MSc in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure


Program Description

The M.Sc. Sustainable Critical Infrastructure (M.Sc. in SCI) program will be conducive to developing highly skilled researchers and workforce and attracting substantial government and industry interest. The academic program is designed to develop core capabilities, through the integration of coursework and research that is critical to the region. The current scope of the academic programs provides the following set of core capabilities: advanced materials, thermal-fluid sciences, water, and environmental technologies, power systems, computational and information sciences, policy and economic modeling, engineering systems, Microsystems, and chemical processes.

Urban development will continue globally while the requirements for reducing its ecological footprint and carbon emissions, in particular, will be increasingly more aggressive. The Sustainable Critical Infrastructure (SCI) Program aims at advancing research and education in integrated sustainable infrastructure development. The program is addressed to architects, urban planners, and civil engineers, as well as engineers, building scientists interested in infrastructure planning.

The need for urban critical infrastructure development and maintenance will remain acute, as urbanization will be a continuing process well into the middle of the century to accommodate the growing global population and migration waves. Infrastructures can be defined as “network[s] of independent man-made systems and processes that function collaboratively and synergistically to produce and distribute a continuous flow of essential goods and services.” Typical critical infrastructure systems include:

  • Transportation networks
  • Logistics systems (including waste processing and reverse logistics),
  • Buildings and urban components
  • Energy generation and distribution systems
  • Water supply and wastewater treatments systems,
  • Information and communication technology (ICT) systems etc.

The efficiency and reliability of urban critical infrastructure affect many aspects of society that include the cost of food and consumer goods, health and safety of citizens, availability and reliability of power systems, reliability and speed of telecommunications, travel times. Critical infrastructures also affect the environment and natural resources.


The Master of Science in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure will meet its overarching goal (objective) to educate its graduates professionally and ethically to be valuable professionals in the UAE and internationally with disciplinary preparation that imparts the following:

  1. Ability to design integrated urban infrastructure systems for new or existing developments with careful examination of environmental, social and financial requirements.
  2. Ability to apply planning and design tools using multi-disciplinary inputs in order to effectively generate and implement solutions to urban infrastructure problems.
  3. Understanding of the complex interactions between infrastructure systems solutions and their implications on larger scale (regional, national, global) technological, economic, societal and environmental systems with a view on long-term sustainability.
  4. Understanding of the value of technical and scientific scholarship, service to society, leadership and life-long learning required to further their career aspirations in support of the needs of the community.

Student learning outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to attain the following outcomes:

  1. Successfully apply advanced concepts of planning and engineering to identify, formulate and solve complex infrastructure planning problems, particularly as they pertain to sustainable urban infrastructure planning.
  2. Successfully apply advanced concepts of infrastructure planning to the analysis, design, and development of infrastructure projects, urban design, and transportation systems to meet societal needs.
  3. Use advanced techniques, skills, and modern scientific and engineering software tools for planning professional practice.
  4. Successfully develop integrated infrastructure plans that account for long term resource availability on one hand and the financial and social constraints on the other with a long-term sustainability objective.
  5. Use an advanced approach to design and conduct surveys, and to analyze and interpret data.
  6. Communicate effectively in written and oral form, both, individually and as a member of a multidisciplinary team, and thus to put forward the scientific findings at national and international levels successfully.

Overall structure and requirements

The M.Sc. in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure (SCI) program consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours. The required program credits are distributed as follows: 12 credits of Program Core courses, 12 credits of Program Elective courses, and 12 credits of SCI Master’s Thesis work. A student may organize the selection of the elective courses and the master’s thesis topic to follow a specialization track within the broad field of SCI.  In such cases, the track will be noted on the student’s transcript. The table below presents a summary of the M.Sc. in SCI degree program structure and requirements. All the M.Sc. in SCI program courses, with the exception of the Seminar in Research Methods and the Master’s Thesis, have a credit rating of three credits each.

Summary of M.Sc. in SCI Degree Program Structure and Requirements

Category Credits Required
Program Core 12
Seminar in Research Methods 0
Program Electives 12
SCI Master’s Thesis 12
Total 36

Admission requirements

  • Completion of a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline with a minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 3.0 out of 4.0, or equivalent (e.g. upper second-class honors in a UK-style degree, from a reputable accredited institution).
  • A minimum level of English proficiency in the form of either:
    • iBT TOEFL (internet-based test) score of 91 or equivalent, or
    • Overall academic IELTS score of 6.5, or
    • 1550 EmSAT English score.
  • A minimum quantitative score of 150 in the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for admission to all programs, with the exception of Master of Engineering in Health, Safety and Environment Engineering and the Master of Arts in International and Civil Security, where a minimum threshold is not set. Applicants for all programs should attempt all three sections of the GRE.
  • A minimum of two referee recommendations (provided via online form).
  • Statement of purpose (500-1,000 words).
  • Admission interview.
Last updated May 2020

About the School

The internationally top-ranked Khalifa University is the one university in the UAE with the research and academic programs that address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challen ... Read More

The internationally top-ranked Khalifa University is the one university in the UAE with the research and academic programs that address the entire range of strategic, scientific and industrial challenges facing the UAE’s knowledge economy transformation and our rapidly evolving world. Its world-class faculty and state-of-the-art research facilities provide an unparalleled learning experience to students from the UAE and abroad. The university brings together the best in science, engineering and medicine in the UAE, to offer specialized degrees that can take promising high school graduates all the way to top-rated doctorate degree holders. Read less