Our department offers a unique interdisciplinary graduate program that enables you to develop imaginative solutions to real-world engineering problems.

Our students have access to cutting-edge research and technology, high achieving, energetic and approachable faculty members, and an innovative and flexible curriculum, we consistently rank among the top engineering programs by US News and World Report.

Discover why our program should be your first choice. This is your opportunity to be part of an exceptional engineering program.

Focus Areas

We offer graduate civil and environmental engineering programs at the MS levels in three focus areas in which we have established both educational and research strengths:

Advanced Infrastructure Systems (A.I.S.)

The A.I.S. education and research area focuses on the exploration and application of emerging Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to improve the design, construction and operations of infrastructure systems.

Environmental Engineering Sustainability and Science (E.E.S.S.)

The E.E.S.S. education and research area focuses on air quality, water quality, remediation, industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, energy and environment, and environmental nanotechnology. This focus area is designed to provide skills, analysis tools, and technologies to meet contemporary environmental stewardship and sustainability challenges.

Mechanics, Materials and Computing (M.M.C.)

The M.M.C. education and research area focuses on the scientific understanding and practical application of the emergent complex behavior of materials through computer simulation techniques for the analysis of the deformation, flow and failure of natural and engineered materials.

Our graduate programs maintain a commitment to excellence in education and research and offer additional advantages that serve the needs of our students.


As a graduate student in our program, you can work with your faculty advisor to develop an individually focused program. This allows you to pursue studies in line with your professional interests and goals.

Your tailored programs may be directed toward more fundamental engineering science, or more applied engineering design or development, depending on your individual career goals.

We also encourage students from a variety of educational backgrounds to pursue graduate study with us.

A Supportive Educational Community

As a CEE student, you will enjoy a collegial, supportive and respectful climate with an exceptional student/faculty ratio. You will truly be part of a community.

In fact, many alumni maintain their relationships with the department throughout their professional careers. Our alumni are diverse and global, and our Career and Professional Development Center works tirelessly to place students with the top engineering firms around the world.

While you are a student, you will have many options for study and meeting spaces to work and collaborate with your classmates.

MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Our Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate degree programs allow you to develop deep knowledge in a specialized concentration of one of our focus areas while rounding out your education with challenging interdisciplinary course work. Our focus areas include:

  • Advanced Infrastructure Systems (A.I.S.)
  • Environmental Engineering, Sustainability and Science (E.E.S.S.)
  • Mechanics Materials and Computing (M.M.C.)

Other degree title options are also offered if you are interested in a more specialized curriculum.

Our program is flexible to accommodate your individual career and academic goals, a unique feature that allows you to explore your interests fully.

Life After the MS

A CEE degree can be both challenging and rewarding and our students master fundamental and cutting edge skills and are prepared with life skills for continuous learning, entrepreneurship, communications and problem-solving. These highly marketable skills can give you a competitive edge when seeking post-graduate employment or deciding to continue a planned area of study.

For students looking to enter the workforce, the Carnegie Mellon Career and Professional Development Center is an important resource for graduates, providing them with valuable resources to aid in their career search.

Masters Concentrations

Our Civil and Environmental Engineering Masters degree program offers you the opportunity to tailor your graduate program by working with your academic advisor to identify appropriate coursework that can help you meet your academic and career goals.

While you are required to successfully complete 96 units to earn your master's degree, there is not a prescribed set of core courses you are required to complete.

Below you can explore some of the suggested concentration tracks where we highlight complementary crosscutting courses:

Advanced Infrastructure Systems (A.I.S.)

The Advanced Infrastructure Systems (A.I.S.) education and research area focuses on the application and exploration of emerging Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to improve the design, construction and operations of infrastructure systems including: buildings and other facilities; transportation infrastructure; telecommunications networks; environmental systems; and the electric power grid.

  • Smart Structures
  • Smart Facilities and Infrastructure Systems
  • Smart Transportation/Mobility
Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Science (E.E.S.S.)

The Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Science (E.E.S.S.) education and research area focuses on air quality, water quality, remediation, industrial ecology, sustainable engineering, energy, and nanotechnology to provide skills, analysis tools, and technologies to meet environmental stewardship and sustainability challenges of the 21st Century.

  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Air Quality Engineering and Science
  • Sustainable Water
  • Environmental Decision Support
Mechanics, Materials and Computing (M.M.C.)

The Mechanics, Materials and Computing (M.M.C.) education and research area focuses on the scientific understanding and practical application of the emergent complex behavior of materials through computer simulation techniques for the analysis of the deformation, flow and failure of natural and engineered materials.

  • Mechanics, Data Science, and Materials
  • Mechanics, Structures, and Materials
Cross-Cutting Programs

Our cross-cutting concentrations give masters students an opportunity to pursue coursework that connects intersecting topics of structures, environment, and materials.

  • Civil and Environmental Engineering Data Analytics
  • Energy Infrastructure Systems
  • Civil and Environmental Systems Engineering
  • Materials for Environmental Systems

MS Program Requirements

If you have received a degree from an accredited undergraduate engineering curriculum (or equivalent) you are eligible to apply for a Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering degree.

If your undergraduate degree is not in engineering you may still be eligible to apply. You can get more information about Graduate Students with a Degree Outside Engineering make-up requirements on our website.

A Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering degree requires that you complete 96 units. Each unit generally requires one hour of work per week (96 units are equivalent to 8 semester-length graduate courses). From the 96 units, 60 units must be completed within the department, and the remaining units can be coursework from other academic units at the university.

Semester-length graduate courses are 12 units each. CMU also offers mini-courses that run for half of a semester and are 6 units each. As a Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate student, you have the option to mix and match semester-length courses and mini-courses to complete your 96-unit degree requirement.

You will need to maintain a 3.0 GPA to receive your degree.

How long will it take to complete my MS degree?

Our MS degree program is a full-time program in which you complete three full-time semesters with a minimum of 36 and a maximum of 48 units per semester.

If you are interested and qualified, you may elect to take an accelerated course load and complete the degree in two semesters. If you are interested in completing our program outside of the standard three full-time semesters you should discuss this carefully with an MS Advisor prior to enrollment.

Part-time registration (less than 36 units in a given semester) is not available to students on an F-1 visa.

Part Time MS Enrollment

Part-time MS enrollment is an option available for students in special circumstances, such as students who desire to pursue an MS degree while maintaining external employment. Note that immigration regulations do not allow Carnegie Mellon University to issue visa documents for the part-time MS program.

Part-time MS students are required to enroll for a minimum of 12 units each semester. All part-time students are encouraged to complete the degree program as quickly as possible.

Non-Degree Students

Applicants holding a Bachelor of Science degree may be admitted as part-time special students with no intention of working toward a graduate degree. If you are admitted as a non-degree student and later wish to become a degree candidate, courses taken at Carnegie Mellon with a grade of B or better will be counted toward that degree as long as they fall within the degree requirements.

Graduate Students With a Degree Outside of Engineering

We welcome students with a variety of backgrounds to undertake graduate work in engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

While engineering backgrounds are common in our programs, we commonly admit students with undergraduate degrees in mathematics and science, including but not limited to:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Mechanics
  • Physics

An outline of the math and science background expected for all entering students:

1 Semester General Chemistry
2 Semester Calculus
1 Semester Differential Equations
2 Semester Physics
1 Semester Biology (or other science)
1 Semester

Probability and Statistics;

or 1 semester Linear Algebra

1 Semester Computer Programming, Applications or Tools
Make-Up Requirements for MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering

If you are interested in pursuing the standard MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering degree you will need to take the equivalent of five basic undergraduate engineering courses in addition to the courses required for the graduate degree.

These makeup requirements are intended to provide the necessary background for graduate work in engineering. You may be able to substitute equivalent or closely related courses at the discretion of your faculty advisor.

You will complete the undergraduate makeup courses in addition to the 96 graduate units. This generally takes students three semesters.

Required Makeup Courses for students with a degree outside of engineering:


Engineering Mechanics

9 Units - First Fall Semester


Soil Mechanics

9 Units - Second Fall Semester


Fluid Mechanics

9 Units - First Fall Semester


Project Management Construction

9 Units - First or Second Fall Semester


Engineering Economics

6 Units - First or Second Fall Semester

Additional Degree Options

We also offer additional degree options that do not have undergraduate makeup requirements but may still require students to complete additional coursework to obtain the necessary background for certain graduate courses.

These degree options are as follows:

  • MS in Environmental Management and Science
  • MS in Advanced Infrastructure Systems
  • MS in Computational Mechanics

These interdisciplinary degree titles are administered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. They will each require 96 units and can be completed in three semesters of less, depending on the extent of undergraduate course work you need (or would like) to complete. You may choose your courses with the help of your advisor, but the CEE Department Head must approve your curriculum.

Master of Science Scholarships

In recognition of outstanding academic performance, the department provides a number of merit-based scholarships to MS applicants who are admitted to the full-time MS program. Scholarships are offered on a competitive basis and every MS applicant is considered for a scholarship based on their application for admission. If you have won a scholarship award, you will be notified in your official admission letter.

Merit Scholarship offerings include:

  • CEE Tuition Scholarship
  • Harold A. Thomas Tuition Scholarship
  • Francis C. McMichael Tuition Scholarship
  • CEE Alumni Scholarship

Professional Engineer (PE) License

Students interested in undertaking a career as a licensed, professional engineer (PE) should consider including a set of three graduate courses in their program of study:

  • 12-706 Civil Systems Planning, Pricing and Finance
  • 12-711 Project Management for Construction
  • 12-750 Infrastructure Management

These courses include topics recommended by the American Society of Civil Engineers as part of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge for the 21st Century. The courses cover topics on leadership, project management, asset management, construction, business fundamentals, public policy and administration fundamentals which are beyond the scope of a typical undergraduate civil engineering program. The remainder of graduate coursework should be selected so as to provide depth in a specialized technical area. M.S. students who do so are also encouraged to petition for use of the approved optional degree title "Civil Engineering."

Students interested in applying for a PE License are encouraged to refer to the NCEES website. Valuable information about the new NCEES Engineering Education Standard for credentials evaluations of foreign engineering degree programs and U.S. based non-ABET accredited programs in engineering is available at this site.

Graduate Application

Ready to Apply?

All applications are submitted online through the CMU College of Engineering.

Once you've created your account, the system will email you a PIN. This PIN, along with your password, allows you to save your application over several sessions. Within your account, you can monitor the status of your application and view your admission decision.

Application Deadlines
  • Spring: September 15
  • Fall: January 5
What To Include in Your Application

Your Application Will Include:

  • Application fee of $75USD
  • The online application form
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Uploaded unofficial transcripts (Official transcripts will be requested upon admission)
  • Essay Questions
  • CV/Resume
  • GRE test scores – please have scores sent directly to CMU by ETS.

Your official GRE and TOEFL scores from ETS and IELTS scores are the only hard copy documents that should be mailed to the Admissions Office. Please DO NOT mail any other paper documents to the CEE Graduate Admissions Office such as a resume/CV, publications, official transcripts, financial documents, or certificates as they will not be included in your file for review by the admissions committee.

If you have publications that you would like the admissions committee to review, please link to them in your online resume.

Any additional hard copy material mailed to the CEE Graduate Admissions Office will be discarded.

Test Reporting

  • ETS
    • Institution/School Code: 2074
    • GRE Department Code: 1102
    • TOEFL Department Code: 65
  • TOEFL minimum acceptable score is 84
    • Please contact your IELTS testing center and request that your scores be sent electronically using the IELTS system. An institutional code is NOT required but test scores should be directed to Carnegie Mellon University – Civil and Environmental Engineering. All IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to our institution.
    • IELTS minimum acceptable score is 7.0
Non-Native English Speaker Applicant Information

If your native language is not English then you will be required to take a TOFEL or IELTS exam to test your English proficiency. These scores must be sent to us directly from the testing agency.

If you attended and completed a four-year undergraduate degree at a university or college within the United States, you may be able to be granted a testing waiver. Please contact our graduate admissions office for information about testing waivers.

  • TOEFL minimum acceptable score is 84
  • IELTS minimum acceptable score is 7.0
Students with a Degree Outside of Engineering

While many of our incoming students have a degree in Civil Engineering, we have admitted individuals with backgrounds in various branches of engineering, science and information technology.

Students must hold a Bachelor’s degree to be admitted to the graduate program in CEE, and must have completed a set of basic mathematics and science courses.

You will be asked to upload a completed Course Audit Form with your online application.

Program taught in:
Last updated June 7, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Aug 26, 2019
Jan 13, 2020
3 semesters
48,500 USD
Per Academic Year
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