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MSCE Program


Water lab

Our practice-oriented Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) program builds upon an undergraduate education and facilitates more advanced study in one of the branches of civil engineering. The program consists of 45 quarter units of coursework (equivalent to 30 semester units), and all graduate courses are offered in the late afternoon or evening.

Mission Statement

The Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) program is intended to serve both full-time and part-time graduate students who have a BSCE or closely-related undergraduate degree in order to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of civil engineering principles and practices. The program is primarily intended for students who currently are, or intend to become, practicing civil engineers, and thus focuses on the application of these principles and practices to real-world problems encountered by professional civil engineers.

Another purpose of the program is to facilitate applied research on relevant civil engineering topics. Such research should 1) serve societal needs by addressing contemporary issues, 2) contribute to the professional development of both students and faculty and 3) provide preparation for further academic study and research for those students who wish to pursue a Ph.D.

Educational Objectives

Graduates of the MSCE program should have:

  1. A knowledge of engineering principles sufficient to understand the bases and applicability of standard analysis, design, and implementation practices within their emphasis area.
  2. The ability to conduct engineering analyses and to develop and implement designs and problem solutions that conform to applicable codes and standards of practice.
  3. An understanding of the various technical and non-technical factors that impact the feasibility and implementation of civil engineering projects, including: technical feasibility, multi-party involvement, environmental assessment, financial/economic planning, owner/public works administration, owners’ strategic plans, and socioeconomic/equity issues.
  4. The foundation needed to develop engineering judgment via professional practice, and to effectively identify, consider, and account for multiple and competing objectives.
  5. The technical knowledge and skills needed to pursue life long learning with the ability to independently extend personal knowledge and understanding of engineering topics and practices by conducting literature searches, consulting with others, and using other similar techniques.
  6. The ability to apply knowledge in a specialized area related to civil engineering as defined in the American Society of Civil Engineers body of knowledge requirements.
  7. Knowledge and skills necessary to pass specialty license examinations in their respective emphasis areas, including the examinations required for registration as a Structural Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, and a Transportation Engineer.

Emphasis Areas

The MSCE program has four emphasis areas:

Detailed curriculum requirements for each of these three emphasis areas may be seen by clicking on these links.


The course descriptions and the associated prerequisites are available at the University Catalog.

The linked pdfs show planned course offerings for each program:

Graduate Student Advising Flowchart

Graduate students and advisors are required to follow the procedures and steps described in the advising flow chart (here).

Required Time to Complete Degree

Students who begin the MSCE program in Fall Quarter can complete their degree in as little as two years. Students who begin in other quarters may take longer to complete their degree.


The MSCE program is primarily intended for students who already have a BS degree in civil engineering. In some cases, students with BS degrees in closely-related fields might be admitted, but such students typically will be required to complete certain undergraduate civil engineering courses in addition to the required graduate-level coursework.

An applicant for admission to a program must meet university criteria as specified in the Admission section of the University Catalog as well as the criteria outlined below. Applicants are advised that a reasonable proficiency in computer programming is necessary for successful completion. If the student is deficient in this area, he or she will be expected to remove the deficiency early in the program. Successful applicants will be admitted to the programs either unconditionally or with conditions imposed on them.

Unconditional Admission

To receive unconditional admission, an applicant must satisfy at least these criteria:

1) The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree in engineering from a program that has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, and for which the accreditation was in effect at the time of award of the degree. The degree must have been granted within five years prior to the proposed beginning of the graduate program. A baccalaureate degree in engineering technology does not satisfy this criterion.

2) The applicant must have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.00 in all undergraduate upper division coursework in mathematics, science and engineering and, additionally, in all coursework attempted with graduate standing.

3) Additional requirements may be imposed by individual programs.

Conditional Admission

Conditional admission may be granted in cases in which the applicant’s academic preparation for graduate study is such that criteria 1) and/or 2) above are not satisfied. In such cases, the applicant is required to submit recent test scores of the Graduate Record Examination, letters of recommendation, and other documents attesting to the applicant’s aptitude for graduate studies. Applicants who do not satisfy criterion 1) may be required to take a limited number of preparatory courses with no degree credit. Criterion 3) above must be met. When an applicant is admitted conditionally, the conditions to be met and the time allowed for meeting them are stated in the letter of admission. If these conditions are not satisfied, the student may be disenrolled.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted online at the CSU Mentor web site. Use major code 09081 and be sure to indicate the desired emphasis area in the application. New students are accepted every quarter, but graduate classes are normally offered only in Fall, Winter, and Spring Quarters.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA of less than 3.0 must also submit GRE scores.


Cal Poly Pomona Graduate Studies Office

Forms for Graduate Students

Masters Civil Engineering Enrollment and Degree Data.





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