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Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical engineering involves the study of soil and rock as engineering materials. It is an interdisciplinary field, drawing on other disciplines such as geology, mechanics, hydrology, structural engineering, seismology, construction, and environmental engineering. Among other things, geotechnical engineers design foundations, and dams, evaluate landslides potential and earthquake hazards, and remediate contaminated sites. Geotechnical engineers work for small and large consulting firms, government agencies, and large design firms.

This is a general guide. Please consult your faculty mentor for more information.

Required courses

CEE 436 Foundation Design 3
CEE 440 Professional Practice Studio 2
CEE 442 Structural and Geotechnical Capstone, or another CEE capstone course options 5

Strongly recommended courses

CEE 452 Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures 3

Recommended courses

CEE 421 Pavement Design and Construction 4
CEE 456 Structural Analysis 5
CEE 451 Design of Metal Structures 3
CEE 475 Analysis Techniques for Groundwater Flow 3
ESS 210 Physical Geology 5 NW
ESS 326 Geomorphology 5

Suggested courses

CEE 457 Advanced Structures I 3
CEE 477 Open-Channel Engineering 3
CEE 482 Water and Wastewater Treatment 3
CEE 498* Special Topics: Geohazards (*New course number forthcoming) 1–5
STAT 390 Probability and Statistics for Engineers & Scientists 4
ESS 312 Geochemistry 5 NW
ESS 314 Geophysics 5 NW
ESS 412 Introduction to Seismology 3 NW
See also other Earth & Space Science (ESS) courses.

For complete list of CEE courses, see Course Catalog.

Graduate level classes are also an option for undergraduate who have completed undergraduate offerings and have a special interest in geotechnical engineering. Consult with a transportation faculty member if you are interested in this option. Faculty permission and an add code is required to register for CEE 500-level classes. Submit the add code request online, note faculty permission and forward the email faculty approval to ceadvice@uw.edu.