Master of Science in Civil Engineering

The master’s degree in civil engineering is a 30 credit-hour program that refines your talents for a career in civil engineering and construction management.

Taking Your Future Forward

Why should you consider Bradley’s civil engineering master’s degree? At Bradley, you’ll put your skills toward a concentration of your choosing: construction management, structural engineering, geo-environmental engineering or transportation engineering. By fostering your growth with state-of-the-art facilities and sophisticated hardware and software, you’ll have the know-how needed to take on the environmental and infrastructural uncertainties facing society.

Graduate Course Areas

Graduate Course Areas Courses in the MSCE graduate program are offered in the areas of construction management, structures, geo-environmental/water resources, and transportation engineering. Selected courses from other engineering and science departments, the Foster College of Business, and computer science may be taken per the elective courses listed below. The program’s flexibility gives you numerous ways to prepare for your future career.

Construction Management

The construction industry is the largest industry in the United States. Its impact is felt in every area of civil engineering around the world. This fast-growing area provides courses that will enhance your education by examining the most recent trends and methods in the management of the construction process. You’ll have opportunities through your classes to deal with building information modeling, advanced construction scheduling and estimating, contract administration, productivity analysis, total quality management (TQM), green and sustainable construction, and many other areas that affect the profession.

Structural Engineering

The structural graduate courses provide a strong theoretical and applied background that’s suitable for practice and research. Your professors employ experimental, numerical, and analytical techniques in their coursework and research, such as behavior and design of reinforced concrete, analysis and design of steel structures, structural durability, analysis and design of bridges, finite element analysis, computational mechanics, structural stability, seismic analysis and design, sustainable technologies in concrete, 3D printing, and the use of novel materials in extraterrestrial applications.

You’ll have state-of-the art facilities at your disposal in the Business and Engineering Convergence Center, including networked personal computers and workstations equipped with structural design and finite elements software packages. The concrete laboratory has research tools, data acquisition systems, and universal and compression testing machines. The new structural laboratory — designed for small- and large-scale testing — has a strong floor and strong wall, MTS actuators, and an overhead crane.

Geo-Environmental/Water Resources Engineering

Graduate courses in this area meet the growing need for professionals who are well educated in the science and engineering of treatment processes, pollutant transport, and our society’s impact and reliance on the environment. Coursework and research in this area also address the need for more informed decision-making with respect to environmental risks, sustainability, and the global nature of today’s challenges.

Funded research from Caterpillar Inc., local water and wastewater municipalities, and from regional and national environmental agencies give you an opportunity to participate in the research of hazardous waste treatment, biological wastewater treatment, physiochemical treatment, and management models of environmental policies and systems.

Transportation Engineering

The transportation industry and the motoring public rely on transportation systems that can move people and goods safely and efficiently. Graduate courses in transportation focus on the planning, design, operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, performance, and evaluation of transportation systems that provide optimal economic and sustainable societal benefits.

Specific graduate courses include urban transportation planning, geometric highway design, traffic signal systems, highway safety, traffic flow theory, transportation economics, pavement materials, pavement design and analysis, and infrastructure asset management. Funded research from the Federal Highway Administration, the Illinois Center for Transportation, state and local governmental agencies, and organizations like the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association (IAPA) give you opportunities to participate in the research of highway and work zone safety, traffic engineering operations, asset management systems, asphalt pavement technologies, and the use of sustainable technologies in infrastructure.

Engagement and Service

You’ll have numerous opportunities to develop your leadership skills through professional activities like the student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Associated General Contractor (AGC), and the Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA). These organizations sponsor noted speakers on a variety of topics and provide a forum for interaction between students and industry. In addition, you may become involved with community service projects such as the Bridge Pal program, Habitat For Humanity, building pocket parks and playgrounds, Illinois River Sweep, and others.

There are also options to present your work in research at symposiums and conferences. The departmental advisory board is comprised of successful civil engineers and construction leaders who are very active as speakers and serve as outside professional contacts for our students. The university-wide job fair has attracted many companies interested in hiring civil engineers and construction managers. The Smith Career Center is an additional robust resource for your job search.

Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission into the MSCE program requires a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or construction. Qualified graduates from other engineering or related fields may also be considered.

Students are not required to take the GRE general test for admission into the MSCE program.

Learn more about graduate admission standards and application requirements on our Requirements page.

Graduate Program Requirements

Information about requirements for the civil engineering graduate program can be found in the Graduate Catalog or by contacting:

A total of 30 hours are required for the MSCE degree. The thesis option requires 6 semester hours of CE 699 (Thesis) and 24 hours of coursework. The non-thesis option requires 30 hours of coursework.

In addition to the requirements of Graduate Education, the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction has the following requirements:

  1. The MSCE program requires a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the bachelor’s degree.
  2. All MSCE students are required to take CE 520 to meet the mathematics requirement. Students must take a minimum of 18 semester hours from the department, in CE and/or CON designated courses. Students may take up to 12 semester hours from other related departments, per the approved Elective Courses listed below.
  3. Students should work with the program coordinator to create a course plan by the end of the first semester. The plan lists the courses required for completion of the program. Courses not on the approved plan may not be counted towards the MSCE degree.
  4. Graduate students are required to pass a comprehensive examination during the last semester of their study. Students seeking the thesis option are required to make an oral defense of their thesis and submit their written thesis document instead.

Elective Courses (Optional)

Elective courses are not required for the MSCE degree. A graduate student may select all 30 semester hours from courses offered in the department (CE and/or CON designated courses).

A maximum of 12 semester hours may be taken from the following list, in consultation with the Program Coordinator

  • Foster College of Business Courses: Any 500- or 600-level business course the student satisfies the prerequisite for, subject to consent and approval by the College of Business. This includes courses under the designations of Accounting (ATG), Economics (ECO), Finance (FIN), Management (ML, MIS, IB, ENT), Marketing (MTG), and Quantitative Methods (QM).
  • Computer Science and Information Systems Courses: Any 500- or 600-level computer science and information system course the student satisfies the prerequisite for, subject to consent and approval by the Computer Science and Information Systems department. This includes courses under the designation of Computer Information System (CIS) and Computer Science (CS).
  • CHM 516 - Environmental Chemistry (3 hours)
  • IME 501 - Engineering Cost Analysis (3 hours)
  • IME 511 - Probability and Statistics for Analytics (3 hours)
  • IME 512 - Regression and Experimental Design (3 hours)
  • IME 514 - Introduction to Operations Research (3 hours)
  • IME 515 - Linear Programming and Extensions (3 hours)
  • IME 522 - Manufacturing Quality Control (3 hours)
  • IME 524 - Six Sigma Theory and Methodologies (3 hours)
  • IME 526 - Reliability Engineering (3 hours)
  • IME 586 - Logistics & Supply Chain Systems (3 hours)
  • IME 587 - Occupational Safety and Health (3 hours)
  • M E 509 - Solar Engineering (3 hours)
  • M E 536 - Industrial Pollution Prevention (3 hours)
  • M E 537 - Building Energy Management (3 hours)
  • M E 556 - Mechanics of Composite Materials (3 hours)
  • M E 577 - Finite Element Methods in Engineering (3 hours)