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Overview, Mission and Educational Objectives


Princeton’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) offers students the opportunity to pursue a variety of programs and concentration areas under a common departmental structure. The department supports five sub-plan options:

  •  Architecture and Engineering
  •  Environmental Engineering
  •  Geological Engineering
  •  Structural Engineering
  •  Engineering and the Liberal Arts
All of the tracks except “Engineering and the Liberal Arts” and “Architecture and Engineering - Architecture Focus” are accredited as civil engineering by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  ABET is among the most respected accreditation organizations in the United States, and accreditation ensures that academic programs meet established standards of engineering and technical education.
The CEE curriculum is sufficiently flexible to provide opportunities for students to pursue certificate programs across the University, and to do study-abroad in the junior year.
The Department firmly believes that independent research is an integral component of an engineer’s education.  Consequently, all seniors are required to complete a year-long thesis project, write a thesis and present the results of their work at poster and oral sessions throughout the year. Sophomores and juniors are also encouraged to participate in independent research and should take the initiative to discuss their interests with departmental faculty members.
Students in CEE 262 lab
Students in CEE 262 lab


The department’s mission is to prepare students for careers at the forefront of the dynamic fields of civil and environmental engineering. Growing challenges for designing and maintaining societal infrastructure require proper accounting for complex interactions between the built and natural environment. Our aim is to educate students to take leadership roles in identifying emerging issues in these fields and to develop innovative solutions to the engineering challenges of the future.

Our undergraduate curriculum covers the key components of today’s civil and environmental engineering profession.  These include the static and dynamic behaviors of structures, construction materials, and geotechnical materials; the workings of the natural environment, how human activities affect the environment, and technologies to monitor, protect and restore the environment; and elements of design and its philosophy.

Because civil and environmental engineers are called upon to work on large projects of an interdisciplinary nature, it is our mission to train students to be able to apply a diverse set of skills to solve complex problems, to work in teams and communicate effectively, and to uphold ethical standards of professional practice.


Revised by the CEE Faculty May 2012
Objective No. 1Our graduates will be able to use science and engineering principles to solve important problems and address technological challenges of the future .
Objective No. 2 – Our graduates will be prepared to play key roles in interdisciplinary efforts and to solve problems that are important to society.
Objective No. 3 – Our graduates will be on a path to leadership positions and be recognized as critical, creative, and independent thinkers.
Objective No. 4 – Our graduates will continue their lifelong learning process to remain effective professionals in the workplace.


(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

(d) an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g) an ability to communicate effectively

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

(l) an ability to explain basic concepts in management, business, public policy, and leadership;

(m) an ability to explain the importance of professional licensure. 



Total Degrees

Degrees awarded
from/enrollment in ABET
accredited programs
Class of 2014 (degrees award June 2014)
Class of 2015 (as of 07/25/2014)
Class of 2016 (as of 07/25/2014)
Class of 2017 (as of 07/25/2014)