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Construction Engineering

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Administered by the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The curriculum in construction engineering, leading to a bachelor of science degree can be referenced here:  http://catalog.iastate.edu/collegeofengineering/constructionengineering/#curriculumtext. The Construction Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Program educational objectives: By three to five years after graduation, graduates of the construction engineering program will have:

  1. Pursued successful careers and expertise in construction engineering or a related profession.
  2. Collaborated effectively on multi-disciplinary teams to address the needs of society and the environment.
  3. Pursued lifelong learning, professional development, and licensure as appropriate for their career goals.

Students who successfully complete the curriculum will be prepared for entry into the field or for further study at the graduate level in construction engineering or related fields of study, such as law, business and other engineering disciplines.

Construction engineers need to possess a strong fundamental knowledge of engineering design and management principles, including knowledge of business procedures, economics, and human behavior. Graduates of this curriculum may expect to engage in design of temporary structures, coordination of project design, systems design, cost estimating, planning and scheduling, company and project management, materials procurement, equipment selection, and cost control. With the emergence of integrated project delivery methods such as design-build construction, the role of the construction engineer is expanding the need for trained professionals that understand both aspects of the project delivery environment. The curriculum offers opportunities to study emphases concerned with building, heavy, mechanical, or electrical construction. The process of construction involves the organization, administration, and coordination of labor resource requirements, temporary and permanent materials, equipment, supplies and utilities, money, technology and methods. These must be integrated in the most efficient manner possible to complete construction projects on schedule, within the budget, and according to the standards of quality and performance specified by the project owner or designer. The curriculum blends engineering, management and business sciences into a study of the processes of construction whereby designer’s plans and specifications are converted into physical structures and facilities.

The curriculum develops the ability of students to be team workers, creative thinkers, and effective communicators. This is achieved by encouraging students to:

  • interact with practicing professionals
  • gain work experience during summer jobs, internship, and cooperative education assignments that emphasize the knowledge required of construction engineers
  • develop leadership skills by participating in student organizations
  • develop, analyze, and interpret alternative solutions to open-ended problems
  • study abroad

The construction industry is becoming increasingly global. Courses in humanities, social sciences, U.S. diversity, and international perspectives are included in the curriculum to broaden the student’s perspective of the work environment. In addition, the department has several exchange program opportunities for students to participate in study abroad programs. 

Qualified construction engineering students within 30 credits of completing their degree may apply for concurrent enrollment in the Graduate College. See Civil Engineering Graduate Study for more information.

Curriculum in Construction Engineering

Administered by the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering; leading to the degree bachelor of science. 

Total credits required: Building Option -127.0, Heavy Option - 126.0, Electrical - 127.0, Mechanical - 127.0 cr.

The Construction Engineering program requires a grade of a C or better for any transfer credit course that is applied to the degree program (but will not be calculated into the ISU cumulative GPA, Basic Program GPA or Core GPA). Note: Department does not allow Pass/Not Pass credits to be used to meet graduation requirements for either required or elective courses.

International Perspectives: 3 cr.1
U.S. Diversity: 3 cr.1
Communication Proficiency/Library requirements:
ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communication (Must have a C or better in this course)3
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition (Must have a C or better in this course)3
LIB 160Information Literacy1
Business Communication Elective: one course of the following with a minimum grade of C.3
Business Communication
Proposal and Report Writing
Technical Communication
Total Credits10
Social Sciences and Humanities: 12 cr.
One of the following3
Introduction to Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Psychology of the Workplace
Social Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
ECON 101Principles of Microeconomics3
or ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
International Perspectives 13
U.S. Diversity 13
Total Credits12
Basic Program: 27 cr.3

Minimum GPA of 2.00 required for this set of courses to graduate, (please note that transfer course grades will not be calculated into the Basic Program GPA).3

CHEM 167General Chemistry for Engineering Students4
or CHEM 177 General Chemistry I
ENGL 150Critical Thinking and Communication (Must have a C or better in this course)3
ENGL 250Written, Oral, Visual, and Electronic Composition (Must have a C or better in this course)3
ENGR 101Engineering OrientationR
C E 160Engineering Problems with Computational Laboratory 33
LIB 160Information Literacy1
MATH 165Calculus I4
MATH 166Calculus II4
PHYS 221Introduction to Classical Physics I5
Total Credits27
Math and Physical Science: 12 cr.
STAT 305Engineering Statistics3
or STAT 231 Probability and Statistical Inference for Engineers
MATH 267Elementary Differential Equations and Laplace Transforms4
PHYS 222Introduction to Classical Physics II5
Total Credits12
Construction Engineering Core: 27 cr. (B, H); 28 cr. (E, M). Minimum 2.00 GPA for this set of courses to graduate (please note that transfer course grades will not be calculated into the Core GPA):
E M 274Engineering Statics3
E M 324Mechanics of Materials3
CON E 422Construction Cost Estimating and Cost Engineering3
CON E 441Construction Planning, Scheduling, and Control3
E M 378Mechanics of Fluids3
C E 332Structural Analysis I3
See options for remaining core courses9-10
Total Credits27-28

Select remaining courses from one of the following options:

Building Option: Remaining Core courses 9 cr.
C E 360Geotechnical Engineering3
CON E 322Construction Equipment and Heavy Construction Methods3
CON E 340Concrete and Steel Construction3
Total Credits9
Building Option: Remaining courses 17 cr.
C E 333Structural Steel Design I3
C E 334Reinforced Concrete Design I3
C E 383Design of Portland Cement Concrete1
CON E 352Mechanical Systems in Buildings3
CON E 353Electrical Systems in Buildings3
E M 327Mechanics of Materials Laboratory1
Engineering Topics Elective 23
Total Credits17
Heavy Option: Remaining Core courses 9 cr.
C E 360Geotechnical Engineering3
CON E 322Construction Equipment and Heavy Construction Methods3
CON E 340Concrete and Steel Construction3
Total Credits9
Heavy Option: Remaining courses 16 cr.
C E 333Structural Steel Design I3
C E 334Reinforced Concrete Design I3
C E 382Design of Concretes3
E M 327Mechanics of Materials Laboratory1
Engineering Topics Electives6
Engineering Topics Electives - A (Student must complete at least 3 credits from List A)
Bidding Construction Projects I: Heavy and Highway
Bidding Construction Projects II: Heavy and Highway
Design of Construction Systems
Special Topics Construction Engineering and Mgt.: Highway and Heavy Construction
Engineering Topics Electives - B
Preconstruction Project Engineering and Management
Construction Project Engineering and Management
Construction Finance and Business Management
Principles of Transportation Engineering
Engineering Hydrology and Hydraulics
Land Surveying
Foundation Engineering
Any other C E 500 level course except C E 594A
Total Credits16
Electrical Option: Remaining Core courses 10 cr.
E E 230Electronic Circuits and Systems4
E E 303Energy Systems and Power Electronics3
E E 456Power System Analysis I3
Total Credits10
Electrical Option: Remaining courses 16 cr.
CON E 352Mechanical Systems in Buildings3
CON E 353Electrical Systems in Buildings3
E E 201Electric Circuits4
E E 457Power System Analysis II 3
Engineering Topics Elective 23
Total Credits16
Mechanical Option: Remaining Core courses 10 cr.
M E 231Engineering Thermodynamics I3
M E 436Heat Transfer4
M E 441Fundamentals of Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning3
Total Credits10
Mechanical Option: Remaining courses 16 cr.
CON E 352Mechanical Systems in Buildings3
CON E 353Electrical Systems in Buildings3
E E 442Introduction to Circuits and Instruments2
E E 448Introduction to AC Circuits and Motors2
M E 442Heating and Air Conditioning Design3
Engineering Topics Elective 23
Total Credits16
Additional Required Courses: 32 cr.
CON E 121Cornerstone Learning Community: Orientation to Academic Life1
CON E 122Cornerstone Learning Community: Orientation to Professional Life1
C E 170Graphics for Civil Engineering2
C E 111Fundamentals of Surveying I3
CON E 222Contractor Organization and Management of Construction3
I E 305Engineering Economic Analysis3
CON E 241Construction Materials and Methods3
CON E 251Mechanical/Electrical Materials and Methods1
Law Elective3
Engineering Law
Legal Environment of Business
CON E 487Construction Engineering Design I3
CON E 488Construction Engineering Design II3
Business Communication Elective (minimum grade of C)3
Business Communication
Proposal and Report Writing
Technical Communication
Complete one course from Math or Stat Elective 23
Total Credits32
Co-op/Internships - Optional
  1. These university requirements will add to the minimum credits of the program unless the university-approved courses are also approved by the department to meet other course requirements within the degree program. U.S. diversity and international perspectives courses may not be taken Pass/Not Pass.
  2. Choose from department approved list
  3. See Basic Program for Engineering Curricula for accepted substitutions for curriculum designated courses in the Basic Program https://www.engineering.iastate.edu/classification/students/basic-program/

See also: A 4-year plan of study grid showing course template by semester for a building emphasis in Construction Engineering.

See also: A 4-year plan of study grid showing course template by semester for an electrical emphasis in Construction Engineering.

See also: A 4-year plan of study grid showing course template by semester for a heavy/highway emphasis in Construction Engineering.

See also: A 4-year plan of study grid showing course template by semester for a mechanical emphasis in Construction Engineering.

Construction Engineering, B.S. building emphasis

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 1211CON E 1221
C E 1603C E 1702
MATH 1654MATH 1664
CHEM 1674PHYS 2215
ENGL 1503ENGL 2503
ENGR 101RLIB 1601
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 2223CON E 2413
C E 1113CON E 2511
Math or Stat Elective3MATH 2674
PHYS 2225E M 2743
SSH Elective (Econ 101 or 102)3I E 3053
 17 14
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 3523CON E 3403
CON E 3533CON E 3223
Stat 231 or 3053Law Elective (ConE 380 or Acct 215)3
E M 3243C E 3603
E M 3783C E 3323
SSH Elective (Psych 101/230/250/280 or Soc 134)3E M 3271
 18 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 4223CON E 4873
CON E 4413CON E 4883
C E 3831Business Comm Elective (ENGL 302 or 309 or 314)3
C E 3333C E 3343
Engr Topics Elective3SSH Elective (International Perspective)3
SSH Elective (US Diversity)3 
 16 15

Construction Engineering, B.S. electrical emphasis

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 1211CON E 1221
C E 1603C E 1702
MATH 1654MATH 1664
CHEM 1674PHYS 2215
ENGL 1503ENGL 2503
ENGR 101RLIB 1601
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 2223CON E 2413
C E 1113CON E 2511
MATH or STAT Elective3MATH 2674
PHYS 2225E M 2743
SSH Elective (Econ 101 or 102)3I E 3053
 17 14
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 3523Law Elective (ConE 380 or Acct 215)3
CON E 3533E E 2304
Stat 231 or 3053E E 3033
E M 3243E M 3783
E E 2014SSH Elective (Psych 101/230/250/280 Soc 134)3
 16 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 4223CON E 4873
CON E 4413CON E 4883
E E 4563E E 4573
C E 3323Business Comm Elective (ENGL 302 or 309 or 314)3
Engineering Topics Elective3SSH Elective (International Perspective)3
SSH Elective (US Diversity)3 
 18 15

Construction Engineering, B.S. heavy/highway emphasis

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 1211CON E 1221
C E 1603C E 1702
MATH 1654MATH 1664
CHEM 1674PHYS 2215
ENGL 1503ENGL 2503
ENGR 101RLIB 1601
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 2223CON E 2413
C E 1113CON E 2511
Math or Stat Elective3MATH 2674
PHYS 2225E M 2743
SSH Elective (Econ 101 or 102)3I E 3053
 17 14
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 3223CON E 3403
Law Elective (ConE 380 or Acct 215)3CON E 4223
Stat 231 or 3053C E 3603
E M 3243C E 3323
E M 3783E M 3271
SSH Elective (Psych 101/230/250/280 Soc 134)3SSH Elective (US Diversity)3
 18 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 4413CON E 4873
Engineering Topics Elective3CON E 4883
C E 3823Engineering Topics Elective3
C E 3333C E 3343
SSH Elective (International Perspective)3Business Comm Elective (ENGL 302 or 309 or 314)3
 15 15

Construction Engineering, B.S. mechanical emphasis

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 1211CON E 1221
C E 1603C E 1702
MATH 1654MATH 1664
CHEM 1674PHYS 2215
ENGL 1503ENGL 2503
ENGR 101RLIB 1601
 15 16
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 2223CON E 2413
C E 1113CON E 2511
Math/Stat Elective3MATH 2674
PHYS 2225E M 2743
SSH Elective (Econ 101 or 102) I E 3053
 14 14
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 3523Law Elective (ConE 380 or Acct 215)3
CON E 3533E E 4422
Stat 231 or 3053E E 4482
E M 3243C E 3323
M E 2313E M 3783
SSH Elective (Psych 101/230/250/280 Soc 134)3SSH Elective (US Diversity)3
 18 16
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CON E 4223CON E 4873
CON E 4413CON E 4883
M E 4364M E 4423
M E 4413Business Comm Elective (ENGL 302 or 309 or 314)3
Engineering Topics Elective3SSH Elective (International Perspective)3
 16 15

Graduate Study

An area of specialization in construction engineering and management is offered within the graduate program of the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering. This specialization focuses on project management including and beyond the traditional iron triangle of scope, technical, and schedule to include context and financing, enabling project management of more complex projects. Three graduate degrees including, Master of Engineering (30 credits), Master of Science (30 credits), and Doctor of Philosophy (72 credits) are offered. The Master of Engineering degree is a coursework only option and the other degree programs require a research component at a level adjusted to the degree sought. All degrees are offered on-campus and some degrees may be completed off-campus through distance education. All degrees require C E 501, C E 502, C E 503, and six to nine credits additional credits. Course options include but are not limited to:  

C E 501Preconstruction Project Engineering and Management3
C E 502Construction Project Engineering and Management3
C E 503Construction Finance and Business Management3
C E 505Design of Construction Systems3
C E 594ASpecial Topics Construction Engineering and Mgt.: Planning and Scheduling3
C E 594LSpl Topics Construction Engr and Mgt.: Adv Building Construction Topics - LEED for New Construction3
C E 594NSpecial Topics Construction Engineering and Mgt.: Industrial Construction3
C E 594OSpecial Topics Construction Engineering and Mgt.: Highway and Heavy Construction3
C E 594PSpecial Topics Construction Engineering and Mgt.: Advanced Building Energy Systems and Technologies3

Undergraduate students may also qualify for the concurrent bachelor of science/master of science (BS/MS) degree program. Courses are offered for minor work to students taking major work in other curricula or in interdepartmental programs. A graduate certificate is also available which requires 12 credits of coursework. Courses required for the certificate are C E 501, C E 502, and C E 503. For additional information see Civil Engineering, Graduate Programs, https://www.ccee.iastate.edu/academics/graduate/. 

Expand all courses

Courses

Courses primarily for undergraduates:

(0-2) Cr. 1. F.


Integration of first-year and transfer students into the engineering profession and the Construction Engineering program. Assignments and activities completed both individually and in learning teams involving teamwork, academic preparation, and study skills. Introduction to construction industry professionals. Teamwork topics include interdisciplinary teamwork, skills for academic success, diversity issues and leadership. Introduction to organization of program, department, college, and university. Overview of faculty, staff, policies, procedures and resources.

(0-2) Cr. 1. S.


Continuation of CON E 121. Integration of first-year and transfer students into the engineering profession. Career preparation, professional ethics, construction research, leadership. Introduction to construction industry professionals including how they interact with engineers in other disciplines. Continued introduction to program, department, college, and university organization. Overview of faculty, staff, policies, procedures and resources.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Completion of basic program
Entry level course for construction engineering: integration of significant engineering and management issues related to construction company operations. Company organization and operations; construction and project administration; construction contracts; delivery systems; construction safety; contract documents.

(2-3) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Completion of basic program
Introduction to materials and methods of building construction and to construction drawings. Foundation, structural framing, floor, roof, and wall systems. Blueprint reading and quantity takeoff techniques.

(0-3) Cr. 1. F.S.

Prereq: Credit or enrollment in CON E 241
Introduction to the materials and methods for mechanical and electrical construction systems and drawings. HVAC, water and waste water, power distribution, lighting, and fire protection. Blueprint reading and quantity takeoff.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: CON E 222 and CON E 241, or C E 306 in lieu of CON E 222 and 241
Selection and acquisition of construction equipment. Application of engineering fundamentals and economics to performance characteristics and production of equipment. Heavy construction methods and economic applications.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: E M 324 and CON E 222, or CE 306 in lieu of CON E 222
Planning and field engineering for concrete and steel construction. Design and applications of concrete formwork to construction. Erection of structural steel. Emerging industry themes.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: CON E 222, CON E 251, PHYS 222; or permission of instructor
Comprehensive coverage of mechanical systems, plumbing, fire protection. Analysis techniques and design principles for each system. Required comprehensive design project for a major building project.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: PHYS 222 and credit or enrollment in CON E 352; or permission of instructor
Comprehensive coverage of building electrical systems including power, lighting, fire alarm, security and communications. Analysis techniques and design principles for each system. Required comprehensive design project for a major building project.

Cr. 3. F.

Prereq: CON E 352 or permission of instructor
Energy performance of buildings, building shells, HVAC, electrical and other building systems. Analysis and evaluation of building performance, energy efficiency, environmental quality, first costs, and operating costs. Strategies to exceed energy code requirements through the ASHRAE Standard 90.1.

(3-0) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Junior classification
Introduction to law and judicial procedure as they relate to the practicing engineer. Contracts, professional liability, professional ethics, licensing, bidding procedures, intellectual property, products liability, risk analysis. Emphasis on development of critical thinking process, abstract problem analysis and evaluation.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Team development of construction process designs and cost estimates for transportation construction projects under closely simulated conditions. Examine project sites, consult with construction industry mentors, obtain subcontractor and supplier quotations, and submit bids.

Cr. R. Repeatable. SS.

Prereq: Permission of department and Engineering Career Services
Professional work period of at least 10 weeks during the summer. Students must register for this course prior to commencing work. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

Cr. R. Repeatable. F.S.

Prereq: Permission of department and Engineering Career Services
Professional work period. One semester per academic or calendar year. Students must register for this course before commencing work. Offered on a satisfactory-fail basis only.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: CON E 241, CON E 251, I E 305
Conceptual and detailed cost estimating. Theory and practice of estimating construction costs of materials, labor, equipment, contingency, overhead and markup. Estimating competencies and bid ethics. Electronic quantity take off and pricing methods. Assemblies costs, unit costs, production rates. Analysis of project profitability, cost analysis and cost control methods. Value engineering. Life cycle cost analysis.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: Credit or enrollment in CON E 422
Integration of previous construction coursework into the planning, scheduling, and management of time, costs, and other resources. Emphasis on preparation and analysis of network schedules. Comprehensive planning and scheduling project. Computer project management applications.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(1-0) Cr. 1. F.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(0-3) Cr. 1.

Prereq: Permission of the instructor
Similar to CON E 381, except students with previous experience attempt projects with larger scope or lead students with less experience.

(2-2) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: CON E 340 (B, H), CON E 352 (B, E, M), CON E 353 (B, E, M), CON E 422, CON E 441. Student must be within two semesters of graduation
The integrated delivery of project services as a team, including preliminary engineering design process, constructability review, interaction with the client, identification of engineering problems, developments of a proposal, identification of design criteria, cost estimating, planning and scheduling, application of codes and standards, development of feasible alternatives, selection of best alternative, and delivery of oral presentations.

(1-5) Cr. 3. F.S.

Prereq: CON E 340 (B,H), CON E 352 (B,E,M), CON E 353 (B,E,M), CON E 422, CON E 441. Student must be within two semesters of graduation.
Application of team design concepts to a construction engineering project. Project planning. Advanced construction and project management.

Cr. 1-3. Repeatable. F.S.SS.

Prereq: Permission of instructor
Individual study in any phase of construction engineering. Pre-enrollment contract required.