credit to Principal Financial Group ®


If you like to think for yourself and chart your own path, you’ll want to consider the civil and environmental engineering (CEE) program at the University of Iowa. Yes, there are larger programs at other universities, but bigger doesn’t always mean better. You’ll find Iowa has a lot to offer.

It's great to be a Hawkeye!
And Iowa's outstanding athletic teams are just the beginning...

A close-knit community.
At Iowa, you'll be part of a welcoming community of friends. The University of Iowa is a major research university, but most required CEE classes have fewer than 55 students, and CEE elective classes are often much smaller at almost 25-35 students.

Get started the right way.
We admit qualified students directly to engineering. Most graduate in four years.

No weed-out classes.
We want our students to succeed, and we provide the programs and support to make it happen.

Help when you need it.
Engineering is a challenging field. If you need help with coursework, support is readily available through peer advising, free tutoring programs, and more.

State-of-the-art facilities.
Our recently renovated building, the Seamans Center, offers tech-infused classrooms, cutting edge laboratories, and plenty of collaborative study space for students.

Find your niche.
At Iowa, we offer programs and groups to help you find your place and "fit in." You can be part of a living-learning community, such as Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). You'll live with peers working toward similar goals.

Faculty who know you and want you to succeed.
Our faculty are not only leading professionals in their fields, they also take an interest in students as individuals and work to help them do well.

And individualized curriculum.
Once you've chosen a major, such as civil and environmental engineering, you can also select an elective focus area (EFA) in engineering or even another field, such as communications, art, or business.

Get some hands-on experience.
If you're ready to get started on research, all you have to do is ask! Faculty often hire students to work closely with them on research on a wide range of real-world problems, from water quality to sustainable and resilient infrastructure.

Apply to become a CivilHawk!

Since 2010, an average of 87 percent of first-year students who applied to the UI College of Engineering (COE) have been accepted.
Unlike many engineering colleges, ours welcomes qualified students straight out of high school, as well as first-year transfers. You are guaranteed admission if you meet the following requirements:
  • Minimum high school courses taken: 4 years English, 4 years math, 3 years science, 2 years social studies, 2 years single world language
  • ACT math score of 25 or higher (or an SAT score of 620 or higher)
  • Regent Admissions Index score of 245 or higher for Iowa residents, or 255 of higher for out of state students
  • * International applications must meet these requirements in addition to a composite ACT minimum of 25 (or SAT critical reading + math score minimum of 1130).
    ** If your first language is not English, the university has English proficiency requirements.

What is the Regent Admissions Index (RAI)?

The Regent Admission Index (RAI) is a formula — get used to them! — that combines the following: ACT/SAT score, high school percentile rank and grade-point average (GPA), and number of high school courses completed in core subject areas. Compute your own, or let us do it for you — visit

When and how to apply?

  • 1
    Create an account and submit an application.
    Visit to apply as a first-year student.
  • 2
    Pay the $40 application fee.
    This fee is required and non-refundable.
  • 3
    Send ACT/SAT scores.
    Our institution code is 1356 for the ACT and 6681 for the SAT.
  • 4
    Await our admission decision.
    With the new Hawk ID and password we give you, you will be able to track the status of your application. Expect an admission decision within two days! Accept our offer of admission and pay the $250 acceptance fee.
  • 5
    Take the next steps as an official Hawkeye!
    Once you accept our offer of admission, you will receive instructions on how to apply for on-campus housing, make a reservation for orientation, register for classes, and more.

and financial aid

In addition to more than 2,000 scholarships offered by the University of Iowa, the College or Engineering has more than 100 scholarships for admitted and enrolled undergraduate students.
  • University of Iowa Scholarships - several $200-$40,000 scholarships for first-year students

  • College of Engineering Scholarships - several $1,000-$3,000 scholarships for first-year students

  • Scholarships for international students

  • External resources such as College Board and Fastweb

  • * International applications must meet these requirements in addition to a composite ACT minimum of 25 (or SAT critical reading + math score minimum of 1130).
    ** If your first language is not English, the university has English proficiency requirements.


As a CivilHawk, you will have no trouble finding a job or continuing your education after graduation. Here's how civil and environmental engineering ranks in the "real world":
Least underemployed major.
Surveys returned to the College of Engineering indicate that 98% of its May and July 2012 graduates accepted jobs or were admitted to graduate programs within seven months of graduation.
One of U.S. News & World Report's best jobs.
Civil engineer ranked among the best in several areas of U.S. News' best jobs, including: No. 7 Best Technology Job, No. 10 Best STEM Job, No. 17 Best Paying Job, and No. 22 in the 100 Best Jobs.
Above-average projected employment growth.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment is expected to rise 20 percent from 2012–22. That's 53,7000 new jobs by 2022!
Outstanding job satisfaction.
The benefits of being a civil and environmental engineer include flexibility, low stress, and above-average upward mobility. What's more, you'll be doing what you love while benefiting society!
High-paying positions.
The mean annual wage in Iowa is $77,370, according to the BLS. You can expect a civil and environmental engineering position to pay anywhere from $51,280–$122,020, depending on your level of education and location.
America's infrastructure needs help.
America's cumulative GPA for infrastructure rose slightly in 2013 - to a D+. From solid waste (B-) to inland waterways and levees (D-), our country has a dismal infrastructure report card, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, and needs civil engineers to invest in advancing our society. To see the entire report card, visit