Master of Science - Civil and Environmental Engineering

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 below for full details.

Admission Criteria

Admission requirements for the MS and MEng degrees include a B.S./B.A. degree in an engineering field, science, or closely related area with a minimum GPA of 3.00. Courses should include calculus through differential equations, physics and chemistry, computer programming, and all the necessary prerequisites for the graduate courses that comprise the student’s program of study. Applicants without these qualifications may be considered for conditional admission. To be considered for admission as a conditional student, the applicant must have a minimum GPA of 2.75. Applicants must also meet PSU graduate admission requirements.

Degree Requirements – M.S.

MS students are required to complete tentative degree plans no later than the second term after admittance to the program. The degree plan must be approved by their advisor

.  A revised degree plan should be submitted to the advisor for approval prior to any quarter in which the student plans to deviate from the existing plan on file with the Department. Coursework taken without advisor approval may not be accepted as part of the student’s program.

The MS program consists of two options: 

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

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, and a candidate is disqualified if he/she receives a grade of "C+" or lower in four CEE courses.

In both options, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be taken in the CEE Department unless otherwise approved by the Department 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 (OGS). Please refer to the OGS website for information concerning advanced degree requirements, degree status, petition processes, thesis preparation, and final oral exam.

Pass/No Pass Grading Policy

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 adviser. Non-degree seeking students may take Civil and Environmental Engineering courses pass/no pass with the consent of the instructor.