This is a named option in the Civil and Environmental Engineering M.S.

The M.S. CEE-Research degree program takes approximately two years to complete. M.S. research degree candidates will choose one of two pathways for their program of study: thesis or advanced independent study. Students who do not have a bachelor's degree from an ABET accredited engineering program, or from a recognized international institution, may be required to complete deficiency coursework in addition to completing either the thesis or advanced independent study curriculum requirements. Selection of a pathway is dependent upon the educational objectives of the candidate.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

All applicants must meet the Graduate School's admission requirements to be considered for admission. The application deadline is December 15 for the fall term and October 1 for the spring term. Late applications may not be reviewed for funding opportunities.

In addition, applicants must also meet the department's more stringent admission requirements listed below to be considered for admission:

  • Grades: A minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours (approximately two years of work) is required for domestic applicants. A strong academic performance comparable to an average of B or above grades for all undergraduate course work is required for international applicants.
  • Degree: A bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program or from a recognized international institution is required. Applicants who do not have a bachelor's degree as specified above may study for the master of science in civil and environmental engineering (Program Option C); however, to become eligible for this program, applicants must meet the department's deficiency requirements, some of which may be completed as deficiencies after admission. As a general rule, students with more than 12 credits in deficiencies are not admitted to the graduate program. Rather, they are encouraged to enroll as special students until most of their deficiencies are satisfied. All plans of study within this option must be approved by the department faculty. The deficiency requirements for applicants without a bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program or from a recognized international institution must be obtained from the department.

A complete graduate application is required before an application will be reviewed by the faculty. A complete graduate application contains the following:

  • Graduate School Application Form and application fee: Applicants must submit an online application to the UW–Madison Graduate School. See Graduate School Admissions to apply.
  • Statement of purpose: A statement of purpose for graduate study must be submitted through an applicant's online UW–Madison Graduate School application. Please limit this important document to 1,000 words.
  • Letters of recommendation: Three letters of recommendation must be submitted through an applicant's online UW–Madison Graduate School application.
  • Transcripts: Upload the most recent copies of your transcripts to the electronic application, from each institution attended.  Study abroad transcripts are not required if coursework is reflected on the degree granting university's transcript. If the application is recommended for admission then we will follow-up with instructions for official transcript submission.
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores: Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores are required for most applicants.
  • English proficiency scores: Applicants whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. Scores are accepted if they are within two years of the start of the admission term. See Graduate School Admission Requirements for more information on the English proficiency requirement.
    • GRE and TOEFL scores may be sent to institution code 1846 from ETS

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Named Option Requirements

Mode of Instruction

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement At least 50% of credits applied toward the graduate degree credit requirement must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide.
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements The Graduate School requires an average grade of B or better in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student unless conditions for probationary status require higher grades. Grades of Incomplete are considered to be unsatisfactory if they are not removed during the next enrolled semester.
Assessments and Examinations Contact the program for information on required assessments and examinations.
Language Requirements Contact the program for information on any language requirements.

Required Courses

Track A—Thesis Track1

Students who wish to do advanced work and research in a well-defined area of specialization are encouraged to pursue this program.

This option requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate work including:

  • A minimum of 18 credits graduate-level coursework (300-level and higher); at least of 9 of the 18 credits must be in Civil and Environmental Engineering (may include the seminar course with approval from the faculty advisor; may not include CIV ENGR 790) Some 300-level courses may require special faculty approval.
  • A minimum of one-credit seminar course (Discuss seminar options with faculty advisor.)
  • A minimum of 6 credits of CIV ENGR 790 Master's Research or Thesis A faculty committee will conduct a final examination on the thesis research. 

Track B—Advanced Independent Study Track1

This track requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate work including:

  • A minimum of 21 credits graduate-level coursework (300 level and higher); at least of 9 of the 21 credits must be in Civil and Environmental Engineering (may include the seminar course with approval from the advisor; may not include independent study or research courses) Some 300-level courses may require special faculty approval.
  • A minimum of one-credit seminar course. (Discuss seminar options with faculty advisor.)
  • A minimum of 3 credits of CIV ENGR 790 Master's Research or Thesis or CIV ENGR 999 Advanced Independent Study A required written report based on the student’s advanced independent study project does not have to meet UW-Madison Graduate School requirements for a thesis, but has to show independent thinking by the student. A faculty committee will review and approve the final report. A final examination is not required but may be requested by the faculty committee. 

Track C—Master’s Track1 (for Students without Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees)

This program is designed for students without engineering bachelor’s degrees. Students will meet with their faculty advisor to determine the courses and total credits required to fulfill the deficiency requirements. As a general rule, students with more than 12 credits in deficiencies are not admitted to the program. Rather, they are encouraged to enroll as special students until more of their deficiencies are satisfied. Some of the deficiency course requirements may be completed after admission. The exact number of deficiency courses and credits completed before and after admission will be determined by the faculty advisor. All prerequisite courses must be taken for a letter grade. In addition to the total deficiency credit requirement, Track C requires a minimum of 30 credits of graduate work. Students can select either a Thesis Track or Advanced Independent Study Track, consistent with the requirements of Track A or Track B described above, to complete the non-deficiency requirements of Track C. Students should meet with their faculty advisor to determine which track is most appropriate for their degree plan. Deficiency credits cannot be applied to fulfill the 30 credit degree requirement.

Seminar Course Options

Seminar Course Options
CIV ENGR 579 Seminar-Transportation Engineering1
CIV ENGR/​ENVIR ST/​URB R PL  717 Water Resources Management Practicum Planning Seminar I1
CIV ENGR/​ENVIR ST/​URB R PL  718 Water Resources Management Practicum Planning Seminar II2
CIV ENGR 909 Graduate Seminar - Environmental Chemistry & Technology1
CIV ENGR/​ATM OCN/​BOTANY/​ENVIR ST/​GEOSCI/​ZOOLOGY  911 Limnology and Marine Science Seminar1
CIV ENGR 919 Seminar-Hydraulic Engineering and Fluid Mechanics1
CIV ENGR 929 Seminar-Environmental Engineering1
CIV ENGR 939 Geotechnical Engineering Seminar1
CIV ENGR 949 Seminar-Structural Engineering1

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Named Option-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Approved credits will be allowed to count toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement and the minimum graduate coursework requirement, but will not count toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, no more than 7 credits of coursework numbered 300 or higher from a UW–Madison undergraduate degree are allowed to count only toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework numbered 300 or above taken as a UW–Madison special student toward the Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, and the Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement; those courses numbered 700 or above may be applied toward the Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Probation

The Graduate School regularly reviews the record of any student who earned grades of BC, C, D, F, or Incomplete in a graduate course (300 or above), or grade of U in research credits. This review could result in academic probation with a hold on future enrollment or in being suspended from the Graduate School.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Every graduate student is required to have an advisor. To ensure that students are making satisfactory progress toward a degree, the Graduate School expects them to meet with their advisor on a regular basis.

An advisor generally serves as the thesis or independent study advisor. In many cases, an advisor is assigned to incoming students. Students can be suspended from the Graduate School if they do not have an advisor. An advisor is a faculty member, or sometimes a committee, from the major department responsible for providing advice regarding graduate studies.

A committee often accomplishes advising for the students in the early stages of their studies.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

Master’s degree students who have been absent for five or more consecutive years lose all credits that they have earned before their absence. Individual programs may count the coursework students completed prior to their absence for meeting program requirements; that coursework may not count toward Graduate School credit requirements.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

CEE Grievance Procedures

Students who feel that they have been treated unfairly have the right to a prompt hearing of their grievance. Such complaints may involve course grades, classroom treatment, advising, various forms of harassment, or other issues. Any student or potential student may use these procedures.

• The student should speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed. In most cases, grievances can be resolved at this level. 

• Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact the program’s Grievance Advisor to discuss the grievance. Currently, the CEE Grievance Advisors are:

Christina Remucal, Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Programs
remucal@wisc.edu 141 WSEL Phone: (608) 262-1820 

William Likos, Professor and CEE Department Chair
likos@wisc.edu 2205 Engineering Hall Phone: (608) 890-2662 

If the student prefers to talk with someone outside of the CEE department, contact:
Chris Brace, Assistant Dean

The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs (engr-dean-graduateaffairs@engr.wisc.edu) provides overall leadership for graduate education in the College of Engineering (CoE), and is a point of contact for graduate students who have concerns about education, mentoring, research, or other difficulties. 

• The Grievance Advisor is responsible for facilitating any complaints or issues of students. The Grievance Advisor first attempts to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. University resources for sexual harassment concerns can be found on the UW Office of Compliance website and are included in the next section. 

• If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction the student can submit the grievance to the Grievance Advisor in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment. 

• On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Grievance Advisor to manage the grievance. The program faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. This response will be shared with the person filing the grievance. 

• The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Grievance Advisor will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received. 

• At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the College. 

• Documentation of the grievance will be stored for at least 7 years. Significant grievances that set a precedent will be stored indefinitely.

The Graduate School has established policies governing student conduct, academic dishonesty, and sexual and racial harassment. The Graduate School also has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the college level. These policies are described in the Academic Guidelines.

Other

Students in the accelerated M.S. named options are not eligible for department funded opportunities.

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

Civil and Environmental Engineering Faculty: Professors Likos (chair), Ahn, Bahia, Cramer, Hanna, Harrington, Hurley, Likos, Loheide, McMahon, Noguera, Noyce, Park, Parra-Montesinos, Ran, Russell, Schauer, Wu; Associate Professors Block, Fratta, Ginder-Vogel, Pincheira, Remucal, Tinjum; Assistant Professors Blum, Hampton, Hicks, Prabhakar, Pujara, Qin, Sone, Wang, Wei, Wright, Zhu; M.Eng Program Director Carlson. See also CEE faculty.

Geological Engineering Faculty: Professors Tinjum (director) (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Feigl (Geoscience), Goodwin (Geoscience), Holloway (Nelson Institute), Likos (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Loheide (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Thurber (Geoscience), Tikoff (Geoscience), Wu (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Associate Professors Cardiff (Geoscience), Fratta (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Ginder-Vogel (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Assistant Professors  Hampton (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Hicks (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Sone (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Zoet (Geoscience); Professor of Practice Pakes (Grainger). See also GLE faculty.

Environmental Chemistry and Technology: Professors Hurley (director) (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Bertram (Chemistry), Bleam (Soil Science), Harrington (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Karthikeyan (Biological Systems Engineering), McMahon (Civil and Environmental Engineering/Bacteriology), Pedersen (Soil Science), Roden (Geoscience), Root (Chemical and Biological Engineering), Schauer (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Thompson (Biological Systems Engineering); Associate Professors Ginder-Vogel (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Remucal (Civil and Environmental Engineering); Assistant Professors Anantharaman (Bacteriology), Qin, (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Wei (Civil and Environmental Engineering), Whitman (Soil Science). See also ECT Faculty.