Civil Engineering

Major: Civil Engineering
Degree Awarded: Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MSCE); 90.0 (PhD)
Co-op Option: MSCE: Available for full-time, on-campus master's-level students; PhD: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 14.0801
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:
17-2015

About the Program

Objectives

The graduate program in civil engineering offers students the opportunity to develop a more fundamental and complete understanding of the principles that govern their field as well as current design methodology. Students are encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in their quest for recognizing, stating, analyzing, and solving engineering problems.

The goal of the Master’s program is to develop technical depth of expertise for a professional career in the planning, design, construction, and operation of large-scale infrastructure systems, built facilities, and water resources management. The goal of the PhD program is to develop the abilities to discover, pursue, and apply basic knowledge. PhD recipients are prepared to engage in teaching and research or in an industrial career in the development of new concepts and innovative systems.

General Information

The civil engineering programs comprise the following areas of specialization: building systems, geotechnical engineering, hydraulic and coastal engineering, structural engineering, and water resources.

Additional Information

For more information, visit the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering webpage.

Admission Requirements

MS admission is based on an academic record demonstrating adequate preparation and potential for successful graduate study. This typically includes a BS from an engineering curriculum accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) or the equivalent from a non-U.S. institution. Submission of results from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required. A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is usually required. Graduates who do not have a bachelor's degree in either Civil, Architectural or Environmental Engineering may be required to take preparatory undergraduate courses.

For additional information on how to apply, visit Drexel's Admissions page for Civil Engineering.

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

The programs of study at the master’s level continue the specialization developed at the senior level of the undergraduate program or newly developed interests. The Master of Science in Civil Engineering program may be elected by graduates of ABET-accredited undergraduate programs in civil engineering and related fields. Admission and prerequisites are determined on the basis of a student’s undergraduate transcript.

Most MSCE graduates work as professional engineers in consulting firms, industry, or governmental agencies. A number of our graduates have started consulting and construction firms in the Philadelphia area and have been very successful. Other former students hold prominent positions in public utilities, local government agencies, and industry.

The full-time graduate academic program is closely associated with the research efforts of the faculty. Full-time master’s degree candidates are encouraged to base their master’s thesis on some aspect of faculty research. The one-to-one relationship between student and faculty member provides an invaluable learning experience. The General (Aptitude) Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for applicants pursuing full-time study.

The master’s degree requires a total of 45.0 credits, of which 24.0 credits must be in the major field of interest and 6.0 credits are to fulfill math requirements. The remaining credits are taken as electives in related areas. The choice of core and elective courses is made in consultation with the student’s graduate advisor.

Areas of concentration include:

  • Geotechnical/Geosynthetics Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering

Co-op

Students have the option to pursue a co-op as part of their master's program. In conjunction with the Steinbright Career Development Center, students will be provided an overview of professionalism, resume writing, and the job search process. Co-op will be for a six-month position running in the summer/fall terms. Students will not earn academic credit for the co-op but will earn 9.0 non-academic co-op units per term.

Geotechnical/Geosynthetics Engineering Requirements

Required Cross-Cutting Courses (12 credits)
CIVE 605Advanced Mechanics Of Material *3.0
ENVE 555Geographic Information Systems3.0
or CIVE 615 Infrastructure Condition Evaluation
ENVE 571Environmental Life Cycle Assessment3.0
ENVE 750Data-based Engineering Modeling3.0
or ENVE 727 Risk Assessment
Required Theme Courses (12 credits) *
CIVE 632Advanced Soil Mechanics3.0
CIVE 635Slope Stability and Landslides3.0
or CIVE 838 Soil Behavior
CIVE 640Environmental Geotechnics3.0
or CIVE 650 Geosynthetics I
CIVE 730Experimental Soil Mechanics I3.0
or CIVE 731 Experimental Soil Mechanics II
or CIVE 651 Geosynthetics II
Technical Elective Courses (12 to 21 credits)12.0
These courses must be approved by the student's advisor and the gradute advisor.
Select from any of the following that were not already counted for credit.
Geotechnical Engineering for Highways
Advanced Foundation Engineering
Introduction to Groundwater Hydrology
Infrastructure Condition Evaluation
Slope Stability and Landslides
Ground Modification
Environmental Geotechnics
Geosynthetics I
Geosynthetics II
Experimental Soil Mechanics I
Experimental Soil Mechanics II
Seismic Geotechnics
Earth Retaining Structures
Soil Behavior
Geomechanics Modeling
Geographic Information Systems
Risk Assessment
Data-based Engineering Modeling
Numerical Analysis I
Numerical Analysis II
Applied Engr Analy Methods I
Applied Engr Analy Methods II
Theory of Elasticity I
Continuum Mechanics
Introduction to Plasticity
Finite Element Methods I
Finite Element Methods II
Electives or Thesis (9 credits) **9.0
Total Credits45.0

Structural Engineering Requirements

Required Cross-Cutting Courses (12 credits)
CIVE 605Advanced Mechanics Of Material *3.0
ENVE 555Geographic Information Systems3.0
or CIVE 615 Infrastructure Condition Evaluation
ENVE 571Environmental Life Cycle Assessment3.0
ENVE 750Data-based Engineering Modeling3.0
or ENVE 727 Risk Assessment
Required Theme Courses (12 credits) *
CIVE 701Structural Analysis I3.0
CIVE 702Structural Analysis II3.0
CIVE 703Structural Analysis III3.0
CIVE 708Fundamentals of Structural Dynamics3.0
Technical Elective Courses (12 to 21 credits)12.0
These courses must be approved by the student's advisor and the gradute advisor.
Select from any of the following that were not already counted for credit.
Intelligent Buildings
Airflow Simulation in Built Environment
Prestressed Concrete
Advanced Concrete Technology
Advanced Foundation Engineering
Forensic Structural Engineering
Infrastructure Condition Evaluation
Behavior and Stability of Structural Members I
Behavior and Stability of Structural Members II
Engineered Masonry I
Behavior of Concrete Structures I
Geographic Information Systems
Risk Assessment
Data-based Engineering Modeling
Numerical Analysis I
Numerical Analysis II
Applied Engr Analy Methods I
Applied Engr Analy Methods II
Theory of Elasticity I
Continuum Mechanics
Introduction to Plasticity
Finite Element Methods I
Finite Element Methods II
Electives or Thesis (9 credits) **9.0
Total Credits45.0

Water Resources Engineering Requirements

Required Cross-Cutting Courses (12 credits)
CIVE 664Open Channel Hydraulics *3.0
ENVE 555Geographic Information Systems3.0
or CIVE 615 Infrastructure Condition Evaluation
ENVE 571Environmental Life Cycle Assessment3.0
ENVE 750Data-based Engineering Modeling3.0
or ENVE 727 Risk Assessment
Required Theme Courses (12 credits) *
CIVE 565Urban Ecohydraulics3.0
ENVE 665Hazardous Waste & Groundwater Treatment3.0
or CIVE 564 Sustainable Water Resource Engineering
ENVE 681Analytical and Numerical Techniques in Hydrology3.0
or CIVE 567 Watershed Analysis
ENVS 501Chemistry of the Environment3.0
Technical Elective Courses (12 to 21 credits)12.0
These courses must be approved by the student's advisor and the graduate advisor.
Select from any of the following that were not already counted for credit.
Introduction to Groundwater Hydrology
Sustainable Water Resource Engineering
Watershed Analysis
Infrastructure Condition Evaluation
Geographic Information Systems
Chemical Kinetics in Environmental Engineering
Env Engr Op-Chem & Phys
Hazardous Waste & Groundwater Treatment
Risk Assessment
Data-based Engineering Modeling
Electives or Thesis (9 credits) **9.0
Total Credits45.0

PhD in Civil Engineering

The PhD degree is awarded for original research on a significant civil engineering problem. Graduate students who have completed their MS degrees work closely with individual faculty members (see Faculty Research Interests below). PhD dissertation research is usually supported by a research grant from a government agency or an industrial contract.

The full-time graduate academic program is closely associated with the research efforts of the faculty. The General (Aptitude) Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for applicants pursing full-time study.

Doctoral students normally take at least 45.0 credits, including research credits, beyond the master’s degree requirements. Full-time residency for one continuous academic year is required for the PhD degree to ensure students the opportunity for intellectual association with other scholars. Many doctoral students take two, three, or four years of full-time graduate study to complete their degrees. Involvement in the teaching activity of the Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Department is required of all PhD applicants.

After approximately one year of study beyond the master’s degree, doctoral students take a candidacy examination, consisting of written and oral parts. Each PhD candidate is supervised by a major professor and a doctoral committee chaired by the major professor.

PhD candidates submit a detailed proposal for dissertation research to the doctoral committee. The students then take a proposal examination; successful completion of this examination is required to become a PhD candidate. After approval of the proposal, the committee meets from time to time to review the progress of the research. The dissertation must be submitted to the doctoral committee at least 90 days before the graduation date. The committee schedules and conducts a final oral examination before approval of the dissertation.

Areas of research include:

  • Structural
  • Geotechnical/geoenvironmental/geosynthetics
  • Water resources
  • Sustainable engineering
  • Building systems/energy

Sample Plan of Study (MS)

Civil Engineering

Sample Plan of Study (MSCE)

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Cross-Cutting Course3.0Cross-Cutting Course3.0Cross-Cutting Course3.0VACATION
Technical Elective3.0Technical Elective3.0Technical Elective3.0 
Theme Course3.0Theme Course3.0Theme Course3.0 
 9 9 9 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCredits  
Cross-Cutting Course or Theme Course3.0Cross-Cutting Course or Theme Course3.0  
Technical Electives or Research Credits6.0Technical Elective3.0  
 Technical Elective or Thesis Credit3.0  
 9 9  
Total Credits 45

Dual/Accelerated Degree Programs

Civil Engineering students may find it useful to pursue dual MS degrees. Such programs have been pursued in concert with Environmental Engineering/Science, Mechanical Engineering, Information Studies and Engineering Management. A dual degree student must complete the required coursework for each degree. Depending upon the concentration, up to 15.0 credits from another program may count as electives for the MSCE with the advisor's approval. The student is responsible for obtaining approval of MSCE courses that apply to the second degree.

Bachelor’s/Master’s Accelerated Degree Program

Exceptional undergraduate students can also pursue a Master of Science degree in the same period as the Bachelor of Science. Many students deepen their knowledge with a master's degree in Civil Engineering, while others have broadened their knowledge with a master's degree in related areas such as Environmental Science, Engineering Management, Software Engineering and Information Technology.

For more information about this program, visit the Department's BS/MS Accelerated Degree Program webpage.

Facilities

Construction Materials Laboratory
This laboratory contains facilities for the study of concrete, asphalt, mortar, soil-cement, and timber materials, and moist cure facilities.

Geosynthetics Laboratory
This laboratory contains a complete suite of physical, mechanical, hydraulic, endurance, and environmental test devices for assessing behavior of geotextiles, geogrids, geonets, geomembranes, and geocomposites.

HVAC and Refrigeration Laboratory
This laboratory contains complete models of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and pumping system models.

Hydromechanics Laboratory
This laboratory contains a wave channel tilting flume, pipe friction equipment, bench demonstration equipment, and a beach erosion model.

Soil Mechanics and Geoenvironmental Laboratory
This laboratory contains triaxial and direct shear equipment, controlled environmental chambers, consolidation tests, flexwall permeameters, and a test bed.

Structural Testing Laboratory
This laboratory contains universal testing machines with 150,000- and 300,000-pound capacity and test beds with MTS dynamic load equipment.

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering Faculty

Abieyuwa Aghayere, PhD (University of Alberta). Professor. Structural design - concrete, steel and wood; structural failure analysis; retrofitting of existing structures; new structural systems and materials; engineering education.
Ivan Bartoli, PhD (University of California, San Diego). Associate Professor. Non-destructive evaluation and structural health monitoring; dynamic identification, stress wave propagation modeling.
Robert Brehm, PhD (Drexel University). Teaching Professor. International infrastructure delivery; response to natural catastrophes; risk assessment and mitigation strategies; project management techniques.
Shannon Capps, PhD (Georgia Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Atmospheric chemistry; data assimilation; advanced sensitivity analysis; inverse modeling.
S.C. Jonathan Cheng, PhD (West Virginia University). Associate Professor. Soil mechanics; geosynthetics; geotechnical engineering; probabilistic design; landfill containments; engineering education.
Eugenia Ellis, PhD, AIA (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Professor. Natural and electric light sources and effects on biological rhythms and health outcomes; ecological strategies for smart, sustainable buildings of the nexus of health, energy and technology.
Yaghoob (Amir) Farnam, PhD (Purdue University). Assistant Professor. Advanced and sustainable infrastructure materials; multifunctional, self-responsive and bioinspired construction materials; advanced multiscale manufacturing; characterization, and evaluation of construction materials; durability of cement-based materials.
Patricia Gallagher, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Professor. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; soil improvement; soil improvement; recycled materials in geotechnics.
Patrick Gurian, PhD (Carnegie-Mellon University). Professor. Risk analysis of environmental and infrastructure systems; novel adsorbent materials; environmental standard setting; Bayesian statistical modeling; community outreach and environmental health.
Charles N. Haas, PhD (University of Illinois-Urbana) L. D. Betz Chair Professor of Environmental Engineering and Department Head, Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Water treatment; risk assessment; bioterrorism; environmental modeling and statistics; microbiology; environmental health.
Ahmad Hamid, PhD (McMaster University). Professor. Engineered masonry; seismic behavior, design and retrofit of masonry structures; development of new materials and building systems.
Simi Hoque, PhD (University of California - Berkeley). Associate Professor. Computational methods to reduce building energy and environmental impacts, urban metabolism, thermal comfort, climate resilience.
Y. Grace Hsuan, PhD (Imperial College). Professor. Durability of polymeric construction materials; advanced construction materials; and performance of geosynthetics.
Joseph B. Hughes, PhD (University of Iowa). Distinguished University Professor. Biological processes and applications of nanotechnology in environmental systems.
L. James Lo, PhD (University of Texas at Austin). Assistant Professor. Architectural fluid mechanics; building automation and autonomy; implementation of natural and hybrid ventilation in buildings; airflow distribution in buildings; large-scale air movement in an urban built environment; building and urban informatics; data-enhanced sensing and control for optimal building operation and management; novel data gathering methods for building/urban problem solving; interdisciplinary research on occupant behaviors in the built environment.
Joseph P. Martin, PhD (Colorado State University). Professor. Geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering; hydrology; transportation; waste management.
James E. Mitchell, MArch (University of Pennsylvania). Professor. Architectural engineering design; building systems; engineering education.
Franco Montalto, PhD (Cornell University). Professor. Effects of built infrastructure on societal water needs, ecohydrologic patterns and processes, ecological restoration, green design, and water interventions.
Nariman Mostafavi, PhD (University of Massachusetts - Amherst). Assistant Teaching Professor. Simulation tools for analyzing urban metabolism; environmentally responsive design; urban resilience; engineering economics; industrial ecology.
Joseph V. Mullin, PhD (Pennsylvania State University) Associate Department Head. Teaching Professor. Structural engineering; failure analysis; experimental stress analysis; construction materials; marine structures.
Mira S. Olson, PhD (University of Virginia). Associate Professor. Peace engineering; source water quality protection and management; contaminant and bacterial fate and transport; community engagement.
Miguel A. Pando, PhD (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University). Assistant Professor. Laboratory testing of geomaterials; geotechnical aspects of natural hazards; soil-structure-interaction; geotechnical engineering.
Michael Ryan, PhD (Drexel University) Associate Department Head of Graduate Studies. Assistant Teaching Professor. Microbial Source Tracking (MST); Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA); dynamic engineering systems modeling; molecular microbial biology; phylogenetics; metagenomics; bioinformatics; environmental statistics; engineering economics; microbiology; potable and waste water quality; environmental management systems.
Christopher Sales, PhD (University of California, Berkeley). Associate Professor. Environmental microbiology and biotechnology; biodegradation of environmental contaminants; microbial processes for energy and resource recovery from waste; application of molecular biology, analytical chemistry and bioinformatic techniques to study environmental biological systems.
Yared Shifferaw, PhD (Johns Hopkins University). Assistant Professor. Computational and experimental mechanics; structural stability; optimization; health monitoring and hazard mitigation; sustainable structures; emerging materials; thin-walled structures and metallic structures.
Kurt Sjoblom, PhD (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Assistant Professor. Laboratory testing of geomaterials, geotechnical engineering, foundation engineering.
Sabrina Spatari, PhD (University of Toronto). Associate Professor. Industrial ecology; development and application of life cycle assessment (LCA) and material flow analysis (MFA) methods for guiding engineering and policy decisions; specific interest in biomass and bioenergy, biofuels, and urban infrastructure.
Robert Swan Associate Teaching Professor. Geotechnical and Geosynthetic Engineering; soil/geosynthetic interaction and performance; laboratory and field geotechnical/geosynthetic testing.
Michael Waring, PhD (University of Texas-Austin) Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Programs; Director of Architectural Engineering Program. Associate Professor. Indoor air quality and building sustainability; indoor particulate matter fate and transport; indoor chemistry and particle formation; secondary impacts of control technologies and strategies.
Jin Wen, PhD (University of Iowa). Associate Professor. Architectural engineering; Building Energy Efficiency; Intelligent Building; Net-zero Building; and Indoor Air Quality.
Aspasia Zerva, PhD (University of Illinois). Professor. Earthquake engineering; mechanics; seismology; structural reliability; system identification; advanced computational computational methods in structural analysis.

Emeritus Faculty

Harry G. Harris, PhD (Cornell University). Professor Emeritus. Structural models; dynamics of structures, plates and shells; industrialized building construction.
Richard Weggel, PhD (University of Illinois) Samuel S. Baxter Professor Emeritus; Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Emeritus. Coastal engineering; hydraulics engineering; hydrology.
Richard Woodring, PhD (University of Illinois) Dean of Engineering Emeritus. Professor Emeritus. Structural engineering, reinforced concrete.
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