Graduate Catalog
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Civil Engineering

Room 104, Engineering Science Building
(901) 678-2746

Coordinator of Graduate Studies

I. The department of Civil Engineering offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Science degree with a major in Civil Engineering (concentrations in Engineering Seismology, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, and Water Resources Engineering) and a PhD degree with a major in Engineering (concentration in Civil Engineering).

Program objectives are: (1) ability to apply advanced knowledge of mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering principles to the solution of practical engineering problems; (2) meet or exceed the needs and expectations of public and private sector employers for M.S. graduates; and (3) preparation to pursue additional advanced studies if so desired.

All graduate students must comply with the general requirements of the Graduate School (see Admissions Regulations, Academic Regulations, and Minimum Degree Requirements) and the program requirements of the degree being pursued.

MS Degree Program

A. Program Admission

The Herff College of Engineering has established uniform admissions criteria for all graduate programs. Exceptions to these requirements may be addressed by the Graduate Admissions and Retention Committee of the department and must be approved by the Dean.

B. Program Prerequisites
Bachelor of Science Degree

C. Program Requirements

  1. Thesis option: 30 credit hours total. Students electing the thesis option will be required to complete an independent research project culminating in a master’s thesis. Upon completion of the thesis, the student must successfully pass an oral examination to assess mastery of the thesis topic and to evaluate the student’s knowledge in Civil Engineering. NOTE: Students electing to write a thesis should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.
  2. Non-thesis option: 33 credit hours total. Students electing the non-thesis option must take CIVL 7001, 7012, and 7993. Upon completion of CIVL 7993, non-thesis students must make an oral presentation of their project and pass a comprehensive examination.
  3. A minimum of 18 hours of Civil Engineering course work at the 7000 level will be required for all MS degree programs. No more than 9 hours of committee/advisor-approved course work below the 7000 level will be allowed in any program of study. Classes taken outside the department must be approved by the committee/advisor and must complement the student's program of study in Civil Engineering.
  4. Concentrations: Concentration may be made by selection of courses from the following six areas: (No special concentration is required.)
    1. Environmental Engineering: 6140, 6143, 6144, 7140, 7141, 7142, 7143, 7144, 7145, 7146, 7147, 7185, 7195, 7196, 7991, 7996.
    2. Geotechnical Engineering: 6152, 6155, 7132, 7133, 7135, 7137, 7138, 7139, 7182, 7991, 7996.
    3. Structural Engineering: 6131, 6136, 7001, 7111, 7112, 7113, 7115, 7116, 7117, 7118, 7119, 7991, 7996.
    4. Transportation Engineering: 6155, 6162, 6163, 6164, 7001, 7162, 7163, 7164, 7165, 7166, 7168, 7169, 7991, 7996.
    5. Water Resources Engineering: 6180, 6190, 7133, 7153, 7163, 7181, 7182, 7185, 7191, 7192, 7193, 7194, 7195, 7196, 7197, 7991, 7996.
    6. Engineering Seismology: 6157, 7116, 7119, 7123, 7135, 7136, 7137, 7991, 7996 and ESCI 6203, 7204, 7205, 7602, 7603.

      Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the Engineering Seismology concentration, students in that concentration must include at least two approved ESCI courses from the list. 

D. Retention Policy

All students enrolled in the Department of Civil Engineering are expected to attain high academic achievement in all courses taken. The criteria listed below will be used to determine retention status of students enrolled in the program leading to a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

  1. Students having been unconditionally admitted to the graduate program in Civil Engineering who maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher will be considered to be in good standing.
  2. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in all course work at The University of Memphis, in all Civil Engineering course work at The University of Memphis, and for all 7000 level course work at The University of Memphis at the end of each semester of enrollment. Any student not meeting these conditions will be placed on probation.
  3. Students admitted on probation must maintain a 3.00 average at the end of each semester until 9 hours of graduate credit are earned. A student having a cumulative grade point average less than 3.00 at the end of the period described will be dismissed. A student having a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above will then be subject to the retention criteria listed in 2 above.
  4. A student will be permitted two (2) grades of 2.00 or lower in graduate courses taken at The University of Memphis. A student will be dismissed from the program at the end of the semester in which a third grade of 2.00 or lower is earned.
  5. A student who has been dropped from the graduate program in the Department of Civil Engineering will be denied permission to enroll in Civil Engineering courses in semesters subsequent to dismissal from the department.

II.Accelerated BS/MS Program in Civil Engineering

This program allows outstanding undergraduates to earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Civil Engineering in as little as five years by taking graduate-level technical electives that will count toward both degree programs. Specifically, students who are selected into this program can satisfy the undergraduate requirement of nine hours of technical electives by taking 6000-level courses that will then be counted toward their graduate degree program. However, any graduate coursework will not apply to the undergraduate GPA.

Students are encouraged to begin planning to enter the Accelerated B.S./M.S. program early in their undergraduate career in consultation with their advisor in the Department of Civil Engineering. Students with a minimum GPA of 3.25 may apply for the accelerated program once they have completed 15 credit-hours of 3000-level CIVL course work. In addition to an application form, students must have the recommendation of their undergraduate academic advisor and the concurrence of the department chair and graduate coordinator in the Department of Civil Engineering. In order to remain in the program, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.25. To continue in the program past the B.S. degree, students must apply for full admission into the Graduate School and the Civil Engineering M.S. program.

III. PhD Degree Program

All doctoral students must take CIVL 8001 and 8012. See the beginning of the College section for admission, retention, program objectives and additional graduation requirements.


NOTE: Students taking Engineering courses will be charged an additional $25 per credit hour.

In addition to the courses below, the department may offer the following Special Topics courses:
CIVL 6900-6910. Special Topics in Civil Engineering. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in the online class listings.
CIVL 7900-10–8900-10. Special Topics in Civil Engineering. (1-3). Topics are varied and announced in the online class listings.