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  • Locations: Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Early Fall
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Rome, Italy
Early Fall 2017
August 24 – September 18, 2017
 Estimated    Program Fee $4,800
 Credits 5 UW credits
 Prerequisites None
 Program      Directors Stephen T. Muench, Heta Kosonen
 Program  Manager Katherine Kroeger |
 Application    Deadline March 1, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Contact Program Director for more information.
  General Learn engineering in Rome: see and experience Roman and Italian engineering over a range of 3,000 years from Ancient Rome to the present day. Analyze and experience first-hand the structures, water, and sustainability concepts that made Rome an icon of engineering and civilization.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships

  Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.

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Program Description

More at:

Engineering Rome is a UW Exploration Seminar that covers Roman and Italian engineering over a range of 3,000 years from Ancient Rome to the present day. It consists of one 5-credit course, CEE 409/509 Engineering Rome that takes place in Rome, Italy at the UW Rome Center for three weeks during the 2015 Summer-Fall quarter break. There will also be a once-per-week orientation session during Spring Quarter 2015.

Program Content This program relies on its proximity to over 3,000 years of cutting-edge engineering in the heart of Rome. It provides engineering students or those interested in engineering a unique international and historical perspective on engineering practice and its contributions to society. Rome is one of the richest sites in the world for exploring engineering through the ages from ancient Roman aqueducts, to Baroque basilicas, to modern subways, to sustainable life in a massive modern city. Students, will interact with local experts on Roman cities, archeology, construction, infrastructure and sustainability. Students will develop skills that allow them to analyze and evaluate civil infrastructure of all ages. Skills will be put to practice with classroom engineering analysis, expert lectures, and site visits guided by Roman experts in the engineering aspects of these sites (both modern and ancient).

Key locations: Aqueducts at Vicovaro. A day-long excursion via bus to Vicovaro, a place where two Roman aqueducts (Marcia and Claudia) are cut into a cliff and are accessible for touring. The group will be led by Roma Sotterranea, experts on the archeology of ancient Rome. After the tour, the group will spend a leisurely lunch in the late afternoon discussing aqueducts and other Roman infrastructure with the experts.

Ostia Antica. A day-long excursion to the ancient Roman port city of Ostia via train. The group will be led by Tom Rankin (architect with 20+ years living in Rome and experienced study abroad instructor with several Universities) as they look at engineering features of a Roman City still largely intact. Including observation of and calculations of solar heating/lighting.

Aqua Claudia/Anio Novus. Visit the site of 5 Roman aqueducts all on above-ground structures – the most famous of which are Aqua Claudia and Anio Novus. Investigate the structural performance of arches and hydraulics of aqueducts.

Villa d’Este. Visit this villa in Tivoli (about 20 miles outside Rome) that uses 51 fountains, 398 spouts, 364 jets, 64 waterfalls and 220 basins with all but 2 powered by gravity alone. An investigation into the Bernoulli equation and its practical applications.

Onsite engineering visits to the Colosseum, San Clemente, Pantheon, and San Pietro. Investigate various structural and geotechnical properties associated with these famous landmarks including structural behavior of domes (where should you expect cracks?), foundations in Rome, and settling of the San Pietro façade.

Baths of Carcalla. Explore the ruins and learn about the incredible ancient construction effort it took to build such a landmark including required labor, construction techniques, quarrying, materials transport, and the complex engineering of Roman baths.

The MOSE Project, Venice, Italy. The group will travel to Venice, Italy for an extended weekend to learn about and tour the MOSE project, which is a multi-billion Euro modern engineering marvel currently under construction. This project is building movable flood gates at the entrances to Venice’s harbor so that high tides that normally inundate Venice can be controlled and Venice can be preserved. The group will take a boat tour of the project and control house and study the implications of such a sophisticated, yet disruptive piece of infrastructure.


Rome, Italy


Rome and Venice

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Housing selection is through the UW Rome Center. The Rome Center has a standard practice of obtaining economical student housing in local apartments within walking distance of the UW Rome Center.


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

Anyone enrolled at the University of Washington can take this course. The course is open to all undergraduate and graduate students. Prospective students do not need to be a Civil and Environmental Engineering major, or even an Engineering major. Prospective students do, however, need an interest in engineering. The course involves mathematical engineering analysis, and students should be comfortable with this type of daily work. While no formal prerequisites are listed, math education up to, but not including, calculus will adequately prepare the prospective student. Students with lesser math backgrounds are encouraged to contact the program leader as they may still have the required skills to be successful. Engineering analysis will concentrate on the civil infrastructure of Rome both modern and ancient.

No specific UW course prerequisites. Students should have a math education up to, but not including, calculus. Students should have taken some form of algebra, geometry, and trigonometry (or equivalent).

The program involves extensive walking (up to several miles per day – Rome is a walking city), and use of public transportation. Some field trips will involve walking on uneven ground and/or areas that are not ADA accessible (e.g., stairs only – no ramps or elevators).


5 UW Credits


CEE 409 (5 credits)

Engineering-focused Exploration Seminar that covers Roman civil engineering over 3,000 years from Ancient Rome to the present day. Introduction to civil engineering topics reinforced by practical engineering calculations, local experts and site visits. Provides international and historical perspective on engineering and the contributions of engineers to infrastructure and society.

Learning Goals: 

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Communicate engineering ideas in a clear, concise and effective format both in oral presentation and written report. Assessed by the final project Wiki article.
  2. Exercise critical thinking by making engineering judgment decisions based on real-world information that is often inconsistent or incomplete. Assessed through graded homework assignments.
  3. Discuss the major civil infrastructure of Rome/Venice/Pompeii including how it was built and the engineering principles governing its function to include, masonry arches, water supply, sewers, foundations, passive solar, roads, urban development, and sustainability. Assessed through graded homework and final project Wiki article.
  4. Explain and analyze the function of select civil infrastructure using engineering principles, equations, and technical description. To include masonry arches, aqueducts, pavements, passive solar, and sustainability. Assessed by the final project Wiki article.
  5. Write the equivalent of a 10-20 page paper in an online Wiki format to include photos, videos, maps, a literature review, personal observations and conclusions.

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Program Directors & Staff

Stephen T. Muench, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Program Director

Heta Kosonen, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Teaching Assistant

Program Expenses

Cost: $4,800

Estimated Program Fee of $4,800, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $20/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,200 - $1,600* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 October 13, 2017
Program Fee Balance $4,800 October 13, 2017


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.

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To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The application includes a Personal Statement, three short answer questions, two recommendations from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the on-line application process students may be contacted by the Program Director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. You can do so by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

1. Provide notice in writing to the Program Director that you will no longer be participating in the program for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.