Rice University

George R. Brown School of Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering


P.O. Box 1892, MS 103

P.O. Box 1892

Houston, TX 77252

United States





Program Information

Degrees Offered:

M.S. - Civil and Environmental Engineering, Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Format: Campus

Program Description:

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers advanced degrees with emphasis on a variety of specialization areas ranging from hydrology and air quality to structures and bridge engineering, sustainable environmental engineering and more. 

The Master of Civil and Environmental Engineering (MCEE) is a professional nonthesis degree requiring 30 semester hours of approved course work. Students who have a BS or BA degree in any field of engineering or related study may apply. They will complete 30 hours of graduate level courses in our Civil Engineering or Sustainable Environmental Engineering sub-tracks including the required core courses. Other graduate courses from other departments might count towards the MCEE degree, but need prior approval by a CEE faculty advisor. Depending on their background, some students may need to fulfill pre-requisites or take remedial engineering courses to earn the MCEE degree. 

The Master of Science degree is offered in civil and environmental engineering.
    * Complete at least 24 semester hours of approved courses. For students focusing on environmental engineering, this must include one course in each of the following areas: environmental chemistry, water treatment, hydrology, and air quality. For students focusing on civil, structural engineering, and mechanics, this must include one course in each of the following areas: structural engineering, mechanics, advanced mathematics, and dynamic systems. Comparable course work completed previously may be substituted for these core courses.
    * Select a thesis committee according to department requirements and conduct original research in consultation with the committee.
    * Present and defend in oral examination an approved research thesis.

The Ph.D. degree in CEE has two sub tracks: (1) Civil Engineering (CE) and (2) Environmental Engineering and Sciences (EES). In both cases, to earn a Ph.D. degree, students must comply with candidacy, oral examinations, and the thesis requirements. Specific requirements include: 

    * Complete 90 semester hours of approved credits past BS (60 semester hours past MS) with high standing, including core course requirements stipulated below.
    * Pass a preliminary written examination in civil and environmental engineering (see guidelines below).
    * Pass a qualifying examination on course work, proposed research, and related topics.
    * Complete a dissertation indicating an ability to do original and scholarly research.
    * Pass a formal public oral examination on the thesis and related topics. Ph.D. candidates in civil and environmental engineering take the preliminary exam, administered by department faculty, after 2 semesters of course work. Candidates who pass this exam then form a doctoral committee according to department requirements. The qualifying examination administered by the doctoral committee after candidates develop a research proposal evaluates their preparation for the proposed research and identifies any areas requiring additional course work or study. As part of the advanced degree training, we also may require students to assist the faculty in undergraduate courses and laboratory instruction.



Facts & Figures

Financial Aid: No

International Financial Aid: No

Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive

Locale: Large City

Size & Settings: 3,000-5,999

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