Skip to Main content

Civil Engineering MSE

Contact Civil & Environmental Engineering Admissions

CEE Logo
Anne Speigle

Senior Graduate Coordinator

Krista Wigginton
Krista Wigginton

Master’s Chair

Civil Engineering at Michigan Statistics

man working in a civil engineering lab

No. 7

US News & World Report

6:1

student-to-faculty ratio

180+ years

as a department

$9M+

spent on research in 2019

39% female

CEE average, 2015-2019

~100%

of department graduates are employed directly out of school or pursue higher education

Why should you get your MSE degree in Civil Engineering at Michigan?

Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan is consistently ranked in the top 10 in the U.S. and has the quality faculty and state-of-the-art facilities and instrumentation you need to make your graduate studies exceptional.

The camaraderie among our students and faculty and the ambiance of Ann Arbor combine to make this a very desirable location to live, study, and conduct research.

man mixing concrete in a lab
sensor on hand

What can you do with an MSE in Civil Engineering?

An MSE in Civil Engineering will build upon your education to prepare you for advanced work on more specialized projects.

You will gain a greater depth of knowledge about how projects impact the built and natural environments, and how outside factors can influence a project.

man working in a lab
man in a car talking to someone in the back seat

Civil Engineering Specializations

This program requires at least 15 hours of CEE courses. A student should expect to take at least eight hours in the area of specialization but will not be permitted to apply more than 21 hours in one area of specialization toward the MSE degree. Study programs are available in the following areas of specialization:

large rebar into metal plates
looking down onto a bridge

Structural Engineering

Build a better world. Work with architects to build the world’s buildings and bridges. Understand the forces, strength, and stability within a structure to bring forth beauty and ensure safety.
Structural Engineering Course Guidelines

geo technical engineering two people looking at soil

Geotechnical Engineering

Want to build the hyperloop, or hold up the world’s biggest buildings? The Leaning Tower of Pisa owes its instability to a time before geotechnical engineering. Our buildings don’t lean anymore. You’ll dig deep beneath our feet to build structures that climb high into the sky. Study soils, foundations, and tunnels, and investigate the causes of landslides and selection of locations for landfills.

mcity roadways aerial view

Transportation Systems Engineering

Be part of a generation that designs what was once considered science fiction: a transportation system with shared driverless electric cars that can talk to each other, pedestrians, buildings, and bridges.
Transportation Systems Course Guidelines

two men talking at a construction site

Construction Engineering & Management

If you’re good at planning, organization, and coordination, this specialization could be perfect for a leader like you. Take a look at the overview of the design and construction process and determine how to schedule work crews, how construction will take place, what materials are needed and where they will come from, and how to protect our workers’ safety.
Construction Engineering and Management Course Guidelines

testing equipment in water

Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering

Take a deep dive to learn about water in natural and human-made environments. Understand the work of the watershed and origins of streamflow. Build dams, canals, and other structures in and around water. Design a storm drain system in cities to prevent flooding and divert water to the natural environment.

a jig set up to test material

Materials and Highway Engineering

Figure out the right formula for the materials you need to build a new structure. There’s ultra-strong yet flexible glass to withstand the forces of the wind, metals that remain shiny over time, or concrete that bends to create more durable roads.

a man and woman working with an autonomous unit

Intelligent Systems

Use intelligent and autonomous technologies to make infrastructure more responsive, resilient, and reliable. From automated sensing and control of building environments, soil safety inspection with drones, to real-time control of urban water networks, you’ll explore ways to adapt our infrastructure to make our systems more efficient and reliable. Intelligent Systems Course Guidelines

Courses Offered

Individualized plans of study will be developed by students in consultation with an advisor. Refer to the Bulletin for course descriptions.

computer screen and walkway photo
students working on a foundation

Sequential Undergraduate/ Graduate Studies Program (SUGS)

Current University of Michigan engineering students can complete both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only five years with SUGS by taking some graduate-level classes during your undergraduate years, so you can save yourself one semester and complete a master’s with only two additional semesters.

students working with surveying equipment

Practice Your Purpose

There is a rich variety of experiential learning opportunities to help you find your niche, connect with people who share your passion, and gain hands-on experience that’ll set your resumé apart from the stack.

Student Groups

students for clean energy logo
Students for Clean Energy

Students for Clean Energy

Learn More — >
Engineering graduate student council meeting
Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)

Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC)

Learn More — >

Professional Development

American society of civil engineers. Large group posing at a construction site.
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Learn More — >
Network for Women in Civil Engineering group photo
Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Network for Women in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Learn More — >
Grad SWE logo
Graduate Society of Women Engineers (Grad SWE)

Graduate Society of Women Engineers (Grad SWE)

Learn More — >
3 students talking
Sustainability, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Minorities

Sustainability, Civil, and Environmental Engineering Minorities

Learn More — >
group of people
Geo-Institute

Geo-Institute

Learn More — >
mcity
Michigan Transportation Student Organization

Michigan Transportation Student Organization

Learn More — >

Examples of Current Research

Vineet Kamat
Construction Engineering and Management

Construction Engineering and Management

Vineet Kamat: Human-Robot Work Collaboration

Learn More — >
photo of Radoslaw Michalowski
Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Engineering

Radoslaw Michalowski: Micromechanics of Sand

Learn More — >
photo of Branko Kerkez
Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering

Hydraulic and Hydrologic Engineering

Branko Kerkez: Real-time Water Systems

Learn More — >
photo of Neda Masoud
Intelligent Systems

Intelligent Systems

Neda Masoud: Real-time Sensor Anomaly Detection

Learn More — >
Photo of Victor Li
Materials and Highway Engineering

Materials and Highway Engineering

Victor Li: Materials Research to Address Civil Engineering Challenges

Learn More — >
photo of Evgueni Filipov
Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering

Evgueni Filipov: Deployable and Reconfigurable Structures

Learn More — >
photo of Yafeng Yin
Transportation Systems Engineering

Transportation Systems Engineering

Yafeng Yin: Innovative Mobility Services & Systems

Learn More — >

Research Videos

Alumni Bios

Each of these alumni were once in your shoes, deciding on a master’s degree. Explore their educational path and how it set their life in motion.

Image of Jim Jacobi

Jim Jacobi

MSE Civil Engineering, 1976

Walter P Moore Technology LLC

Senior Principal & Chief Executive Officer

Image of Mollie Kurasik

Mollie Kurasik

MSE Civil Engineering, 2015

Resurget Engineering

Structural Design Engineer

Image of Laura L. Constain-Montoya

Laura L. Contain-Montoya

MSE Civil Engineering, 2009

Universidad Piloto de Colombia

Professor

Image of Mike Byle

Michael Byle

MSE Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, 1981

Tetra Tech, Inc.

National Discipline Lead for Civil/Geotechnical Engineering

Image of Steve Klenke

Steve Klenke

MSE Civil Engineering, 2012

Michigan Air National Guard

Project Manager & Civil Engineer

Image of Earl C. Howard

Earl C. Howard

MSE Civil Engineering, 1983

City of Detroit

Structural Engineering Consultant

Image of Jim Jacobi

Jim Jacobi

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 1975

University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 1976

Walter P Moore Technology LLC

Senior Principal & Chief Executive Officer

Close

Career Summary

I started my career as a structural engineer designing offshore platforms, a very challenging assignment for structural engineers given the demands on that type of structure. I was always drawn toward technology and how to leverage it to its best advantage in the design and business process. I did not envision a role in IT earlier in my career, but the important role that Information Technology plays in enabling both design and business process led me down that path, which has been very exciting, challenging, and rewarding. My areas of expertise include implementation of integrated project management systems, Building Information Modeling (BIM), and other related 3D CAD project delivery systems.

At Walter P Moore, I have been able to design and implement our firm’s efforts in managing the interface with other members of the design, construction, and owner teams in project collaboration and coordination in the BIM environment. I have led many multi-discipline BIM Coordination Services projects and lead the firm’s Technology Consulting Group and have been able to present nationally on a variety of subjects pertaining to technology in the AEC industry. This tech focus has led to a patent for improved facilities management systems. 

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

One of my favorite past times was walking on campus during the wee hours of the morning to catch a cup of coffee as a study break at establishments that no longer exist. Too bad Starbucks was not around (in Ann Arbor) back then!

Favorite Student Orgs

Participation in the student chapters of ASCE, Chi Epsilon, and the Vulcans played a very formative role in developing the skill and passion for leadership and social activities. These skills are critical to professional success and should be nurtured along with technical competency. Even as a student I was always drawn to technology and enjoyed learning computer programing skills as a part of my engineering classwork. 

Advice to Students

It is very important to develop good written and oral communication skills as a student. You will learn that success in professional practice is oftentimes just as dependent on these skills as a blue-chip understanding of the engineering basics. Keep engaged with Michigan and your department after graduation, you will appreciate the opportunity and insight it provides.

Career Timeline

  • Brown & Root
  • Halliburton Company
  • Member of ACEC national CIO Roundtable
  • University of Houston's Industry Advisory Board on Training in Advanced Plant Design Systems
  • Electronic Data Management Task Force for the Construction Industry Institute
  • Architecture/Engineering Productivity Committee of the Construction Users Roundtable
  • Emeritus Member of the Advisory Board for the College Of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University
  • Advisory Board for the College of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan
  • Walter P Moore
Image of Mollie Kurasik

Mollie Kurasik

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 2015

University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 2015

Resurget Engineering

Structural Design Engineer

Close

Career Summary

Before I graduated, I had three summers of internships. The summer between my junior and senior years I spent with a construction management company where I was out on sight every day. The next two summers I spent at an Architect/Engineer firm in Dearborn, MI. From there I was offered a full-time position at the company and stayed for just over two years. Recently I made the jump to the structural contracting world working for a small company in Detroit. Being at a large Architect/Engineer firm, I was able to see a very large project and gain experience with different disciplines. Overall it was a great experience to learn how a building is put together and the coordination between engineers, architects, contractors, owners, etc. Now I am in a position where I am seeing smaller but faster pace projects with lots of variety. I am also currently working to become a PE and have a plan in the future to become an SE.

Reflection on Time Spent at UM

Favorite Student Orgs: During my time at UM I tried out multiple different student orgs, but my favorite was the Steel Bridge Team. On the team, I gained experience with programs used in the working world and it actually helped me secure an internship that landed me a full-time job. Having this on my resume and being able to talk about my experience on the team has given me a bump over other people trying for the same job. 

Advice to Students

Join an organization that would help you stand out, but don’t just put something on your resume (we can tell who actually was involved).

Image of Laura L. Constain-Montoya

Laura L. Contain-Montoya

Universidad Nacional de Colombia, sede Bogota, BS Civil Engineering, 2003

University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 2009

Universidad Piloto de Colombia

Professor

Close

Career Summary

I started working in 2003 after my bachelor’s graduation in a structural engineering firm, led by one of my undergrad professors. After two years, I started working at a steel construction firm, where I decided I needed to complete my studies. In 2008 I began my masters at the University of Michigan.  

When I returned to Colombia in 2011 I started teaching a concrete course at the Universidad Piloto de Colombia, and I had a full-time job in a consulting firm called INGETEC. In INGETEC. I was able to do concrete and steel structural design. In 2016 I was selected to be an assistant professor at Universidad Nacional, which is an important position in the academic world since Universidad Nacional is one of the best universities in Colombia. After winning that position, I decided to become a full-time professor and in the summer of 2017 I started as a full-time Professor in Universidad Piloto and continued teaching at Universidad Nacional.

Having almost 12 years of structural design experience, gave me the background to share real-life experiences with the students, and being able to tell how real-life designs are developed has been the key to my courses.

Reflection on Time Spent at UM

I am a person who likes to be around people and I like to interact in different ways. I love to dance, go to the movies, and gather with my friends. I belong to the Sociedad Colombiana de Ingenieros (Society of Colombian Engineers), and I work in their academic committee of a structural and geotechnical engineering event. I help a female organization, where I participate in STEM events for schoolgirls, in which I encourage them to study civil engineering. I also participate in the events organized by the civil engineering association in the Universidad Nacional. (AICUN). Moreover, I try to keep in touch with all the Michigan Alumni members in Colombia, since I am the university contact for Colombia.

Advice to students

My advice for the students is to keep in touch with all the people they have met in their life. You will never know when you will need them and how they can help you.

Image of Mike Byle

Michael Byle

University of Michigan, BSE Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, 1978

University of Michigan, MSE Civil (Geotechnical) Engineering, 1981

Tetra Tech, Inc.

National Discipline Lead for Civil/Geotechnical Engineering

Close

Career Summary

I spent two years in New York City working with the American Bureau of Shipping on offshore structures prior to returning to Michigan to complete my MSE.  This provided much insight into actual work and gave relevance to my additional studies.  I worked across the U.S. in multiple locations in consulting and design including NY, CO, TX, MD, VA, MD, and NJ before finally settling in Pennsylvania.  The diversity of locations and geologic conditions helped me develop an understanding of the influence of regional geology and climate on soils and geotechnical design, as well as, variations in local practices.

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

My extended undergraduate degree enabled me to complete a large proportion of the master’s courses in geotechnical engineering as a part of my BSE.  Changing programs from chemistry to engineering gave me a depth of background and opportunity for free electives that increased my breadth of understanding beyond the basic civil engineering programs.  This prelude enabled me to have completed nearly all of the graduate courses offered at UofM by the time I finished my MSE.  This gave me a huge leg up and an ability to apply the knowledge I learned to projects involving more than just geotechnical engineering.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I am a big fan of the Student Chapter of ASCE.  I served as an officer and it enabled me to get to know area professionals and practice leadership in a student role.  I enjoyed the collegial feel of the Civil Engineering Department and established relationships with professors that have endured decades after I left.

Image of Steve Klenke

Steve Klenke

US Air Force Academy, BS Civil Engineering, 2007

University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 2012

Michigan Air National Guard

Project Manager & Civil Engineer

Close

Career Summary

After earning my Master’s degree at the University of Michigan, I returned to the US Air Force Academy in Colorado to join the Dean of Faculty as a Civil Engineering Assistant Professor. I taught undergraduate engineering mechanics, structural analysis, concrete and steel design, and other engineering-related courses. In 2016, I moved back to Michigan and worked as a bridge engineer for Tetra Tech in Brighton, MI. As a bridge engineer, my main responsibilities were load-rating and designing MDOT bridges. In 2019, I started working full time at Selfridge Air National Guard Base as a Project Manager. I have been in the Michigan Air National Guard part-time since 2016 and I currently have approximately 13 years of US Air Force experience as a Civil Engineering Officer. In my current role, I am actively managing the design and construction of roads, taxiways, and runway projects at Selfridge. 

How does your Master’s degree differentiate you from others?

I have found that the two most important credentials that differentiate me from my peers is my Master’s degree from the University of Michigan and my Professional Engineering license. My undergraduate degree is from the US Air Force Academy and not everyone (especially in Michigan) is familiar with the Air Force Academy and its rigorous academic requirements. However, everyone is fully aware of the high standards at the University of Michigan and I believe a degree from the University of Michigan gives me instant credibility as an engineer. In addition, some of my peers do not have a PE license. In my opinion, even as a government employee, a PE is essential as an engineer because it adds an additional layer of credibility that is critical when interacting with AE firms. 

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

My advice to students is to learn all you can, build relationships with your peers, and find out as early as you can what career you really want to pursue. It has only been 13 years since I finished my undergraduate education yet it would be extremely difficult for me to switch career paths now. I love civil engineering and I wouldn’t want to be in any other field. However, some of my peers are looking to go in a different direction with their careers and it is hard to make the switch after you have invested so much time, energy, and education into a certain field. 

Image of Earl C. Howard

Earl C. Howard

University of Michigan, BSE Civil Engineering, 1976

University of Michigan, MSE Civil Engineering, 1983

City of Detroit

Structural Engineering Consultant

Close

Career Summary

My education at the university prepared me for the challenges that would be encountered while pursuing a career in structural engineering. I have worked professionally in the private and public sectors. These experiences have provided me the projects to have worked on that help me to be a better consultant.

Favorite Classes

I enjoyed mathematics and chose to take as many academic courses as I could while obtaining my degrees. If someone wants to choose structural engineering as a career, then mathematics is very important to you.

Victor Li in between 2 concrete structures

Industries & Occupations

Victor Li in between 2 concrete structures
  • Asset Management
  • Construction Engineering
  • Construction Management
  • Energy Systems
  • Federal Government
  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Infrastructure
  • Offshore Structures
  • Renewable Energy Technology
  • Scientific Research
  • Smart City Technologies
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Structural and Architectural Design
  • Sustainability
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Urban Networks and Design

Companies

  • AECOM Technology Corporation
  • Arcadis
  • Army Corps of Engineers
  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Bechtel
  • Consumers Energy
  • HDR, Inc.
  • Jacobs Engineering Group
  • Laing O’Rourke
  • Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
  • Mott McDonald
  • Nike
  • Skanska
  • Stantec
  • Vinci
students working with a woman
working with tiny shapes

Salaries

Discover the value of a Master's degree!

On average, U-M graduates with a master’s degree in an engineering field can earn 15-25% more than those with a bachelor’s degree in engineering.  Use the link below to research average salaries based on a U-M engineering master’s degree, experience level, and desired work location.