Three figures (two men and one woman) in hard hats talk in the midst of a construction site with iron beams surrounding them.

Civil Engineering (Graduate)

Expand your understanding of the built environment by delving into innovative research opportunities, intensive study, and the opportunity to choose between designing a capstone research project or writing a thesis on the subject of their choice.

Civil Engineering – Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering, Civil Option (Ph.D.)

Candidates in the Civil Engineering graduate program at Montana State delve into research subjects that include geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, transportation, water resource, environmental engineering, construction, land surveying and beyond. As candidates select their research focus, they also choose how that project unfolds: either as a capstone thesis or as a professional paper in conjunction with a research project.




Research projects in the Civil Engineering department trend towards the interdisciplinary, such as Civil Engineering graduate student Haley Tupen's study of fish bypass structures on the Yellowstone River in conjunction with Ecology graduate students in the College of Letters and Science.



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Carnegie Classified
The prestigious Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education® ranks Montana State University among the Top 5 public, 4-year universities for Very High Research Activity with a STEM-dominant Activity with a STEM-dominant research doctoral program.


WICHE Partnered Program
This graduate program honors the WICHE partnership for students from 15 western states. If you’re a resident of a WICHE state, you qualify for tuition significantly less than standard non-resident tuition. Learn more.

*Plan B Option Only

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Cutting-Edge Facilities
The Subzero Research Laboratory is one of the world's leading cold science research centers, while the Center for Biofilm Engineering has been a world leader in microbial biofilm research since it was established at MSU in 1990.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the Civil Engineering department and Graduate School offer includes:

Additionally, most of our incoming graduate students are funded with teaching assistantships for at least their first year. During that period, they connect with faculty and typically receive research assistantships for the remainder of their graduate studies. Applicants must be admitted before being considered for funding.


Research in the Civil Engineering department is interdisciplinary in nature but works heavily with the following research entities:


  • Center for Biofilm Engineering
  • Subzero Research Laboratory
  • Western Transportation Institute





Careers after Graduation

Graduate alumni in Civil Engineering embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 79% are working in for-profit, 13.6% in academia, and about 6.8% for government. Top industry employers include Montana State University and DCI Engineers.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $60,000 to $150,000 with an average of $90,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Note: no GRE Required.

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Civil Engineering program is not different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Civil Engineering program. This includes any additional deadlines that the Norm Asbjornson College of Engineering may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.