Civil Engineering

MSCE Program

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

Mission Statement

The 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.

MSCE Options 

The MSCE program has five options:

Detailed curriculum requirements for each of these options may be seen by clicking on these links.

Required Time to Complete Degree

Students who begin the MSCE program in Fall semester can complete their degree in two years. Students who begin in Spring semester may take longer to complete their degree.

Program Admission Requirement

The MSCE program is intended for students who already have a BS degree in civil engineering. Successful applicants will be admitted to the programs either unconditionally or with conditions imposed on them. To receive unconditional admission, an applicant must satisfy all three of the below criteria:

  • The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from a civil engineering program accredited by ABET.
  • The applicant must have achieved a grade point average of at least 3.00 (out of 4.00) in all undergraduate upper division coursework in mathematics, science and engineering and, additionally, in all coursework attempted with graduate standing.
  • Additional requirements may be imposed by individual options of the MSCE program.

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 Examinations (GRE), letters of recommendation, and other documents attesting to the applicant’s aptitude for graduate studies. 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.

All applicants with a bachelor’s degree from outside of the U.S. (regardless of citizenship) must also provide proof of English language proficiency:

TOEFL: a minimum of 80 (Internet-based exam)

IELTS: a minimum of 6.5

In addition, all international applicants are required to submit recent GRE test scores.

An applicant for admission to a program must also 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.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted online at the CSU Apply web site. Use major code 09081 and be sure to indicate the desired emphasis area in the application. New students are accepted every semester.

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

The application deadline for Fall 2020 semester admission is March 15, 2020

Forms and Policies 

Related Links

Contact us:

For questions regarding each of the MSCE options you can contact the below faculty members: