The Civil and Environmental Engineering Masters of Engineering (MEng) degree program is a professional-oriented graduate program that consists of fast-paced coursework and significant engagement with a real world engineering projects, preparing graduates for a professional career path or further graduate studies. It’s a nine month program with opportunities for individualized tracks in CEE.

Here, recent MEng graduate AJ Unander (MEng ’17) provides an insider’s point of view to the program and gives his top three reasons to apply to the program.

  1. It’s a personalized program: There were only 16 of us in the entire MEng class, which made the program very personalized and not formulaic. Each of us was guided by one of our three main professors (Caitlin Mueller, Gordana Herning and John Ochsendorf) to develop our own interests further. Meanwhile, we had a ton of flexibility when it came to classes. Generally, we took three classes in the fall, one in the spring, completed a practical design project each semester, and focused on our theses in the spring.The class subjects ranged from classics like Mechanics and Design of Concrete Structures (1.541) and Design of Streel Structures (1.582), to unique ones like Computational Structural Design and Optimization (1.575) and Historic Structures (1.574). While they were all challenging classes, I was able to choose the topics that I desired to know more about, which made them feel opportunistic rather than burdensome.
  1. It’s a community: Being such a small group allowed us to truly bond as an MEng class. We all took classes together, and the design projects consisted exclusively of the 16 of us working to design a roof structure and a tall building on Friday afternoons. We regularly had potlucks, went to talks in other departments, played soccer year round, went to happy hours and collaborated on almost all of the assignments. MIT has a stigma for being an extremely competitive and cutthroat environment, but that is not what I found in the CEE department and I’m happy to call each of the 16 my friend today.
  1. It’s a career-focused degree: A huge benefit of this program is the professors’ connections to industry professionals. This program is meant for those who want to get out into the field and start being a professional engineer as soon as possible. As such, landing a job after graduation was on my mind from the start and the professors facilitated that to a great degree.

Professors brought in friends and colleagues who were working at firms like SOM, Thornton Tomasetti, Schlaich-Bergermann, Silman and others, who would present about their own projects and then critique our design projects to teach us about how real world projects are done. These seminars were invaluable and gave us all connections to pursue for employment post-graduation.

AJ Unander completed the MEng program in 2017 with a focus in structural engineering. He graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016 with a bachelor of science in Civil Engineering. Questions for AJ, or about the MEng program, can be emailed to cee-admissions@mit.edu.

More information, including a link to the application, can be found here.