M.S. Degree

The M.S. degree program with an emphasis in Sustainable Systems is intended to provide students with an education and thesis/report experience that is cross-disciplinary. This program aligns with CAEE’s Strategic Plan, which focuses on the Cities, Water, and Energy nexus, challenging Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineers to address complex problems through innovative and cross-disciplinary solutions. To foster this, the thesis/report research of each Sustainable Systems student can be co-supervised by two faculty members in different areas. Alternatively, the student may be supervised by a faculty member in one area and their report/thesis Reader can be from a different area. The program permits considerable flexibility in the selection of courses and participation in research experiences, thereby allowing students to tailor the M.S. program according to their background and educational objectives.

The student is responsible for developing a suitable program of coursework and research in consultation with a faculty advisor in Sustainable Systems. Graduate students in Sustainable Systems must follow all rules and requirements of the Graduate School and the Civil Engineering M.S. degree program.

On a limited basis, exceptional non-engineers may be accepted into the M.S. degree program and subsequently for the Ph.D. degree program. In addition to the normal requirements for the M.S. degree, such students are expected to take an approved set of basic undergraduate math, science, and engineering courses that are pre-requisite to graduate studies.

Degree Options
The M.S. degree includes both coursework requirements and opportunities for research. To provide flexibility in balancing the emphasis between coursework and research in their M.S. program, students can choose from one of the following M.S. degree options: Thesis Option, Graduate School Report Option, Departmental Report Option, or Coursework Only Option. The requirements for these options are described in the Civil Engineering M.S. degree program.

The four degree options allow students to vary the balance between coursework and research in their M.S. program. The Thesis Option has the largest emphasis on research among the three options. The Coursework Only Option has the largest emphasis on coursework among the three options. The Graduate School Report and Departmental Report Options can be considered to lie between the Thesis and Coursework Only Options in terms of emphasis on research. Students in the Coursework Only Option will be required to enroll in a Special Studies or Independent Study course with a Sustainable Systems faculty to develop independent research.

Students are not required to choose among the four degree options at the time of initial enrollment in the M.S. program. Students should discuss the degree options with a faculty advisor and are encouraged to choose one of the four degree options sometime during their first semester or early in the second semester in the program. Students that are funded as Research Assistants are expected to complete the Thesis Option. However, the Thesis Option is open to all M.S. students in Sustainable Systems, whether or not they are funded on a research project. Students interested in completing a thesis, but who are not funded as Research Assistants, are encouraged to discuss potential thesis topics with the faculty in Sustainable Systems.

Course Selection
Students enrolled in any option can take courses from many different areas within CAEE, as well as outside the department. At least six hours should be from the recommended course listing below and no more than twelve hours of courses outside CAEE. In addition, all Sustainable Systems students will be required to enroll in CE 397 Introduction to Sustainable Systems. The intent of these requirements is to assure that coursework programs provide both depth and breadth. A list of recommended courses for Sustainable Systems is included below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive and simply provides examples. More information and complete syllabi from recent offerings of the courses currently available.

Examples of courses commonly chosen in the Sustainable Systems emphasis
CE 397 Introduction to Sustainable Systems (Required)

CE 397 Urban Systems Engineering

CE 397 Renewable Energy/Environmental Sustainability

CE 397 Climate Change Mitigation

CE 397 Sustainable Materials

CE 397 Sustainable Pavement Engineering

CE 397 Sensors/Signal Interpretation

CE 389H HVAC Design

CE 392N1 Infrastructure Systems Management

CE 392U Transportation Systems Management

CE 395S4 Project Management

CE 393N Novel Structural Materials

CE 397 Structural Health Monitoring/Non-Destructive Testing

CE 387T Decision, Risk, and Reliability

CE 387C Geoenvironmental Engineering