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There is no better place than MIT CEE to learn how to apply the traits of civil engineering to global challenges like climate change and inequality. I’m thrilled that the department continues to educate the next generation of engineering leaders to tackle these problems and build a better world.

Daniel Zarrilli, '99 SM, former Chief Climate Policy Advisor to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

Our faculty make every effort to get to know students as people and learn about what makes them tick. The professors know you by name, and ask how your weekend or break was when they pass you in the hallway, even years after taking their class. Our classes encourage us to work in teams and groups, some of which have fostered my best friendships at MIT. We’re a friendly, happy major that supports each other both in and out of the classroom

Linda M Seymour ’14 and '21 PhD

I really appreciated how Course 1 addresses issues of public health and sustainability in a multidisciplinary manner using biology, chemistry, physics and social science.

Fatima Aysha Hussain ’11 and '20 PhD

What I appreciate most about CEE is that it is truly a community. This type of atmosphere fosters a collaborative spirit across the many different research areas as well as friendships and professional relationships that last long after you finish your degree.

Joshua Hester ’11 and MEng ’12, PhD

Course 1 has given me the unique opportunity to take on environmental issues in the developing world while simultaneously being a part of cutting-edge research at MIT. In addition to developing a close relationship with my professors, Course 1 stimulates me to think outside the box and to apply myself to real world problems.

Sidhant Pai ’14 and PhD Candidate

Graduate Program

Our graduate programs provide limitless possibilities at the frontier of knowledge and innovation. Graduate students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering make a lasting impact in the world, as they launch careers in academia and industry, or become entrepreneurs.

We offer advanced Master and Doctoral degrees within the areas of environmental chemistry; environmental fluid mechanics; ecology and evolution; hydrology and hydroclimatology; networks, systems engineering including networks and transportation, and materials, structures and geomechanics.

We want our students to work together whenever possible, and not just with each other. At MIT CEE, our graduate students work closely with all members of our department – faculty, undergraduate students, other graduate students, postdocs and staff. Learning does not stop once you leave the classroom or laboratory. Through interdisciplinary research and social gatherings, the education process is constant.

As a CEE graduate student, you will meet and work with the world’s best and brightest, building both your intellectual talent as well as your network of future collaborators and mentors. You will immediately step into cutting-edge research projects and work in teams to tackle problems that will impact the world, while at the same time engaging in creative engineering and making professional networks through extracurricular activities.

One of the founding departments of the Institute, MIT CEE is a leader in the professional and academic evolution of civil and environmental engineering education that fosters a unique combination of hands-on learning and theory, or hand and mind, the motto of MIT.

GRADUATEDegree Structure and Requirements

Graduate students in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT are central to our educational mission.

The Master of Science degree is awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a program of study of at least 66 units of graduate level subjects, approved by the department in which s/he is enrolled, and a 24 unit thesis approved by the department.

Summary of Requirements

66 units of graduate level subjects, of which 34 units are offered by the Department
of Civil and Environmental Engineering

SM Thesis

View the Resources page for SM Guidelines

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a doctoral program in CEE consisting of 96 units of graduate level coursework, including a 3-Subject Core and one breadth subject. The 3-Subject Core reflects core knowledge in the student’s chosen field. The remainder of the doctoral program consists of graduate subjects that complement the Core.

Summary of Requirements

96 units of graduate level subjects, including a three Subject Core and one breadth subject.

Successful completion of the general exam at the end of academic year 2

Successful completion of the PhD proposal

PhD Thesis

View the Resources page for PhD Guidelines

What do students do with their research degree?
Graduates from our SM and PhD degree tracks go on to top jobs as engineers, faculty members at eminent universities, engineering consultants, leaders for NGOs, and entrepreneurs.

66 units of graduate level subjects consisting of:


1.200 Transportation: foundations and methods (12 units)

One of the following: (12 units)

1.202 Demand Modeling, or

1.208 Resilient Networks or

1.260 Logistics Systems or

11.478 Behavior and Policy : Connections in Transportation

11.S953  Frontier of Transportation Research (3 units)

Computation: one of the following: (12 units)

IDS.131 Statistics, Computation and Applications or

6.862 Applied Machine Learning

Equivalent subject or higher [petition to Transportation Education Committee]

Policy and Technology: select subject in consultation with advisor (9-12 units)

Individually designed program from MST program areas (15-18 units)

MST Thesis, equivalent to 24 units

View the Resources page for MST Guidelines

The interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation provides a structured and direct follow-on doctoral program for students enrolled in the MST program or other transportation-related master degree programs at MIT or elsewhere. The interdepartmental structure of the program allows students greater flexibility in developing individual programs of study that cross both disciplinary and departmental lines. The program is administered by the transportation faculty through the Transportation Education Committee (TEC), who are responsible for admissions, establishment and oversight of program requirements, and conduct of the general examination and thesis defense.

Summary of Requirements:

120 units of graduate level subjects, including a doctoral core program, consisting of two subject areas as selected by the student

Successful completion of the general exam by the end of academic year 2

Successful completion of the PhD proposal

PhD Thesis, equivalent to 24 units

View the Resources page for Interdepartmental Transportation PhD Guidelines or or learn more at

The Master of Engineering degree is awarded to students who have satisfactorily completed a structured program of at least 90 units, consisting of 66 units graduate level subjects, and a 24 unit thesis approved by the department. In one academic year, the students are required to take:

Four graduate subjects offered by the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, totaling at least 48 units.  The department offers three tracks:

1. Climate, Environment, and Sustainability track

2. Data Science for Engineering Systems track

3. Structural Mechanics and Engineering track

Within the Climate, Environment, and Sustainability track, students must select 3 of the following subjects:

  • 1.771 Global Change Science
  • 1.837 Resilience of Living Systems to Environmental Change
  • 1.855 Air Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry
  • 1.65 Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows and Wind Energy
  • 1.811[J] Environmental Law, Policy, and Economics: Pollution Prevention and Control
  • 1.845 Introduction to the terrestrial carbon cycle and ecosystem ecology
  • 1.670 Energy Systems for Climate Change Mitigation
  • 1.C51 Machine Learning for Sustainable Systems


Within the Data Science for Engineering Systems track of the MEng program, there are two focus areas of concentration for students to choose based on their interests: Computational Modeling and Design for Sustainability or Resilient Infrastructure Systems and Services. In the DSES track, students must take 48 units in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering including:

  • 6 units of project studio (Project studio class combines work in the lab with MIT faculty and seminars conducted by industry partners. Students will also receive guidance on data acquisition, analysis and computational modeling tools).

18 units of CEE-centric data science from the following subjects:

  • 1.275 Business and Operations Analytics
  • IDS.131 Statistics, Computation, Analytics
  • 6.C51 Modeling with Machine Learning: from Algorithms to Applications + 1.C51 Machine Learning for Sustainable Systems (must be taken and completed simultaneously)
  • 1.121 Advancing Mechanics and Materials via Machine Learning
  • 1.125 Architecting and Engineering Software Systems

24 units of CEE offered subjects in Computational Modeling and Design for Sustainability:

  • 1.545 Atomistic Modeling and Simulation of Materials and Structures
  • 1.579 Materials in Agriculture, Food Security, and Food Safety
  • 1.61 Transport Processes in the Environment
  • 1.65 Atmospheric Boundary Layer Flows and Wind Energy
  • 1.147 Startup Sustainable Tech
  • 1.723 Computational Methods for Environmental Flows
  • 1.631 Fluids and Diseases

24 units of CEE offered subjects in Resilient Infrastructure Systems and Services:

  • 1.208 Resilient Networks
  • 1.260 Logistics Systems
  • 1.303 Infrastructure Design for Climate Change
  • 1.581 Structural Dynamics
  • 1.583 Topology Optimization of Structures
  • 1.200 Transportation: Foundations and Methods
  • 1.202 Demand Modeling
  • 1.266 Supply Chain and Demand Analytics
  • 1.263 Urban Last-Mile Logistics

Within the Structural Mechanics and Design track, two of the four CEE subjects must include 1.562 Structural Design Project I (Fall) and 1.563 Structural Design Project II (Spring)

WHOI: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Through MIT’s agreement with the WHOI the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering we have several outstanding students who participate in this joint program, often times splitting their time between MIT’s and WHOI’s campuses.

Please visit the MIT-WHOI joint program website to learn more about the fields of study.

CSE: PhD Program in Computational Science and Engineering

The PhD Program in Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) is a collaboration of CEE and the Center for Computational Engineering. The CSE Doctoral Program allows CEE students to specialize in a computation-related field of their choice through focused coursework and a Doctoral Thesis, and to participate in a multi-departmental program by satisfying a set of computation-specific requirements.

LGO: Leaders for Global Operations

Leaders for Global Operations is a collaboration of MIT’s School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. Students earn both an MBA and SM in two years. Please visit the LGO in Civil and Environmental Engineering website to learn about the different CEE tracks.



As a graduate student at MIT CEE, you will participate in research with renowned faculty and get a hands-on experience solving the world’s largest problems.

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Timeline & FAQ

Review our application timeline and find answers to our most frequently asked questions for the graduate degree programs.

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All students admitted to the SM/PhD track receive Research Assistantships (RA) or Fellowships, depending on availability of such funds.

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Graduate Student Life

Graduate student life in CEE is exciting, fun and dynamic. We work hard and play hard! Our students are engaged in Institute clubs and department activities – some related to work and research in the department and some just for fun. Others engage in competitions – some with origins right here in Course 1. We also rely on our students to be leaders and help guide departmental leadership on important decisions and initiatives.