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Civil Engineering

Master of Science

Master of Science Degree

Master of science degrees provide expertise in a specific area of civil engineering. The master of science (MS) degree is structured for students who have previously earned an undergraduate degree in engineering. Students in the master of science degree program can choose from the following specialized areas of study:

For more detailed information, please visit our specialty areas pages.

All civil engineering graduate applicants must submit the following materials.

  1. Application Form
  2. Application Fee
    If paid at the Bursar’s Office, submit your receipt to Civil Engineering.
  3. Statement of Purpose
    This may be included on your application form.
  4. Transcripts
    We require one official copy of each previous transcript. 
    E-transcripts should be sent to the Graduate School at ​
  5. References
    We require three references (4th optional).
  6. Official GRE Scores

    Applicants must submit evidence of adequate preparation for graduate study by either (a) submitting official GRE scores, or (b) documenting an earned bachelor’s degree with a GPA of 3.00 or higher from an institution accredited by a U.S. accreditation body, or an earned master’s degree with a GPA of 3.50 or higher from an institution accredited by a U.S. accreditation body. Use Institution Code 4875.

NOTE: Written application materials submitted are scanned for plagiarism​ and are added to a local database used for plagiarism detection.

Prerequisite Coursework

All graduate students are expected to have completed the prerequisite requirements relevant to their specialization within civil engineering. These requirements are in addition to the coursework required for the graduate degree. Missing prerequisites may be resolved by taking an equivalent course at CU Denver, or an equivalent institution, or by submitting documentation of equivalent coursework to the student’s academic advisor after admission.

University of Colorado Alumni

Graduates of a University of Colorado undergraduate program (any campus) need not submit transcripts, nor submit original transcripts from other institutions, as long as the transfer credit appears on their University of Colorado transcript.


Applicants must make arrangements to ensure all their materials (including transcripts, references, and any required test scores) have been received by the relevant deadlines below. If there are outstanding materials, the application is considered incomplete and will be deferred.

Domestic applicants: Fall - May 1; Spring - October 1; Summer - February 15
International applicants: Fall - April 15; Spring - September 15; Summer - February 1

We do not offer rush or priority service for late applications, which will be processed for the following semester. In this circumstance, applicants may wish to temporarily enroll as a non-degree student.

How to Apply

Click here to apply online.

Send all supporting application materials to the Graduate School at the following address:

Civil Engineering Graduate Admissions
Graduate School
Campus Box 163
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Civil Engineering Graduate Admissions
Graduate School
1380 Lawrence Street, Suite 1251
Denver, CO 80204

Phone:  303-315-2179

Degree Requirements
All students must satisfactorily complete a written comprehensive exam and an oral defense of either the master’s thesis of master’s report to a committee of three or more graduate faculty members. Exams and defenses should be scheduled through your advisor. Students should also contact their advisors or the civil engineering office the semester before they graduate to make sure that they have completed all requirements.

Degree programs must be completed within seven years from the date the degree is started. Degrees taking longer than seven years will require course recertification.

There are two separate plans that students can follow to complete their degrees.

P​lan 1: Master’s Thesis

This plan requires that students complete 24 credit hours of courses and 6 credit hours of master’s thesis work. Students should develop a curriculum plan of courses to take with their thesis advisor’s guidance.

Plan 2: Master’s Report

This plan requires 27 credit hours of course s and 3 credit hours of master’s report work. Students should develop a curriculum plan of courses to take with their thesis advisor’s guidance.

Coursework Assessment Form

updated 8/29/2016