Civil engineering includes several specialties, and the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M offers students the option to specialize their education in seven of these; however, for the students interested in a broader civil engineering education that includes knowledge in most of the specialties, the department offers an option in general civil engineering.
General civil engineers plan, design, supervise the construction of, operate, maintain, inspect, and manage many of the physical facilities and systems in both public and private sectors. These facilities include buildings, commercial facilities, industrial facilities, power transmission facilities, transportation facilities, tunnels, water collection facilities, water treatment facilities, and waste disposal facilities, to name a few. General civil engineers are often responsible for site design (grading), facility location studies, utility design, environmental compliance issues, code enforcement, public decision making, and project management issues. Some general civil engineers also become registered professional land surveyors and are engaged in land surveying as well as civil engineering professional activities. As such, general civil engineers must have broad-based education with knowledge of the several civil engineering specialties.