Student working on structure in Engineering Unit A.

Structural Engineering and Mechanics

The planning, analysis, and design of structural facilities pose some of the most interesting and challenging problems encountered by the engineering profession. To prepare engineers to address these problems, the department offers a graduate specialty in structural engineering and mechanics for students interested in structural engineering.

The primary objectives of this graduate specialty are to provide students a greater understanding of the behavior of structures and their constituent materials, to establish a confident attitude in approaching new structural design problems, and to provide opportunities for cutting-edge research.

Coursework focuses on the primary areas of structural analysis, behavior, and design. Related coursework is also available through the architectural, mechanical, aerospace, and engineering curriculum. 

In addition to the requirements listed below, all structural engineering graduate students are required to annually enroll in C E 598, Structures Seminar Structural Analysis, which is offered every spring semester.

Master of Engineering Degree

15 credits of Core Curriculum (CE 500 and 600)
9 credits of Structural Engineering Electives (CE 400 and 500)
6 credits of Technical Electives

Master of Science Degree

6 credits of thesis research (CE 600 or 610)
12 credits of Core Curriculum (CE 400 and 500)
6 credits of Structural Engineering Electives (CE 500 and 600)
6 credits of Technical Electives

Doctorate Degree

For the Ph.D. degree, a minimum of 30 credits beyond the masters degree are suggested.

12 credits of Core Curriculum:

6 credits of Structural Engineering Electives
6 credits of Technical Electives
6 credits of thesis research (CE 600)

Core Curriculum

The following is required for all Master of Science graduate students with a focus in the area of Structural Engineering:

All students shall take, at a minimum, 3 of the 6 courses listed below with at least 1 from each of the Analysis and Design categories.


C E 540 - Statically Indeterminate Structures
C E 541 - Structural Analysis
C E 548 - Structural Design for Dynamic Loads


C E 543 - Prestressed Concrete
C E 544 - Behavior and Design of Reinforced Concrete Members
C E 545 - Metal Structure Behavior and Design

Structures Requirements



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