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Graduate Program

The department offers programs of study leading to an M.S. degree in civil engineering or a Ph.D. degree. Financial assistance is available in the form of teaching and research assistantships and fellowships. Graduate students work closely with faculty on research projects at the forefront of technology.

Graduate students choose to specialize in one of the seven technical areas:

  • Construction Engineering and Project Management (CEPM)
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Material Engineering
  • Structure Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering

The department is internationally known for water resources research and computer software developed by faculty members. The department has a close partnership with the Kentucky Transportation Center, enabling students to study alongside practicing engineers. The CEPM program is supported through a number of dedicated endowments and extramural funding and is renowned for its research excellence.

Programs of Study

I. Masters Programs

The University of Kentucky offers a Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) degree. Two programs are available for these degrees:

  1. MSCE Program, Plan A:
    This MSCE plan requires the satisfactory completion of 24 semester hours of graduate course work plus a thesis. The thesis generally discusses an organized research topic and must be actively supervised by a member of the graduate faculty.
  2. MSCE Program, Plan B:
    This MSCE plan requires the satisfactory completion of 30 semester hours of graduate course work. The 30 hours include a three-semester hour independent study course. The independent study course must be taken under the supervision of a faculty member who will assign the work to be performed, monitor its progress and assign a grade at its completion. A written report will generally be required for all projects.

II. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program
There are no credit hour requirements for the Ph.D. The type and number of courses required vary, depending on the background of the student. Normally, at least one year of full-time graduate course work beyond the master’s degree will be required before a student is ready to take the Qualifying Examination. At least one additional year will be required for the dissertation, which must significantly advance knowledge in the field.

III. Stream and Watershed Science Graduate Certificate

The Stream and Watershed Science Graduate Certificate provides students with an understanding of the complex physical, biological and social systems involved in stream and watershed related issues.


The Department of Civil Engineering offers a variety of graduate fellowships including CSX, Durr, Garver, Nichols, Raymond-Terrell, Vaughn-Melton, Walker, Dean Fellowships, Lauderdale, and Raymond Fellowships. To be considered for one of these fellowships, the student must be nominated by his/her faculty advisor. For further information, applicants may discuss with their faculty advisor or the director of graduate studies.

College of Engineering Fellowships

Varying types of graduate student aid are available. Contact Monica Mehanna regarding college-wide funding for engineering graduate students.

Graduate School Fellowships

Various types of fellowships are also available from the Graduate School of the University of Kentucky.  Information can be found here.