From motorways to skyscrapers or wind farms – civil engineers are in demand in many fields: at the planning stage, for construction or maintenance, and even for disassembly, demolition and recycling. Civil engineers are experts in materials science, structural design, building law, waste management, transportation, hydraulic engineering and facility management. The difference between architecture and civil engineering is that here the emphasis is not so much on aesthetic points of view but on technology and functionality.
- Civil engineering students at TU Braunschweig
Foto: TU Braunschweig
What qualities are required?
As with most engineering degrees, you should be interested in science and technology and have a good grounding in mathematics if you want to study civil engineering. In addition, you should be able to think logically, to concentrate and to be patient. Good communication skills and the readiness to work in a team are crucial for civil engineers, as they work together with many different people from many different professions.
What does the degree course look like?
The first four semesters concentrate on the theoretical basis of civil engineering; i.e. the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science are the main subjects. Lectures on applied subjects such as construction materials and building construction are also on the curriculum. In addition, foundation courses from all areas of civil engineering are taught: materials science, technical mechanics, technical civil engineering, structural design, computer science in civil engineering, environment and ecology, surveying and statistics.
During the higher semesters of the bachelor’s programme and the master’s phase, students can specialise according to their own interests and the subjects offered at their university in a variety of advanced subjects. These include:
- Structural engineering
- Hydraulic engineering, water resources management, sewage- and waste management
- Building site operations
- Transport and spatial planning
- Geotechnical engineering
Practical Work and Internships
Project work and field trips are further important parts of the degree programme. In addition, students complete at least one compulsory internship, usually in the semester break or before embarking on their degree. A pre-study internship can be an advantage in that students gain insights into working procedures in an engineering office before taking up their studies, and thus have a clear picture of their future activity as a civil engineer. In the 5th or 6th semester students are usually required to complete a practical semester.
Fields of Employment
A wide range of career options are open to civil engineering graduates. In many ways they make a significant contribution to our environment. Site management is only one of many career options, albeit the traditional one. Graduates also work for engineering offices, building contractors or public authorities. They design buildings and plants, or work as project managers to coordinate the implementation of building projects. Maintenance of existing buildings is also becoming increasingly important. Renovation and conversion of buildings and plants is nowadays as much a part of a civil engineer’s daily work as the planning and construction of new buildings.
To see if civic engineering is the right choice for you, why not take one of these tests?
- Studienfeld-SelfAssessment "Bauingenieurwesen" from RWTH Aachen
- "SelbstBAUtest" from Leibniz Universität Hannover
For further information on studying civil engineering at TU9 universities visit:
- RWTH Aachen
- TU Berlin
- TU Braunschweig
- TU Darmstadt
- TU Dresden
- Leibniz Universität Hannover
- Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
- TU München
- Universität Stuttgart
A TU Dresden student talks about her civil engineering studies: