MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering


Program Description

The Clarkson University Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering is ranked among the top in the nation at the graduate level by U.S. News & World Report 2019.

Graduate courses and research can lead to a Master of Science (MS) degree, and many students take advantage of these courses.

Areas of Study

All graduate students use state-of-the-art experimental and computational facilities as they focus their research on engineering problems and applied science topics that include:

  • Bridge monitoring and infrastructure health.
  • Geopolymer/Portland cement-free concrete.
  • Strength of materials ranging from Antarctic ice to novel composite building materials.
  • Indoor air quality.
  • Bioenergy production and the associated life cycle environmental impacts.
  • Fate of contaminants in air, water and soil systems.
  • Air quality monitoring and modeling.
  • Oil spill modeling and environmental impacts.
  • River and ocean ice dynamics.
  • Hydrologic, river and coastal processes.
  • Structural dynamics and control.
  • Uncertainty qualification and validation of infrastructure computational models.
  • Transportation infrastructure: characterization of materials and smart sensing systems.
  • Geotechnical reliability-based design and risk assessment.

Interdisciplinary research is facilitated through the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, Center for Air Resources Engineering & Science, Center for Advanced Materials Processing and Cold Regions Engineering Research Group.



Clarkson offers an MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering. This program typically takes 18 - 24 months and includes thesis and non-thesis completion options.

The following are the minimum requirements:

  • A minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework, with at least 20 credit hours of course and seminar work. The balance of coursework must be consistent with the research or professional experience component.
  • Satisfactory completion of one of the research or professional experience components listed below.
  • A written thesis based on independent research
  • A comprehensive examination
  • An appropriate, professionally-oriented special project
  • Twenty of the 30 minimum credit hours must be earned in residence
  • One academic year of full-time study beyond the baccalaureate
  • A maximum of 10 credit hours of transfer credit (grade of B or better)
  • All work must be completed in four calendar years.
  • All students must complete a thesis and defend it orally to a committee consisting of a minimum of three faculty members.

Specialty Areas

All students must pass a group of core courses in one of the following specialty areas: environmental, geotechnical, structural or water resources engineering.

Environmental Engineering

Water and Wastewater Engineering:  Satisfied by an appropriate course as an undergraduate or CE579.

  • CE580 Environmental Chemistry
  • CE584 Chemodynamics
  • CE582 Environmental Systems or CE586 Industrial Ecology

And one of the following:

  • CE681 Environmental Physico-Chemical Processes
  • CE682 Environmental Biological Processes
  • ES534 Air Pollution Control

A course in applied statistics is strongly recommended.

Geotechnical Engineering

Four from the following list:

  • CE512/ME555 Introduction to Structural and Soil Dynamics
  • CE513 Elastic Waves and Non-Destructive Tests
  • CE516 Advanced Soil Mechanics
  • CE519 Advanced Foundation Design
  • CE527/ME527 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • CE538 Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • CE551 Theory of Elasticity
  • CE554 Continuum Mechanics
  • ME531 Computational Fluid Dynamics

Structural and Materials Engineering

  • CE549 Experimental Methods in Structures
  • CE554 Continuum Mechanics

And two of the following:

  • CE501 Fracture Mechanics of Concrete Structures
  • CE512 Introduction to Structural and Soil Dynamics
  • CE520 Computational Methods of Structural Analysis
  • CE521 Analysis of Advanced Composite Structures
  • CE538 Introduction to Finite Element Method
  • CE551 Theory of Elasticity
  • CE553 Properties and Performance of Concrete Materials
  • CE631 Cement Chemistry
  • CE633 Plasticity

Transportation Engineering

  • CE561 Transportation Systems Design
  • CE568 Traffic Engineering

Two from the following list:

  • CE538 Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • CE510 Sustainable Infrastructure and Building
  • EE501 Digital Signal Processing
  • EE529/ME529 Stochastic Processes
  • EE550 Control Systems
  • EE552 Optimization Techniques in Engineering (or similar optimization courses)
  • MA584 Advanced Applied Statistics (or similar advanced data analytics courses)
  • CS547 Computer Algorithms
  • CS549 Computational/Machine Learning
  • CS551 Artificial Intelligence
  • CS559 Human-Computer Interaction

Courses on systems theories and data analytics are strongly recommended.

Water Resource Engineering

Four from the following list:

  • CE527/ME527 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • CE554 Continuum Mechanics
  • CE569 Watershed Analysis
  • CE570 Stream Riparian System and Fluvial Morphology
  • CE571 Computational River Dynamics
  • CE572 Shallow Water Hydrodynamics
  • CE573 Sediment Transport
  • CE574 Hydrodynamic Dispersion
  • CE575 Coastal Engineering
  • CE576 Hydraulic Engineering in Cold Regions
  • ME531 Computational Fluid Dynamics

Other Information

Exceptional students may be invited to proceed directly to the Ph.D.; such students will be awarded the MS concurrently with the Ph.D.

Students in the MS program in the Department of CEE can be eligible for partial tuition assistance.*

*Self-paying students may receive a tuition scholarship for up to 40 percent of the tuition for which the student has registered. The graduate school, upon recommendation by the department, provides this scholarship. Full-time MS students may receive four credits of support for three semesters. These merit awards require up to six hours of departmental work per week.


A BS, BE or equivalent degree from an accredited program in civil and environmental engineering or other engineering discipline is required for admission. Applicants with degrees in disciplines other than engineering may be required to demonstrate proficiency through additional undergraduate coursework as determined by the departmental graduate committee. This may comprise an additional semester of study for which graduate credit cannot be granted.

No minimum grade point average is required for admission. However, a superior record of academic achievement is expected of all applicants.

A complete application file consists of the following:

  • Application form.
  • Resume and statement of purpose.
  • Letters of recommendation — three letters required.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Test scores — GRE* and TOEFL/IELTS (if applicable).
  • *GRE may be waived for some applicants.

Supplemental information may be submitted if desired; this could include any other information that may help us evaluate your application.

Last updated Apr 2020

About the School

At Clarkson, innovation is impact. Students who choose Clarkson for graduate and professional programs come here with a purpose: to advance knowledge, to explore ideas that propel society, and to buil ... Read More

At Clarkson, innovation is impact. Students who choose Clarkson for graduate and professional programs come here with a purpose: to advance knowledge, to explore ideas that propel society, and to build meaningful careers. Read less
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