Codes and standards are important tools in civil and structural engineering, but how they are applied in the workplace in comparison to how they are taught in undergraduate engineering education has been understudied. The purpose of this research is to explore the social and material contexts wherein codes are applied in a structural engineering workplace and in undergraduate structural engineering courses to better understand the alignment of these two environments. The researchers employed an ethnographic approach to participate in and observe the social and material contexts wherein engineers and students apply codes. Both students and engineers were observed applying codes prescriptively; however, engineers also had to apply codes with a more evaluative approach in certain scenarios. Students were never exposed to similar scenarios in their courses. Based on these findings, the authors provide some recommendations for engineering education to provide students with an improved evaluative understanding of codes that is less reliant on a limited prescriptive understanding of code procedures. Implementation of the evaluative use of codes presents challenges to an already full curriculum; therefore, the authors provide examples and descriptions for integrating codes into the existing curriculum to prepare students for the engineering judgment required when applying the concepts they learn in school in practice.