Penn State sign

Graduate Degrees and Requirements

The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department offers the following graduate degree options: Master of Engineering (M.Eng.), Master of Science (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). General descriptions for each of these degrees are provided below. Detailed descriptions of the requirements specific to each discipline can be found within the Graduate Handbook.

All students in the M.S., M.Eng., and Ph.D. programs must complete Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) requirements.

The SARI program at Penn State is designed to offer graduate students comprehensive, multilevel training in the responsible conduct of research (RCR), through a three-part program: an online course that must be completed in the first year of graduate study, a three hour Colloquium, CE 590, and two hours that can be completed by attending Office of Research Protection (ORP) seminars. 

Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) Degree

The M.Eng. degree is intended to be a professional degree composed of a well-balanced, unified, and complete program of study leading to advanced professional practice. Students must complete 31 credits of graduate course work (18 credits of which must be at the 500-level), and satisfy the other academic program requirements outlined in the Graduate Handbook. While full-time students can complete the program in two semesters, part-time students take longer. 

Master of Science (M.S.) Degree

The M.S. degree program is a blend of graduate level course work and research. Students must complete 30 graduate credits (18 credits of which must be at the 500 and/or 600-level, combined and 6 credits must be research-based), prepare and orally defend a thesis, and satisfy the other academic program requirements outlined in the Graduate Handbook

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree

The Ph.D. degree program is strongly oriented toward research. Students must complete 15 credits. In addition to meeting course requirements specific to their discipline, Ph.D. students must also successfully pass the Candidacy Exam, Comprehensive Exam, Final Oral Exam, write a dissertation, and satisfy the other academic program requirements outlined in the Graduate Handbook. The duration of the program varies from three to five years depending on the student’s background and professional interests.

Minimum Course Requirements are dependent on area of specialization.

Environmental Engineering

Geotechnical and Materials Engineering

Structural Engineering and Mechanics

Transportation Engineering

Water Resources Engineering

Applicants who do not meet these minimum course requirements can still be admitted on a provisional basis until the coursework is completed elsewhere or as part of the graduate studies at Penn State.

Apply now button

Faculty button

handbook button

About Us button
1-year degree button
Visit Penn State button
Life in State College button


The Penn State Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, established in 1881, is internationally recognized for excellence in the preparation of undergraduate and graduate engineers through the integration of education, research, and leadership.

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

212 Sackett Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-1408

Phone: 814-863-3084