Graduate Admissions

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Graduate Admissions

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Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Programs

Our graduate program in Civil and Environmental Engineering includes a coursework-only based Master of Engineering program for working professionals as well as the research-based Master of Science and PhD programs.

Application Deadlines

Term Application Deadline
Fall January 1st
Winter September 1st
Spring November 1st

Priority consideration for funding as Graduate Research or Teaching Assistants for MS and PhD applicants is available in the Fall term.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements for the MS and MEng degrees include a B.S 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.

Applicants with GPAs below 2.75 should review the Department's Policy for Students Applying to the MS/MEng Program with UGPA < 2.75. 

Applicants who do not have a B.S. degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering should review this advising document on "Qualifying for Admission to the Graduate Program without a Bachelor's Degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering."

Admission requirements – PhD

Admission requirements for the PhD program include a M.S. degree in an engineering field, science, or closely related area.  All applicants must contact a CEE faculty member prior to submitting an application seeking a PhD advisor. For admission, a student must have a CEE faculty member agree to be his/her PhD advisor. Applicants must also meet PSU graduate admission requirements.

Application Process

To apply to the graduate program, please visit PSU's Graduate Admissions website to access the online graduate application. A non-refundable $65 application fee and $2 processing fee will be required to successfully complete the application.

Portland State University's graduate application requires the following documents:

International applicants must also submit:

In addition to the above requirements, the program-specific sections of the application require the following information and documents:

  • Your degree option (MEng, MS - Project, MS - Thesis, or PhD)
  • Your selected concentration area (Structural, Transportation, Geotechnical, or Environmental/Water Resources)
  • An adviser preference (PhD only). Since the PhD student must have a supervising adviser for admittance, all prospective PhD students must contact one of the faculty members in their research area of interest prior to submitting their PhD application. 
  • A statement of purpose describing your long term career goals and why you are applying to the graduate program. You should clearly describe your research interests and strengths. This is an important statement. Please limit your statement to no more than one page.
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae
  • The email addresses of three (3) people who will provide letters of recommendation for you.  Select these carefully. At least one reference should be a faculty member from a previous degree program/academic institution who is familiar with your academic performance. Please note: your recommenders will each receive a recommendation request via email. You will be able to check the status of your letters of recommendation, send reminder emails to recommenders, and send requests to new recommenders by logging in to your online account. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that letters of recommendation are submitted on time. 
  • GRE scores (required for MS and PhD applicants who do not have a previous degree from a university in the United States, strongly recommended for all other MS and PhD applicants, not required for MEng applicants). In addition to entering your scores on the application, please have official scores sent directly to PSU from ETS using the following codes:
    • PSU School Code: 4610
    • CEE Department Code: 1102

Failure to supply complete and accurate information will subject a student to the University’s policies governing academic dishonesty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I apply for Graduate Assistantships and scholarships?

A: If you are interested in Graduate Research Assistantships and Graduate Teaching Assistantships, you will want to apply for our Fall graduate application deadline, which is December 15th of each year. You may also apply for University Scholarships using PSU's Online Scholarship Application; the deadline for graduate student scholarship applications is February 1. Additional scholarship opportunities can be found on the Scholarships and Awards page maintained by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Q: How do I find out more about research opportunities in the CEE Department?

A: Visit our Research page to learn more about our faculty's research specialization areas. Please feel free to contact a faculty member in your area of interest for more information. You can also read recent theses, dissertations, and MS project reports by visiting the PSU Library's online repository, PDXScholar.

Q: How do I check on the status of my letters of recommendation, send reminder emails to my recommenders, or send a recommendation request to a different recommender?

A: Log in to your graduate application. If you have already submitted your application, click on "Manage Your Account." If you have not yet submitted your application, go to the letter of recommendation section of your application and click on the link that says "Manage your recommenders" below any of the submitted letter of recommendation requests.  You will be taken to a page that will show you the status of your letters of recommendation. You may edit/change the recommender information or send a reminder email to a recommender.

Q: May I enroll in graduate courses prior to being admitted to the Master's program?

A: With the permission of the Graduate Chair, a student may enroll in a limited number of graduate credits prior to admission to the Master's program. Up to 16 pre-admission credits may be used toward the Master's degree if the student is admitted at a later date. In order to take pre-admission credits, a student must be enrolled as either a non-degree student (limited to 8 graduate credits/term) or a postbaccalaureate student. If you are interested in taking pre-admission credits, please email

Q: My undergraduate degree is in a field other than Civil or Environmental Engineering. What do I need to do to qualify for admission to the graduate program?

A: Please review this advising document on "Qualifying for Admission to the Graduate Program without a Bachelor's Degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering." If you have any further questions that are not covered in this document, please email

Q: My undergraduate GPA is below 3.0. May I still apply for the graduate program?

A: Applicants with undergraduate GPAs of 2.75 or higher may be considered for conditional admission to the graduate program on a case-by-case basis. If admitted conditionally, a student would need to meet the requirements stated in his or her admission letter in order to continue in the program. Applicants with GPAs below 2.75 should review the Department's Policy for Students Applying to the MS/MEng Program with UGPA < 2.75.