Skip to main content

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Advising and Planning

  • Close to the end of the first semester, the student in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies, shall choose an Advisor. The advisor shall counsel the student for the remainder of his/her study program and supervise the thesis. By agreement of all concerned, the initial relationship may be dissolved and a new one established, but the student must have an Advisor at all times after the first semester.
  • Prior to completion of the first semester, the student and the advisor will submit to the Director of Graduate Studies the student's Preliminary Degree Plan. The degree plan will list the specific courses, which must be completed to obtain the M.S.C.E. degree. Changes in this plan, if required, will be approved in writing by the advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies. Only those studies undertaken in accordance with this approved degree plan shall be credited towards the M.S.C.E. degree.
  • No later than the first week of the last semester of registration, the student and the advisor must submit the final degree plan to the Director of Graduate Studies. The student must also apply for graduation to the University's Office of Graduation in accordance with university requirements.
  • Depending on the type of support, full-time students must register in 12 or 10 hours per long semester, including CIVE 6111, and 9 or 6 hours per 12-week summer session. A student must complete his/her M.S.C.E. program within 5 years from the date of first enrollment.

Course Requirements

Starting in the Fall 2021 semester, there will be 4 required core courses enforced for structural focused MS students as listed below

  1. CIVE 6337 (Matrix Analysis of Structures) or CIVE 7397 (Matrix Structural Analysis and Introduction to Finite Element Method)
  2. CIVE6350 (Advanced Mechanics of Materials)
  3. CIVE6355 (Introduction to Dynamics of Structures)
  4. One of these three courses:
    • CIVE6335 (Advanced Concrete Design)
    • CIVE6338 (Advanced Steel Design)
    • CIVE7397 (Masonry Structures Design)

Non thesis students are required to take 31 hours of organized courses, 10 courses (3 hours each) plus a 1 hour seminar. The information presented in all but items 3 and 6 below apply to the non thesis degree.

The thesis program requires 21 semester credit hours of courses plus a thesis as follows:

  • 15 to 21 hours of Civil Engineering courses at the 5000 level or above. No more than 3 credit hours may be 5000 level, and must include a sequence of at least 12 credit hours in the student's major area of interest of 6000 level courses or above.
  • At most 6 credit hours of courses in approved related fields outside Civil Engineering may be counted toward the degree. Courses outside CIVE can be 4000 level or above; a maximum of 3 credit hours below the 6000 level will be allowed.
  • 9 credit hours of thesis (CIVE 6398, 6399, 7399). Registration in CIVE 6398 and 6399 in one semester is followed by registration in CIVE 7399 in subsequent semesters and is repeated continuously until the thesis is completed. Other research courses (CIVE 6198 through 6598) may be required. Registration in thesis should be continuous and uninterrupted.
  • The courses must be in accordance with a degree plan, approved by the student's Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.
  • No more than 6 hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another institution. Also, a maximum of 6 hours of P.B. credit may be changed to graduate credit. Transferred and P.B. courses must have a grade of B or better.
  • The student is required to take CIVE 6111 (Graduate Seminar) during his/her registration in the thesis or research courses. This is in addition to the 21 hours of courses and 9 hours of thesis and research course requirements described above. Full-time, supported students must register in CIVE 6111 every semester unless permission is granted by the department chairman and the Advisor for an exception.
  • A final GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 over all courses attempted is required for graduation.
  • No course in which a grade less than C is received will count within the degree program. A grade of C+ or less in 4 courses attempted during the program will result in final dismissal of the student from graduate study.
  • Technology courses will not be counted within the degree program.
  • A course cannot be attempted more than three times; a grade of "W" is considered an attempt.

Thesis Requirements

A student performs research under the direction of an advisor during the period of study at UH. During the semester the student is ready to graduate the following requirements must be met.

  • The Advisor, after consulting with the student, will request the appointment of the thesis committee through the Director of Graduate Studies. This request should be submitted no later than the start of the semester in which the student is registered in CIVE 6399. The committee shall consist of at least two Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty members from the student's major area (including the Advisor), and at least one University of Houston faculty member from outside the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.
  • At the completion of the research, the student must defend the final, written thesis in a public meeting before the committee. This meeting should be publicized in advance by a memorandum distributed to the Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty indicating the title and abstract of the thesis, and the date, time, and place of the meeting. The student must get the written approval of the committee that the thesis is acceptable in final form for submission to the College Dean's Office and to the Library.

Online MS in Civil Engineering

UH CEE now offers a completely online master's program through UH-Extend. Click here to learn more.