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, http://www.abet.org.  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 Objectives

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

1. Teach students engineering fundamentals and critical thinking skills enabling them to consistently and successfully apply Structural Engineering principles within their chosen specialization (such as Aerospace, Civil, Marine, and Mechanical).

2. Encourage lifelong learning empowering students to continue with a graduate education and/or embark on successful professional careers in industry leading to professional licensure and leadership positions.

3. Apply broad multi-disciplinary skills including sustainability and socioeconomic community needs to accomplish professional objectives in a rapidly changing technological world.

4. Understand the ethical issues pertaining to engineering, adopt industry standards of ethical behavior, and apply appropriate communication and collaboration skills essential for professional practice

B.S. Structural Engineering 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

B.S. Structural Engineering Program Statistics:

Enrollment numbers

  Fall 2019 Fall 2018  Fall 2017  Fall 2016
Total enrolled 444 471 486 517

New students (1st year & transfers)

94 152 140 132


Degrees conferred

2018-2019 2017-2018  2016-2017 2015-2016
97 121 186 165

Please note: The Structural Engineering B.S. program has been declared "capped" for ALL students, effective Fall 2015. Additional information on how to apply to the SE major can be found in the Admissions section of the Undergraduate portion of this website.