The Civil Engineering Department offers two master's degrees: Master of Science in Civil Engineering and Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. Thesis and non-thesis options are available in each.

Thesis students (Plan A) are generally those appointed to a Research Assistantship, while the non-thesis option (Plan B) is usually appropriate for Teaching Assistants and students those who are self-funded. 

Our curriculum is mostly comprised of traditional on-campus courses to take advantage of our outstanding labs and teaching facilities.  All our MS programs require 31 credit-hours of applicable coursework.  Most of our MS students spend 4 semesters in residence to complete the MS degree program.

All master's students will take courses (mostly selected from the department or other engineering college programs) that are tailored specifically to their topic area and career goals. The student forms an advisory committee of three professors and works with the committee to select appropriate coursework. The Civil Engineering Department head approves all programs of study. 

Funding Details

We offer funding, when available, on a competitive basis.

About a third of our students are funded by research assistantships. About a third are funded with teaching assistantships. And the remaining third are self-funded. 

Nearly half our masters students focus their studies on structures. Other major focus areas include water resources, environmental engineering, and, to a lesser degree, transportation, geotech and mechanics.

Applicants are encouraged to visit with individual faculty concerning specific research topics and projects. Our department research webpage lists faculty research areas. Faculty are willing to discuss their research program but will be hesitant to discuss funding opportunities with potential students until after they have applied and been admitted.

Application Timeline

We offer rolling admission with no specific deadlines, except that international applicants should apply no less than 75 days prior to the beginning of the semester to accommodate the visa process. All applicants interested in funding should be aware of the timeline shown below because funding decisions are often made well in advance of the start of the semester. You must be admitted to our graduate program before we can consider you for funding. We do not perform pre-admission evaluations of applicants.

Here is a recommended time schedule for entering our masters programs:

Activity Fall Semester entry Spring Semester entry
Take the GRE

A month or two before starting the on-line application.

A month or two before starting the on-line application.

Apply for admission and be considered for TA positions. No later than mid-March. No later than mid-September.
Apply for admission and be considered for RA positions. No later than mid-summer. No later than mid-October.
Apply for admission (domestic). No later than mid-August. No later than mid-December.
Apply for admission (international). No later than mid-June.  No later than mid-October.
Report to campus and begin graduate school.  August 20  January 5


In summary, if you are interested in a TA we make those decisions in mid-March for the Fall semester and mid-September for the Spring semester. RA decisions are made on a rolling basis; when a faculty member gets an opportunity to fund an RA, they seek to fill it as soon as possible. The sooner that an applicant applies, the higher their opportunity to be considered for RA’s. International students should apply early to accommodate the visa/I20 process which can take a up to 4 months in some countries.

Remedial Requirements

Students with a bachelor's degree that is not in engineering or not in an appropriate engineering field should contact the civil engineering department directly ( In general, we will audit your degree transcripts to see what remedial courses you must complete prior to applying to the master's program. The remedial courses are summarized below.

For MS Civil Enginering and Environmental Engineering
Course MSU Course #
Calculus I

M 171Q

Calculus II M 172Q
Multivariable Calculus M 273Q
Intro to Differential Equations M 274
Statistics EGEN 350
College Chemsitry I CHMY 141
General and Modern Physics I PHSX 220
Statics EGEN 201
Mechanics of Materials EGEN 205
Dynamics EGEN 202
Mechanics of Fluids EGEN 335
For MS Civil Engineering, must also have any five of the following:
Course MSU Course #

Structures I

ECIV 312
Structures II ECIV 315
Water Resources Engineering (Hydraulics and Hydrology) ECIV 333
Principles of Environmental Engineering EENV 340
Geotechnical Engineering ECIV 320
Transportation Engineering

ECIV 350

For MS Environmental Engineering, must also have:
Course MSU Course #

College Chemistry II

CHMY 143
Principles of Living Systems BIOB 160
Water Resources Engineering (Hydraulics and Hydrology) ECIV 333
Principles of Environmental Engineering EENV 340


All remedial courses except one must be completed prior to starting a master's program. If only one remedial course remains, it may be taken during, but in addition to, the master's courses. Apply to the master's program during the semester of your last remedial course. Remedial courses may be taken at MSU or other unievrsities. Contact us before taking remedial courses to make sure you take the right ones.