The Ministry of Education founded the Faculty of Technology, formerly known as the college of Engineering in Addis Ababa in 1953. Initially it offered only a pre-engineering course of two years duration. Upon completion of this program students were sent abroad to obtain their Bachelor of Science degrees in one of the major fields of engineering. Two years later, in 1955, a four-year degree program was introduced in civil engineering, and the first graduates received their Bachelor of Science degrees in 1959.

After running the program for four years it was deemed necessary to re-examine the four-year program, whether or not, it would continue to prepare the students to enter the professional field of Civil Engineering with the required level of competence. Consequently, a curriculum of five-year duration was introduced, in 1959, with the view of enhancing the theoretical and practical knowledge of the students by including more analytical and design courses in the program. As before, students joined the Department of Civil Engineering in the third year after a successful completion of a common two-year pre-engineering program.

The five-year civil engineering program has undergone many major and minor changes during its eighteen years of implementation. At the beginning of the academic year 1976-77, a new four-year curriculum was introduced mainly to overcome the shortage of qualified civil engineers through reduction of the required five years of training to only four years. The old five-year program was phased out while simultaneously the new four-year program was phased in such that the last batch of the students in the five-year program could graduate with the first batch of the students in the new four-year program at the end of the academic year 1979-80.

Shortly after the introduction of the four-year program, the Civil Engineering Curriculum has been under a variety of pressures, both from students and staff. After a careful review and assessment of the new four-year program, it was found necessary to introduce a new five-year program, which was implemented in the academic year 1980-81.

The present curriculum is streamlined to be compatible with the new education policy being implemented by the Ministry of Education. According to the new policy, students from high school, who have completed 10 plus 2 years of preparatory and have passed the entrance exams are directly admitted to the Civil Engineering Department, thereby reducing the study duration to only 4 years.