Graduate Degrees


Master of Science (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Doctor of Philosophy (Civil and Environmental Engineering)

Master of Science (Environmental Engineering Science)

Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Engineering Science)

CEE Graduate Bulletin


The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department offers two M.S. and Ph.D. graduate degrees - Civil & Environmental Engineering(CEE) and Environmental Engineering Science EES). The Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) degree is designed for students who wish to earn a degree with a rigorous engineering curriculum. Students entering this degree program should have a B.S. degree in engineering, or will generally need to take about one semester of undergraduate engineering pre-requisite courses. Within the CEE degree, students complete specified requirements in four different emphasis areas: Engineering Mechanics (EM), Environmental and Water Engineering (EWE), Geotechnical Engineering (GT), and Structural Engineering (SE). The Environmental Engineering Science (EES) degree does not require engineering credentials and has a flexible curriculum that enables students with a baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, math, physics, geology, engineering, and other technical fields, to tailor a course-work program that best fits their career goals. The specific requirements for the EES & CEE degrees, as well as for the four emphasis areas within the CEE degree, are described in detail under the Major tab.

The M.S. and Ph.D. degree in EES has been admitted to the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP/WICHE), a recognition that designates this curriculum as unique within the Western United States. An important benefit of this designation is that students who are residents from Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are given the tuition status of Colorado residents.

To achieve the Master of Science (M.S.) degree, students may elect the Non-Thesis option, based exclusively upon coursework and project activities, or the Thesis option, which requires coursework and rigorous laboratory, modeling and/or field research conducted under the guidance of a faculty advisor and M.S. thesis committee, that is described in a final written thesis that is defended in an oral presentation.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree requires students to complete a combination of coursework and original research, under the guidance of a faculty advisor and doctoral committee, that culminates in a significant scholarly contribution (e.g., in the form of published journal articles) to a specialized field in Civil and Environmental Engineering or Environmental Engineering Science. The written dissertation must be defended in an public oral presentation before the advisor and dissertation committee. The Ph.D. program may build upon one of the CEE or EES M.S. programs or a comparable M.S. program at another university. Full-time enrollment is expected and leads to the greatest success, although part-time enrollment may be allowed under special circumstances.


Civil and Environmental Engineering faculty have expertise in engineering mechanics, environmental engineering, environmental-engineering science, geotechnical engineering, hydrology and water-resources engineering, and structural engineering. These areas also serve as topic areas for coursework and for M.S. thesis or PhD dissertation research, and are the basis for degree requirements.

Engineering Mechanics: Engineering Mechanics is an interdisciplinary emphasis area offered with the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Engineering mechanics is concerned with the development and implementation of numerical and analytical procedures to simulate materials’ expected behaviors. This emphasis area draws upon synergistic teaching and research strengths in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and offers options to take courses in Materials Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science. The skills developed in this emphasis area may be used for a wide range of applications in multiple engineering and science disciplines, including (but not limited to) structural mechanics, geomechanics, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, hydrology, and physics. Students who pursue this discipline typically complete the requirements of the Engineering Mechanics (EM) emphasis area in the CEE degree, given below.

Environmental and Water Engineering: Environmental engineering is the application of environmental processes in engineered systems. CEE faculty have expertise in biosystems engineering, wastewater treatment, water-treatment, bioremediation, soil clean up, mining treatment processes and systems, remediation processes, biochemical reactions in soils, membrane processes, and energy recovery from fluids. Students who pursue this discipline complete the requirements of the Environmental and Water Engineering (EW) emphasis area, in the CEE degree, given below.
Environmental Engineering Science: Environmental Engineering science is the study of fundamental biological, chemical, and physical processes that relate to the field of environmental and water resources engineering. Students in this emphasis area usually have interests in environmental microbiology, aqueous chemistry, environmental organic chemistry, biogeochemistry, or fundamental processes associated with engineered water systems (see description for Water-resources engineering below). Students interested in this area complete the requirements for the EES degree given below.

Geotechnical Engineering: Geotechnical Engineering is concerned with the engineering properties and behavior of natural and engineered geomaterials (soils and rocks), as well as the design and construction of foundations, earth dams and levees, retaining walls, embankments, underground structures and tunnels. Almost all constructed projects require input from geotechnical engineers as most structures are built on, in or of geomaterials. Additionally, mitigation of the impact of natural hazards such as earthquakes and landslides, sustainable use of energy and resources, and reduction of the environmental impacts of human activities require geotechnical engineers who have in-depth understanding of how geomaterials respond to loads, and environmental changes. Students who pursue the geotechnical engineering discipline complete the requirements of the Geotechncial Engineering emphasis area in the CEE degree, given below.

Hydrology: Students interested in this area have two options. Students interested in natural-systems hydrology, ground-water resources, and contaminant-transport processes often choose to earn a degree in “Hydrology” in the interdisciplinary Hydrologic Science and Engineering (HSE) program (see HSE section of this graduate bulletin, and the web site Students interested in engineered water systems, such as water infrastructure, water reclamation and reuse, ground-water remediation, urban hydrology, and fluid mechanics typically choose the CEE degree - Environmental and Water Engineering (EWE) Emphasis area, or the EES degree (for students who do not wish to complete an engineering curriculum), both described below.

Structural Engineering (SE): Structural engineering is a multidisciplinary subject spanning the disciplines of civil engineering, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and marine engineering. In all these disciplines, structural engineers use engineered materials and conduct analyses using general principles of structural mechanics, to design structures for civil systems. Designed systems may include bridges, dams, buildings, tunnels, sustainable infrastructure, highways, biomechanical apparatus, and numerous other structures and devices. Students who pursue this discipline complete the requirements of the Structural Engineering (SE) emphasis area.


CSM undergraduate students have the opportunity to begin work on a M.S. degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering or Environmental Engineering Science while completing their Bachelor’s degree. The CSM Combined Degree Program provides the vehicle for students to use undergraduate coursework as part of their Graduate Degree curriculum. For more information please contact the CEE Office.
For more information on the CEE graduate degrees please see the CSM Graduate Bulletin at -

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Last Updated: 05/20/2016 14:27:57