Class of 2018

Introduction to the Civil Engineering Curriculum

The faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering has 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 currently enrolled in the undergraduate civil engineering program at Johns Hopkins are provided on the following pages, and organized by year of matriculation at Johns Hopkins. A sample course schedule is provided as a supplement to each degree checkout sheet. 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 course selection each semester.

The maximum number of credits per semester students can register for 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 | .xls

Degree Checkout Form » pdf | .xls


Basic Science (20 credits)
To provide fundamental knowledge in the natural sciences necessary for engineering, students in the Department of Civil Engineering are required to take courses in Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science. In addition to the required courses, students should take a natural science (N) course of their choosing. We recommend either 270.220 Dynamic Earth or 270.205 Introduction to GIS and Geospatial Analysis, but students may wish to take 030.102 Chemistry II. Beginning in Fall 2012, students were given the option of taking Physics I from the Physics Department or Mechanics I / 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 (lab times conflict with Perspectives on the Evolution of Structures in the spring semester).

Mathematics (16 credits)
Students are required to take 16 credits in mathematics. There is an option for students to choose between 550.251/2 Mathematical Models for Decision Making and 110.202 Calculus III. Students who wish to pursue graduate degrees in engineering are advised to take Calculus III to complete the calculus sequence.

Humanities and Social Sciences (18 credits)
Students must take a minimum of 6 credits in H electives and 6 credits in S electives. An additional 6 credits can be taken in either area: H or S. A minimum of one H and one S elective 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. Given the increasingly global nature of the civil engineering field, students are required to take one H or S course from the KSAS International Studies major (see

Civil – Engineering Fundamentals (21 credits)
No substitutions will be allowed for these courses.

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 program in Fall 2012 must take two courses in each of the four following civil engineering technical areas: Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Systems Engineering.

Technical Electives (9 credits)
Students must take one technical elective (at or above the 300-level) related to one of the four technical areas listed above. The other 2 technical electives (or equivalent 6 credits in technical electives) must also be at or above the 300-level.  Of the remaining 6 credits, a minimum of 3cr. must be from an engineering (E) course and up to 3 cr. are allowed to come from mathematics (Q) or the natural sciences (N). While the Department of Civil Engineering allows some flexibility with the technical electives, we advise that to the extent possible, students select their technical electives from within the department’s offerings.

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