skip to main content

Civil and Environmental Engineering, Master of Science Degree


Overview


A bridgeThe master's degree program in civil and environmental engineering is designed to provide you with the engineering, technical, scientific and communication skills necessary to succeed in a professional engineering career or to move on to Ph.D. studies.

Close interactions between faculty and graduate students foster a dynamic research and learning atmosphere, and students gain experience through collaborations with faculty on applied and fundamental research projects.

Master's degree options

The department offers two options for master's degree students:

  • Plan A (Thesis option): This option combines coursework with a research-based thesis written on a topic within your specialty.
  • Plan B (Non-thesis option): This option combines coursework with a comprehensive examination, which has both an oral and written component. The comprehensive exam covers core topics in civil and environmental engineering as well as topics within your areas of expertise. Specific questions will be determined by your primary advisor and examining committee.

If you have not passed the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam as an undergraduate, you are highly encouraged to do so as part of  your master's degree program.

Areas of specialization

Students in the master's degree program can choose from five areas of specialization:

  1. Earthquake and structural engineering
  2. Geotechnical engineering
  3. Pavements/materials engineering
  4. Transportation engineering
  5. Environmental engineering

Specific coursework requirements vary for each specialty. Our students work closely with faculty advisors to design a course of study that meets degree requirements and prepares them to write a thesis or pass comprehensive exams in their area of expertise. 

Degree Requirements


Advisory Committee

Your advisory committee plays a key role in helping you select your master's degree coursework and meet graduation requirements. Students are typically assigned a temporary advisor when they are admitted to the master's degree program, but we encourage you to select a permanent advisor by the end of your first semester.

You will work with your permanent advisor to form an examining committee that will help you develop your program of study, which is the specific list of courses and credits taken to meet degree requirements. Your committee will also supervise your thesis research or administer your comprehensive examination.

Your committee must consist of at least three faculty members, two of whom must be from the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and one from an outside department.

Plan A

  1. Meet advisor about courses. Select permanent advisor.
    Deadline: By end of 1st semester.
  2. Establish advisory committee.
    Deadline: After completing 12 credits.
  3. Submit program of study form.
    Deadline: One semester prior to graduation.
  4. Complete courses and research requirements.
  5. Apply for graduation.
    Deadline: During final semester.
  6. Defend thesis.
    Deadline: During final semester.

Plan B

  1. Meet advisor about courses. Select permanent advisor.
    Deadline: By end of 1st semester.
  2. Establish examining committee.
    Deadline: After completing 12 credits.
  3. Submit program of study form.
    Deadline: One semester prior to graduation.
  4. Complete course requirements.
  5. Apply for graduation.
    Deadline: During final semester.
  6. Complete comprehensive exam.
    Deadline: During final semester.

Admissions


Admission to the master's degree program requires a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field such as biology, chemistry, math or physics. Other disciplines will be considered provided prerequisite courses in math, science and basic engineering are completed. Additionally, applicants should meet the following minimum standards:

  • GPA of 3.0
  • Combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of 1100
  • TOEFL or equivalent score of 550

Applicants should also submit three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose with their application.

How to Apply


Questions?

Contact Dr. Raj Siddharthan, Graduate Director, at siddhart@unr.edu.

Research Assistantship Opportunity

We're looking for exceptional M.S. applicants with an emphasis in structural analysis and design for an NSF-funded research assistantship. 

Apply by October 15. 

Deadline for applications and fellowship consideration is January 15 for Fall Semester enrollment and September 1 for enrollment during Spring Semester.

Applicants must apply through the University's Graduate School. For more information on graduate school requirements and the admissions process, please visit their website.

Graduate recruitment weekend

For spring applicants wishing to enroll during fall semesters, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department holds a recruitment weekend for invited domestic applicants, typically in late March or early April. Students participating in the weekend will have an opportunity to:

  • Meet one-on-one with program faculty and researchers
  • Meet our students and attend a poster session on current research
  • Tour the laboratories and campus
  • Learn about program curricula and graduate assistantships

All costs, including travel and lodging, will be paid by the Department.

The recruitment weekend is an excellent chance to meet your graduate advisors and see what the graduate experience at Nevada is like. We can't wait to meet you there. 

Financial support

Funding packages available to graduate students include teaching or research assistantships. Awards are made on the basis of scholarship and promise for outstanding achievement. The applicant's grade point average, GRE scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation are the primary means used to allocate financial aid for graduate students.

Housing Options

The University offers on-campus housing for graduate students. Visit the graduate housing website to learn more about living at the University of Nevada, Reno.



Related Degrees and Programs

Contact Civil and Environmental Engineering

Phone (775) 784-6937
Fax (775) 784-1390
Email cee@unr.edu
Location Scrugham Engineering and Mines

Take the next step...