Class of 2019

Introduction to the Civil Engineering Curriculum

The faculty of the department have developed a curriculum they feel offers the best preparation for students to pursue professional careers or graduate study in the field of civil engineering. Throughout the curriculum, students are exposed not only to the full breadth of the modern civil engineering profession, but also to the liberal arts through courses in the humanities and social sciences. Additionally, the curriculum allows students in their junior and senior years to specialize in focus areas within the civil engineering field through technical electives.

As the field of civil engineering progresses, so does the curriculum, so it is important for students and advisors to be aware that the curriculum for one year’s entering freshman class may differ slightly from the next. The Degree Checkout Form for each entering freshman class serves as a description of the curriculum for that particular class, not to be used for any other year’s entering freshman class.

Degree checkout sheets for students matriculating in fall 2015 and majoring in civil engineering at Johns Hopkins are provided below. A sample course schedule is also provided, though students should note that the ordering of courses in the sample schedule may change slightly as other factors (AP credits, H/S elective availability, minor requirements, and double major requirements) contribute to an individual student’s course selection each semester.

The maximum number of credits that students can register for per semester is 19 (18 for Freshmen). Exceptions to this rule may be made for students with an outstanding GPA (above 3.5), and in cases where overload is a result of independent study or research. Further information can be found in the JHU Catalog.

Sample Civil Engineering Program » pdf

Semester Sign-off Form » pdf | .xlsx

Degree Checkout Form » pdf | .xls


Basic Science (20 credits)
To provide fundamental knowledge in the natural sciences necessary for engineering, students in the department are required to take courses in Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science. In addition to the required courses, students must take a natural science (N) course of their choosing. We recommend 270.220 Dynamic Earth.  In lieu of taking Physics I, students may take 530.103 Introduction to Mechanics I  and 530.104 Introduction to Mechanics II from the Department of Mechanical Engineering. If students choose the Mechanics I/II option, we recommend that Physics I Lab be taken in the fall semester, freshman year (Physics I Lab times tend to conflict with other required courses in spring semester).

Mathematics (16 credits)
Students are required to take 16 credits in mathematics; specific classes are listed in the Degree Checkout Sheet.

Humanities and Social Sciences (18 credits)

Students must take a minimum of two 3-credit H elective courses and two 3-credit in S elective courses.  Two additional 3-credit courses may be taken in either area: H or S.  A minimum of one H and one S elective course must be at or above the 300-level. One writing-intensive requirement must be fulfilled by the H/S electives. This can either be done through 060.113/114 Introduction to Expository Writing or a 300-level, Writing-Intensive, H or S elective course. Given the increasingly global nature of the civil engineering field, students are also required to take one H or S course from the KSAS International Studies major (see

Civil – Engineering Fundamentals (21 credits)
Courses in the Engineering Fundamentals category provide the foundation for the civil engineering profession.  No substitutions are allowed.

Civil – Professional Practice (12 credits)
These courses aim to prepare students for their future professional careers. In addition to two senior design courses (Civil Engineering Design I and II) and two semesters of Civil Engineering seminar, students must select one course from the professional Communication program and one course from the W.P. Carey Program in Entrepreneurship and Management, both offered through the Center for Leadership Education.  Note that 660.300+ and 661.300+ indicate any course at or above the 300-level in each of these programs.

Civil – Technical Areas (25 credits)
Students entering the civil engineering profession should have exposure to the breadth of technical areas within the field.  Students matriculating in fall 2015 will take classes in the following technical areas: engineering mechanics, environmental and water resources, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and civil engineering systems.

Technical Electives (9 credits)

Technical electives (all required to be at or above the 300-level) are designed to provide students with greater depth in one or more of the civil engineering technical areas above.  To that end, a minimum of one 3-credit technical elective must be in a civil engineering technical area.  One 3-credit technical elective must have an E distribution credit, but may be a course offered outside of traditional civil engineering areas, and one 3-credit technical elective may come from any (Q), (N), or (E) course.  While the department allows some flexibility in students’ choice of technical electives, we advise that to the extent possible, students select their technical electives from within the department’s offerings.

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