About Rice CEE

The mission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Rice University is to educate the civil and environmental engineering leaders of tomorrow and contribute to solving societal challenges through discovery and innovation.


We offer the following degrees in a welcoming, supportive environment where unconventional thinking, creativity, and altruism are highly valued:

Civil and environmental engineering disciplines are very broad and address virtually any system or infrastructure related to earth, water, air, or civilization and their processes. At Rice, we provide this breadth but also emphasize depth in our curricular and co-curricular offerings.

Our curriculum is centered around four areas of specialization: environmental engineering, hydrology and water resources, structural engineering and mechanics, and urban infrastructure and management. It also provides students opportunities to improve their written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills, with an emphasis on collaboration and teamwork.

Professional development is a cornerstone of our student experience. Mentoring opportunities are available through Rice chapters of national organizations such as ASCE and Chi Epsilon. We support active student professional groups at both the undergraduate and graduate levels and encourage their interaction.

Learn more about our academics and degree programs.


Research in civil and environmental engineering at Rice is broad and interdisciplinary. We believe that the best solutions come from unconventional collaborations - across disciplines, across departments, and across the spectrum of science and humanities.

Our faculty are highly productive and well-known worldwide. In fact, our faculty rank among the top 10 most productive in the United States* among all civil engineering and all environmental engineering Ph.D. programs, as shown by the number of publications and accolades attributed to them, as well as the amount of funding they receive.

*Based on Academic Analytics Scholarly Research Index (SRI) as of AAD2016, March 27, 2018.

Strategic Plan

Our Strategic plan for 2017-22 [PDF] charts a path to capture the opportunities that we see now and in the future. The plan addresses education at all levels, the need to better engage alumni, the potential to be meaningfully engaged in the university’s fundraising strategies, and the engagement of our students at a new level.

We believe this plan, when fully executed, will yield the nation’s leading civil and environmental engineering program in quality, leadership, and excellence.