Offered by: College of Engineering, Civil Engineering Department
The practice-oriented Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) program builds upon an undergraduate education and facilitates more advanced study in one of the branches of civil engineering. Students must select one of four emphasis areas: Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, and Transportation Engineering.
Xudong Jia, Chair
Lisa Wang, Graduate Coordinator
The Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) program is intended to serve both full-time and part-time graduate students who have a BSCE or closely-related undergraduate degree in order to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of civil engineering principles and practices. The program is primarily intended for students who currently are, or intend to become, practicing civil engineers, and thus focuses on the application of these principles and practices to real-world problems encountered by professional civil engineers.
Another purpose of the program is to facilitate applied research on relevant civil engineering topics. Such research should 1) serve societal needs by addressing contemporary issues, 2) contribute to the professional development of both students and faculty and 3) provide preparation for further academic study and research for those students who wish to pursue a Ph.D. degree.
Graduates of the Master of Science in Civil Engineering program shall have:
- Knowledge of engineering principles sufficient to understand the bases and applicability of standard analysis, design, and implementation practices within their emphasis area.
- The ability to conduct engineering analyses and to develop and implement designs and problem solutions that conform to applicable codes and standards of practice.
- An understanding of the various technical and non-technical factors that impact the feasibility and implementation of civil engineering projects, including technical feasibility, multi-party involvement, environmental assessment, financial-economic planning, owner-public works administration, owners' strategic plans, and socioeconomic-equity issues.
- The foundation needed to develop engineering judgment via professional practice, and to effectively identify, consider and account for multiple and competing objectives.
- The technical knowledge and skills needed to pursue life-long learning, with the ability to independently extend personal knowledge and understanding of engineering topics and practices by conducting literature searches, consulting with others, and using other similar techniques.
- The ability to apply knowledge in a specialized area related to civil engineering as defined in the American Society of Civil Engineers body of knowledge requirements.
- Knowledge and skills necessary to pass specialty license examinations in their respective areas, including the examinations required for registration as a Structural Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer and Traffic Engineer.
Admission to the Program
Applicants for unconditional admission are generally expected to have a bachelor's degree from an ABET accredited (or equivalent) civil engineering program, with a GPA of at least 3.0 in their upper-division coursework in mathematics, science, and engineering. Additional qualifications, such as PE license, professional experience, or other noteworthy accomplishments may be listed in the application's statement of purpose and will be considered. Also see the university graduate admission requirements in the graduate studies section of the Catalog.
Applicants with an undergraduate degree in another discipline, and those who do not fully satisfy other department or university graduate admission requirements, may be considered for possible conditional admission. These conditions may include additional coursework, minimum academic performance, or other requirements.
Applicants for conditional admission must submit GRE (general test) scores and at least two letters of recommendation.
Conditionally admitted students must satisfy the specified conditions before being advanced to unconditional standing. Those who do not satisfy these conditions will be dismissed from the program.
A minimum of 45 quarter units (equivalent to 30 semester units) is required for the Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree. The specific requirements for each emphasis area are described below. To satisfy the culminating experience requirement, all students must complete a Master's Project (for a total of 4 units), a Master's Thesis (for a total of 8 units), or pass a comprehensive examination.
Each student must, in consultation with their academic advisor, prepare a program of study that outlines the coursework required to complete the program. A preliminary program of study should be prepared as early as possible, and must be submitted to the advisor no later than the end of the second quarter of residency.
The finalized program of study must be submitted during the third quarter of residency, before the start of the registration period for the fourth quarter.
To attain Advancement to Candidacy for the degree, the student must satisfy all of the following:
- Completion of all conditions of admission, including any preparatory courses that may have been specified.
- Have an approved program of study on file.
- Be in good academic standing with a grade point average of at least 3.0.
- Passed the graduation writing test or received a waiver.
Please check the Civil Engineering Department website for additional information.