CE Degree Planning (BSE)


The civil engineering (CE) Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree requires the completion of 34 courses, comprising:

In the CEE Undergraduate Handbook you will find degree check sheets and typical course sequences that outline the degree requirements in a semester by semester format. Where the requirements below list electives you should consult the electives section below for details.

CEE Undergraduate Handbook

Surveying equipment on the engineering quad

The CEE Undergraduate Handbook (2017-18) is a comprehensive guide and source of relevant information. The handbook is updated yearly.

Download Handbook

The following degree check sheets are available in the handbook, however, links are provided to these specific pages for convenience.
CE Degree Check Sheets:
Class of 2021 (Matriculation Fall 2017): E/W, S/M
Class of 2020 (Matriculation Fall 2016): E/W, S/M
Class of 2019 (Matriculation Fall 2015): E/W, S/M
Class of 2018 (Matriculation Fall 2014): E/W, S/M

Degree Enhancements

Typical Course Sequence (c/o 2021)

The plan provided below (applicable to students matriculating in Fall 2017) outlines a typical, semester-by-semester path to graduation. Students who have already matriculated should consult the CEE Undergraduate Handbook as degree requirements can differ by matriculation date. Courses in the table are required unless noted otherwise. Shifting courses to a different semester should be done with caution and preplanning due, in part, to pre-requisites and co-requisites.

Courses in bold are typically only offered once a year during the semester they are shown in.

First-year - Both Study Tracks

Fall 2017
Spring 2018
Calculus I
MATH 111L (#1)
Calculus II
MATH 112L (#2)
Computational Methods
EGR 103L
PHYSICS 151L (#4)
CHEM 101DL (#3)
Engineering the Planet
EGR 190
WRITING 101 (#8)
elective (#7)
WRITING 101 (#8)
elective (#7)

Sophomore - Both Study Tracks

Fall 2018
Spring 2019
Multivariable Calculus
MATH 212
Linear Algebra
MATH 216
Electricity & Magnetism
PHYSICS 152L (#4)
EGR 244L
Solid Mechanics
EGR 201L
Uncertainty, Design & Optimization
CEE 201L
elective elective 
CE Applied Skills
CEE 205 (0.5 unit)
Engineering Communication
EGR 206 (0.5 unit)
  • #1 AP credit for MATH 21 may be used to satisfy the MATH 111L requirement. 
  • #2 AP credit for MATH 22 may be used to satisfy the MATH 112L requirement. If AP credit for 21 but not 22 then take MATH 122L in first-year Fall.
  • #3 CHEM 101DL. AP credit (i.e., CHEM 20 or 21) may be used to satisify this requirement.
  • #4 At least one (1) physics course must be taken post-matriculation to satisfy the Physics requirement in the Engineering curriculum.  Students receiving AP credits for PHYSICS 25 and 26 must:  a) take a Duke PHYSICS course at or above PHYSICS 153L; b) decline the AP credit for PHYSICS 26 and take PHYSICS 152L; or c) decline both AP credits and take both PHYSICS 151L and 152L.
  • #5 EGR 120L may be replaced with an upper-level S/M course; if not taken in the first or second year then it must be replaced. An upper-level course is a course at the 300-level or higher.
  • #6 CEE 160L may be replaced with an upper-level E/W course; if not taken in the first or second year then it must be replaced. An upper-level course is a course at the 300-level or higher.
  • #7 It is advised that any electives taken in the first year advance the completion of the humanities and social science (SS/H) requirements.
  • #8 WRITING 101 must be taken in the fall or spring of the first year.

Junior - S/M Study Track

Fall 2019
Spring 2020
Differential Equations
MATH 353
Soil Mechanics
CEE 302L
Fluid Mechanics
CEE 301L (#9)
Reinforced Concrete Design
CEE 422L
Structural Analysis
CEE 421L
Probability & Statistics
STA 130
Systems Optimization & Economics
EGR 305
elective  elective 

Senior - S/M Study Track

Fall 2020
Spring 2021
Structural Steel Design
CEE 423L
Integrated Structural Design
CEE 429
elective  elective 
elective elective

#9 Although MATH 353 may be taken concurrently it is recommended that MATH 353 be completed prior to taking Fluid Mechanics, CEE 301L. 

Junior - E/W Study Track

Fall 2019
Spring 2020
Differential Equations
MATH 353
Soil Mechanics
CEE 302L
Fluid Mechanics
CEE 301L (#9)
Biological Principles
CEE 462L
Chemical Principles
CEE 461L
STA 130
Systems Optimization & Economics
EGR 305
elective elective

Senior - E/W Study Track

Fall 2020
Water Resources
CEE 463L
Integrated Environmental Design
CEE 469
elective elective 
elective elective 


Completing the general engineering and departmental requirements offer a variety of elective choices. Below you will find the minimum elective requirements for CEE students. When planning electives be cognizant of both pre-requisites and when the course is typically offered.

Five (5) Social Science and Humanities (SS/H) electives.

These courses, from the areas of Arts, Literature, and Performance (ALP), Civilizations (CZ), Foreign Language (FL), and Social Science (SS), must meet the following minimum requirements.

  • One (1) Social Science (SS)
  • Two (2) of the three areas: ALP, CZ, and FL
  • For depth, two (2) courses must be from the same department with at least one of those two at the 200-level (100-level), or higher.
  • Limit of two (2) AP credits

EI Code requirement: Of the 34 units required for graduation, at least one of the units must possess the EI (Ethical Inquiry) code. Most likely this EI code will be possessed by one of these 5 SS/H courses.

One (1) Natural Science (NS) elective. 

Class of 2014 and beyond: complete one of the following courses:

BIOLOGY 201DL Gateway to Biology: Molecular Biology
BIOLOGY 215/215L Introduction to Mathematical Modeling in Biology
BIOLOGY 275A Biology for Engineers: Informing Engineering Decisions (@ NSOE Marine Lab)
BIOLOGY 311 Systems Biology: An Introduction for the Quantitative Sciences 
EOS 101 The Dynamic Earth
EOS 102 The Dynamic Ocean
EOS 201L The Solid Earth: Minerals, Rocks, and Structural Geology
EOS 202 Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics
EOS 370A Introduction to Physical Oceanography (@ NSOE Marine Lab)

BIOLOGY 20 (AP credit) may be used to satisfy this requirement.

One (1) Engineering & Applied Science elective.

This can be satisfied either of two ways: 

Option 1: complete one of the following courses:

BME 253L Biomedical Electronic Measurements I
CEE 307 Transport Phenomena in Biological Systems
CEE 560 Environmental Transport Phenomena
CEE 581 Pollutant Transport Systems
COMPSCI 201 Data Structures and Algorithms
ECE 110L Fundamentals of Electrical and Computer Engineering
ECE 311 Thermal Physics
EGR 224L Electrical Fundamentals of Mechatronics
ME 221L Structure and Properties of Solids
ME 331L Thermodynamics
PHYS 271L Electronics

Option 2: S/M track students may complete CEE 461L, CEE 462L, or CEE 463L; E/W track students may complete CEE 421L, CEE 422L, or CEE 423L.

CEE elective(s).

Two (2) electives. These must be upper-level CEE courses; an upper-level course is a course at the 300-level or higher. Courses meeting this requirement include, but are not limited to: architectural engineering (CEE 311, CEE 411); sustainable design and construction (CEE 315); and independent study (e.g., CEE 393, CEE 493).

Two (2) unrestricted electives.

Two (2) electives. These electives are unrestricted with the exception that at most 1.0 units of physical education activity and at most 1.0 units of music activity can be used to meet BSE requirements. House courses cannot be used.

Optional electives.

Students may exceed the minimum 34 units required for the BSE degree. This may be accomplished via AP credits, overloading, and/or summer courses either at Duke or elsewhere.

Study Abroad

The CEE curriculum affords any student the opportunity to study abroad in the Junior Fall semester, with a little planning. Students are always able to pusue study abroad during the summer semester. Many popular institutions for study-abroad offer technical courses that are pre-approved for Duke CEE requirements. Alternatively, students can modify the typical course sequence in order to take humanities electives when they are abroad.

For study abroad in the Junior Fall without any engineering courses, which is not necessary depending on the institution selected, you may

  • Move fluid mechanics (CEE 301L) to Sophomore Spring. Note that CEE 301L has co-requisites of MATH 353 and EGR 244L, which are easily met if you have AP credit for MATH 21. CEE 301L will need to be offered on Tu-Th mornings in Spring semesters.
  • Move systems optimization & economics (EGR 305) to Senior Fall.
  • S/M Track: Move matrix structural analysis (CEE 421L) to Senior Fall
  • E/W Track: Move chemical processes (CEE 461L) to Senior Fall.

To explore the opportunities for global studies visit the Office of Global Education for Undergraduates.