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An Introduction to Bearing Capacity Analysis

COURSE NO: G02-004
An Introduction to Bearing Capacity Analysis
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course will introduce you to shear strength parameters, tension forces and methods for analysis of soils and rock to determine load bearing capacity.


Stresses transmitted by a foundation to underlying soils must not cause bearing-capacity failure or excessive foundation settlement. The design bearing pressure equals the ultimate bearing capacity divided by a suitable factor of safety. The ultimate bearing capacity is the loading intensity that causes failure and lateral displacement of foundation materials and rapid settlement. The ultimate bearing capacity depends on the size and shape of the loaded area, the depth of the loaded area below the ground surface, groundwater conditions, the type and strength of foundation materials, and the manner in which the load is applied.


This 2 PDH online course is intended for civil engineers, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, geologists and other design and construction professionals seeking an introduction to methods for analysis of soils and rock to determine load bearing capacity.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about the shear strength parameters involved in bearing capacity analysis
  • Learning the different bearing capacity analysis techniques to use for cohesive and cohesionless soils
  • Learning how to address groundwater in analysis of soils for load bearing capacity
  • Learning how to determine the ultimate bearing capacity of soils and rock for all combinations of simultaneous loads
  • Learning about methods of analysis for deep foundations in stratified soils
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, "An Introduction to Bearing Capacity Analysis".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
An Introduction to Bearing Capacity Analysis (811 KB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 2 PDH credits. The quiz will be based on the entire document.


The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: