Master's Programs

The Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. The Master of Science degree is awarded upon the satisfactory completion of a minimum of 30 points of credit of approved graduate study extending over at least two semesters. There is no requirement for an M.S. thesis, but students have the option to work for a total of up to 6 points of credit on independent research that can be considered as the equivalent of an M.S. thesis.

 The M.S. program is very flexible and includes concentrations in construction engineering and management, engineering mechanics, environmental engineering and water resources, forensic (structural) engineering, geotechnical engineering, and structural engineering, or combinations of these areas. There are no required courses at the M.S. level. Every student is assigned a faculty member as an academic advisor. Student and advisor meet regularly and plan together the sequence of courses that best fit the student’s interests. While a suitable M.S. program will necessarily entail some degree of specialization, the program of study established between the student and the advisor should be well balanced, including basic subjects of broad importance as well as theory and applications. Students may take graduate-level courses from across various concentrations within the department.

An M.S. applicant who lacks essential undergraduate training in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics will be required to strengthen or supplement her/his undergraduate work by taking certain undergraduate courses before proceeding to graduate study. No graduate credit (that is, credit toward the minimum 30-point requirement for the Master of Science degree) will be allowed for such subjects. As part of the application review process, the department determines if an applicant would be required to complete undergraduate courses.

Minimum Degree Requirements

All degree requirements must be completed within five years of the beginning of graduate study. Under extraordinary circumstances, a written request for an extension of this time limit may be submitted to the student’s department for approval by the Department Chair and the Vice Dean. A minimum grade-point average of 2.5 is required for the M.S. degree.
       MS students may concentrate in:

  • Construction engineering and management
  • Engineering mechanics
  • Environmental engineering and water resources
  • Forensic structural engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Combinations of the above areas

MS Scholarships 

The department will award a limited number of MS scholarships every year for Fall applicants. They will be awarded on a competitive basis as part of the application review process and are available to both U.S. and international students.

Involvement of Companies in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Some of the best companies in the world in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics are directly involved with our M.S. program by teaching a number of highly specialized design-oriented and management courses, providing internships to our students, and offering opportunities for independent research.

Independent Research Opportunities

Students can fulfil the 30 points of credit requirement of the M.S. degree without doing any independent research. However, for students interested in conducting research, numerous opportunities are provided for up to a maximum of 6 points of credit. Interested students should talk with their academic advisor and/or with individual faculty members in the department about research opportunities.
Courses Outside the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

Students are allowed to take up to a maximum of 12 points of credit of coursework outside the department. In consultation with the student’s advisor, courses can be taken from any other department within the School of Engineering and Applied Science, from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, the Graduate School of Business, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and other schools.

Admissions Information

Questions about our graduate programs may be directed to Scott Kelly, Graduate Admissions and Student Affairs Officer, by e-mail at or by phone at 212-854-3219.

Prospective applicants are also encouraged to fill out our Prospective Graduate Student Inquiry Form

Applicants for our graduate programs may begin the application process by visiting


Career Services
The Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department at Columbia University is dedicated to your professional development, connecting you to industry members through student-alumni events, employer info sessions, job and internship postings, recruiting events, panel discussions, and career fairs.
Graduate students of the Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department will partner with the department’s Career Placement Officer throughout their program to ensure they are prepared for the next steps in their professional career. The Career Placement Officer will be your first point of contact for your professional development needs including resume reviews, interviewing skills, navigating the industry, job and internship searching, etc. For additional information, please visit our Careers page.
Additionally, all new students of the MS degree program will participate in Columbia Engineering’s Professional Development and Leadership Program, an intensive course aimed to help students build a solid foundation to become leaders in the engineering field. The course begins in mid-August and meets intensively before Labor Day with additional electives offered in the Fall and Spring terms.
Social Events
The Department holds various social events throughout the academic year which enable students to meet each other and interact with faculty outside of the classroom.  Featured events include a picnic at the start of the Fall semester for the entire department, regular graduate student-faculty socials, and the graduating students dinner at the end of the Spring semester.


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