Oct 26, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Civil Engineering, MSCE


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Cullen College of Engineering  > Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering  > Civil Engineering, MSCE

The Department of Civil Engineering offers graduate study in environmental, geosensing systems, geotechnical, materials, hydraulic/water resources, and structural engineering. The department has well equipped research laboratories fitted with state-of-the-art instruments. The structural laboratory has more than 2,500 square feet of strong floor with a 2.5-million-pound MTS testing system, a large panel tester with forty 100- ton jacks, a biaxial fatigue tester and a walk-in chamber for large scale environmental testing. The materials testing laboratory is equipped with a 2-foot-deep strong floor and a 400-kip Tinius-Olsen universal testing machine. The geotechnical facility includes a laboratory with triaxial testing capability, sophisticated pile test chambers and fully equipped grouting and soil mechanics laboratories. The hydraulic facility is equipped with a fluid mechanics/wave mechanics laboratory with a 50-ft long tilting flume and state-of-the-art ADV and LSPIV. The environmental laboratories encompass a 2,000 square foot analytical research facility with state-of-the-art instrumentation that allows for analysis of most contaminants in soil, water and air as well as microbial and molecular analysis. The geosensing laboratory includes an optical laboratory and specialized airborne and terrestrial based remote sensing equipment.

For more information, please visit the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering website.

Admission Requirements


  • A complete admissions application, including official transcripts from all colleges attended, official test scores, and application fee ($25 domestic applicants/$75 international applicants).
  • A B.S.C.E. degree, or the equivalent, from an ABET accredited (or similar) program. Students with degrees in fields related to Civil Engineering may be admitted with certain prerequisite courses specified.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0/4.0 (B-Average grade) on the last 60 hours attempted.
  • Satisfactory scores on the Quantitative and Verbal tests of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • Fulfillment of the English Language Proficiency requirements. For details, visit the International Graduate Students web page.
  • Conditional admission may be granted to domestic applicants if the applicant meets a minimum GPA of 2.7 and an acceptable GRE score. Students who are admitted conditionally must achieve a B-average (3.0 GPA) or better in their first four graduate courses (or 12 hours).

For more on the application process, please visit the Civil Engineering Program - Admission Requirements page.

Degree Requirements


Credit hours required for this degree: non-thesis - 31.0; thesis - 31.0 (includes 9 thesis hours)

Course Requirements


Non thesis students are required to take 31 credit 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:

1. Civil Engineering Courses


15 to 21 credit 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.

2. Approved Courses Outside Civil Engineering


At most, 6 credit hours of graduate courses in approved related fields outside Civil Engineering may be counted toward the degree.

3. Nine Credit Hours of Thesis


Registration in:

4. Course Approval


The courses must be in accordance with a degree plan approved by the student’s Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

5. Transfer Credit


No more than 6 hours of graduate credit may be transferred from another institution.

6. Graduate Seminar


The student is required to take:

  • Credit Hours: 1.0 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 enroll in CIVE 6111 every term unless permission is granted by the department chairman and the Advisor for an exception.

7. Grade Requirement


No course in which a grade less than C is received will count within the degree program.

8. Technology Courses


Technology courses will not be counted within the degree program.

9. Course Attempts


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 term the student is ready to graduate the following requirements must be met.

  1. 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 term in which the student is enrolled 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.
  2. 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.

Academic Policies


Advising and Planning

  • Close to the end of the first term, 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 term.
  • Prior to completion of the first term, 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 term 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 enroll in 12 or 10 hours per long term, 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.

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