Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

MS - Civil Engineering

Requirements for Admission to Classified Standing

In addition to meeting requirements for admission to the Graduate Division outlined in the Admissions section of this catalog, an applicant must have:

1. A bachelor's degree in civil engineering from a college or university offering a curriculum in civil engineering accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET); and

2. A 2.7 grade point average (basis 4.0) in engineering, mathematics and science course work leading to the baccalaureate.

Requirements for Admission to Conditionally Classified Standing

Applicants who do not qualify for classified standing in civil engineering but who meet university requirements for graduate admission and whose academic records or professional achievements and maturity give promise of satisfactory performance in graduate study in civil engineering may, upon approval of a committee of department faculty, be admitted, with specific conditions, as conditionally classified. The conditions must be fulfilled before the student can be admitted to candidacy for the degree. If the conditions are not fulfilled, the program reserves the right to dismiss the student from the program by notifying the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies. This process is known as administrative academic disqualification (see Section 41300.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations). Applicants whose bachelor's degrees are not in civil engineering will be required to take additional courses which cannot be counted in the graduate degree program for the MS - Civil Engineering.

Details can be obtained from the department graduate coordinator.

Requirements for Admission to Candidacy

Students must meet the general all-university requirements for candidacy as outlined in this catalog. The University requires that all graduate students complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) as a condition for advancement to candidacy. Please refer to the SJSU catalog section titled "Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement" for details. For graduate courses that meet the GWAR, please refer to the Graduate Admissions and Program Evaluations website at

Completing Requirements for the MS - Civil Engineering

The curriculum for the MS - Civil Engineering requires completion of 30 semester hours of approved study, with a minimum of 15 units earned in 200-level civil engineering courses. Either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis) may be selected. Minimum requirements for each are:

Course Requirements

Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement
At SJSU, students must pass the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For information on the GWAR, please see
Requirements of the Masters30
Choose a Plan
Plan A (with Thesis)30
Major Civil Engineering Area Core15-18
Individual Research3
CE 298. Special Problems1-6
Culminating Experience3
CE 299. Master's Thesis or Project1-6
Chosen in consultation with an advisor
Plan B (without Thesis)30
Major Civil Engineering Area Core15-18
Chosen in consultation with an advisor

Total Units:30

Eligible major civil engineering areas are:

  • Construction Management
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering

Acceptable areas for minor and electives are chosen in consultation with an advisor. Approved courses may include graduate courses and upper division elective courses in civil engineering and graduate or upper division courses in other university departments.

The university requirement for a final master's degree examination may be satisfied by a comprehensive examination or an independent study project (a minimum of 2 units of CE 298) with an oral examination. Details of these requirements may be obtained from the department. All students must complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement.