Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs
Developing the Next Generation of Experts

The department offers graduate programs leading to degrees of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Master of Engineering, Master of Science, and Civil Engineer , as well as Certificates in a variety of areas.

An undergraduate degree in engineering or related disciplines with a "B" average from an accredited college or university is generally required for graduate study in civil, environmental and ocean engineering. It is required that any applicants requesting assistantship appointments, and applicants to the Ph.D. program, provide GRE scores as well as evidence of ability to carry out independent work. Examples of such evidence include a description of master's degree thesis work, and/or completed work-related projects. GRE scores are not otherwise required but may be submitted in support of the application. International students must demonstrate their proficiency in the English language prior to admission. For more, see Admission Requirements below. Applications for admission from qualified students are accepted at any time.

Master's Programs
The Master of Engineering and Master of Science degrees are offered with programs in civil, environmental and ocean engineering. The programs normally require 30 credit hours of course work. A thesis is optional and may be substituted for five to 10 credit hours of course work. The thesis option is strongly recommended for full-time students, those receiving financial support, or those planning to pursue doctoral studies.

Doctoral Program
The program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to develop your capability to perform research or high-level design in civil, environmental or ocean engineering. Admission to the doctoral program is made through the departmental graduate admissions committee, based on review of applicant's scholastic record. A master's degree is required before a student is admitted to the doctoral program. Your master's level academic performance must reflect your capability to pursue advanced studies and perform independent research.

Eighty four credits of graduate work in an approved program of study beyond the bachelor's degree are required for completion of the doctoral program. Up to 30 credits obtained in a master's program can be included in this program. Of the remaining 54 credits, 15 to 30 credit hours of course work as well as 30 to 40 credit hours of dissertation work are required.

Within two years from time of admission, students must take a written qualifying examination that is intended to test comprehension of undergraduate and master's level engineering fundamentals and mathematics. Upon satisfactory performance in the qualifying examination, and completion of the required course work, students must take an oral preliminary examination. This examination is primarily intended to evaluate aptitude for advanced research and examine understanding of the subjects associated specifically with students' dissertation topics. Upon satisfactory completion of the preliminary examination and all course work, students become a doctoral candidate and start dissertation research.

Doctoral research work must be based on an original investigation and the results must make a significant, state-of-the-art contribution to the field, and must be worthy of publication in current professional literature. At the completion of the research, students must defend your thesis in a public presentation.

Civil Engineer Degree
To be qualified to enter the civil engineer degree program, a student must have completed a master's degree in engineering. The degree candidate must also demonstrate professional competence by having at least two years of responsible industrial experience in one of the areas of civil engineering. The industrial experience is to be completed prior to entering the program or in the process of being satisfied upon entering the program. Thirty credits beyond the master's degree are required for the degree of civil engineer. Eight to 15 of those credits must be on a design project. You will be assigned an advisor who will help you develop a study plan and who will supervise your design project. The study plan, which should include details of the professional experience and of the design project, must be submitted to the departmental committee on the civil engineer degree for approval. Upon completion of the design project, you will submit a written report to the departmental committee for approval, and you will be required to take an oral examination on the substance of the design project.

Graduate Certificate Programs
The department offers the following programs leading to Graduate Certificates. Students need to meet regular admissions requirements for the master's program and complete the courses listed below. The courses may also be used toward the Master degree.

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Admission Requirements

Admission into the Graduate Certificate or Master's Degree programs requires an undergraduate degree in Engineering, or in a related discipline, with a grade point average of "B" or better from an accredited college or university.

Required Documentation

All applicants must submit the following documents to be considered for admission:

  • Completed online application for admission
  • Official college transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose
  • GRE scores*
  • Application fee

Optional Documents:

  • Resume/CV

* Starting Fall 2014 GRE scores required for all applicants applying into a full-time graduate program in the School of Engineering and Sciences. (Code #2819) All scores are only valid for five years prior to the application term. GRE required for all PhD applicants.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants

TOEFL/IELTS - International students (Code #2819).  For English language proficiency requirements please click here.

Approximately two weeks following receipt of the above material, you will receive a decision letter from the Office of Graduate Admissions. If accepted you will receive an acceptance letter outlining the program to which you were accepted, as well as your assigned Academic Advisor's contact information.

For questions related to program requirements please check with the Office of Graduate Admissions at [email protected].

For more details on deadlines and how to apply please visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website at