2014-2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin (with addenda) 
    Jul 24, 2024  
2014-2016 Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletin (with addenda) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Civil Engineering, M.S.

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Master of Science Program in Civil Engineering

The Master of Science in Civil Engineering allows students to specialize in one of the following six areas of concentration:

  • Construction Management and Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Environmental and Water Resources Engineering
  • Urban Systems Engineering and Management
  • Highway and Traffic Engineering

Students also may elect to follow a general program by taking two courses across several areas of concentration. The Department of Civil and Urban Engineering also offers graduate programs in transportation planning and engineering and transportation management (see the Transportation  section in this catalog), environmental science and engineering (see Environmental Engineering and Science  section in this catalog), construction management and engineering (see the Construction Management  section of this catalog), and urban systems engineering and management (see Urban Infrastructure Systems  section in this catalog).

Goals and Objectives

The degree MS in Civil Engineering prepares graduates to practice their profession at an advanced level. Specific program objectives are to provide the skills and knowledge necessary to:

  • Specialize in one of the primary subdisciplines of civil engineering or to achieve depth across a number of the subdisciplines;
  • Design and analyze civil engineering infrastructure;
  • Understand civil engineering materials, technologies and processes as applied to modern civil engineering infrastructure;
  • Obtain civil engineering project management skills; and
  • Provide a basis for continued, lifelong learning in the civil engineering profession.


Students seeking admission to the MS program should hold a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) and have a 3.0 GPA or better. Applicants lacking a BS from an ABET-accredited program in civil engineering (including those possessing undergraduate degrees in other engineering disciplines, engineering science, engineering technology and architecture, or from a foreign university) have their qualifications reviewed by a graduate adviser. Admission may be granted and may include the requirement for additional undergraduate courses to correct deficiencies. These additional courses are not counted toward the MS degree, nor are undergraduate courses included in computing graduate grade-point averages.

Applicants to the MS program should take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE Advanced Tests) and achieve a minimum grade of 155 (700 on the previous scale) on the quantitative section. Applicants from universities outside the United States must take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and achieve a minimum grade of 80.

International candidates who meet all other admission requirements but who fail to satisfy the TOEFL requirement may be required to take remedial courses in English before admission.

Grade Requirements

To earn a MS degree from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, students must maintain a B average (3.0 GPA) or better in (1) all graduate courses taken at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, (2) all graduate courses taken in the Department of Civil Engineering and (3) all graduate guided studies (readings, project, thesis). Poor scholastic performance (under 3.0 GPA) may lead to a student being placed on graduate probation. If a student’s grade do not improve, (s)he may be disqualified from further graduate study in the department.

In the event that an applicant is required to take undergraduate prerequisite courses as a condition of admission, a grade of B- or better is required for every prerequisite course taken, and the cumulative GPA of all required prerequisite courses must be at least 3.0.


Students are responsible for following the departmental rules outlined in this catalog. While academic advisers consult with and advise students, students are responsible for ensuring that all degree requirements are fulfilled and for submitting all proper forms and applications.

Students must meet with an academic adviser when they first enroll. Students must have a detailed program of study formally approved by an academic adviser before registration.

The academic adviser also handles requests for waivers of certain degree requirements, where warranted. Such waivers must be in writing and must be entered into the student’s departmental record. Where specific courses are waived, approval of the course instructor may also be required. When waivers are granted, students may be required to take other specific courses in their place or to select additional electives. Students registering for guided studies (readings, projects, theses) are assigned advisers for each such activity. To register for guided study, students must submit written proposals for the topic(s) to be covered to such advisers before registration. To register, students must obtain written approval of the project adviser and the academic adviser.

Transfer Credits

The residency requirement for the MS degree is 24 credits. Students may transfer up to 6 credits of acceptable courses toward a MS degree, subject to their academic adviser’s approval. To be transferred, the course(s) must relate to the student’s program and be from an accredited institution. A grade of B or better is required for granting of transfer credit. Courses graded on a pass/fail basis are not considered for transfer unless accompanied by a detailed written evaluation by the course instructor. All transfer requests must be accompanied by an official transcript from the transferring institution. Applications for transfer credits must be submitted for consideration before the end of the first semester of matriculation.

Validation credits by examination may not be used toward any civil engineering graduate degree program.

Degree Requirements

All MS (Civil Engineering) students must complete either the single area of concentration or general program requirements as described in Table 3:

Table 3: Avenues for Obtaining MS (Civil Engineering)

Students Selecting a Single Area of Concentration

  Core Courses: 12 credits (min.)
  Courses Within Concentration: 12 credits (min.)
  Technical Electives: 6 credits

Students Selecting the General Program

  Core Courses: 12 credits (min.)
  Two Courses in each of 3 Concentration Areas: 18 credits (min.)

Credits Required for MS Degree: 30 credits

A. Core Courses: 12 Credits

Students must complete at least four of the following six core courses.

B. Concentration Area Courses: 12 to 18 Credits

Students selecting a single area of concentration must complete: (1) at least one core course in their concentration area; and (2) at least four additional concentration area courses. The course requirements of various concentration areas are listed in Tables 5-10. All students must satisfy all course prerequisites.

C. Technical Electives: 0 to 6 Credits

Depending upon the choice of concentration area, a student may have up to an additional 6 credits of course work, which may be satisfied from the following:


Electives are normally selected from the courses given by the Department of Civil and Urban Engineering. However, electives may be selected from courses offered by other departments with written consent of the graduate adviser.

Table 7: Construction Management and Engineering Concentration

Graduate Construction Management and Engineering courses, including Exec 21 courses, listed are in the Construction Management  section of this catalog.


* Students must meet the requirements for enrollment in Exec 21 courses.

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