Civil - Master of Science


M.S. in Civil Engineering


The Civil Engineering department offers a master's degree in Civil Engineering at City Campus in Lincoln and Scott Campus in Omaha. The Master of Science (M.S.) degree requires completion of 30 to 36 credits of coursework depending on the option chosen.

Option I is a thesis-based option and is intended for students pursuing a research emphasis. Under this option a student must earn a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit, consisting of 20 to 24 semester hours of regular course work, and present a thesis equivalent to 6 to 10 semester hours. Options II and III are coursework-based options. Under Option II, a student must earn a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit in courses representing a major and either one or two minors. Option III also requires 36 semester hours of credit but does not require a minor.

Students receiving fellowships, teaching assistantships or research assistantships as financial assistance for a M.S. degree are required to conduct research with a faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering and produce a thesis from their work under Option I. Specializations for the M.S. in Civil Engineering include: environmental engineering, geotechnical and materials engineering, structural engineering, transportation engineering, and water resources engineering.

Specialization in Environmental Engineering:

Required core courses (10 credits)

  • CE 823 Physical/Chemical Treatment Processes, 3 cr
  • CE 828 (Environmental Engineering Chemistry, 3 cr
  • CE 829 (Biological Treatment Processes, 3 cr
  • ENVE 990 (Seminar in Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, 1 cr

Students must either take the classes above or show that they have taken equivalent courses approved by faculty of the specialization.

Elective Courses

Each student must also choose electives that provide depth in his/her chosen area of focus within environmental engineering and/or appropriate breadth. These courses are to be selected in conjunction with and approved by the student's faculty advisor and supervisory committee. Relevant electives are listed below but not limited to the following:

  • Courses offered in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering
    • AGEN 853 Irrigation and Drainage Systems Engineering
    • AGEN 953 Advanced Irrigation and Drainage Systems Engineering
    • AGEN 954 Hydraulic Modeling of Small Watersheds
    • AGEN 955 Solute Movement in Soils (AGRO 955, CIVE 955)
    • BSEN 841 Animal Waste Management
    • BSEN 855 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Engineering
    • BSEN 941 Agricultural Waste Management
    • BSEN 943 Bioenvironmental Engineering
  • Courses offered in the Department of Chemical Engineering
    • CHME 832 Transport Operations
    • CHME 835 Transport Phenomena
    • CHME 842 Chemical Reactor Engineering and Design
    • CHME 845 Advanced Chemical Engineering Kinetics
    • CHME 873 Biochemical Engineering
    • CHME 892 Air Pollution Assessment and Control
  • Courses offered in the Department of Civil Engineering
    • CIVE 819 Flow Systems Design
    • CIVE 821 Hazardous Waste Management and Treatment
    • CIVE 822 Pollution Prevention: Principles and Practices
    • CIVE 824 Solid Waste Management Engineering
    • CIVE 826 Design of Water Treatment Facilities
    • CIVE 827 Design of Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Facilities
    • CIVE 830 Fundamentals of Water Quality Modeling
    • CIVE 831 Small Treatment Systems
    • CIVE 832 Bioremediation of Hazardous Wastes
    • CIVE 852 Water Resources Development
    • CIVE 854 Hydraulic Engineering
    • CIVE 856 Surface Water Hydrology
    • CIVE 858 Groundwater Engineering
    • CIVE 875 Water Quality Strategy (AGRO 875)
    • CIVE 898 Special Topics
    • CIVE 915 Water Resources Engineering
    • CIVE 916 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Engineering Economics and Legal Aspects of Water Resources Systems
    • CIVE 921 Advanced Topics in Hazardous Waste Treatment and Remediation
    • CIVE 926 Advanced Topics in Water Treatment
    • CIVE 927 Advanced Topics in Water Treatment
    • CIVE 952 Water Resources Planning
    • CIVE 954 Advanced Hydraulics
    • CIVE 955 Solute Movement in Soils (AGEN 955, AGRO 955)
    • CIVE 958 Groundwater Mechanics
    • CIVE 959 Groundwater Modeling

Specialization in Geotechnical and Materials Engineering:

Required core courses (12 credits)

Core courses (12 credits), listed below, provide exposure to the basic aspects of geotechnical and materials engineering. Students who have already taken such courses have an increased number of electives that they can take as part of their program.

  • CIVE 834 Soil Mechanics II (3 credits)
  • CIVE 836 Foundation Engineering (3 credits)
  • CIVE 872 Pavement Design and Evaluation (3 credits)
  • CIVE 851 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (3 credits)

Students must either take the classes above or show that they have taken equivalent courses in their undergraduate program, or equivalent courses approved by faculty of the specialization.

Elective Courses

Each student must also choose electives that provide depth in his/her chosen area of focus within geotechnical-materials engineering and/or appropriate breadth. These courses are to be selected in conjunction with and approved by the student's faculty advisor and supervisory committee. Relevant electives are listed below but not limited to this.

  • Civil Engineering Electives
    • CIVE 840 Reinforced Concrete Design I
    • CIVE 842 Structural Dynamics
    • CIVE 844 Structural Design and Planning
    • CIVE 847 Reinforced Concrete Design II
    • CIVE 850 Prestressed Concrete
    • CIVE 857 Applied Structural Analysis
    • CIVE 865 Highway Geometrics
    • CIVE 871 Bituminous Materials and Mixtures
    • CIVE 898 Special Topics in Civil Engineering (by permission of advisor only)
    • CIVE 998 Special Topics in Civil Engineering (by permission of advisor only)
  • Construction Management Electives
    • CNST 885 Construction Project Scheduling and Control
    • CNST 886 Construction Management Systems
  • Mechanical and Materials Engineering Electives
    • MECH 847 Advanced Dynamics
    • MECH 848 Advanced Mechanics of Materials
    • MECH 854 Introduction to Continuum Modeling
    • MECH 852 Experimental Stress Analysis I
    • MECH 880 Numerical Methods in Engineering
    • MECH 910 Continuum Mechanics
    • MECH 918 Fundamentals of Finite Elements
    • MECH 930 Mechanics of Composite Materials
    • MECH 933 Theory of Elasticity I
    • MECH 934 Theory of Elasticity II
    • MECH 939 Viscoelasticity
    • MECH 940 Fracture Mechanics
    • MECH 942 Theory of Plasticity
  • Statistics Electives
    • STAT 801 Statistical Methods in Research
    • STAT 802 Experimental Design
    • STAT 870 Multiple Regression Analysis
  • Mathematics Electives
    • MATH 814 Applied Linear Algebra
    • MATH 815 Modern Algebra with Applications
    • MATH 821 Differential Equations
    • MATH 822 Advanced Calculus
    • MATH 824 Introduction to Partial Differential Equations
    • MATH 827 Mathematical Methods in the Physical Sciences
    • MATH 830 Ordinary Differential Equations I
    • MATH 831 Ordinary Differential Equations II
    • MATH 840 Numerical Analysis I
    • MATH 842 Methods of Applied Mathematics I
    • MATH 843 Methods of Applied Mathematics II

Specialization in Structural Engineering:

Required basic core courses

Structural engineering graduate students are strongly encouraged to take all courses listed as core courses, below. However, students are required to take a minimum of 9 total credits of core courses. Selection of core courses shall consist of at least one Computational / Analysis course (3 credits) and at least one Advanced Design course (3 credits). Students who have already taken such courses have an increased number of electives that they can take as part of their programs.

  • Computational / Analysis core courses:
    • CIVE 842 Structural Dynamics
    • CIVE 843 Advanced Structural Analysis (new course number pending approval by College Curriculum Committee)
    • CIVE 849 Introductory Finite Element Analysis in Solid Mechanics (new course number pending approval by College Curriculum Committee)
    • CIVE 851 Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (retiring course number, previously offered jointly as 451/851 as MECH / CIVE)
  • Advanced Design core courses:
    • CIVE 846 Steel Design II
    • CIVE 847 Reinforced Concrete Design II
    • CIVE 850 Prestressed Concrete

Students must either take core classes from among those listed above to fulfill the core course requirements or show that they have taken equivalent courses in their undergraduate program or equivalent courses approved by faculty of the specialization.

Elective courses

Each student must also choose electives that provide depth in his/her chosen area of specialization within structural engineering and/or appropriate breadth. These courses are to be selected in conjunction with and approved by the student's faculty advisor and supervisory committee. Commonly selected relevant structures electives taken by students specializing in Structural Engineering are listed below. Electives are not limited to this list, however.

  • CIVE 834 Soil Mechanics II
  • CIVE 836 Foundation Design
  • CIVE 839 Introduction to Bridge Design
  • CIVE 857 Applied Structural Analysis
  • CIVE 859 Reliability of Structures
  • CIVE 898 Nondestructive Testing
  • CIVE 940 Behavior of Steel Members
  • CIVE 945 Structural Design for Dynamic Loads
  • CIVE 948 Blast-resistant Structural Design
  • CIVE 949 Steel Bridge Design
  • AREN 851 Masonry and Timber Design

Specialization in Transportation Engineering:

Required basic core courses

Basic/core courses (9 credits), listed below, provide exposure to the various aspects of transportation and background in applied statistics (implicit in the 800-level transportation classes). Students who have already taken such courses have an increased number of electives that they can take as part of their program

  • CIVE861 Urban Transportation Planning (3 credits)
  • CIVE862 Highway Design (3 credits)
  • CIVE863 Traffic Engineering (3 credits)

Students must either take the classes above or show that they have taken equivalent courses in their undergraduate program or equivalent courses approved by faculty of the specialization.

Required core courses

In addition to the required courses above (traffic engineering, transportation planning, and highway design), PhD students are also required to take the three following courses for a total of nine (9) credits. These courses provide more depth in key areas.

  • CIVE864 Analysis & Estimation of Transportation Demand (3 credits)
  • CIVE865 Highway Geometrics (3 credits)
  • CIVE866 Transportation Characteristics (3 credits)

Students must either take the classes above or show that they have taken equivalent courses approved by faculty of the specialization.

Elective courses

Each student must also choose electives that provide depth in his/her chosen area of specialization within transportation and/or appropriate breadth. These courses are to be selected in conjunction with and approved by the student's faculty advisor and supervisory committee. Relevant transportation electives are listed below. Electives are not limited to this list, however.

  • CIVE867 Transportation Safety Engineering (3 credits)
  • CIVE868 Airport Planning & Design (3 credits)
  • CIVE869 Computer-aided Interchange Design (3 credits)
  • CIVE961 Mass Transit Systems (3 credits)
  • CIVE962 GIS in Transportation (3 credits)
  • CIVE963 Highway Safety Data Analysis (3 credits)
  • CIVE964 Theory of Traffic Flow (3 credits)
  • CIVE965 Traffic Control Systems (3 credits)
  • CIVE966 Transportation Planning & Economics (3 credits)
  • CIVE967 Analysis & Design of Transportation Supply Systems (3 credits)

Specialization in Water Resources Engineering:

Required Core Courses

To obtain a specialization in water resources engineering, students must take the courses listed below or demonstrate to the satisfaction of the specialization advisory committee that they have taken sufficient course-work to cover the material in these courses:

  • CIVE 854 Hydraulic Engineering (3 credits)
  • CIVE 856 Surface Water Hydrology (3 credits)
  • CIVE 858 Groundwater Engineering (3 credits)
  • ENVE 990 Seminar in Environmental Engineering (1 credit)

Students must either take the classes above or show that they have taken equivalent courses in their undergraduate program, or equivalent courses approved by faculty of the specialization.

Elective Courses

Students must choose electives that provide depth and breadth in water resources engineering. These courses are to be selected in conjunction with, and approved by the student’s faculty advisor and supervisory committee. A partial list of relevant water resources electives are listed below:

  • CIVE 819 Flow Systems Design (3 credits)
  • CIVE 830 Fundamentals of Water Quality Modeling
  • CIVE 852 Water Resources Development
  • CIVE 855 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Engineering
  • CIVE 875 Water Quality Strategy
  • CIVE 898 Special Topics
  • CIVE 915 Water Resources Engineering
  • CIVE 916 Interdisciplinary Seminar in Engineering: Economic and Legal Aspects of Water Resources Systems
  • CIVE 952 Water Resources Planning
  • CIVE 954 Advanced Hydraulics
  • CIVE 958 Groundwater Mechanics
  • AGEN 853 Irrigation and Drainage Systems Engineering
  • AGEN 953 Advanced Irrigation and Drainage Systems Engineering
  • AGEN 954 Hydraulic Modeling of Small Watersheds
  • AGEN 955 Solute Movement in Soils

CIVIL ENGINEERING EVENTS