Soil Mechanics Syllabus CT-207

CT-207 Soil Mechanics

Fall 2012

Instructor Chris Scott

Office – Main Office


Course Description: An introduction to soil mechanics, geological cycle, soil composition and properties, gradation, texture, soil-water interaction, and soil classification.  Support by both student participation and demonstrations of various standard soils laboratory tests and procedures.

Prerequisite: None

Text: Highway Materials, Soils, and Concrete, Harold N. Atkins, 4th Edition, Prentice Hall, Inc., 2003


  1. Use basic soils laboratory equipment
  2. Correctly select and conduct the necessary tests to analyze a representative soil sample.
  3. Determine for a given soil moisture content the
    1. Unit weigh(s)
    2. Specific gravity
    3. Atterberg limits
    4. Particle size gradation
    5. Unconfined compressive strength and cohesion
    6. Void ratio
    7. Porosity and classification
    8. Classify soils: AASHTO, Unified and textural
    9. Describe the properties of Portland Cement Concrete
    10. Perform the basic concrete tests that measure strength, workability, and air content.

Topics Covered:

Curricular Components Lecture Hours Lab Hours
Introduction to course syllabus and rules, report writing 1 1
Geology of rocks and soils 7 0
Specific gravity, unit weight and weight/volume properties and formulas 7 0
Soil particle size gradation, including: sieve analysis, hydrometer analysis and gradation curves 8 6
Soil/moisture relationship and Atterberg limits 8 4
Soil classification: AASHTO, Unified and textural 6 0
Soil density 2 9
Concrete mixing, casting, and testing 1 10
Tests and Quizzes 5 0



Students will do a range of problems from the text and worksheets provide by the instructor.  In addition students will do labs and lab reports.



Tests     50%

Worksheets, Quizzes     25

Lab Reports        25%


Grades will be assigned on the basis of the following

94-100 A 81-83 B- 68-70 D+
91-93 A- 78-80 C+ 64-67 D
88-90 B+ 74-77 C 61-63 D-
84-87 B 71-73 C- Below 60 F


Due Dates

Due Dates are given for all assignments.  According to the discretion of the instructor late assignments MAY BE REJECTED except for excusable reasons.  Promptness in the completion and turning in of assignments is a basic requirement for organized instruction and therefore it becomes the responsibility of the student to keep pace with the class assignments plan.


Cognitive examinations will be given periodically and possibly performance based examinations also.  The examinations may cover only the material presented since the previous test, the material is cumulative therefore preparation for the exams should include a review of all past assignments.  POP Quizzes may be given at any time during the semester.


Attendance is the responsibility of the student and may be used in the grading process in this course.  Only work missed due to an excused absence can be made up.  It will be the responsibility of the student to make up excused absences.