For Prospective Students

Welcome to Course 1! Our undergraduate program provides a top-notch education in science and engineering fundamentals while emphasizing creative design and cutting-edge research projects that provide real-world context and hands-on laboratories. The field of Civil and Environmental Engineering is essential to solving many of the world's greatest challenges, and our undergraduate program provides you with a solid foundation to succeed as practitioner or researcher, as an entrepeneur or innovator or wherever your career may take you.

Take a look at this brochure for more information on Course 1 undergraduate education...get inspired!  For details on the degree structure, please check out this brochure.

Course 1 is an exciting place that attracts students and faculty from a very broad range of academic disciplines who work together to contribute to exciting intellectual networks across the department and MIT. Our degree program emphasizes inter- and multidisciplinarity, which provide you with critical skills and an edge in today’s job market. Our students, staff and faculty form a close-knit community.

In Course 1 you learn how to understand the Earth’s biomes; design benign materials; model air, water and climate; discover new energy resources; and build sustainable infrastructure and cities. Emphasizing the use of emerging technologies, you can focus your studies to build on the tools of large data, computation, probability and data analysis, and learn how to combine theory, experiment and modeling to understand and solve complex problems.

Our graduates teach and carry out pioneering research in universities, work for and lead engineering firms, launch their own start-up businesses, and hold leadership positions in government and nonprofit organizations. With a degree in Course 1 you can pursue careers in fields as diverse as energy and environment, engineering design, law, medicine and public health. We invite you to join our team and make a difference in the world.

Degree Program

The Course 1 undergraduate program allows students to develop several distinct degree tracks in core disciplinary areas of CEE, built on a set of General Departmental Requirements (GDRs), and one of three cores in mechanics and materials, environmental engineering science, systems. The remainder of the program consists of a set set of electives that deepen the educational program.

The program emphasizes a rigorous foundation in mathematics, computation, probability and statistics, and data analysis. The tracks emphasize quantitative approaches and offer students opportunities to learn and apply course-work knowledge through hands-on laboratory and project-oriented subjects, including the integrative senior design subject or a thesis project that brings together the community of students in Course 1. There are many opportunities to spend time in the labs of our faculty to be actively engaged, in a deep and meaningful level, in solving real-world challenges. In addition to the regular UROP offerings the department offers special undergraduate research opportunities.

General Department Requirements (GDRs)

The General Department Requirements (GDRs) include subjects in math, computation, probability and statistics, data analysis, and design. Students can choose to follow suggested tracks of study, or develop a tailored one in collaboration with their faculty advisor.

Core subjects & beyond

The three cores - environmental, mechanics and materials, and systems - emphasize engineering fundamentals including mathematics, mechanics, ecology and design. Sophomore students work together in teams on design projects that synthesize concepts taught in the core subjects. In the junior and senior years, students concentrate on disciplinary subjects that provide depth in each specialty. During the senior year, all students work together in teams on a design subject that integrates lessons