Overkill? With the rest of the specs in mind, I understand that quite some rendering is required for the civil engineering classes. And that is why extra graphics are a "nice to have" as specified in the hardware requirements.
Any laptop that comes with this extra graphical power built-in, comes with a heavy price tag, extra weight and poor battery life (think 3 to 4 hours on a fully charged battery). Or buy one that is cheaper, but with a Thunderbolt 3 port, so you can have graphical "muscle" with desktop grade components if you choose to. There is even the choice of what video card you are using. It can even be a second hand card.
In my experience, most cheaper laptops nowadays come with 8GByte of RAM as a default. Which is in and of itself plenty for practically every use case. Except for rendering, you'll need as much RAM as the laptop can support and that is often still not enough, unless you wish to wait several hours longer before a render is finished. The requirements indicated that this is a problem previously encountered in the course, so they set the bar to 16GByte of RAM directly from the beginning. While that makes sense from the course's point of view, it sure limits the choice of laptops to buy.
Have done rendering on a laptop without extra graphic "muscle" or sufficient RAM? There is a reason why I have the opinion that laptops are a poor substitute for a desktop system. More often than I like to admit there are laptops on my desk with the request to "make it faster". My response is always the same: spent money on putting as much RAM in it as the laptop supports and change the standard spinning drive for an SSD hard disk. The answer is always the same too: you will get some money to use your "tricks" to make it more responsive, but that is all the money being spent on it.
Last time a co-worker asked me what laptop he should buy, I found a very decent second hand Lenovo Thinkpad laptop for him and made him buy 16GByte of RAM to put in it. He was able to sell the original 8GByte RAM module to a classmate of his, so he didn't spend that much and his classmate also has a 16GByte laptop of a sudden. My coworker is very happy with the laptop, because it feels solid, the extra RAM makes compiling software a "smoother" experience too and he likes the "look" of the Thinkpad. The laptop already came with an SSD (boot) and standard hard disk (storage), so that was of no concern.
Buying a laptop with all the RAM it can support, has a few more benefits. First one is that it will be of more use for a much longer period. And re-sale value goes up to, if that is the way you want to go. Purchase price is the only thing people see when buying a laptop. While that is a significant part of the TCO, re-sale value is too. If you can get 6 years of proper use out of it, instead of thinking you need to replace the unit again after the usual 3 years, that has value too.
Maybe I have read too much in the hardware requirements, but if not, that will be an expensive lesson to learn. If possible, kyrathaba should ask the school why the laptop requirements are as they are and adjust his buying according to the answer he gets. Cheaping out in the beginning is likely going to "bite" him later.