Structural Engineering

Aerospace Biological Civil Geotechnical Mechanical


Undergraduate Program

The Department of Structural Engineering offers a unique engineering program leading to a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) degree in Structural Engineering.  The B.S. in Structural Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,  The B.S. degree in Structural Engineering requires a minimum of 145 units, plus college requirements in humanities and social sciences.  All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade.

Department Mission and Goals

The programs and curricula of the Department of Structural Engineering have been specifically developed to educate and train engineers using a holistic approach to structural systems engineering by emphasizing and building on the commonality of engineering structures in materials, mechanics, analysis and design across the engineering disciplines of aerospace, civil, marine and mechanical engineering.

All Structural Engineering programs of study have strong components in laboratory experimentation, numerical computation, and engineering design. Design is emphasized throughout the curricula by open-ended homework problems, by laboratory and computer courses which include student-initiated projects, and finally by senior design project courses which involve teams of students working to solve engineering design problems brought in from industry. The Structural Engineering programs are designed to prepare students receiving bachelor’s degrees for professional careers or for graduate education in their area of specialization. In addition, the programs can also be taken by students who intend to use their undergraduate engineering education as preparation for postgraduate professional training in non-technical fields such as business administration, law or medicine.

Structural Engineering is concerned with the design and analysis of civil, mechanical, aerospace, marine, naval, and offshore structures. Examples include bridges, dams, buildings, aircraft, spacecraft, ships, oil platforms, automobiles, and other transportation vehicles. This field requires a thorough knowledge of the behavior of solids (concrete, soils, rock, metals, plastics, and composite materials), fluid mechanics as it relates to structural loads, dynamics as it relates to structural response, mathematics for the generation of theoretical structural models and numerical analysis, and computer science for simulation purposes associated with computer-aided design, response analyses, and data acquisition. Basic understanding of materials behavior and structural performance is enhanced by laboratory courses involving static and dynamic stress failure tests of structural models, and response of structural systems.  Undergraduate students can specialize in one of the following four focus sequences: (a) civil structures, (b) aerospace structures, (c) structural health monitoring/non-destructive evaluation (SHM/NDE), or (d) geotechnical engineering.

B.S. Structural Engineering Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

Program Objectives represent graduates’ performance 3 to 5 years after completing the B.S. program.  Graduates will:

1. Retain a strong grasp of engineering fundamentals and critical thinking skills that enable them to consistently and successfully apply Structural Engineering principles within their chosen career path.

2. Embrace a passion for lifelong learning, empowering them to continue with graduate education and/or embark on successful professional careers in industry leading to professional licensure and leadership positions.

3. Possess a broad set of multi-disciplinary skills, including the inclination and ability to consider sustainability, resilience and socioeconomic community needs to accomplish professional objectives in a rapidly changing technological world.

4. Have a clear understanding of ethical issues pertaining to engineering and adopt industry standards of ethical behavior.

5. Utilize strong communication and collaboration skills essential for professional practice.

B.S. Structural Engineering Student Outcomes

Program Outcomes are the expected knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors of students at the time of completing the B.S. program:

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

Scroll Up