Graduate Degrees

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

The degrees offered are:

  • Master of Engineering (MEng), including a new 9 month MEng degree in Climate, Environment, and Sustainability starting Fall 2021
  • The Master of Science (SM) & Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Interdepartmental Program in Transportation (SM and PhD)
  • Joint and Dual Degrees

The Interdepartmental Program in Transportation graduate application portal is opening soon.

The CEE graduate application portal is opening soon.

Graduate Admissions Webinars

We’ll be hosting free informational webinars in October and November for prospective students who are interested in our graduate degree programs. RSVP NOW for one or all of the below dates

Master of Engineering (MEng)

The Master of Engineering (MEng) degree program is our professional-oriented graduate program that consists of high level, fast paced coursework and significant engagement with real world engineering projects, preparing our graduates for a professional career path, or further graduate studies at MIT or elsewhere. This 9 month program, with opportunities for individualized tracks in CEE – prepares our graduates for addressing significant challenges in the domains of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

For current MIT students, the program is a natural extension of the Institute’s 4 year Bachelor of Science degree for students to gain practical experiences and prepare for emerging fields in today’s job market.

Summary of Requirements
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
  • Two elective subjects, possibly offered by other MIT departments, totaling at least 18 units
  • MEng Thesis, equivalent to 24 units

What do students do with their degree?
Graduates of the MEng Program go on to careers as leaders in industry, government, consulting, and some pursue further graduate education.

The description and detailed requirements for the MEng tracks are:

Structural Mechanics and Design (SMD) Track
Within the Structural Mechanics and Design track of the MEng degree program, students pursue curriculum and research in areas including structural engineering mechanics, computational design and optimization, and collaborative workflows at the interface of engineering and architecture. Take a peek inside the SMD track by watching a three minute video.

Coursework: 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)

Climate, Environment, and Sustainability (CES) Track
Within the Climate, Environment and Sustainability (CES) track of the MEng degree program, students take coursework to develop their understanding of CES and pursue research on CES topics across the breadth of civil and environmental engineering (e.g. ecological systems, air pollution, food, energy). Read our latest article to learn more about this track.

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

  • 1.071 Global Change Science
  • 1.837 Resilience of Living Systems to Environmental Change
  • 1.085 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
  • 1.860 Energy Systems for Climate Change Mitigation
  • 1.224 Machine Learning for Sustainable Systems

Thesis Projects: Within the Climate, Environment, and Sustainability track, students can pursue a research thesis in any of the following areas:

Detailed project descriptions are available (Download PDF)

The Master of Science (SM) & Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

The Master of Science (SM) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are the research focused graduate degrees in the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE). Each SM and PhD graduate student in our department is matched with one of our faculty members to work together on the research component of the graduate degree.

Connecting graduate students through research interests with faculty and offering the opportunity for advanced course work is a combination that produces highly successful graduates that emerge as leaders in their fields.

With broad areas of study, we offer students the opportunity to pursue educational goals – through research and course work that is exciting and motivating to you.

The Areas of Study Include:

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Hydrology and Hydroclimatology
  • Systems Engineering including Networks and Transportation
  • Materials, Structures and Geomechanics

Degree Requirements

Master of Science
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

Doctor of Philosophy
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.

Interdepartmental Program in Transportation (SM and PhD)

Master of Science in Transportation
The interdepartmental Master of Science in Transportation (MST) degree program emphasizes the complexity of transportation and its dependence on the interaction of technology, operations, planning, management and policy-making. For this reason, the Master of Science in Transportation program is interdepartmental. Faculty members and research staff from several centers, departments and divisions within MIT are affiliated with the program and serve as research advisors and mentors to MST students.

Summary of Requirements:

  • 66 units of graduate level subjects consisting of:
    • Core
      • 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

Interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation
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

Both the interdepartmental Master of Science in Transportation and the interdepartmental Doctoral Program in Transportation are administered through the department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Joint and Dual Degrees

The joint and dual degrees listed below stemmed from a formal arrangement between an MIT department and another program affiliated with MIT. CEE participates in four such degree programs.

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(LGO) 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.

Learn more about the LGO application process.