Prospective Graduate Students

Cutting-Edge Research with World-Renowned Faculty

The CEE Graduate Program at UC Davis provides a setting in which students can develop their full potential to solve problems and become leaders in civil infrastructure and environmental engineering through individual and collaborative integration of research, education and professional service. We are a highly ranked, vibrant program where students can develop knowledge through topical classroom experiences and with faculty and students who together carry out innovative research that aims to improve society. Our program values diversity as a core component of excellence. We believe that a diverse graduate student population enriches our research, scholarship, teaching, and the overall academic experience for all our students.

Students in CEE focus on one or more of five areas of research specialization: Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, Water Resources and Transportation Engineering.

Please review requirements and guidelines for admissions to our program and information about each aspect of the application.

Thank you for your interest in our program -- we look forward to hearing from you! Contact us at, review our Frequently Asked Questions for prospective graduate students and see how to apply.

Degrees Offered

The CEE Program offers graduate M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering. You can find about specific faculty research interests and a list of the courses offered in the CEE department. More information about specific degree requirements is available.

The MS Degree

There are two pathways to achieve an MS degree. These are:

  • MS Plan I – Thesis: The MS I pathway requires that, in addition to 27 units of graded coursework, students engage in substantial, independent research that culminates in the writing of a Thesis. The MS I degree pathway is for students who have a strong interest in gaining or expanding their research experience. The ability to participate in the MS I pathway requires concurrence of a faculty member, either prior to or after arrival at UCD.
  • MS Plan II – Exam or Project: The MS II pathway requires students take 34 units of graded coursework, predominately at the graduate level. In addition, as a culminating experience students will take either a written comprehensive exam or complete a project (developed in consultation with their Major Professor). The MS II pathway is for students who are interested in expanding their knowledge in their area of specialization. Students on the MS II pathway may, with the support of a faculty member, transfer to the MS I (thesis) pathway.
The Ph.D. Degree

The Ph.D. degree is for those students who have a major interest in developing deep knowledge of and performing independent, extensive research in their area of specialization, conducted in close collaboration with faculty. Students may apply directly to the Ph.D. program whether or not they have already obtained an MS degree, and many students start at UC Davis on the MS pathway and later transition to the Ph.D. program. Admission to the Ph.D. program is highly competitive, and requires the support of a faculty member. If you are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. degree, it is recommended that you contact faculty members who have research interests that align with yours.

Graduate Academic Certificates/ Designated Emphasis

CEE Graduate Program: By the Numbers

  • Faculty: 43
  • Grads: 275
  • Specialty Areas: 5
  • Graduate Classes: 65+