University of Idaho - I Banner
students walk on University of Idaho campus

Visit U of I

Learn about the many reasons the University of Idaho could be a perfect fit for you. Schedule Your Visit

Department of Civil Engineering Name Change Reflects Environmental Focus

August 29, 2017

This fall, the University of Idaho College of Engineering Department of Civil Engineering has a new name to reflect the evolving role of civil engineering in the 21st Century. The department is now known as the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department Chair Patricia J. S. Colberg championed the name change last year, making the case to department faculty, advisory board members, college leadership and the Faculty Senate curriculum committee that the change better reflects UI’s programming and is more attractive to students. The change was passed unanimously at all levels and approved by President Chuck Staben over the summer. 

The change also aligns the department with the other civil engineering programs nationwide. 

“Easily half of all civil engineering departments in the United States are currently na

med civil and environmental engineering,” Colberg said. “This is not a new trend, but one that we are late in adopting.”

“The name change does not alter UI’s curriculum. Environmental engineering impacts the professional practice of all types of civil engineering,” Colberg said. “The department already requires all civil engineering majors to take a fundamentals of environmental engineering course.”

The College of Engineering offers undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees in civil engineering, the degree name itself does not change. The bachelor degree program offers emphasis areas in environmental, geotechnical, structural or transportation engineering, as well as pavements and construction materials, and water resources. Graduate students can specialize in environmental engineering; geotechnical engineering; hydraulics and water resources engineering; structural engineering and structural mechanics; or transportation engineering. UI’s undergraduate program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. 

"The name change will help us better connect with prospective students and make the college more competitive," said Larry Stauffer, dean of the College of Engineering. "It establishes a direction for us to more actively grow the program, which is an essential part of our strategic plan through 2025.” 

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering serves approximately 200 undergraduate and 65 graduate students. Graduate programs are located in Moscow and Boise. Learn more about the program at

Media Contacts:

Patricia J. S. Colberg, Ph.D., P.E.
Department Chair & Professor, National Academies Education Fellow
Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering 

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at