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University Bulletin
Graduate Degree Programs

Civil Engineering (CE)

Program Home Page (Opens New Window)

PATRICK J. FOX, Head, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Shaw Professor
pjfox@engr.psu.edu
814-863-3084

Degrees Conferred:

Ph.D., M.S., M.Eng.

The Graduate Faculty

Students may specialize in environmental engineering, geotechnical and materials engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, and water resources engineering.

Admission Requirements

The requirements listed here are in addition to the general requirements stated in the GENERAL INFORMATION section of the Graduate Bulletin.

Candidates should possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students in engineering, physical sciences, or mathematics with a 3.00 grade-point average (on a 4.00 scale) may be considered for admission. Exceptions to the minimum 3.00 grade-point average may be made for students with special backgrounds, abilities, and interests. Students without a baccalaureate degree in engineering would be admitted on a provisional basis pending successful completion of entrance requirements (completed concurrently with degree requirements).

U.S. applicants will upload unofficial copies of their transcripts, a statement of objectives, and three references for letters of recommendation when applying to the program. If admitted, applicants will be required to provide the Graduate School with OFFICIAL COPIES of transcripts of all their previous course work (in duplicate). In addition, all applicants must submit scores from the General Graduate Record Examinations Aptitude Test (verbal, quantitative, and analytical). For the M.Eng. degree, the GRE requirement will be waived for students who have graduated with a degree from the College of Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University with a cumulative grade-point average of greater than 3.30.

International applicants will upload unofficial copies of their transcripts, a statement of objectives, and three references for letters of recommendation when applying to the program. If admitted, applicants will be required to provide the Graduate School with OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPTS or ATTESTED COPIES of transcripts, degree, and diploma certificates in both English and native language. Photocopies will NOT be accepted. All international applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the Internet-based test (iBT). The minimum composite score for the IELTS is 6.5 on all subjects. International applicants who have received a baccalaureate or master’s degree from a college, university, or institution in any of the following countries are exempt from the TOEFL requirement: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Quebec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, or Wales.

Application Deadlines

M.Eng.: Complete applications including required supplementary materials (e.g., official transcripts, reference letters) should be submitted by March 15th of the calendar year for admission in Fall semester. International students are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications early to allow sufficient time for visa processing.

M.S. and Ph.D.: Complete applications including required supplementary materials (e.g., official transcripts, reference letters) should be submitted by September 15th for admission in Spring semester and by December 15th for admission in Fall semester. International students are strongly encouraged to submit complete applications early to allow sufficient time for visa processing. 

Degree Requirements

Three degrees are offered: Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Science (M.S.), and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

The M.Eng. degree is a non-thesis professional master's degree. The program provides training for advanced professional practice. A minimum of 31 graduate credits (400 level and above) of course work are required. At least 18 credits must be earned in graduate courses (500 level). At least 12 credits must be earned in courses with the CE prefix. At least 20 credits must be earned at an established graduate campus of the University. All students are required to take CE 535 Integrated Project Management for Civil Engineering to fulfill the requirement for a culminating experience. All students are required to take the 1-credit CE 590 Colloquium and complete all requirements for Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) training. The M.Eng. degree is designed as a one-year master’s degree program and students are required to start their degree in the Fall semester. The preferred plan of study is as follows:

  • Fall semester: Fifteen credits of course work plus one credit of C E 590
  • Spring semester: Fifteen credits of course work, including C E 535

Students entering the M.Eng. degree must select and declare an area of specialization, where each area has specific core course requirements. The three areas of specialization are Infrastructure, Transportation Systems, and Water and Environment.

The M.S. degree program is strongly oriented toward research. A thesis is required, and at least 6 credits of thesis research (C E 600 or 610) must be included in the candidate's academic course plan. A minimum of 31 graduate credits (400-level and above) are required, of which 20 must be earned at an established graduate campus of the University. A minimum of 24 credits of course work are required. A minimum of 12 credits of course work (400 and 500 level) must be completed in the major (courses prefixed C E). At least 18 credits in the 500 and 600 levels, combined, must be included in the program. Specific core courses are required depending on the specialization within the department. Students are not permitted to count audited credits toward the minimum credits required for the degree. All students are required to take the 1-credit CE 590 Colloquium and complete all requirements for Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) training. A candidate for the Ph.D. degree must pass the English proficiency and candidacy examinations, prepare and defend the thesis proposal as part of the oral comprehensive examination, and pass the final oral examination (thesis defense). Prior to completion of the Ph.D. program, the candidate must spend at least two consecutive semesters as a registered full-time student.

Continuous registration is required for all graduate students until the thesis (M.S.) or dissertation (Ph.D.) has been approved or course requirements have been satisfied (M.Eng.). See also Environmental Engineering.

 

Other Relevant Information

Students in this program may elect to participate in the dual-title degree program option in Operations Research for the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees. See also Environmental Engineering.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships and other forms of student aid are described in the STUDENT AID section of the Graduate Bulletin. International applicants who wish to be considered for a teaching assistantship must present an acceptable score (250-300 or 55-60) on the Test of Spoken English (TSE). The TSE can be taken in many countries, or at Penn State after arrival. The Department offers a number of graduate fellowships.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 599 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

CIVIL ENGINEERING (C E) course list


Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2015

Blue Sheet Item #: 43-06-000

Review Date: 04/14/2015

Faculty linked: 6/5/14; Department head updated: 9/24/15

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