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Masters of Civil Engineering Requirements

Master of Civil Engineering Requirements

Many universities offer two types of graduate degrees in civil engineering. At Michigan Tech for instance, the Master of Engineering - Civil Engineering is meant to be a terminal degree for advanced level civil engineers who wish to pursue careers in consulting, government work or in industry. Students who completed a bachelor's in engineering with one of the standard areas of concentration - transportation, water resources, structural, environmental, geotechnical - can polish those skills and obtain an advanced academic credential. For this MEng - Civil Engineering program, an applicant must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, specifically in one of the specializations.

Two Types of Degrees

The Master of Science in Civil Engineering at Michigan Tech is a different degree designed for more a more academic orientation. Whereas the MEng - Civil Engineering requires a practicum, the MS in Engineering requires a thesis. Students who apply generally have an undergraduate degree in engineering but it is not required. Students with other undergraduate majors may apply as long as the masters program combined with the undergraduate work results in a total of one and a half years' study of engineering topics (48 credits) and one year of math and science courses (32 credits). At Michigan Tech the School of Engineering has different requirements for those who wish to practice engineering and those who wish to make academic contributions to the field.

At Vanderbilt University there is also the MEng and the MS in Civil Engineering options, each with a differing set of requirements. The MEng degree is for professional engineers; students must select an area of focus from transportation engineering, structural engineering or construction engineering. There is no thesis required. The MS students have the option of completing a thesis or not; those that are interested in the doctoral program generally complete the thesis and defend it to a group of faculty members. The non-thesis option requires expanded coursework and the writing of a final report.

Areas of Concentration and Course Requirements

Drexel University's master of civil engineering program is a 45 credit course of study, of which 30 credits must be in the student's area of concentration: structural engineering, geotechnical/geosynthetics, water resources/coastal/hydraulics, and environmental are the options. Six of those credits must be in mathematics or statistics. Drexel also offers the MS in Civil Engineering with building systems/architectural and infrastructure/materials concentrations which can have a broader academic selection of electives. At Drexel the graduate program in civil engineering covers a number of areas that are discrete degree options at other universities.

Norwich University has designed its masters in civil engineering program as a thirty six credit curriculum consisting of six, six credit seminars lasting eleven weeks each. The entire course of study can be completed in 21 to 24 months, provided the student doesn't have prerequisite courses to complete prior to enrolling in the graduate program. Norwich offers prerequisite seminars for interested students who don't meet admission requirements for prior coursework. The seminars include such topics as engineering mathematics, project management, classical, matrix & dynamic analysis of structures, and hydraulics for environmental engineers. There are five areas of concentration from which to choose.

Michigan State University expects its applicants to have a BS in engineering or a field closely related to the student's choice of concentration. There are three thirty credit options for the MS in Civil Engineering or in Environmental Engineering: one requiring a thesis that must be defended and is worth an additional 4-6 credits; one that requires preparation and defense of an independent project; and one requiring no thesis or capstone project. Michigan State does a lot of research in structural and materials engineering and encourages students to participate - often these research projects are the basis for a final report or thesis. Two of the more interesting areas of research have to do with structures under extreme pressure: structural fire engineering, and advanced structural systems for seismic resistance.

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