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What is Geotechnical Engineering?

Geotechnical engineering deals with earth materials, including soil, rock and groundwater. As most engineering projects are supported by ground, geotechnical engineering interfaces with most of the other civil sub-disciplines. For example, geotechnical engineers design foundations for structures, sub-grades for roadways, embankments for water storage and flood control and containment systems for hazardous materials. In addition to participating in the design, construction and operation of most civil engineering projects, geotechnical engineers also deal with various geologic hazards impacting our society such as landslides, soil erosion and earthquakes. Employers of graduates specializing in geotechnical engineering include consulting firms, design firms, contractors, public agencies, utilities, energy companies and academia.

This specialty introduces students to a variety of employment opportunities in international organizations, public agencies, private industries, universities and consulting firms.

Degree Information

Students can earn B.S. degree in civil engineering in the geotechnical engineering division of emphasis.

Undergraduate Requirements

To fulfill the common civil engineering program degree plan, undergraduate students declaring a specialty in geotechnical engineering are required to complete a technical elective plan. See the undergraduate advising page for more information.