Civil & Environmental Engineering

Masters Program

Civil & Environmental Engineering Master's Programs

The UMass Lowell Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering offers master's degree programs in Civil & Environmental Engineering and in Environmental Studies. Options within the Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering include: Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Geoenvironmental, Structural Engineering, and Transportation Engineering. There are two concentrations within the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering - one in Atmospheric Sciences, and another in Environmental Engineering Sciences.

Master of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering 

Master of Science in Environmental Studies

 Master of Science in Civil & Environmental Engineering

Program Description and General Requirements 

Graduate study in Civil and Environmental Engineering is an intensive program of instruction at an advanced technical level. The program permits students to design, in consultation with their advisor, a plan of study that meets individual goals and career objectives. 

Program options include environmental engineering, geoenvironmental engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering and transportation engineering. 

Admission to a particular engineering option is open to applicants with undergraduate degrees in engineering, mathematics or science. The degree requires successful completion of 30 credit hours of course work, or 24 credit hours of instruction and a publishable thesis, or 27 hours of course work and preparation of a project report. 

Courses are scheduled in the late afternoon and evening to provide study opportunities for students with full-time employment. Successful completion of undergraduate prerequisite courses is required prior to registering for graduate courses. However, undergraduate prerequisites and selected graduate courses, that do not have prerequisites, may be taken during the first year of study, but only with the written permission of the student’s advisor. Required undergraduate prerequisite courses are listed in descriptions of the core graduate courses shown below. 

Applicants who satisfy graduate admission requirements will be assigned to a faculty member who will serve as their academic advisor. Students receiving a teaching or research assistantship will normally be required to submit a publishable thesis. Those admitted to graduate study as non-degree students may apply for matriculated status. However, no more than 12 credits of work completed while in non-degree student status or transferred from another department or college will be used toward a degree. Matriculated status is preferred before initial registration and is mandatory prior to registration for second semester courses. Faculty will review a petitioner’s performance in all courses attempted. 

Visit the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department website for more information.

 M.S. in Civil Engineering (Environmental Engineering Option) 

The program offers an opportunity to pursue a broad range of interests in the fields of environmental and water resources engineering. The course of study is designed to meet an individual student's interests and career goals. Programs consist of civil engineering courses in water and wastewater treatment, environmental chemistry, hydrology, hydraulics, air pollution control, environmental law and policy and may include courses from allied disciplines such as biological and health sciences, environmental studies, chemistry and work environment. The program of study consists of four core courses and elective courses. Undergraduate core course prerequisites must be completed before beginning graduate course work. 

Prerequisite Undergraduate Courses for MS Environmental Engineering Option 

In order to obtain the MS Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering Environmental Engineering Option, a student is required to have completed undergraduate courses in the areas of chemistry, physics, mathematics and engineering. At a minimum, the following courses are required. University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) course numbers are provided for reference purposes. Course work that is equivalent to the UML courses specified are acceptable. However, an official determination of prerequisite course equivalency will be conducted by UML faculty that teach the specified undergraduate course, or by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Graduate Coordinator, only after the student has applied and been accepted into the graduate program. This list represents the minimum prerequisite course requirements. Additional undergraduate course work may be required to remedy academic deficiencies. Students will be notified of deficiencies in an acceptance letter. All deficiencies must be eliminated before a student can be classified as "fully matriculated". 

The undergraduate prerequisite courses are as follows: 

  • 84.121 Chemistry I 
  • 84.123 Chemistry I Lab 
  • 84.122 Chemistry II 
  • 84.124 Chemistry II Lab 
  • 92.131 Calculus I 
  • 92.132 Calculus II 
  • 92.231 Calculus III 
  • 95.141 Physics I 
  • 96.141 Physics I Lab 
  • 92.234 Differential Equations 
  • 14.203 Statics 
  • 14.205 Dynamics 
  • 14.301 Fluid Mechanics 
  • 14.362 Environmental Engineering 

Core Courses 

  • 14.561 Physical and Chemical Treatment Processes 
  • 14.562 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology 
  • 14.567 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry 
  • 14.568 Environmental Fate and Transport 
  • 14.578 Biological Wastewater Treatment

Elective Courses 

Individual student programs consist of a complement of elective courses usually taken from the following list: 

  • 14.509 Environmental Engineering Geology 
  • 14.527 Geotechnical and Environmental Site Characterization 
  • 14.529 Engineering with Geosynthetics 
  • 14.570 Small and Alternative Waste Water Treatment 
  • 14.572 Marine and Coastal Processes 
  • 14.573 Solid Waste Engineering 
  • 14.574 Air Quality Modeling 
  • 14.575 Groundwater Modeling 
  • 14.595 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation 
  • 18.501 Wetlands Ecology 
  • 18.505 Glacial Geology 
  • 18.506 Regional Hydrogeology 
  • 18.510 Water Resources Management 
  • 18.523 Air Pollution Control 
  • 18.571 Air Pollution Phenomenology 
  • 18.581 Understanding the Massachusetts Contingency Plan 

 M.S. in Civil Engineering (Geotechnical Engineering Option) 

The master's degree program in geotechnical engineering encompasses soil mechanics theory and applications in the fields of foundation and soil engineering. Course work emphasizes the engineering behavior of soil, soil property determination, and the use of advanced soil mechanics theory and soil-structure interaction in the solution of soil and foundation engineering problems. Elementary courses in soil mechanics, statics, strength of materials and fluid mechanics are required as prerequisites for graduate core courses. Students receiving a teaching or research assistantship are required to submit a publishable thesis. The program of study consists of five required courses: 14.531 Advanced Soil Mechanics and any four core courses and four elective courses, selected with the consent of a student’s faculty advisor. Program and course details are included in the graduate course list and the graduate catalog. 

Core Courses 

(Select any four of the following as core courses, others may be used as electives) 

  • 14.529 Engineering with Geosynthetics 
  • 14.530 Deep Foundations 
  • 14.532 Theoretical Soil Mechanics 
  • 14.533 Advanced Foundation Engineering 
  • 14.534 Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 
  • 14.536 Soil Engineering 
  • 14.537 Experimental Soil Mechanics 
  • 14.538 Soil Behavior 

Additional Elective Courses 

  • 14.504 Advanced Strength of Materials 
  • 14.509 Environmental and Engineering Geology
  • 14.521 Reliability Analysis in Engineering 
  • 14.527 Geotechnical and Environmental Site Characterization 
  • 14.529 Engineering with Geosynthetics 
  • 14.539 Ground Improvement 
  • 14.550 Behavior of Structures 
  • 14.562 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology 
  • 14.581 Engineering Systems Analysis 
  • 14.583 Stochastic Concepts 

 M.S. in Civil Engineering (Geoenvironmental Option) 

The solution of environmental problems related to soil and/or groundwater often requires knowledge of both Geotechnical and Environmental Engineering. The Geoenvironmental program provides fundamental training in soil mechanics, groundwater hydrology, environmental chemistry, and soil engineering. Course work is offered in each area as well as in courses that combine disciplines generally required in the solution of complex site problems, such as, landfill design, remediation of hazardous waste sites, dewatering and soil improvement. 

Core Courses 

  • 14.531 Advanced Soil Mechanics 
  • 14.536 Soil Engineering 
  • 14.562 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology 
  • 14.567 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry 
  • 14.595 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation 

Elective Courses 

  • 14.527 Geotechnical Environmental Site Characterization 
  • 14.529 Engineering with Geosynthetics 
  • 14.530 Deep Foundations 
  • 14.532 Theoretical Soil Mechanics 
  • 14.533 Advanced Foundation Engineering 
  • 14.534 Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering 
  • 14.537 Experimental Soil Mechanics 
  • 14.538 Soil Behavior 
  • 14.561 Physical and Chemical Treatment Process 
  • 14.568 Environmental Fate and Transport 
  • 14.573 Solid Waste Engineering 
  • 14.575 Groundwater Modeling 
  • 14.576 GIS Applications in Civil & Environmental Engineering 
  • 18.581 Understanding the Massachusetts Contingency Plan 

 M.S. in Civil Engineering (Structural Engineering Option)

The structural option within Civil and Environmental Engineering offers instruction and research in advanced concepts and techniques in the solution of complex structural engineering problems. A student seeking an MS Engineering in Structural Engineering must have a structural analysis course which includes statically indeterminate structures and junior or senior level courses in the design of steel and concrete structures. Student study programs in structural engineering are developed with a faculty advisor to meet the needs of the individual. These undergraduate courses are core graduate course prerequisites and students deficient in these areas must take these courses before they can take advanced courses. 

Core Courses 

  • 14.504 Advanced Strength of Materials 
  • 14.551 Design of Steel Structures or 
  • 14.552 Design of Reinforced Concrete Structures 
  • 14.556 Finite Element Analysis (or equivalent) 
  • 14.557 Structural Dynamics 

Elective Courses 

  • 14.521 Reliability Analysis in Engineering 
  • 14.550 Behavior of Structures 
  • 14.551 Design of Steel Structures 
  • 14.552 Behavior of Concrete Structures 
  • 14.553 Wood Structures 
  • 14.554 Prestressed Concrete Design 
  • 14.555 Seismic Design of Structures 
  • 14.558 Bridge Design 
  • 14.531 Advanced Soil Mechanics 
  • 14.533 Advanced Foundation Engineering 
  • 14.536 Soil Engineering 

Additional geotechnical and geoenvironmental courses and appropriate courses from the Departments of Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering may also be included in a degree plan. 

 M.S. in Civil Engineering (Transportation Engineering Option) 

The program in Transportation Engineering offers courses in planning, design and operation of multi-modal transportation facilities. It emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of the subject, supplementing engineering concepts with techniques from management, economics, operations research and environmental studies. It is designed to provide students with advanced technical knowledge for addressing transportation problems in a variety of practical situations. Specialization in a specific area can be achieved through thesis and project work. Graduate study plans are designed based upon student interest, professional needs and undergraduate preparation. Students are expected to have completed or show proficiency in the following courses in partial fulfillment of degree requirements: 

Core Courses

  • 14.540 Urban Transportation Planning 
  • 14.541 Traffic Engineering 
  • 14.581 Engineering Systems Analysis 
  • 14.583 Stochastic Concepts 

Courses from other appropriate disciplines such as engineering, management, and pure and applied science may be taken to form a coherent program in Transportation Engineering. A graduate plan of study will be designed to meet the professional needs of each student; however, at a minimum, each student. Following is a list of elective courses that are periodically being offered by the Department. 

Elective Courses 

  • 14.522 Statistical Applications in Civil Engineering 
  • 14.542 Fundamentals of ITS and Traffic Management 
  • 14.544 Transportation Planning Practice 
  • 14.545 Public Transit Planning and Design 
  • 14.546 Pavement Design 
  • 14.547 Airport Planning and Design 
  • 14.548 Traffic Management and Control 
  • 14.549 Traffic Flow Theory Elective 

 Master of Science in Environmental Studies 

Environmental Engineering Sciences Concentration

This interdisciplinary program offers a Master of Science in Environmental Studies with a thesis or a non-thesis track. Enrollment in the program is open to individuals with a baccalaureate degree in technology, biology or a physical science. Others may be admitted with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator. Such students may make up course pre-requisite deficiencies while in the program, although those credits will not count toward the total required for the master’s degree. Frequently, students entering the program are required to take a number of undergraduate courses to develop analytical skills and to prepare for advanced level course work. Undergraduate courses may include calculus, statistics, chemistry, computer programming or courses designed to develop problem-solving skills. Course requirements are determined by discussion with the Program Coordinator. The thesis track requires completion of an approved program of study involving a minimum of 24 credits of core courses and electives, and 6 credits of thesis, consisting of laboratory research or scholarly investigation, for a total of 30 credits. Students may only register for thesis research with the prior approval of a thesis advisor. The thesis work is to be guided by a principal advisor who is a member of the University of Massachusetts Lowell faculty and by two additional committee members, at least one of whom must be a member of the faculty. Committee selection and the thesis topic are subject to the approval of the graduate coordinator. The non-thesis track requires completion of an approved program of study involving 30 credits of core courses and electives. All individual programs of study must include the core courses listed below: 

Prerequisite Undergraduate Courses for M.S. Environmental Studies Option 

In order to obtain the M.S. Degree in Environmental Studies, a student is required to have completed undergraduate courses in the areas of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. At a minimum, the following courses are required. University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) course numbers are provided for reference purposes. Course work that is equivalent to the UML courses specified are acceptable. However, an official determination of prerequisite course equivalency will be conducted by UML faculty that teach the specified undergraduate course, or by the Environmental Studies Graduate Coordinator, only after the student has applied and been accepted into the graduate program. This list represents the minimum prerequisite course requirements. Additional undergraduate course work may be required to remedy academic deficiencies. Students will be notified of deficiencies in an acceptance letter. All deficiencies must be eliminated before a student can be classified as "fully matriculated". 

The undergraduate prerequisite courses are as follows: 

  • 84.121 Chemistry I 
  • 84.123 Chemistry I Lab
  • 84.122 Chemistry II 
  • 84.124 Chemistry II Lab 
  • 92.131 Calculus I 
  • 92.132 Calculus II 
  • 95.141 Physics I 
  • 96.141 Physics I Lab 

Core Courses 

  • 18.510 Water Resources Management 
  • 14.573 Solid Waste Engineering 
  • 18.523 Air Pollution Control or 
  • 18.571 Air Pollution Phenomenology 

Elective Courses 

  • 14.509 Environmental/Engineering Geology 
  • 14.561 Physical and Chemical Treatment Processes 
  • 14.562 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology 
  • 14.567 Environmental Aquatic Chemistry 
  • 14.568 Environmental Fate and Transport 
  • 14.570 Small and Alternative Wastewater Treatment 
  • 14.572 Marine and Coastal Processes 
  • 14.574 Air Quality Modeling 
  • 14.575 Groundwater Modeling 
  • 14.595 Hazardous Waste Site Remediation 
  • 18.501 Wetlands Ecology 
  • 18.502 Limnology 
  • 18.503 Environmental Toxicology and Risk Assessment 
  • 18.505 Glacial Geology 
  • 18.506 Regional Hydrogeology 
  • 18.527 Environmental Laws 
  • 18.571 Air Pollution Phenomenology 
  • 18.572 Energy and the Environment 
  • 18.575 Physical Chemistry for Environmental Studies 
  • 18.576 Boundary layer Meteorology 
  • 18.577 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere 
  • 18.578 Advanced Synoptic Meteorology 
  • 18.579/85.515 Atmospheric Structure and Dynamics 
  • 18.580 Implementation of Environmental Policy 
  • 18.581 Understanding the Massachusetts Contingency Plan 
  • 84.519 Environmental Chemistry   

 Atomspheric Sciences Concentration

Enrollment in this program is open to individuals with a bachelor's degree in sciences, mathematics and engineering. Others may be admitted with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator. Such students may make up course prerequisite deficiencies while in the program, although these credits will not count toward the total required for the master’s degree. Frequently, students entering the program are required to take a number of undergraduate courses to develop the analytical skills, and to prepare for the advanced level courses. 

The M.Sc. program requires the completion of 30 credits, 9 in core courses, and 15 in elective courses listed below. Six credits may be achieved by completing a Master's Thesis. The thesis involves original laboratory or theoretical work, usually publishable in accredited and peer reviewed technical journals. With the Graduate Program Coordinator’s approval, the thesis work may be performed at home or at the student’s employment facilities. The thesis advisory committee will consist of a Principal Advisor who is the member of the EEAS faculty, and two members chosen from EEAS or associated UMass Lowell faculty. One member may be from outside the University, with the approval of the Graduate Coordinator.  Students may elect to take additional courses instead of writing a thesis. 

Most of the courses are offered in the evening, usually from 6 to 9 p.m., once per week. This enables working students to complete the course requirements while the student is employed. A maximum of 5 years is allowed for completion of the master’s degree, including the thesis.

Core Courses 

  • 85.501 Boundary Layer Meteorology 
  • 87.575/84.575 Physical Chemistry for Environmental Studies 
  • Chose one of the two following courses: 
  • 19.527/18.527 Environmental Law and Policy 
  • 49.615 Environmental and Natural Resources Economics 

Elective Courses

  • 85.502 Advanced Synoptic Meteorology 
  • 85.503 Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere 
  • 85.511 Solar Terrestrial Relations 
  • 85.515 Atmospheric Structure and Dynamics 
  • 85.523 Air Pollution Control 
  • 85.571 Air Pollution Phenomenology 
  • 85.673/19.617 Air Pollution Laboratory/Measurement of Airborne Contaminants 
  • 85.674 Air Quality Modeling 
  • 87.572 Energy and the Environment 
  • 19.514 Aerosol Science 
  • 92.550 Mathematical Modeling 
  • 98.613 Environmental Monitoring and Surveillance (Radionuclides)