Civil Engineering, MS
The master’s degree under Option A requires a thesis. Option A is most appropriate for students who are preparing for careers in research and scholarly work or additional academic pursuits beyond the master’s degree. Under this option, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours, consisting of 20 to 24 credit hours of regular course work, plus a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree, including thesis, must be in the major (at least 18 credit hours for the Master of Education degree). The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 8 credit hours, excluding thesis, must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
Option A is not available for the Master of Professional Accountancy degree.
Thesis Requirements. The subject of the thesis shall be chosen from the student’s field of major interest and must be approved by the departmental Graduate Committee. The thesis should reveal a capacity to carry on independent study or research and should demonstrate the student’s ability to use the techniques employed in their field of investigation. Research activities involving human subjects or live vertebrate animals may not be conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln unless the research activities have been reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee. The Institutional Review Board (IRB) reviews projects involving human subject research and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews the use of animals in research. These reviews are in accordance with Federal regulations, state laws and institutional policies. Submission of protocols to conduct human subject or animal research is coordinated by the Research Responsibility offices. Approval must be secured prior to the initiation of the research.
The thesis must conform to the required style and format described in Steps to Degree Completion. A copy of the thesis and abstract must be approved by the student’s major advisor and submitted for preliminary review to the Master’s Programs Coordinator in the Office of Graduate Studies at least two weeks (one week in the summer sessions) before the date of the candidate’s final oral examination. A candidate is not eligible for the oral examination until the thesis is completed and approved. After passing the final oral examination, the thesis must be electronically submitted to the Master’s Programs Coordinator for a final review prior to being uploaded to Digital Commons.
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The master’s degree under Option B does not require a thesis. Option B is most appropriate for students pursuing practice-based or professional careers in which the master’s degree provides suitable training. Under Option B, a student must earn a minimum of 30 credit hours. At least one-half of the credit hours required for the degree must be in the major. The remaining work may be in supporting courses and may comprise a minor consisting of at least 9 credit hours selected from and approved by the minor department. At least 15 credit hours must be earned in courses open exclusively to graduate students (900 level or 800 level without 400 or lower counterparts).
The Master of Professional Accountancy plan of study may not include a minor.
The Master of Education plan of study may not include a minor, but must include at least 6 credit hours of education courses outside the major.
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Accelerated Master's Programs allow University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate students to pursue this degree in an abbreviated timeline.
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Dual Degree programs allow students to be admitted to two degree programs simultaneously with approval of each Graduate Program Committee and the Dean(s) for Graduate Studies.
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The Civil Engineering Department offers graduate programs on both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Nebraska at Omaha campuses.
Facilities include materials and geotechnical labs, environmental and transportation labs, and the famous vehicle crash testing facility at the Lincoln Airport. The structures laboratory is equipped to do gravity load, seismic excitation, and wind loading testing of full scale specimens, from bridges and buildings.
Many research opportunities are available depending on the individual interests of faculty and students. Projects include ultra-high-performance concrete, self-consolidating concrete, innovative high strength concrete and steel bridge systems, composite materials and energy-efficient composite structures, hydrologic effects of global climate change, hydraulic modeling, GIS and watershed management, alternative fuels, water quality, remediation of hazardous wastes, fate and transport of emerging contaminants, risk assessment, pollution prevention, green technology, highway geometric design and safety, intelligent transportation systems, traffic simulation using hardware-in-the-loop simulation, highway-railroad grade crossings, safety aspects of highway design with a unique full scale crash testing facility, risk analysis and reliability of structures, design code calibration, field testing of bridges, pavement engineering, advanced modeling of geomaterials, and application of fuzzy set theories.
When applying, students should indicate interest in one or more of the above areas of study. Minors may be selected from related civil engineering areas and other related departments.
Geotechnical and Materials Engineering
Water Resources Engineering
Water Resources Planning and Management
Applying for Admission
Standard requirements for all graduate programs
- Application for Admission with $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Transcripts (unofficial): Uploaded as part of application form.
If International: Uploads must include all college- or university-level transcripts or mark sheets (records of courses and marks earned), with certiﬁcates, diplomas, and degrees plus certiﬁed English translations.
After admission: Official documents are required from all students who are admitted and enroll. Photocopies of certiﬁed records are not acceptable. International students enrolled in other U.S. institutions may have certiﬁed copies of all foreign records sent directly to the Office of Graduate Studies by their current school’s registrar office.
- If applicant’s native language is not English, verification of English proficiency
When sending TOEFL scores, our institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.
- If applicant is not a US citizen and expects an F or J visa: financial information.
- Applicants must also fulfill any additional requirements the department specifies at the time of application.
Additional requirements specific to this program
UNL Undergrads applying for the Accelerated program: See Accelerated Master's Programs for instructions, and in the application form be sure to select only from the "UNL Undergraduates: Accelerated Master's Programs" section.
All other applicants:
- GRE: Optional at this time. Students who have taken coursework from the University of Nebraska College of Engineering are not required to submit GRE scores.
- Resume or curriculum vitae
- Personal Statement: Statement of purpose
- Three letters of recommendation
Admission Application Deadlines
- Priority Application Deadline: January 15 for Summer/Fall; September 15 for Spring.
- International Students: Application for Fall admission strongly encouraged.
The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on race, color, ethnicity, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and/or political affiliation in its programs, activities, or employment.