This is the first version of the 2021-22 General Catalog. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

Graduate study in civil and environmental engineering prepares students for professional careers and further study. The principal concentration areas are environmental engineering and environmental science; hydraulics, hydrology, and water resources; structures, mechanics, and materials; sustainable water development; and transportation.

Research and Study Areas

Structures, Mechanics, and Materials

The structures, mechanics, and materials curriculum is designed for students who wish to gain knowledge and skill in the mechanics of solids and structures that they can apply to civil infrastructure systems and other fields. The program concentrates on developing appropriate methodologies for tackling broad, complex issues related to civil infrastructure systems, and on educating engineers in the implementation and application of methodologies to actual engineering projects. Faculty members have expertise in structural engineering, design optimization, solid mechanics, and computational methods.

Transportation Engineering

The transportation engineering curriculum is geared toward students interested in developing specialized knowledge and skills applicable to the diverse set of issues associated with transportation. Faculty members have expertise in traffic engineering, infrastructure management systems, pavement engineering, advanced construction materials, dynamic load and pavement simulation, optimal design, winter highway maintenance, real-time simulation, human factors, intelligent sensors, nondestructive testing, transportation planning, and travel demand modeling.

Water and the Environment

The water and the environment graduate program focuses on both fundamental and applied aspects of environmental systems and processes across a range of scales. The water and the environment program offers unique opportunities for students to actively participate in the research, analysis, and design aspects of real-world problems. There are three areas of specialization—environmental engineering and science; hydraulics, hydrology, and water resources; and sustainable water development.

The environmental engineering and science curriculum provides a comprehensive base of coursework and research in the areas of air and water quality management; environmental chemistry and microbiology; natural systems modeling; and processes for water supply, pollution control, and solid and hazardous waste management.

The hydraulics, hydrology, and water resources curriculum is associated with IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, a world-renowned research institute, where senior staff members of the institute are professors in the program. IIHR offers unique curriculum opportunities in laboratory and field-scale experimentation, and in mathematical modeling with IIHR's high-speed computer facilities.

The sustainable water development curriculum is focused on training interdisciplinary professional engineers, researchers, educators, and those who are ready to meet the water resource challenges of communities most in need. Community service and professional development experiences complement innovative research at the food, energy, and water nexus.

Across all specialization areas within water and the environment, interdisciplinary research and study are conducted with programs including the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination, the Iowa Superfund Research Program, the Hazardous Substances Research Center, and the Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing; the Departments of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering (College of Engineering), Earth and Environmental Sciences, Geographical and Sustainability Sciences (College of Liberal Arts and Sciences), Microbiology and Immunology (Carver College of Medicine), and Occupational and Environmental Health (College of Public Health); and the School of Planning and Public Affairs (Graduate College). Other areas of interdisciplinary focus include groundwater contamination, biotechnology, global climate change, and hazardous substances.

The Master of Science program in civil and environmental engineering requires a minimum of 30 s.h. of graduate credit for thesis students; 31 s.h. for nonthesis students. The program enables students to concentrate in one or more areas of their choice. Students must maintain a cumulative g.p.a. of at least 2.75.

The thesis option requires a minimum of 25 s.h. (eight courses) with the remaining 5 s.h. obtained in CEE:5999 Research: Civil and Environmental Engineering M.S. Thesis.

With the approval of their advisor, students develop a study plan that satisfies the requirements of their chosen curriculum. Students must pass an oral examination and, in some program options, a written examination.

Consult the department's Graduate Program Resources web page for more detailed information about the M.S. program in civil and environmental engineering.

Core Courses

All students must successfully complete the civil and environmental graduate core courses for their area of focus. Students are expected to complete these courses during their first year of study. 

Elective Courses

Students choose elective courses from any academic area that strengthens their knowledge of water and the environment and provides needed research topic training. Individual Investigations: Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE:5998) is not considered a suitable elective.

Seminars

All full-time students are required to register for and participate in a seminar in their respective program of study; this includes CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar for areas that fall under the water and the environment curriculum (environmental engineering, environmental science, hydraulics, sustainable water development, and water resources), or CEE:5098 Graduate Seminar in Structures, Materials, Mechanics, and Transportation for students in structures, mechanics and materials or transportation engineering. Depending on the program of study, there may be additional seminar requirements. For more detailed information please visit the department's Graduate Program Resources web page.

Ethics Course

Students must enroll in ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics.

Thesis

Students may earn up to 5 s.h. of research credit in CEE:5999 Research: Civil and Environmental Engineering M.S. Thesis. A total of 3 s.h. may be taken on a graded basis at the discretion of the advisor. Consult the department's Graduate Program Resources web page for more detailed information about the program.

M.S. (Sustainable Water Development Subprogram)/M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the School of Planning and Public Affairs collaborate to offer a combined Master of Science in civil and environmental engineering with a sustainable water development subprogram/Master of Science in urban and regional planning.

Separate application to each degree program is required. Applicants must be admitted to both programs before they may be admitted to the combined degree program. For more information, see the M.S. in urban and regional planning (Graduate College) in the Catalog.

Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations on the Graduate College website.

Each of the program's curricula is flexible; students may be admitted from all disciplines of engineering as well as from the mathematical and basic sciences.

Applicants should have a cumulative undergraduate g.p.a. of at least 3.00. Those with grade-point averages slightly lower should contact the department.

Applicants should have a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 301 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test. Lower scores are considered with other evidence of academic promise (recommendation letters, grade-point average). GRE General Test scores also are used in financial aid decisions. Beginning with fall 2022 applicants, GRE scores will no longer be required. Currently the requirement may be waived on a case-by-case basis.

A significant number of research assistantships are available on a variety of research projects, and a limited number of teaching assistantships may be available. Selection of recipients usually is based on scholastic achievement and research interest.

Current and projected demand for M.S. graduates is excellent. Graduates are placed in advanced technical positions in industry, consulting firms, or government, or they may continue their graduate study. On average, 93-98 percent of graduates are employed in their field of study or pursuing advanced education within seven months of graduation.

Engineering Career Services develops and promotes experiential education and professional opportunities for students. Professional staff coordinate the college's co-op and internship program, engage in employer outreach, and provide opportunities for students to network with employers, including an engineering career fair and other career-development programming each semester.

Engineering Career Services also offers individual advising and class presentations on résumé and cover letter preparation, job and internship search strategies, interviewing skills, and job offer evaluation.

Sample Plans of Study

Sample plans represent one way to complete a program of study. Actual course selection and sequence will vary and should be discussed with an academic advisor. For additional sample plans, see MyUI.

Civil and Environmental Engineering, M.S.

Environmental Engineering Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE:5380 Fluid Flows in Environmental Systems 3
CEE:5410 Politics and Economics of the Food, Energy, Water Nexus 3
CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics c 1
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:5310 Informatics for Sustainable Systems 3
CEE:5350 Watershed Hydrology and Ecosystem Processes 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
Final Exam e  
 Hours15
 Total Hours31

Environmental Science Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE:5380 Fluid Flows in Environmental Systems 3
CEE:5410 Politics and Economics of the Food, Energy, Water Nexus 3
CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics c 1
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:5310 Informatics for Sustainable Systems 3
CEE:5350 Watershed Hydrology and Ecosystem Processes 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
Final Exam e  
 Hours15
 Total Hours31

Hydraulics Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE:5380 Fluid Flows in Environmental Systems 3
CEE:5410 Politics and Economics of the Food, Energy, Water Nexus 3
CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics c 1
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:5310 Informatics for Sustainable Systems 3
CEE:5350 Watershed Hydrology and Ecosystem Processes 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
Final Exam e  
 Hours15
 Total Hours31

Structures, Mechanics and Materials Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; more information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE Core course b 3
CEE Core course b 3
CEE Elective course c 3
CEE Elective course c 3
CEE:5990 Structural Engineering Practicum A 2
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics d 1
CEE:5098 Graduate Seminar in Structures, Materials, Mechanics, and Transportation e 0
 Hours15
Spring
CEE Core course b 3
CEE Elective course c 3
CEE Elective course c 3
CEE Elective course c 3
CEE Elective course c 3
CEE:5991 Structural Engineering Practicum B 1
CEE:5098 Graduate Seminar in Structures, Materials, Mechanics, and Transportation e 0
Final Exam f  
 Hours16
 Total Hours31

Sustainable Water Development Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE:5380 Fluid Flows in Environmental Systems 3
CEE:5410 Politics and Economics of the Food, Energy, Water Nexus 3
CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics c 1
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:5310 Informatics for Sustainable Systems 3
CEE:5350 Watershed Hydrology and Ecosystem Processes 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
Final Exam e  
 Hours15
 Total Hours31

Transportation Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. must be graduate level coursework; more information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE:5310 Informatics for Sustainable Systems 3
CEE:4560 Pavement Engineering 3
CEE:5678 Application Simulation to Transportation 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics c 1
CEE:5098 Graduate Seminar in Structures, Materials, Mechanics, and Transportation d 0
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:4730 Transportation Infrastructure Construction and Management 3
STAT:4100
Mathematical Statistics I
or Statistical Methods and Computing
3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE:5098 Graduate Seminar in Structures, Materials, Mechanics, and Transportation d 0
Final Exam e  
 Hours15
 Total Hours31

Water Resources Subprogram

Plan of Study Grid (Manual)
Academic Career
Any SemesterHours
31 s.h. of graduate level coursework must be completed; graduate transfer credits allowed upon approval. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website. a  
 Hours0
First Year
Fall
CEE:5380 Fluid Flows in Environmental Systems 3
CEE:5410 Politics and Economics of the Food, Energy, Water Nexus 3
CEE:5440 Foundations of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
ENGR:7270 Engineering Ethics c 1
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
 Hours16
Spring
CEE:5310 Informatics for Sustainable Systems 3
CEE:5350 Watershed Hydrology and Ecosystem Processes 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE Elective course b 3
CEE:5096 Water, Energy, and Food Nexus Seminar d 0
Final Exam e  
 Hours15
 Total Hours31