The transformation of local colleges to application-oriented colleges is a systematic project. The graduation design as an important part of teaching should be reformed accordingly. Taking Xuchang College as an example, firstly, the five urgent problems in civil engineering graduation design of applied universities were analyzed, these problems were referred to teaching management and teacher construction, respectively. Secondly, the corresponding reform measures were put forward. Finally, this paper introduces the reform and practical experiences of the 2017 and 2018 civil engineering graduation design of Xuchang College. The research results have the same guiding effect on the graduation design of other engineering majors in applied undergraduate colleges.