COVID-19 Update: To help students through this crisis, The Princeton Review will continue our "Enroll with Confidence" refund policies. For full details, please click here.


Civil Engineering is cool. It encompasses a broad combination of all the sub-disciplines within engineering, and civil engineers frequently work on complex projects which involve many technical, economic, social and environmental factors. Civil Engineering majors who become professional civil engineers are responsible for enormous projects like the Golden Gate Bridge, the Sears Tower, the English Channel Tunnel, and every other huge thing that needs to withstand the forces of nature. Civil Engineering involves the design and construction of bridges, earthquake-resistant high rise buildings in high seismic risk areas, eight-lane highways, offshore oil platforms, transit systems, dams, airports, landfills, recycling plants - all the colossal, one-of-a-kind structures that make modern civilization what it is. They synchronize traffic lights, too.

If you major in Civil Engineering, you'll probably choose from one of many different specialties in the field including transportation, structures, materials, hydrosystems, geotechnical, environmental, and construction. When you graduate, you shouldn't have a problem getting a job. As environmental concerns grow, and as technological innovations continue at a breakneck pace, the demand for civil engineers will rise. After all, somebody has to design, construct, and maintain the infrastructure and the facilities that are essential to our civilization.


  • Calculus and Analytic Geometry

  • Civil Engineering Ethics

  • Differential Equations

  • Dynamics

  • Engineering Graphics

  • Fluid Mechanics

  • Fluid Mechanics

  • Geology

  • Materials of Construction

  • Physics

  • Reinforced Concrete Design

  • Structural Masonry Design

  • Structural Principles

  • Surveying and Measurement

  • Thermodynamics

  • Transportation Engineering


A very solid background in math and physics is essential if you want to pursue Civil Engineering, as is extensive knowledge of computers and computer programming skills. Take Trigonometry and Calculus (or the highest-level math class that your high school offers).