Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

December 13, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- The SMU Board of Trustees has approved the creation of a new undergraduate degree program in civil engineering. The program will begin in fall 2003.

The degree will be offered by the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in the SMU School of Engineering. This department was created in 2000 in response to growing demand for these types of engineers. Last year, SMU Trustees approved a master's degree in civil engineering, a master's degree in environmental engineering and a master's degree in facilities management. These programs began in spring 2002.

Civil engineering was one of the first engineering majors offered at SMU, but the program was eliminated in 1992. Bringing back this program was one of Stephen Szygenda's priorities when he became dean of the SMU School of Engineering in August 2000.

"Civil engineering is an integral part of any world-class engineering school," Szygenda said. "An undergraduate program in civil engineering will complement our existing undergraduate program in environmental engineering."

Ed Forest, chair of the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering, said there is a tremendous need for more civil engineers in the Dallas area.

"Construction equivalent to what already exists in the greater Dallas/Fort Worth area, including new roadways and new and replacement structures, will be needed in this area over the next 30 years," Forest said. Only one other university in the Dallas area -- UT Arlington -- offers a civil engineering program.

The new bachelor's degree in civil engineering at SMU will offer four subdisciplines: structural, environmental, water resources and geotechnical engineering. For more information on the new degree program, call 214-768-3894 or visit the SMU School of Engineering Web site at