Tell Me More About Civil and Systems Engineering

Whether you realize it or not, the work of civil engineers affects your everyday life. From the roads and bridges you drive on and the buildings you live and work in, to the pipes that deliver water and remove waste, civil engineering has a direct effect on your quality of life. In fact, civil engineering is the foundation for all aspects of our infrastructure that is the foundation for everything we accomplish as a modern society.

With civil engineering having such a broad impact, the types of work within the field vary greatly. Civil engineers of today have the option to design new structures or retrofit older ones, always keeping in mind their need to withstand natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, and also to be sustainable and “green” for reduced environmental impact and lower energy usage. The integration of new technologies, optimizing operational costs without sacrificing quality and safety of the project, and the significant uncertainties in loadings and material performance are all considerations as well.

Johns Hopkins University has been providing an accredited program for students interested in civil engineering since 1934. The department is constantly updating and innovating our offerings to best prepare our students for whatever career path they choose. In 2019, the Johns Hopkins Department of Civil Engineering (CE) formally became the Department of Civil and Systems Engineering (CaSE). Bolstered by unanimous support from our faculty and with significant support from the Whiting School of Engineering leadership, this evolution honored our department’s past and preserves its strengths, while also reflecting our continued commitment to pushing the frontiers of civil engineering research and education.

While many of our former students are part of top civil engineering firms, we have alumni who are applying their civil engineering skills in areas such as law, medicine, finance, and education. Rooted in fundamental mechanics, systems thinking, advanced computational methods and uncertainty quantification, our program successfully navigates the conflicting objectives inherent in addressing grand societal challenges, such as resilient cities, human safety and security, space exploration and habitation, decision-making and health, and future energy infrastructure. Our current research areas focus on mechanics of materials, structures, and systems, and our undergraduate curriculum ingrains real-life application of knowledge through our senior design sequence.

Currently the department offers Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, a Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering. Students also have an opportunity to pursue a five-year combined bachelor’s/master’s degree program in civil engineering.

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