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General Information


Undergraduate Programs

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Civil and Environmental Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Holmes 383
2540 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-7550
Fax: (808) 956-5014


*Graduate Faculty

*P. D. Prevedouros, PhD (Chair)—transportation engineering, automated highways and sustainability
*A. R. Archilla, PhD—transportation and infrastructure systems engineering
*R. W. Babcock, PhD—environmental engineering
*S. Bateni, PhD—hydraulics
*H. Brandes, PhD—geotechnical engineering
*O. P. Francis, PhD—coastal engineering and sustainable infrastructure; design, observations, numerical methods
*N. Jiang, PhD—geoenvironmental engineering, biomediated and bio-inspired geotechnics
*A. S. Kim, PhD—environmental engineering and physics, parallel computing
J. H. Lee, PhD—groundwater monitoring, computational hydrology, uncertainty quantification, optimal control
*D. Ma, PhD—structures
*P. Ooi, PhD—geotechnical engineering
*H. R. Riggs, PhD—structural engineering, numerical methods
*I. N. Robertson, PhD—structures, earthquake engineering
*L. Shen, PhD—structural engineering
*A. Singh, PhD—construction and cost engineering, project management, quality control, construction safety, housing, coastal protection, energy analysis
*T. Yan, PhD—environmental engineering, environmental microbiology
*G. Zhang, PhD—transportation engineering

Adjunct Faculty

G. Fischer, PhD—structural engineering
M. Kirs, WRRC—water resources
P. G. Nicholson, PhD—geotechnical
C. Ray, PhD—groundwater hydrology, water quality and environmental engineering

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

A. I. El-Kadi, PhD—groundwater hydrology
S. Khanal, PhD—bioenergy and biobased products; waste to energy heat and mass transport in chemically reacting ecosystems, energy conversion, bioremediation
M. Kirs, PhD—microbial water quality and related public health issues
W-W. W. Su, PhD—biochemical engineering, plant cell culture, molecular biotechnology
S. Q. Turn, PhD—thermo chemical energy conversion, fuels processing, energy systems

Degrees Offered: BS in civil engineering, MS in civil engineering, PhD in civil engineering

The Academic Program

Civil engineering is concerned with the activities of people and the environment. The civil engineer conceives, plans, designs, constructs, operates, and maintains the physical works necessary for the environmental needs of people. Students who enter the program today can look forward to one of the most rewarding careers open to men and women–rewarding in personal fulfillment, enduring service to humankind, and financial reward. The curriculum is uniquely designed to meet the demands of business, industry, and government.

The mission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is to 1) educate civil engineers that meet the requirements of the profession, committed to life-long learning, and have the potential to be the future leaders of the profession; 2) create, develop, and disseminate new knowledge through high quality, innovative research; 3) provide service to various agencies of the state and counties of Hawai‘i and the engineering community; and 4) provide leadership to the civil engineering profession in the Asia/Pacific Region.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

The department’s educational objective is to produce graduates who in the first few years following graduation will:

  1. Possess technical and non-technical knowledge/skills that will contribute to personal and employer success and benefit the communities they serve;
  2. Adhere to accepted professional ethical standards;
  3. Practice civil engineering in one or more of the following areas: construction, environmental, geotechnical, hydraulics/hydrology, structural, transportation;
  4. Accept responsibility as engineers in the private and public sectors in Hawai‘i, the Asia-Pacific region, and elsewhere.

The BS degree requires completion of at least 121 credit hours of course work, the equivalent of four years of full-time work. These requirements include 65 credit hours of civil and environmental engineering courses from the following areas: applied mechanics, structural analysis and design, hydraulics, transportation, construction, soil mechanics, hydrology, water resources, and environmental engineering. There are additional required courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, as well as courses required by UH Manoa in humanities and social sciences. The curriculum provides a broad-based background of fundamentals with coverage of the humanities and social sciences, basic sciences, mathematics, and the engineering design method. Course enrollment for all CEE majors is subject to the approval of an advisor. The requirements are described below and reflected on the check sheet and the list of course prerequisites.

All electives are subject to the approval of the instructor.

The student learning outcomes (SLOs), also known as program outcomes, describe a skill set that students are expected to have at the time of graduation. The SLOs are:

a. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
b. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
c. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
d. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams;
e. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
f. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
g. An ability to communicate effectively;
h. A broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, societal, and environmental context;
i. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning;
j. A knowledge of contemporary issues; and
k. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice, particularly recognizing the integral role of computers in engineering and the rapid expansion of resources on the internet.

College Requirements

Students must complete the College Requirement courses for engineering (see “Undergraduate Programs” in this section).

Departmental Requirements

Students must complete the following courses as well as one course in engineering math and two technical electives, (specific options are provided on the curriculum check sheet):

  • EE 110 Introduction to Engineering Computation (3) or 160 Programming for Engineers (4) or ICS 111 Introduction to Computer Science I (4)
  • CEE 270 Applied Mechanics I (3)
  • CEE 271 or ME 271 Applied Mechanics II (3)
  • CEE 305 Applied Probability and Statistics (3)
  • CEE 320 Fluid Mechanics Fundamentals (4)
  • CEE 330 Environmental Engineering (4)
  • CEE 355 Geotechnical Engineering I (4)
  • CEE 361 Fundamentals of Transportation (3)
  • CEE 370/370L Mechanics of Materials and Lab (3/1)
  • CEE 375 Construction Materials (3)
  • CEE 381 Structural Analysis (3)
  • CEE 421 Engineering Hydraulics (3) and 431 Water & Wastewater Engineering (3)
  • CEE 455 Geotechical Engineering II (3)
  • EE 461 Pavement Engineering (3) or 462 Traffic Engineering (3) or 464 Urban and Regional Transportation Planning (3)
  • CEE 471 Construction Methods (3) or 472 Construction Project Management (3) and 485 Reinforced Concrete Design (4) or 486 Structural Steel Design (3))
  • CEE 489B Surveying and AutoCAD (2)
  • CEE 489C Professional Ethics (1)
  • CEE 490 Senior Design Project (3)
  • GG 312 or MATH 302
  • TES: technical electives with focus on Sustainability: BE 410, CEE 440, 441, 444, GEOG 410, ME 453, OCN 435

Other important requirements:

  1. C grade or better (C-minus is not acceptable) is required for CEE 270.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to

Specialty Tracks

Students who want to pursue a structures track should refer to the curriculum checksheet for alternative senior year course work.

Graduate Study

Master’s Degree

The department offers a graduate program leading to the MS degree in civil engineering with several areas of concentration under Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). Close cooperation is maintained with other departments and the Water Resources Research Center. Details and requirements of each plan may be obtained from the department office or on the web.

Applicants must present a BS in civil engineering or the equivalent as determined by the application review committee (and/or may be required to fulfill deficiencies) and must submit a Statement of Objectives form and evidence of passing the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam or the results of the GRE General Test. If so required by Graduate Division, applicants must supply the TOEFL score.


Both Plan A and Plan B require a minimum of 30 credit hours, exclusive of seminars. Plan A includes 9 credit hours of thesis research and a minimum of 12 credit hours in graduate civil and environmental engineering courses, exclusive of thesis, seminar, and directed reading. Plan B includes a minimum of 18 credit hours of graduate civil and environmental engineering courses, exclusive of seminar and directed reading, as well as a technical report. Both plans require a minimum of 1 credit of seminar.

Doctoral Degree

Applicants to the PhD program must have fulfilled the requirements for the MS in civil engineering at UH Manoa or its equivalent as determined by the application review committee. Those who have earned the MS at universities other than UH Manoa must furnish the results of the GRE General Test or submit evidence of passing either the FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) or PE (Professional Engineer) exam. All applicants must furnish official transcripts of all previous undergraduate and graduate studies and three letters of reference clearly indicating that they are capable of completing a rigorous PhD program. Applicants must also supply a letter explaining in detail their career goals, specific area of concentration, work experience, and reasons for applying to the program. If so required by Graduate Division, applicants must supply the TOEFL score.


Candidates for a PhD are required to pass a qualifying examination consisting of oral and written components. The examination will be confined to basic topics in civil engineering. One purpose of the qualifying examination is to identify possible deficiencies in the student’s background with a view toward remedial measures. In addition, the examination serves as a means of assessing the student’s potential for doctoral studies.

To earn a PhD in civil engineering, a student must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 credit hours in course work beyond the BS and a minimum of 1 credit hour in civil and environmental engineering graduate seminar as a PhD student. Students must also complete and successfully defend a satisfactory doctoral dissertation. Based on a written recommendation of the student’s dissertation committee and with the approval of the chair of graduate studies in civil engineering, students entering the PhD program may be granted an equivalence of up to 30 credit hours earned as part of the student’s master’s program. The 30 credit hour equivalents may include up to 9 credit hours for the previous MS thesis work but exclude graduate seminar credit hours taken as part of the MS program.

The courses that a student undertakes to fulfill the PhD credit hour requirements must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee. At least 27 credit hours must be from graduate-level civil engineering courses. The remaining courses may include graduate and 400-level courses offered by the civil and environmental engineering department or other appropriate departments of UH Manoa.

Comprehensive Examination

Every PhD student must pass a comprehensive examination. The purpose of this examination is to ascertain the student’s advanced knowledge in the chosen specialty. Examinations are given when, in the judgment of the dissertation committee, the student has had sufficient preparation, but not sooner than six calendar months after the student has passed the qualifying examination.

Students pass the examination if no more than one committee member opposes such an action. Students who fail may repeat the test once at least six months later. Students who fail the examination a second time are dismissed from the program.

Dissertation Defense

PhD candidates are required to take a final oral examination in defense of their dissertation. The examination is conducted by the candidate’s dissertation committee. Students pass upon the favorable recommendation of the majority of the committee.

CEE Courses