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Civil Engineering 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.

Undergraduate Handbook

The CEE Undergraduate Handbook (2022-23 v1) is a comprehensive guide and source of relevant information. The handbook is updated yearly.

Download Handbook

CE Degree Check Sheets

The following degree check sheets are available in the handbook, however, links are provided to these specific pages for convenience:

  • Class of 2026 (Matriculation Fall 2022): E/WS/M
  • Class of 2025 (Matriculation Fall 2021): E/W, S/M
  • Class of 2024 (Matriculation Fall 2020): E/W, S/M
  • Class of 2023 (Matriculation Fall 2019): E/W, S/M
  • Class of 2022 (Matriculation Fall 2018): E/W, S/M

Degree Enhancements

Typical Course Sequence (class of 2026)

The plan provided below (applicable to students matriculating in Fall 2022) 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 prerequisites and co-requisites.

NOTE: Course numbers in bold (e.g., CEE 132L) are typically only offered once a year during the semester shown.

First Year—Both Study Tracks

Fall 2022 Spring 2023
Calculus I
MATH 111L (#1)
Calculus II
MATH 112L (#2)
CHEM 101DL (#3)
PHYSICS 151L (#4)

WRITING 101 (#8)


Computational Methods
EGR 103L

Computational Methods
EGR 103L


WRITING 101 (#8)

Engineering Design & Communication
EGR 101L

Engineering the Planet
CEE 132L (#5)

Sophomore Year—Both Study Tracks

Fall 2023 Spring 2024
Matrices and Vectors
MATH 218-2
Multivariable Calculus
MATH 219
Electricity & Magnetism
PHYSICS 152L (#4)
EGR 244L
Solid Mechanics
EGR 201L
Uncertainty, Design & Optimization
CEE 201L
elective elective 
elective elective

Important Notes

  • #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 satisfy 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 CEE 132L may be replaced with CEE 205 (0.5 unit) AND an upper-level CEE course (1.0 unit); if not taken in the first or second year then it must be replaced. An upper-level CEE course is a CEE course at the 300-, 400-, 500-, or 600-level
  • #8 WRITING 101 must be taken in the Fall or Spring of the First Year

Junior Year—Structural Engineering & Mechanics (S/M) Study Track

Fall 2024

Spring 2025

Differential Equations
MATH 353

Soil Mechanics
CEE 302L

Fluid Mechanics
CEE 301L (#9)

Reinforced Concrete Design
CEE 422L

Structural Analysis
CEE 421L

Data Analysis & Decision Science

Systems Optimization & Economics
EGR 305


Senior Year—S/M Study Track

Fall 2025 Spring 2026
Structural Steel Design
CEE 423L
Integrated Structural Design
CEE 429
elective  elective
elective elective
elective  elective

Important Notes

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

Junior Year—Environmental Engineering & Water Resources (E/W) Study Track

Fall 2024 Spring 2025
Differential Equations
MATH 353
Soil Mechanics
CEE 302L
Fluid Mechanics
CEE 301L (#9)
Biological Principles
CEE 462L
Aquatic Chemistry
CEE 461L
Data Analysis & Decision Science 
Systems Optimization & Economics
EGR 305
elective elective

Senior Year—E/W Study Track

Fall 2025 Spring 2026
Water Resources
CEE 463L
Integrated Environmental Design
CEE 469
elective elective 
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:

Course Number Course Title
BIOLOGY 201DL Gateway to Biology: Molecular Biology
BIOLOGY 215/215L Introduction to Mathematical Modeling in Biology
BIOLOGY 275A Biology for Engineers: Informing Engineering Decisions (at Duke Marine Lab)
BIOLOGY 311 Systems Biology: An Introduction for the Quantitative Sciences 
ECS/EOS 101 The Dynamic Earth
ECS/EOS 102 [NOTE: no longer offered after Fall 2021] The Dynamic Ocean 
ECS/EOS 103 Climate Change for Future Leaders
ECS/EOS 201L The Solid Earth: Minerals, Rocks, and Structural Geology
ECS/EOS 202 Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics
ECS/EOS 370A Introduction to Physical Oceanography (at Duke Marine Lab)

Important Notes

  • 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:

Course Number Course Title
BME 253L Biomedical Electronic Measurements I
BME 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
PHYSICS 271L Electronics

Option 2

S/M Track students may complete one of:

  • CEE 461L
  • CEE 462L
  • CEE 463L

E/W Track students may complete one of:

  • CEE 421L
  • CEE 422L
  • 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-, 400-, 500-, or 600-level. Courses meeting this requirement include, but are not limited to: 

Course Number Course Title
CEE 311 Architectural Engineering I
CEE 315-20 Engr. Sustainable Design and the Global Comm.: Structural Focus
CEE 315-60 Engr. Sustainable Design and the Global Comm.: Environmental Focus
CEE 411 Architectural Engineering II
CEE 511 Construction Management
CEE 520 Continuum Mechanics
CEE 530 Introduction to the Finite Element Method
CEE 541 Structural Dynamics
CEE 560 Environmental Transport Phenomena
CEE 566 Environmental Microbiology
CEE 661L Environmental Molecular Biotechnology
CEE 666 Aquatic Geochemistry
CEE 667 Chemical Transformation of Environmental Contaminants
CEE 683 Groundwater Hydrology
CEE 684 Physical Hydrology, Hydrometeorology

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 of 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

With a little planning, the Duke CEE curriculum affords any student the opportunity to study abroad in the Junior Fall semester. Students are always able to pursue 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 aquatic chemistry (CEE 461L) to Senior Fall

To explore Duke's many opportunities for global studies visit globaled.duke.edu