M.S. in Civil Engineering


Parks College offers a Master of Science (MS) degree with a Civil Engineering emphasis tailored to the student’s academic, research and career goals. The information below is a summary of the degree requirements in the graduate education catalog.

Master’s Degree Requirements

  • 30 credit hours

Degree Plan

Each new graduate student writes a Program of Study that must be approved by the Faculty Mentors and the Graduate Programs Director. The Program of Study will be prepared and reviewed in the context of the student’s background and the student’s career goals. Each student will determine, with Faculty advice and approval, a unique set of courses and a specific plan for the Thesis or Project. This approach can accommodate students who want to continue for a Ph.D. degree, students who want to go into industry with an M.S. degree, and students who want to integrate other areas into their degrees. 

Accelerated BS-MS Program

The Civil Engineering Department offers an Accelerated BS-MS Program where the student can earn a Bachelor and Master of Science in 5 years. For more information about the program, visit the Graduate Education site. To apply, please contact your department for their application requirements.

Transfer Credits

The number of transfer credits to the graduate program is limited to 6 credit hours. The transfer credits must be approved by the Faculty Mentor and the Graduate Program Director to determine the quality and relevance of graduate courses taken elsewhere. Significant changes in the Degree Plan will require approval of the student’s Faculty Mentor and the Graduate Program Director.

Thesis Details

Students who complete a Thesis will report on their work, and defend that work, in a forum that includes both a public presentation and a private discussion with the appropriate faculty. For example, a student who completes the Thesis will present the research results in a seminar-type format, and then defend the research results before the student’s Guidance Committee. The latter defense will focus on the Thesis, but will likely include related science and engineering. In all cases, the Graduate Programs Director will monitor the students’ progress to assure timely completion and to maintain college-wide requirements and standards.

Publishing Research as a Graduate Student

Students pursuing the Engineering Master’s degree are encouraged to publish their thesis research in journals and scientific conferences. The M.S. Project may be the basis of a conference abstract or presentation by the student or Faculty Advisor. Neither is a degree requirement for all students, but individual research areas may expect that every student will prepare a manuscript for a publication or conference poster presentation.

Bringing in Industry Experience

Some students who are already employed in the industry may wish to complete an M.S. with 30 credits of courses. In their Degree Plan, they would describe their previously completed project work and their rationale for (or need for) courses instead of a formal project. In other cases, the employed engineer may complete a Project (for credit), where the project is supervised by a Parks College faculty member in collaboration with the student’s industrial supervisors. In such cases, the Project option may be more attractive to an employed student. It also has the benefit of stimulating collaboration between Parks Faculty and colleagues in industry. Thus, the M.S. with Project or no Project will be offered to accommodate the needs of this category of prospective students. While the “standard” may be an M.S. with Thesis, the other options will be available.

Within the 30 credit requirement, a student may choose a maximum of nine credits at the 4000-level. These courses must not be prerequisites for other 4000-level courses. The courses would normally provide additional depth of knowledge in the student’s main area of interest, and would be especially useful for students who make slight changes in their career directions. In any case, the 4000-level courses must fit into a coherent Degree Plan as approved by the students Faculty Mentor, and the Graduate Programs Director.


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