Department of Civil Engineering was born together with the Faculty of Engineering in the arena of revolutionary struggle for the establishment of Indonesia. History of Civil Engineering Department can be traced back to the Dutch colonial era. At that time, there is a higher education institution in the field of engineering Technische Hoogeschool in Bandung. During the Japanese occupation, Technische Hoogeschool renamed Koo Gyoo Dai Gaku. Soon after Indonesia’s independence, Koo Gyoo Dai Gaku renamed Sekolah Tinggi Teknik Bandoeng, hereinafter known as STT Bandoeng.

With the invasion of Allied troops into major cities in Indonesia, including Bandung, Sekolah Tinggi Teknik Bandoeng emigrated to Yogyakarta, which at that time existed as the Capital of the Republic of Indonesia. Officially, STT Bandoeng in Jogjakarta was opened on February 17, 1945. Same as when it was in Bandung, STT Bandoeng in Jogjakarta has three departments, those are Civil Engineering Section, Mechanical-Electrical Engineering and Chemical Engineering Section. At the beginning of its activities in Yogyakarta, STT occupy rooms in the sports hall of Sekolah Menengah Tinggi (SMT) in the Kota Baru area. Lecture held in the afternoon.

Not long after, still in 1946, STT Bandoeng in Jogjakarta renamed the Sekolah Tinggi Teknik Jogjakarta or abbreviated STT Jogjakarta. Campus moved to Jetis region. In its development, STT Jogjakarta has laboratories located separately from the Jetis campus, it was on Jl. Krasak Kotabaru and Pingit.

At about the same time, in January 1946 in Yogyakarta formed Universitas or Balai Perguruan Tinggi(BPT) Swasta Gadjah Mada. However STT Bandoeng was not the part of the Perguruan Tinggi(BPT) Swasta Gadjah Mada , because STT Bandoeng in Jogjakarta is a government agency. So it is the first government based university in Yogyakarta.

During the independence war, between December 1948 untul October 1949, STT Jogjakarta was forced to be closed. Post-sovereignty acknowledgement of Republik Indonesia by Holland Government, on December 19th 1949 STT Jogjakarta was merged with Medical College and Balai Perguruan Tinggi Gadjah Mada to form ‘Universiteit Negeri Gadjah Mada’ or otherwise known as UGM. Ex-STT Jogjakarta became ‘Fakulteit Teknik Gadjah Mada’ or Engineering Faculty of Gadjah Mada (usually abbreviated as EF UGM), and kept its three departments: Civil Engineering, Mechanical-Electrical Engineering, and Chemical Engineering.

On the next development, the EF UGM campus has been moved several times. Civil Engineering Department moved from Jetis to Pogung (inside the area of UGM Bualksumur campus) on 1974, while Drainage Laboratory stays in Pingit until 1995. Lastly, Civil Engineering Department moved gradually starting from 1994 until 1998 to Jl. Grafika, which is the unified campus of EF UGM now. On 2006, Civil Engineering EF UGM changes name into Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Engineering Faculty of UGM (DTSL FT UGM).