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The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org 

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Civil and Environmental Engineering

See: Civil EngineeringAtmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Civil Engineering

Civil and environmental engineers make a difference. They serve the public by designing a wide variety of infrastructure systems such as dams and waterways, harbors, bridges, buildings, water supply and wastewater systems, highways and airports, tunnels and pipelines, and renewable energy facilities. Civil and environmental engineers serve as stewards of the natural environment and its resources.

The Civil Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org.

Undergraduate students interested in a career in civil and environmental engineering follow a curriculum that culminates in an ABET-accredited Civil Engineering (BS) degree. Students interested in environmental engineering undertake coursework tailored to this important area of study.

Our mission is to provide our students with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to address the needs of society through design, research and construction, and to instill them with the desire for professionalism, leadership, and lifelong learning.

Program Objectives and Outcomes

The goal of the Civil Engineering program with regard to undergraduate education is to produce graduates, who, within a few years of graduation, will demonstrate the following Civil Engineering Program Objectives:

  1. Engage in the professional practice of civil and environmental engineering,
  2. Actively participate in professional and/or civic organizations,
  3. Pursue opportunities to assume leadership roles in their professional and/or service activities, and
  4. Seek to continue their educations through advanced studies in civil or environmental engineering or a related professional discipline, continuing education and/or professional development activities.

At the time of graduation, students completing the Civil Engineering program will be able to demonstrate the following Civil Engineering Program Outcomes:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Our Civil Engineering (BS) curriculum prepares graduates to enter the workforce immediately upon graduation or to pursue graduate studies in civil engineering, environmental engineering, construction engineering and management, or other professional degrees such as medicine or law.

Department Offerings

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) also offers a Civil and Environmental Engineering doctoral degree (PhD CENE), a Civil and Environmental Engineering MS (MS CENE) and a Construction Engineering and Management MS (MS CEM). Additionally, our faculty and students participate in the interdisciplinary Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences (AES) and Materials Engineering and Science (MES) programs on campus. Our faculty and students are engaged in a wide variety of research projects, ranging from renewable energy and sustainable and advanced materials to environmental impact assessment of abandoned mines and water quality studies. We have a proud tradition of excellence in our programs, and our graduates are highly sought after by employers in a variety of industries across the nation.

Civil and environmental engineers often work on interdisciplinary teams to solve complex system design problems, so a broad background in engineering fundamentals and the natural sciences is essential. Students go on to take courses in a variety of sub disciplinary areas, and may select an emphasis area or choose to take courses in several areas.

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering invites you to an exciting discipline in which you will have the opportunity use your creativity, intelligence, problem-solving skills, and the knowledge you gain from coursework to build a better, safer, and more sustainable world!

Environmental Engineering Specialization 

New Environmental Engineering specialization within Civil Engineering is now available starting Fall 2022. Environmental Engineering is an important emphasis area in the broad field of civil engineering with emphasis on chemical and biological processes to solve pressing global problems in all areas related to the environment and public health.
Learn more about CEE Undergraduate Programs

Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences


The Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Program studies the physical, chemical, and biological processes that affect the composition and dynamics of the atmosphere. Research is directly linked to an undergraduate and graduate program that provides a fundamental understanding of the atmosphere, and opportunities for applied research, theoretical research, and technical training to prepare students for careers in meteorology, atmospheric science, remote sensing and environmental technology and science.


The primary program objective of the Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences program is to bring students to an understanding of the basic processes involved in weather and to understand the major components of the earth-biosphere-atmosphere system and their interactions. These include:

  • Solar and terrestrial radiation
  • Laws of fluid motion and thermodynamics as applied to the atmosphere, physical, chemical, and radiative processes in clouds
  • Global ecological and bio-Geo-chemical cycles
  • Atmosphere- land- surface interactions

A sub-objective is to educate students in the acquisition and interpretation of data, including:

  • Conventional weather data, satellite data, and radar data
  • Observations collected by specially- instrumented platforms such as aircraft, towers located above various terrestrial ecosystems, and tethered balloon systems
  • To train students how to evaluate and analyze and visualize such data using various types of data- processing and display equipment

Graduate students are expected to carry out original research in the atmospheric and environmental sciences and participate in disseminating their results at conferences and though the scientific publication process. These program outcomes are:

  • The educational experience of our students is broadened with 24 or more hours of graduate- level coursework in diverse areas of the atmospheric and earth system sciences as well as related fields. 
  • Students contribute to the expansion of knowledge through basic research and scholarship as they serve as graduate research assistants to faculty on research projects funded by various local, state, and federal agencies. All students prepare these describing the results of their efforts. Almost all these lead to conference presentations by the students themselves or by their faculty supervisor. Roughly half of these serve as the basis for formal publications in the refereed literature. 
  • Students completing the program are prepared for employment in research and operational activities in private industry, government, and academic settings.
  • Faculty expertise is applied to regional and global needs in atmospheric research with support from external research grants. Faculty perform state- of- the- art research in satellite remote sensing, meteorological radar analysis, numerical modeling of cloud and mesoscale processes, analysis of field data from diverse combinations of platforms, and complex interactions between components of the earth system.

Research Opportunities

Several of the faculty are actively engaged in research projects involving lightning, severe storms, incident meteorology, fire and its effects on the ecosystem, soil erosion, and other atmospheric and environmental concerns. For more information on our research projects, visit Research in Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences.

The Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences Program main offices are housed in the Mineral Industries Building on the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology campus. 

Tony Kulesa. Smiling an wearing bluejeans and black shirt with arms crossed     "One of the best things about South Dakota Mines is the 'smart' culture. I enjoy school and studying and I fit right in. Even as an undergraduate, I was able to participate in one of the largest research projects at Mines and travel to international conferences. Mines is a great combination of a small school atmosphere with endless opportunities to get involved and succeed."

Tony Kulesa (pictured left)
Civil Engineering (BS) ’12; MS Civil and Environmental Engineering, ‘14

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