Graduate Degrees

Questions about admissions and applying?

Contact Dr. Ramin Motamed, Graduate Director, at

The University of Nevada, Reno provides excellent opportunities for graduate studies in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The department offers programs leading to both the Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are offered in five main area of specialization:

  1. Earthquake & Structural
  2. Environmental
  3. Geotechnical
  4. Pavement Engineering and Science
  5. Transportation

M.S. and Ph.D. students work closely with their faculty advisors to conduct state-of-the-art research to solve a variety of difficult design and engineering problems. Many research and teaching assistantships are available to fund your graduate education.

Admission and Degree Requirements

Admission to the M.S. and Ph.D. programs requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 and 3.25 (on a scale of 4.0), respectively. Additionally, prospective graduate students are required to take the GRE and score 1100 or higher for the Verbal+ Quantitative sections combined. Applicants also should submit three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose with their application.

Full consideration for the assistantship/scholarship will be given to all applications submitted by the following dates:

  • Fall Semester: January 15
  • Spring Semester: September 1

What English-language test scores are required?

A TOEFL score of 550 or higher (or equivalent IELTS score) is required for all international student sunless you are a U.S. citizen or have earned a degree in one of the English-speaking countries exempt from testing. Learn more about TOEFL requirements on The Graduate School website.

Master's Degree

Students are eligible for admission to a master's degree program under the condition that he/she holds a minimum 3.0 GPA. Two options are available to M.S. students upon graduate committee approval.

  • Plan A (Thesis) - 30 credits: 6 thesis credits, 12 credits 700 level and 12 credits 600 level (21 credits on campus)
  • Plan B (Non-Thesis) - 32 credits: 15 credits 700 level and 17 credits 600 level (23 credits on campus)

Learn more about the master's degree in civil and environmental engineering.


Promising graduates from accredited colleges and universities may be admitted to work toward a Ph.D. degree. In order to gain admission, students must hold an overall GPA of at least 3.25 on all undergraduate and graduate courses while satisfactorily completing the necessary prerequisites of credits in a chosen major field.

Learn more about the Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering.