The School of Civil Engineering was founded in 2000, based on two well-known departments in Tsinghua University, namely Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Hydraulic & Hydropower Engineering.

As one of the most time-honored departments in Tsinghua University, Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1926, with four sections provided including structure, railway & roadway, hydraulic engineering and municipal sanitation and a considerable number of outstanding talents cultivated. In 1952, during the nationwide re-organization of colleges and departments, Department of Hydraulic Engineering was founded based on the corresponding section, with two programs available, namely river & waterpower station structure and hydraulic dynamical equipment. Meanwhile, Department of Civil Engineering had five programs, namely industrial and civil structure, construction, water supply and sewerage, heating & ventilating discipline, building materials.

In 1960s, Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Architecture were merged as Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, which was renamed as Department of Architectural Engineering in 1970. In 1980, it was again separated into Department Architecture and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. In 1984, after the separation of water supply and sewerage part, Department of Civil Engineering was restored. In 1986, construction management was added as a new program in Department of Civil Engineering.

In 2000, School of Civil Engineering was founded by combining Department of Civil Engineering and Department of Hydraulic and Hydropower Engineering. Meanwhile, based on the resources of "engineering management" in the two departments, Department of Construction Management was founded.

Establishment of School of Civil Engineering, with each of its three departments respectively represents a first-level discipline, made a new integrated shape academically. For undergraduate education, a common training plat called "technology plus management" was established and adopted through all the three departments. For scientific research, importance has been attached to fundamental research and engineering applications, with tremendous efforts made to meet the national demand and to promote discipline development.

The main teaching and research places on the campus include New Civil Building (He Shanheng Building), New Hydraulic Building, Old Hydraulic Building, Civil construction base, Sediment research building, etc.