4th Year Technical Electives

All students in the Civil Engineering program are required to complete 15 credits of technical electives in order to meet graduation requirements.

As a default, please select your 15 credits of technical electives from the standard package of courses given below in the section "Standard Package of Elective Courses". Department approval of your technical electives is then not required. Otherwise, you may seek approval for up to two alternative or additional elective courses – see the relevant sections below. The procedures for registering in courses and seeking approvals as relevant are also provided below.

Standard Package of Elective Courses

Students may select their technical electives as follows:


Up to 15 credits, taken from any of CIVL 406, 407, 408, 410, 411, 413, 415, 416, 417, 418, 420, 422, 425, 426, 432, 433, 435, 436, 437, 439, 440, 441, 475, 478, 498J, CHBE 485, IGEN 450*, 451*, 452*, EOSC 329, 429, 433, MINE 480


No more than 3 credits, taken from APSC 440, 461, 462, COMM 329, 434, 457, 458, 465, 473, BUSI 400, 401, 402, 445, PLAN 321, 331, 425


  • Some students may not have met prerequisite requirements of some the above course
  • COMR courses are equivalent to COMM courses; thus COMR courses can be taken in lieu of a COMM course with the same number.

Civil Engineering Streams

Students who are interested in pursuing enhanced coverage of a particular technical specialty (i.e. stream) within Civil Engineering are directed to the following courses:

Environmental Fluid Mechanics: CIVL 416, 417

Environmental Systems Engineering: CIVL 406, 407, CHBE 485

Geo-Environmental Engineering: CIVL 408, EOSC 329, 429

Geotechnical Engineering: CIVL 410, 411, 413, IGEN 450, MINE 480, EOSC 433 

Hydrotechnical Engineering: CIVL 415, 416, 417, 418

Materials Engineering: CIVL 420, 422

Project & Construction Management: CIVL 425, 426, 478

Structural Engineering: CIVL 432, 433, 435, 436, 437, 439

Transportation Engineering: CIVL 440, 441

Note that the streams represent recommended course groupings only. There is no registration in a stream that is required, and the designation of the selected stream does not appear on the transcript or in any other way.

Alternative Elective Courses

Students may seek approval for up to two alternative elective courses (i.e. no more than 6 credits in total) as provided for below.

Courses not listed in the Standard Package of Courses

Students are able to register in alternative elective courses, subject to the following constraints:

  • Standard elective courses in List A above may only be replaced by alternative 400-level engineering courses (i.e. those that are predominantly engineering science or engineering design).
  • Standard elective courses in List B above may be replaced by either a 400-level engineering course or a 300- or 400-level non-engineering course that is related to science, business or a related professional area.
  • Any courses selected may not overlap with core courses or other elective courses that are taken.

Two specific options include Graduate Courses and Directed Studies courses as follows:

Graduate Courses

A student who wishes to take a graduate course as a technical elective course must meet the following requirements:

  • Must have completed at least 57 credits (i.e. 75%) of 300 / 400 level courses requirements, and must have a minimum overall average of 76% in completed 300 / 400 level courses.
  • Must have completed all prerequisite courses for the course taken.
  • Must secure the approval of the instructor, the Department Graduate Advisor and ESS using the form available here in order to be able to register in the course.
  • Must secure the approval of the Fourth Year Advisor, conveyed by e-mail to undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca and copied to the student, in order for the replacement course to be entered into Degree Navigator.

Note that a completed graduate course cannot be used for subsequent transfer credit to a graduate program if it is used to meet technical elective requirements.

Directed Studies Course

Students who wish to take CIVL 492, Directed Studies, as a technical elective should initially secure the agreement of an instructor to establish and deliver such a custom course. The student(s) should then request the instructor to complete the corresponding form, available here, seek the approval of the Fourth Year Advisor, and submit the form to undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca. No more than 6 credits of technical electives may be taken through CIVL 492.

More than 15 credits of Elective Courses

A student who wishes to take more than the 15 credits of technical elective courses required for graduation should secure the prior approval of the Fourth Year Advisor, conveyed by e-mail to undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca and copied to the student. Any student that registers in more than 15 credits of electives without this prior approval will be dropped from all technical electives at the beginning of the Fall term; and will then be limited to taking electives that still have spaces.

Registration and Approval Procedures

For Civil Engineering courses conforming to List A above, students may register on-line during the normal registration period, without any approvals being required. Otherwise, additional steps / approvals are required as follows:

  • Courses that are Full.  If a course is full, please complete and submit an Online Course Registration Form. Students should check courses regularly to see if space opens up over the summer registration period.
  • Courses outside Civil Engineering. For all courses outside Civil Engineering, the student should obtain registration approval from the course instructor and request the corresponding Department office to register the student (using that Department's form as may be relevant).
  • Courses outside the Standard Course Package / Additional Courses.  For courses that are not in the standard course package or that are in addition to the 15-credit requirement (excluding CIVL Directed Studies), the explicit approval of the Fourth Year Advisor is required, conveyed by e-mail to undergradsupport@civil.ubc.ca and copied to the student. To secure this approval, please e-mail your request to the Fourth Year Advisor, providing the course number, title, and description (available in the online calendar), list all technical electives you plan to take and provide a short rationale for your request.  In the case of CIVL 492 Directed Studies, please use the relevant form instead.  In the case of a Graduate Course, please use the relevant form in addition. In all cases you will be registered directly by the Department Office (or by Graduate Studies in the case of a graduate course), and any approved replacement course will be entered into Degree Navigator.