Masters Programs

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

For information on applying to CEE at Illinois for graduate school, click here.

In addition to the general information provided here, please refer to sections of the Graduate Handbook for the Structures Program where degree requirements and other official rules are given.

All students are required to complete, and have approved, a Plan of Study. The Plan of Study must be completed during the first semester of graduate work. It must be approved by the student’s advisor, and deposited with the assistant in Room 3129, Newmark Civil Engineering Laboratory.


  • Faculty with interests balanced across Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics
  • World-class laboratories for computational and experimental work
  • Core graduate courses are offered at least once per year and specialized courses are typically offered once every other year

Mission & Goals

  • Emphasize fundamental, non–perishable knowledge to foster life–long learning
  • Encourage strong grounding in fundamentals of analysis/mechanics and design/behavior
  • Offer a variety of opportunities for further specialization or development of additional breadth
  • No single MS program fits the interests of all students; we have a large population of MS students with interests in many areas of structural engineering
  • High quality of instruction and mentoring coupled with opportunities for depth and breadth are the strength of our MS program


  • Both non-thesis and thesis options are available
  • 36 hours required for non-thesis option; 32 hours required for thesis option
  • Minimum of three 500 level courses (graduate courses are numbered 4xx and 5xx; CEE 460, CEE 461, and CEE 465 may not be taken for graduate credit)
  • A set of core courses in analysis and design is strongly recommended
  • Options for additional depth in specific areas of structures or additional breadth in other areas
  • Average time to complete degree is 3 semesters (2 semesters and 1 summer also possible)
  • We make no programmatic distinction between students seeking a professional MS degree and those students preparing to enter the PhD program


Typical MS Program

Mechanics and Dynamics (assumes Structural Analysis [CEE 470] completed during undergraduate studies)

  • Structural Mechanics (CEE 471)
  • Structural Dynamics (CEE 472)
  • Finite Element Methods (CEE 570)

Structural Engineering

  • Steel Structures II (CEE 462)
  • Reinforced Concrete II (CEE 463)
  • Select one or more advanced design courses: Masonry Structures (CEE 467), Prestressed Concrete (CEE 468), Wood Structures (CEE 469)

Earthquake Engineering (CEE 572) and additional 500 level courses

Other: Geotechnical, Computing, or Materials


11-Month MS Program

A professional-oriented MS program is offered in structural engineering. MS level courses are sequenced such that students can earn their degree in an academic year plus a summer term. This possibility is only for the non-thesis track. Each of the courses shown in the table below are given for 4 credits. A total of 36 credits is required for the MS degree. A minimum of three courses must be at the 500-level with at least two of them in structures. For more information, click here.

Students who have not taken CEE 470: Structural Analysis as part of their undergraduate program may take this course as part of their MS program. CEE 470 is offered in both the fall and spring semesters.

Sample 11-Month MS Program

Fall Semester Spring Semester Summer Term
take 3 or 4 courses take 3 or 4 courses take 1 or 2 courses
Reinforced Concrete II (CEE 463) Steel Structures II (CEE 462) Masonry Structures (CEE 467)
Prestressed Concrete (CEE 468) Steel Structures III (CEE 560) 1 Wood Structures (CEE 469)
Structural Mechanics (CEE 471) Finite Element Methods (CEE 570) 2
Structural Dynamics (CEE 472) Earthquake Engineering (CEE 572) 3
Decision & Risk Analysis (CEE 491)

1 CEE 560 is typically offered in alternating years

2 CEE 570 requires CEE 471 as a prerequisite

3 CEE 572 requires CEE 472 as a prerequisite