Graduate programs - Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering MS

The Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering program is designed to provide students with the technical and professional knowledge necessary to develop their abilities to seek creative solutions to complex problems in their field of interest. The program involves advanced courses in the areas of structural analysis and design, transportation engineering, water resources, environmental engineering, and geotechnical engineering, as well as science and mathematics. Flexibility is achieved by designing programs of study to meet individual needs. MS students must complete a thesis or research project conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Please see the Degree Requirements section for full details.


Application Deadlines - MS

  • Priority Fall - First Monday of January (for strongest consideration for funding as a Graduate Research or Teaching Assistant)
  • Fall - April 1
  • Winter - September 1
  • Spring - November 1


Degree Requirements - MS

MS students are required to complete tentative degree plans after completing 18 credits. The degree plan must be approved by their advisor. An MS study plan form for this purpose is available on the CEE website (  Coursework taken without advisor approval may not be accepted as part of the student’s program. Students must also meet the University master's degree requirements.

The MS program consists of two options:

  1. The thesis option consists of a total of 45 credit hours including 6-9 hours of CE 503 Thesis credits plus successful completion of a final oral examination covering the thesis. Coursework may include up to 6 hours of CE 501 Research, CE 504 Internship, CE 505 Reading and Conference, or CE 506 Projects;
  2. The project option requires completion of 45 credit hours including 4 CE 501 Research credit hours on a research project that produces a report and technical presentation. Coursework may include up to 8 hours of CE 504 Internship, CE 505 Reading and Conference, or CE 506 Projects.

Student research is conducted under the supervision of faculty. Please see CEE faculty profiles on the CEE website ( to learn about current faculty research areas.

CEE courses for which the student receives a grade of "C+" or lower will not be counted toward fulfilling the requirements. Grades of C+, C, or C- may sometimes be counted toward the degree with the approval of the student’s advisor and the Graduate Program Chair.  A candidate is disqualified if he/she receives a grade of "C+" or lower in four CEE courses.

All courses taken in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering by degree candidates must be taken for a letter grade, unless a course is only offered with a pass/no pass option. Courses outside the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering may be taken pass/no pass only with the consent of the student’s advisor. Non-degree seeking students may take Civil and Environmental Engineering courses pass/no pass with the consent of the instructor.

In both options, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be taken in the CEE Department unless otherwise approved by the Graduate Program Chair. To become a candidate for the MS degree, the student must successfully complete all departmental requirements for one of the options described above.

All other degree requirements for the MS program are established by PSU’s Office of Graduate Studies. Please refer to Graduate Studies for information concerning advanced degree requirements, degree status, petition processes, thesis preparation, and final oral exam.