Our History

On March 4, 1873, Civil Engineering was approved as a 4-year degree program at the University of Iowa. That makes 2023 our 150th anniversary! We have a remarkable past and are still going strong!

  • male students on very old photograph
    March 4, 1873

    Civil Engineering is approved as a 4-year degree program at the University of Iowa.

  • old photos of several engineering students

    Civil Engineering started out in the Mathematics Department in 1873.

  • 1896

    Course requirements for the 3rd and 4th years of Civil Engineering curriculum

  • 1901

    Classes resume in a temporary structure on the South Hall site, designed and constructed in 14 days with the help of the senior engineering class.

  • 1901_1

    South Hall, home to engineering, burns to the ground on March 10, 1901.

  • face of man partially obsurced by telescope in black and white

    We join the College of Applied Sciences when it is formed, which later becomes the College of Engineering (1927).

  • 1905

    Envisioned as the start of an Engineering Quadrangle, the first phase of the Engineering Building is constructed (1915 photo).

  • 1912

    Archibald Alexander, the first engineering graduate to become a member of the Distinguished Engineering Alumni, earns Civil Engineering degree.

  • 1914

    The Homecoming Corn Monument tradition, started by engineering students, begins on the Pentacrest.

  • students in classroom in the 1930s

    The Civil Engineering program is first accredited by ABET in 1936.

  • 2001

    The Engineering Building is renamed the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences with a major addition.

  • 2014

    After a hiatus of over 20 years, the CEE students revive the Corn Monument tradition on the Pentacrest for Homecoming.

  • female student smiling wearing white lab coat and holding a chemistry beaker

    Our new Environmental Engineering program is approved in 2017 and is later accredited in 2021.

  • 2019

    The Annex addition to the Seamans Center is completed.

  • 2023

    The graduating class of Civil and Environmental Engineers, 150-years after the start of Civil Engineering program at Iowa.