Postbaccalaureate Students

Advising, Admission, and Resources

Postbaccalaureate Students

Post Baccalaureate Advising

We welcome and value second-degree seeking students. One of the strengths of our Department is the diversity of learners in our program, including a strong contingent of second-degree seeking students. Over 10% of our undergraduate students have already earned a Bachelor’s degree in a non-engineering field and some of our most successful alumni returned to PSU CEE to obtain a second degree in engineering.

Master's vs. second Bachelor's degree

In considering options, prospective second-degree seeking students should first consider whether a Master’s degree or second Bachelor’s degree is the most appropriate for their situation. If you don’t already have a degree in engineering or closely related field, a second Bachelor’s degree will likely be the preferred (and shortest) path. Licensure as a professional engineer is generally required for a career in civil or environmental engineering and there are important implications to consider. For more details, please review this advising document on "Qualifying for Admission to the Graduate Program without a Bachelor's Degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering".


Student in lab conducting an experiment

Apply to the Graduate Program

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


Second Bachelor's Degree Information

In order to be awarded a BSCE or BSENVE degree, the student’s transcript must show academic credit for every course listed on the Civil or Environmental Engineering course plan.  Each student’s background and preparation is unique, but in general, our approach is to apply all courses from the prior Bachelor’s degree that are equivalent to those required in either of our degree programs.  We occasionally can accept 400-level technical courses outside CEE towards our technical elective requirements if the course and the student’s background are otherwise strong. No more than 8 credits will be accepted for technical courses.

Transfer Analysis

Many courses are formally articulated between PSU and other University programs. For courses transferred from insitutuions that are not already articulated with PSU, CEE will make a case-by-case review of the courses for equivalency. After you have been admitted to PSU as a post-bac, we will review your transcripts and create a custom course plan. If you would like to schedule a meeting for additional advising, please use this link to schedule a meeting with the CEE Department Chair.

The general education requirements are waived for PB students with the following exceptions: 1) EC 314U: Public & Private Investment is required for all engineering students and 2) PB students who do not hold a degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English must satisfy the Writing 323 requirements before graduating from PSU.

PSU requires a minimum of 45 credits taken at PSU to award a B.S. degree.

Steps to a postbac BS Degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering

  1. When you are ready to start at PSU, apply as a Post-Baccalaureate student. Information for PB Admissions can be found here.
  2. If you don’t have recent math experience, or are unsure about your math skills, take the online Math Placement Exam to determine where you should begin.  
  3. Contact the CEE Department to request a Transfer Analysis if you want to apply courses from other institutions towards the degree requirements. Courses transferred from institutions that are not already articulated with the University will be reviewed after students are admitted to PSU. To do this evaluation, we will need a copy of your unofficial transcripts and course descriptions for any courses you think apply toward the math, science, and engineering course requirements. If you have syllabi, please include this information as well. Assemble all documents into a single PDF file and send by email to The more organized and carefully you prepare this file the easier it will be for us to review.
  4. Apply to the CEE Upper Division Program - Students may declare civil or environmental engineering as their major at any time after enrolling at Portland State University. However, students must be admitted formally to the BSCE or BSENVE program before they will be allowed to enroll in the junior and senior engineering courses (300 numbered and above CE courses).  
Students walking in front of the PSU library

Apply to the CEE Upper Division Program

Apply to the BS in Civil or Environmental Engineering program. Within our Department, we have over 20 full-time faculty specializing in research, teaching and mentoring in the areas of structural, geotechnical, transportation, environmental, and water resources engineering.

Postbaccalaureate FAQs

Can I take Some 100-200 Level Courses at Community Colleges?

Yes, students can complete the lower division (100 and 200 level) math, science, and engineering requirements at PSU or at other local transfer institutions. Note that students who are planning to apply to PSU Admissions as a Post-Baccalaureate student should still contact the CEE Department to request a PB Transfer Analysis to apply courses from other institutions toward the major requirements, if applicable 

Do I pay graduate tuition?

Post-baccalaureate students are charged the undergraduate tuition rate for all 100-400 level courses at PSU. Graduate tuition rates are applied to all 500 level courses for PB students.

How long does it generally take to earn a PB BSCE or BSENVE degree?

Depending on your math placement or previous math experience, a student can take between 3 and4 years to complete a second degree if they are able to attend full-time. Once admitted to PSU, you can work with one of our engineering advisors to develop a course plan specific to your experience and needs.

Are there any special Financial Aid considerations?

Students should speak directly with the PSU Financial Aid office to find out what their options are.


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