2006 - 2007 Site Archive



Graduate Bulletin

Civil Engineering, M.S.E.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: July 1                                     [December 15 for international applicants]

Spring: November 1                             [August 1 for international applicants]

Applications are processed as they are received throughout the year.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from college/university faculty members familiar with the applicant's academic competence. Applicants employed in an engineering profession should request a letter of reference from their immediate supervisor.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

Students not adequately prepared for advanced courses may be required to take a number of prerequisites.  The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will identify the needed coursework on a case-by-case basis.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A bachelor's degree in civil or environmental engineering or the equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission. Also considered are a bachelor's degree in civil and construction engineering technology, mathematics, geology, or other physical sciences. Applicants without a civil/environmental engineering degree may require certain prerequisites.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include the applicant's research and future career goals; academic and research achievements; professional experience, if any; and reason for interest in Temple's program. It should be approximately 1-2 pages in length.

Standardized Test Scores:

The GRE is required. Applicants with GRE scores below 450 verbal, 650 quantitative, and 4.5 analytical may not be admitted.

Minimum TOEFL score or range of scores needed to be accepted: 575 paper-based, 230 computer-based, or 88 internet-based.  Any student admitted with a TOEFL score below 600 on the paper-based, 250 on the computer-based, or 100 on the internet-based examination must pass an English skills course during the first semester of enrollment at Temple University.  Those having taken the paper-based or computer-based test have the additional option of testing out of the English course by taking and passing the SPEAK test at Temple.


A resume is required.

Transfer Credit:

Graduate credits taken at an accredited institution may be transferred into the M.S.E. program. In order to transfer, the courses must be equivalent to courses offered at Temple in the student's area of study and research, and the grades must be "B" or better. The admissions committee makes recommendations for the transfer of credit. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.

Test Waivers:

Applicants with two or more years of employment in an engineering profession performing engineering design and analysis may request a waiver of the GRE.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 24 - 27

Students choose between two options.  The thesis option requires 24 s.h. of coursework and 6 s.h. of master’s thesis (CE 798: Thesis I and CE 799: Thesis II).  The non-thesis option requires 27 s.h. of coursework, plus an independent research project (CE 795: Research Project) or, with permission of the department, another 3 s.h. course.

Required Courses:

Both tracks require 12 s.h. of core courses in the student's area of specialization.  In addition, the project track requires 15 s.h. of elective courses in engineering and approved courses in business management, science, and mathematics.  The thesis track requires an additional 12 s.h. of elective courses in engineering and approved courses in science or mathematics. More information about course requirements can be obtained from the program director.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: No language examination is required.

Culminating Events:

Thesis Option:

Students completing the thesis option need to complete a master's thesis, a document detailing independent research that demonstrates the student's mastery of his/her primary area of interest. Thesis research is conducted under the direct supervision of an academic advisor. The specific topic for research should be of current interest in the professional community. After a research topic is selected, the student performs preliminary research. A thesis proposal is then submitted describing the initial results and a plan for further research toward completion of the proposed research.  The thesis proposal is then presented at an open seminar to the Thesis Committee, which evaluates its technical merit and research methodology. The student may continue the research only after the proposal is approved by the committee.

The final draft of the thesis should be submitted at least two weeks before the anticipated date of the thesis defense. The student's academic advisor, in consultation with members of the Thesis Committee, sets a date and time for the thesis defense. The department secretary will arrange for a room for the defense and post flyers announcing the defense. In addition, the student must post the thesis defense flyer on the graduate student listserv for the department.

The Thesis Committee, a group of faculty members and possibly engineers engaged in research in high-tech industries, is responsible for evaluating the thesis and its defense. No thesis should go to defense unless it is ready for public scrutiny. The committee evaluates the primary findings of the research and their implications, technical methodology, and the student's ability to verbally present the research results. The committee votes pass/fail on the thesis and defense at the conclusion of the public presentation. If the student must make revisions, those changes must be completed within one month from the date of public presentation; failure to do so requires a new thesis defense.

Non-Thesis Option:

Students in the non-thesis option may be required to complete an independent research project and submit a report toward the requirements of CE 795: Research Project.  The goal of the research project is to evaluate the student's ability to perform independent research in analysis and design for an engineering application. The topic for research is selected after discussion with the student's academic advisor. The scope of research is carefully outlined so as to allow the student to complete the research in one semester. After completing the course, the student submits a final report detailing the findings of the research and presents it at an open seminar. The report is evaluated by two members of the faculty, including the student's academic advisor.  With permission of the department, students may also elect another course in place of CE 795.

Program Contact Information:


Department Information:

Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
1947 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Department Contacts:


Office of Graduate Studies



Program Coordinator:


Graduate Chairperson:

Adrienne Cooper




Michel Boufadel



About the Program

The Civil Engineering curriculum of the Master of Science in Engineering program is designed to provide full-time and part-time students with the opportunity to develop a greater technical competency in the general area of civil and environmental engineering. Students will be motivated to grow intellectually through the continued search for and use of knowledge, and will be provided with the catalyst to become active, articulate, and socially aware individuals.  Graduates of the program are key contributors to the civil engineering and environmental engineering professions.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering
1947 North 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

The program encourages interdisciplinary research with other branches of engineering as well as with various departments in the sciences and applied mathematics. Recent collaborative work with the Department of Mechanical Engineering includes projects on water flow and solute transport in porous media (aquifers) and the effects of turbulence on the mixing of oil spills at sea. Collaboration with the Department of Chemistry includes research on waste combustion products and surface complexation.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Not applicable.


Not applicable.

Areas of Specialization:

Two areas of specialization are available:  Civil Engineering Systems and Environmental Engineering. Advanced courses in Civil Engineering Systems include the three major branches of civil engineering: construction engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. Research in Environmental Engineering includes the fundamentals and applications of water resources engineering, pollution in natural systems (water and air), and engineered treatment and remediation systems.

Job Placement:

Graduates with the M.S.E. in Civil Engineering are employed by various engineering companies as well as government agencies in design, analysis, and applications. Typical examples are water treatment facilities and regulatory agencies engaged in environmental regulation and pollution control; companies involved in construction project management; and those involved in structural design and analysis of buildings, bridges, and other structures. Students who complete an M.S.E. with a thesis are prepared to enter a doctoral program.


Not applicable.

Non-Degree Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may take up to 9 s.h. of graduate-level courses. If accepted into the M.S.E. in Civil Engineering program, the student may apply those courses with a grade of "B" or better toward the M.S.E. degree requirements. For admission to the program, students must fulfill the general admission criteria for graduate admission. Students who complete 9 s.h. in academic good standing may request a waiver of the GRE, which is usually required for admission to the M.S.E. program.

Financing Opportunities

The principal duties of a Teaching Assistant include assisting faculty in classroom and laboratory instruction, preparing apparatus or material for laboratory demonstration, conducting tutorials and discussion sections, and grading homework. TAs are expected to devote 20 hours per week to these or similar teaching-related activities. Research Assistants are expected to devote 20 hours per week to research obligations. RAs are assigned to a faculty member or principal investigator who is working on a specific research project. The appropriate subjects for research are determined by consultation between the student and the student's research and academic advisors. Both Teaching and Research Assistantships carry a stipend and tuition support for up to 9 credits per semester. All applicants for full-time admission are considered for support based on academic credentials, GRE scores, and professional experience. Applications should include a statement of research and teaching experience, areas of interest and future goals, and a curriculum vitae.

Updated 8.4.06