The Master of Science in Civil Engineering program is designed with flexibility in mind for both full‑time students and working professionals. The program requires that students complete 30 semester hours generally equivalent to 10 three semester hour courses. While most students take 1.5 to three years to complete the program, it can be completed in as fast as one year if four classes are taken in the fall and spring semesters and two classes in the summer. Typically, however, students take one to three courses per term including the summer.

Degree Requirements

Students enrolled in this program must successfully complete the following:

  • 30 semester hours with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00
  • Comprehensive Oral Examination (CIVL 690) or Masters Thesis Defense (CIVL 695)
  • 500-level courses with grade of B or higher
  • All core and elective requirements for the Water Resources Engineering or Environmental Engineering emphasis.

All students must possess an undergraduate engineering degree OR have passed the Engineer-in-Training/Fundamentals of Engineering (EIT/FE) examination administered by National Council of Examiners of Engineers and Surveyors (NCEES) prior to applying for graduation. Students who do not qualify under this condition will receive the Master of Science degree in Environmental Science upon completion of the program.

Optional Thesis

Preparation of a master's thesis is optional in both the Civil Engineering and Environmental Science Master’s programs. Students electing to perform a master's thesis on a topic under the guidance of a faculty member must pass ENVS 695 or CIVL 695 Master's Thesis Defense (0 semester hours) in the semester they expect to complete their thesis. The defense is in the form of a written thesis and an oral presentation. A thesis committee determined by the student and primary research advisor determine if the student has mastered the subject matter of the thesis, understands the work done by others, and can critically assess that work and his/her own work. No later than two weeks prior to the thesis defense presentation, the student must provide their written thesis to their thesis committee for review. Formal requirements may be obtained from the program director. Please see our research page for further information on research opportunities.

Thesis students also have the option to enroll in a 3-semester-hour master's thesis independent studies (ENVS 695 or CIVL 695 Master Thesis) in any term. The master's thesis independent studies can satisfy an Elective requirement, may be taken a maximum of two times, and may be taken only once in a semester.

Change of Emphasis (Environmental Engineering or Water Resources Engineering)

Civil Engineering graduate students can choose an emphasis in one of two areas: Environmental Engineering or Water Resources Engineering. Students have the option to switch from a Water Resources Engineering emphasis to an Environmental Engineering emphasis and vice versa any time before graduation. Prior to changing emphasis, the student's plan should be discussed with and approved by the Program Director.

Student Learning Outcomes

The Civil Engineering graduate program has established the following student outcomes:

  1. Apply scientific, mathematical, and sustainability principles to analyze and develop solutions to problems in environmental science and engineering;
  2. Critically assess, evaluate, and understand sustainability, ethics, and social justice in environmental science and engineering; and
  3. Effectively communicate scientific and engineering principles related to the environment and sustainability.