Photo: David Gonzalez, MnDOT

In this online course, students will learn about the purpose of well-designed, well-built, and well-maintained culverts. The course also highlights the important role culverts play in the drainage system and why proper design, installation, and maintenance are essential for well-performing culverts. The course will provide students with a basic understanding of the principles of culvert theory, design, location, planning, scheduling. permitting, and typical installations. It also outlines culvert inventory, inspection, repair, and rehabilitation methods.

This online distance-learning course was created in an effort to help local agencies provide training for their staff in a more cost-effective manner. The online curriculum is similar to our traditional classroom training but perfect for students who are unable to travel or prefer a “work at your own pace” environment. Students are free to access the course anytime and anywhere within a five-month time frame.

The course is made up of six lessons, each containing a narrated presentation, video clips, reading, opportunities to check your understanding, and a quiz.

The course was designed to help students succeed. One way we accomplish this goal is by allowing students to take the quizzes and final test as many times as necessary until they understand the curriculum. Students may repeat the lesson or parts of the lesson and then test themselves again. Test questions change with each attempt.

Topics Covered

  • Introduction to culverts: principles and basic understanding
  • Culvert theory
  • Culvert installation planning
  • Common culvert installations
  • Trenchless installation
  • Repair and rehabilitation methods
  • Inventory, inspection, and maintenance

All reading assignments are available online within the course, so no additional books or materials need to be purchased.

Who Should Take This Course

This course was developed for engineers, supervisors, and technicians who regularly work with culverts. It is geared toward individuals who install and maintain culverts as well as those who perform simple designs.


  • Register
  • Cost: Free!
  • Please note: You will need to create an account in the University of Minnesota system to register. Please use your most used or accessible email and physical address when setting up your account.

Accessing the Course

This training is offered via the course management system Canvas. Upon completing your online registration, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. To access the course, please visit Canvas and login with your University of Minnesota internet ID and password. Once you have been enrolled, your course will appear on your Canvas dashboard.

If for any reason you do not have access to the course after enrolling, please contact Katherine Stanley at for assistance.

Technical Requirements

Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer work best for this course.


More Information

For more information or with questions about the course, please contact Katherine Stanley at or 612-626-1023.

Sponsors/Curriculum Developers

This course was created in collaboration by the Minnesota Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), the Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota,Minnesota Local Road Research Board, and the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Curriculum for this workshop was developed and compiled by BARR Engineering. Contributing agencies to technical content include: