Civil and Environmental Engineering

Graduate Degrees: Ph.D., M.S., M.Eng

Apply for Admission: December 15, 2020 (Professional M.S. and Ph.D)
January 6, 2021 (M.Eng)

Required Tests: GRE Required: No

Important departmental information:

Starting with the 2017-18 academic year, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department is instituting Professional Degree Supplemental Tuition as part of the MS degree. On a per semester basis, this will add approximately $3100 for California residents and $6100 for non-residents to the cost of attending. The Department is committed to attracting a diverse graduate student body and to making the cost of attendance as reasonable as possible. Financial awards to offset the cost of attendance are based on academic merit and the decisions on these awards are made at the time of admission.

Overview

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) at Berkeley is a place of intellectual vitality. This vitality is evident in its creative and forward-looking curricula and classroom teaching, its attentive academic mentoring, and the innovative research conducted by students and faculty.

CEE focuses on developing future leaders for the engineering profession, for academia, and for applying engineering methods in the broader societal context. CEE conducts cutting-edge research, defining what constitutes the evolving domain of civil and environmental engineering.

We offer both Master's (the Master of Science and the Master of Engineering) and Doctoral degree programs. We support 7 programs of study for the MS and the PhD, each of which has its own prerequisites for admission and degree requirements.  CEE offers 2 programs of study for the MEng. CEE also offers three concurrent degree programs and two certificate programs.

Master of Science (MS) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

These degrees emphasize the application of the natural sciences to the analysis and solution of engineering problems. Advanced courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, and the life sciences are normally included in a program that incorporates the engineering systems approach for analysis of problems.

Students in these degree programs select one of the following seven concentrations:

  1. Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate: 

    Energy, climate, and infrastructure systems are closely tied together, and these connections manifest in many forms. Our society cannot function without energy and infrastructure systems. Energy systems with the lowest possible greenhouse gas footprint are a key to mitigating climate change. Civil infrastructure systems are a backbone of society, and they are also major users of energy that needs to be reduced for a more sustainable development.

    The objective of the Energy, Civil Infrastructure and Climate (ECIC) Program is to educate a cadre of professionals who will be able to analyze from engineering, environmental, economic, and management perspectives complex problems such as energy efficiency of buildings, environmentally informed design of transportation systems, embodied energy of construction materials, electricity from renewable sources, and biofuels, and address such overarching societal problems as mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation of infrastructure to a changing climate. ECIC also promotes research at the intersection of energy, infrastructure and climate science.

  2. Engineering and Project Management: The Engineering and Project Management (E&PM) Program educates professionals to become leaders in managing projects and companies in Architecture-Engineering-Construction (AEC) and in other industries. E&PM graduates find a wide range of employment opportunities in private industry and in the public sector, for example in engineering consulting-, building-, transportation-, and industrial construction firms, as well as in public- and private owner organizations, both domestically as well as internationally.

    As infrastructure systems become more complex, tomorrow's industry leaders must add innovative management thinking to a solid foundation in design and construction. The E&PM Program is uniquely specialized in teaching and researching such new management concepts as Lean Construction, Cost and Schedule Forensics, and Sustainability Engineering. Our teaching and research emphasizes new concepts, technologies, developments, and techniques applicable to both domestic and international project and corporate management. The Program emphasizes the interrelationships of all life-cycle components: planning, design, manufacturing, construction, operation, maintenance, and re-purposing/decommissioning.

    As we are located in the San Francisco Bay Area—the center of major local, national, and international project management and construction activity—our Program is strongly interlinked with industry. Our class projects and research leverage the ability to go observe as well as study specific local and international projects. We draw on examples from commercial building-, industrial-, and heavy/civil construction throughout our curriculum. We also invite industry practitioners to present guest lectures describing industry challenges and solutions.
  3. Environmental Engineering: Management of environmental resources to protect human health and the systems that support life is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society. In recognition of the interdisciplinary nature of these challenges, Berkeley's Environmental Engineering Program provides you with the education needed to address current and future environmental issues. Graduate coursework and research is focused in three Areas of Emphasis:
    • Air Quality Engineering (AQE)
    • Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydrology (EFMH)
    • Water Quality Engineering (WQE)

    You are encouraged to develop a broad set of problem-solving skills through courses and research in related fields such as:

  4. GeoSystems: The GeoSystems Program encompasses a broad area of teaching and research in geotechnical and geological engineering, environmental geotechnics, and applied geophysics. The focus is on the evaluation of engineering properties of geologic materials and on providing engineering solutions for dealing with geologic environment and processes, and natural hazards.

    To this end we pursue studies of the mechanical behavior of soil and rock masses, laboratory and field characterization of material properties, development and application of geophysical techniques for site and subsurface characterization, development of advanced analysis methods, and evaluation of static and dynamic (seismic) performance of soil deposits, earth structures, and underground space.

    The GeoSystems graduate program has a long tradition of excellence and its graduates are leaders in the industry and academia. The strength and breadth of Berkeley's GeoSystems is enhanced by close ties with faculty in other areas of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences. Close interaction of the faculty with consulting companies and practitioners also provides opportunity for exposure to the state-of-the-art practice through invited lectures and site visits to ongoing engineering projects in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Due to the broad interdisciplinary nature of the field we welcome students with a wide range of backgrounds in Engineering and Earth Sciences.
  5. Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials: CEE's Structural Engineering, Mechanics, and Materials (SEMM) Program has an international reputation for excellence. Many of the fundamental developments underlying the state-of-the-art in structural engineering, mechanics, and materials were pioneered by SEMM faculty and students. This tradition of excellence continues today through vigorous programs of basic and applied research, and careful attention to instruction.

    The active involvement of SEMM faculty in the forefront of research projects and in the solution of challenging real world engineering problems results in an instructional program that is up-to-date and relevant. SEMM offers excellent opportunities for study and research leading to advanced degrees in the areas of structural analysis and design, mechanics of structures and solids, and materials in structures and construction.

    The curriculum provides a strong basis for advanced professional practice, research, or teaching. Programs of study can be tailored easily to fit individual needs and interests, whether broad-based and multidisciplinary, or narrowly focused and highly technical. Graduates from the SEMM Program have gone on to become world leaders in private practice, government service, education, and research.
  6. Systems (Civil Systems): The focus of the Systems Engineering Program (Systems) is understanding complex large-scale systems and developing tools for their design and operation. Such systems encompass built elements in the broad sense (infrastructures transportation, structures, etc.), societal systems (social networks, populations enterprises), and natural systems (land water, air). These systems are at the core of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the 21st Century.

    The understanding of how such systems work requires knowledge about the constitutive laws that govern them, such as traffic flow, fluid mechanics, structural mechanics, and smart networks. It also requires an understanding of the theoretical paradigms that are used to model, control and optimize such systems. These include the theories of computation, control theory, optimization, behavioral economics, sensor networks, statistics, and signal processing.

    In response to these challenges, the Systems Program provides courses that cover both field knowledge and technical/theoretical tools. This is reflected in the curriculum. We offer masters and doctoral degree programs providing the key skills, e.g., technological, mathematical, or social scientific, as well as the knowledge for a broad range of engineering domains. Our graduates lead the next generation of research, start-ups, industrial corporations, and public-sector organizations.
  7. Transportation Engineering: 

    Graduate study in transportation at the University of California, Berkeley prepares you for a professional, teaching, and research career. Emphasis is on the acquisition of advanced knowledge concerning planning, design, operations, maintenance, rehabilitation, performance, and evaluation of transportation systems, including their economic and public policy aspects. The program stresses development of analytic, problem-solving, design, and management skills suitable for public and private sector professional work.
     

    Transportation Engineering faculty with diverse backgrounds and research interests, including emeriti professors, teach transportation courses. In addition, faculty from City and Regional PlanningEconomicsIndustrial Engineering and Operations ResearchBusiness AdministrationPolitical Science, and other departments offer courses related to transportation.
     

    Students also have the opportunity to work and interact with research staff at the Institute of Transportation Studies.

Students in the PhD program have the option of pursuing a designated emphasis (DE) to supplement their study.

Master of Engineering (MEng)

This professional degree emphasizes solving technical, sociological, environmental, and economic problems involved in the design, construction, and operation of engineering structures, processes, and equipment. Studies include courses in the engineering sciences necessary to the engineering interpretation of the latest scientific developments. Courses in design, operation, humanities, and economics provide a basis for the analysis and solution of problems in professional engineering.

Students in this degree program select either a concentration in Systems (Civil Systems) or Transportation Engineering (see above descriptions). There are options for either full-time or part-time enrollment.

CEE’s MEng program is offered in conjunction with the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.

Concurrent Degrees

The concurrent degree program is a formal arrangement of two existing, but separate, master's degree programs, which result in the students earning two master’s degrees. CEE offers the following concurrent degree programs:

  1. Structural Engineering and Architecture (MArch/MS)
  2. Transportation Engineering and City and Regional Planning (MCP/MS)
  3. Any CEE graduate program and Public Policy (MPP/MS)

For further information regarding these programs, please see the department's website.

Certificates

Certificate in Engineering and Business for Sustainability: The Engineering and Business for Sustainability (EBS) Certificate Program trains UC Berkeley graduate students to understand the complexity and urgency of their role in engineering, business, and environmental management, and to work across boundaries to achieve sustainable solutions to pressing societal problems. This program allows students to tap into multidisciplinary educational resources from the College of Engineering, Haas School of Business, Energy and Resources Group, Goldman School of Public Policy, College of Natural Resources, and the School of Public Health, to learn how to have a lasting beneficial impact on the global environment. This program is open to all Berkeley graduate students who meet the EBS Certificate course requirements. For further information regarding this program, see the department's website.

Certificate in Intelligent Transportation Systems: Jointly sponsored by CEE, the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Mechanical Engineering, this program is designed to assist students in studying ITS in a systematic and focused way. Faculty advisers help students design a personalized study program to meet their goals. For more information regarding this program, see the department's website.

Designated Emphasis

Berkeley Ph.D. students are eligible to pursue a Designated Emphasis as part of their doctoral studies. Common Designated Emphases for CEE doctoral students include:

A designated emphasis is a specialization, such as a new method of inquiry or an important field of application, which is relevant to two or more existing doctoral degree programs. You are required to complete the academic work in the area of specialization and all the requirements of the doctoral program. You must be admitted to the DE before taking the qualifying examination. A complete list of Designated Emphases is here.


Source: Berkeley Academic Guide

Programs List