More than a half century has passed since the first integration of problem-based learning (PBL) in higher education teaching. Despite the extensive investigation focused on this pedagogy, rigorous research on the impact of PBL in civil engineering is limited. Thus, this study aims to provide a thorough evaluation of students’ perceptions of PBL in a civil engineering course. The course was designed based on best practices from the literature while addressing, with the intent to minimize, the inhibitors of PBL success indicated in past research. The semester-long project was focused on creating an artifact to demonstrate geological phenomena chosen by the students, to then be displayed in an exhibition. The course included formative and summative assessments of students’ performance throughout the semester. Data was collected and analyzed methodically from over 150 students from two cohorts, one with a one-year post-course perspective, using a survey. The results indicate high satisfaction with several aspects of the course, including the perception of soft skill development. The analysis also showed that students from an ethnic minority group had significantly higher satisfaction and perceived benefit from the course. These findings demonstrate the possibility of turning a theoretical civil engineering course into a valuable PBL course, suggesting that PBL may promote greater equality for ethnic minority groups.