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Master of Civil Engineering Scholarships and Grants

Master of Civil Engineering Scholarships and Grants

Most graduate degree scholarship and grant programs are managed by universities. Grants or scholarships or fellowships may emanate from a large corporation or charitable trust, but in many cases administration of these annual gifts is left to the individual schools. Our review of scholarship and fellowship programs available to students who are in graduate civil engineering programs contains a few examples of each. The development of databases as tools in all corners of academia has led to a distinct improvement in student searches for financial support. Most universities have searchable databases for scholarships, grants and fellowships that are funneled through the school as well as those that are awarded on a national competitive basis. Those files are generally open to student applicants and are usually available online.

Civil engineering is by far the largest of the academic disciplines in the engineering field; there are many universities that offer the MS in Civil Engineering or the MEng in Civil Engineering with specializations in any number of areas of professional expertise. There are also some schools that offer separate engineering degrees for some of these specializations. For instance a student in materials engineering would graduate from the University of California at San Diego with a MS in Materials Science & Engineering, while that same student would be awarded the MS in Civil Engineering with emphasis on Materials Science at Michigan State University. So researching graduate scholarships or fellowships for specific areas of study in civil engineering can occasionally be an exercise in semantics.

1. The American Society of Civil Engineers has several scholarship programs that are administered by the organization and awarded annually. The programs for graduate students include the Tuttle Memorial Scholarship awarded to a graduate student in any field of civil engineering; the Freeman Fellowship for research in hydraulics engineering; the Leisch Memorial Scholarship for a student seeking the master's in civil engineering with a specialty in transportation or traffic engineering; the Ammann Research Fellowship for structural engineering; and the Dames & Moore Fellowship for graduate students or professionals working in the area of geotechnical engineering.

2. The Society of Women Engineers has an impressive scholarship program for undergraduate and graduate students who are women pursuing degrees in engineering, engineering technology and computer science. In 2009 the Society distributed scholarships to 180 women that totaled $470,000. Some are corporate sponsorships, some are endowed scholarships, and some are research fellowships. The amounts can range from $1,000 to $10,000.

3. The Purdue School of Civil Engineering is an excellent example of a school that maintains an excellent database of available scholarships and that awards a significant number of graduate scholarships and fellowships from its own collection of endowed grant programs. Purdue has over fifty endowed scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students in civil engineering that designate qualified recipients in an assortment of categories including military engineers, geotechnical engineering students, cementious materials researchers, environmental engineering students, structural engineering students, graduates of Indiana high schools, water resources and water conservation, and construction engineering.

4. The American Council of Engineering Companies awards a small group of scholarships annually to undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in an ABET accredited engineering program. There is one specialty award that goes to a graduate student who is specializing in structural engineering. One of the scholarships is endowed by a subset of the ACEC called the Small Firm Council, an effort to provide support for graduate students who may see career opportunities in the traditional small engineering firm business model as opposed to the opportunities presented by global engineering firms or large government agencies that provide construction and engineering services for public works.

5. Associated General Contractors of America awards over 100 scholarships per year to undergraduate and graduate students who are studying civil engineering with a construction related focus. For graduate students the requirements are that they must be enrolled, or planning to enroll, in a graduate level construction management or construction-related engineering degree program as a full-time student. These programs could mean a masters in civil engineering with concentration in project management, structural engineering, architectural engineering, transportation engineering or water resources.

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