MS in Civil Engineering

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Student working in engineering lab

A graduate degree from Drexel Engineering will prepare professionals for applying expanded skills practices in civil engineering.

A civil engineering master’s degree will help professionals to prepare for tackling the work required of modern civil engineers. As a student you will address the continuing challenges placed on engineers relating to managing and retrofitting aging infrastructures, adopting new sustainable construction materials in constructed systems, designing, building and rendering the built environment resilient to climate change, addressing issues such as pollution, water and storm management and indoor and outdoor air quality.

You will gain an understanding of advances in industry, a global viewpoint, the entrepreneurial and teambuilding skills needed to advance your career in industry or research, and the knowledge required for entry into a PhD program in civil engineering or a related field.


  • On-campus
  • Full-time or part-time
  • The MS in Civil Engineering degree will take two years to complete on a full-time basis or can be completed on a part- time basis in typically, 3-4 years.

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Areas of Specialization

The civil engineering graduate degree provides flexibility to tailor study to your interests. The plan of study can encompass a broad range of technical knowledge or one that is more targeted to a specific concentration area. The following are some examples of topical areas for technical electives:

Dual graduate degrees are possible. Popular programs to combine with the MS in Civil Engineering are the MS in Environmental Engineering or MS in Engineering Management.

Why choose Drexel for your MS in Civil Engineering?

The master’s degree program in civil engineering offers you the opportunity to develop a more fundamental and complete understanding of the principles that govern the field as well as current and leading-edge design and structural testing methodologies. You will emerge prepared to take on the demands of industry or to continue study in a doctoral program in civil engineering or related subjects.

Engineer inspecting overpass

The Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering (CAEE) Department combines related diverse fields to educate and turn out a well-rounded engineer. Drexel students are encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in identifying a problem and analyzing potential approaches in the quest for a solution. The focus of our programs is to equip you with the tools for finding sustainable and achievable outcomes to solve for society’s biggest challenges, while making them relevant to your career goals.

As a student, you will have access to Drexel’s high-performance computing cluster and other university resources. Students also conduct work in our well-equipped and professionally staffed geotechnical, material, mechanical and structural testing and environmental and air resources laboratories and have access to industry standard software in our computer labs. Learn more about our facilities.


The city of Philadelphia is our campus – a diverse urban environment with a variety of social, cultural and learning opportunities that will enrich your educational experience. Philadelphia is also a draw for talented instructors and researchers, meaning you will engage with some of the best minds in engineering and other disciplines. Learn more.

Curriculum and Requirements

Cross-cutting core courses 12 credits
Core courses in focus area 12 credits
Technical Electives/ Thesis and alternatives 21 credits: 9 credits of MS thesis research + independent study or additional concentration electives.
  • The master’s degree requires a total of 45 credits. Of these, 12 credits are cross-cutting interdisciplinary related courses and 12 credits are core courses related specifically to your focus area. The remaining credits are taken as electives or as a thesis. Full time master’s students are encouraged to pursue a thesis consisting of six research credits and three thesis credits.  
  • Graduate advisors will consult with you on the choice and scheduling of core and elective courses.

Visit the Drexel Catalog for more information or learn more about our admissions requirements.

Civil Engineering Graduate Certificates are available for additional engineering credentials or if you are not ready to take on a Master’s degree. The credits will transfer to the MS program should you continue study.


Students in the master’s in civil engineering program are welcome to engage in research as part of their degree or as extra-curricular participation. Full-time students are encouraged to base their master’s thesis on some aspect of faculty research for an invaluable learning experience working collaboratively.

Current faculty research helps us to aid in the areas that are of great importance in our society, including transportation, building performance, clean environment and green energy, environmental health, indoor air quality and many others. Examples of current research in civil engineering in the CAEE department ranges from:

  • Restoration and repair infrastructure
  • Water needs and quality
  • Green design
  • Sustainability in construction
  • Recycled materials in geotechnics
  • Structural health monitoring and Non Destructive Testing
  • Green infrastructure planning and modeling

Research is sponsored by grants from many organizations including National Science Foundation (NSF), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Institute of Health (NIH), American Chemical Society (ACS), Pfizer, Inc., and a host of other institutions.

Visit research areas for more about research activity at the College of Engineering.

Career Opportunities in Civil Engineering

Civil engineering graduate programs helps you advance your career pursuing advanced technical, research or management positions in industries such as those supporting infrastructure in government, engineering consulting, construction, water and wastewater utilities, transportation, and many others. Obtaining a MS in Civil Engineering will also prepare you for an advanced degree such as a PhD.

Overall, employees with graduate degrees can earn up to 28 percent more than bachelor’s degree holders over the course of their career. The outlook for civil engineering jobs is stable, with employment expected to grow at rate of 2% through 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Government spending on the aging infrastructure should rise as civil engineers will be needed to manage projects to rebuild, repair, and upgrade bridges, roads, levees, dams, airports, buildings, and structures of all types.


Drexel places a high value on industry connections and experience at every level. Teaching faculty in the CAEE department are experts with industry experience or are at the forefront of research and teaching.

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