Jun 18, 2024  

Civil Engineering - Geotechnical Engineering Concentration, (MS)

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MS Degree Program

Please review the information provided on the Herff College of Engineering  page. 

Program Admission

The Herff College of Engineering has established uniform admissions criteria for all graduate programs. Exceptions to these requirements may be addressed by the Graduate Admissions and Retention Committee of the department and must be approved by the Dean.

In addition to meeting the University minimum admission requirements, applicants must have:

  1. a bachelors degree in engineering or a related science or mathematics program;
  2. an undergraduate GPA that is competitive for the students’ bachelors program;
  3. an acceptable score on the verbal, quantitative, and analytic portions of the GRE;
  4. three (3) letters of recommendation from faculty members able to objectively comment on your intellectual and professional achievements and potential.

An applicant who lacks a civil engineering bachelors degree may be required to complete undergraduate deficiency courses. If the number of deficiency courses is large, the applicant may be required to complete an undergraduate degree in civil engineering before seeking admission to the graduate program.

In addition to the above requirements, applicants whose native language is other than English must have a competitive score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or The International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Applicants whose highest degree is from an international university may be required to have their credentials (transcripts) evaluated. The department will accept evaluations done by any credentialing agency listed on the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services web site (http://www.naces.org). A course-by course report is required.

Applicants are advised that the stated admission requirements are minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission into the masters program.

English Conditional Admission: International students are required to demonstrate a strong grasp of the English language before admission into the graduate program. English conditional admission may be granted on a case-by-case basis. Students will need to register for an English skills assessment and take instructional sessions (if required as a result of that assessment) through the University’s Intensive English for Internationals (IEI) program (www.memphis.edu/iei). Upon successful completion of the requisite sessions, as determined by IEI, the student’s English skills will be considered up to standard and the TOEFL/IELTS requirement may be waived. The student can then proceed into their graduate academic program. Please note that in order to have a complete application packet, students seeking English conditional admission will need to simultaneously apply for the IEI program through the link above and to the Graduate School (www.memphis.edu/graduateadmissions). Please note that a student cannot be a graduate assistant (GA) until they have been fully admitted and have begun their graduate academic program. Students will pay IEI fees until they meet the language criterion. If courses are taken outside of IEI, the student will be charged additional tuition at the regular rate.

Program Requirements

  • Thesis option: 30 credit hours total. Students electing the thesis option will be required to complete an independent research project culminating in a master’s thesis. Upon completion of the thesis, the student must successfully pass an oral examination to assess mastery of the thesis topic and to evaluate the student’s knowledge in Civil Engineering. NOTE: Students electing to write a thesis should familiarize themselves with the Thesis/Dissertation Preparation Guide before starting to write.
  • Project option: 30 credit hours total. Students electing the project option must take CIVL 7001 CIVL 7012 , and CIVL 7993 . Upon completion of CIVL 7993 , project students must make an oral presentation of their project and pass an oral comprehensive examination to evaluate the student’s knowledge in Civil Engineering.
  • Course-only option: 30 credit hours total. Students electing the course-only option must take CIVL 7001  and CIVL 7012 . In their last semester, they must pass a take-home comprehensive exam covering all of their coursework.
  • A minimum of 18 hours of Civil Engineering course work at the 7000 level will be required for all MS degree programs. No more than 9 hours of committee/advisor-approved course work below the 7000 level will be allowed in any program of study. Classes taken outside the department must be approved by the committee/advisor and must complement the student’s program of study in Civil Engineering.

Retention Policy

All students enrolled in the Department of Civil Engineering are expected to attain high academic achievement in all courses taken. The criteria listed below will be used to determine retention status of students enrolled in the program leading to a Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

  1. Students having been unconditionally admitted to the graduate program in Civil Engineering who maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher will be considered to be in good standing.
  2. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 in all course work at The University of Memphis, in all Civil Engineering course work at The University of Memphis, and for all 7000 level course work at The University of Memphis at the end of each semester of enrollment. Any student not meeting these conditions will be placed on probation.
  3. Students admitted on probation must maintain a 3.00 average at the end of each semester until 9 hours of graduate credit are earned. A student having a cumulative grade point average less than 3.00 at the end of the period described will be dismissed. A student having a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above will then be subject to the retention criteria listed in 2 above.
  4. A student will be permitted two (2) grades of 2.00 or lower in graduate courses taken at The University of Memphis. A student will be dismissed from the program at the end of the semester in which a third grade of 2.00 or lower is earned.
  5. A student who has been dropped from the graduate program in the Department of Civil Engineering will be denied permission to enroll in Civil Engineering courses in semesters subsequent to dismissal from the department.

Accelerated BS/MS Program

This program allows outstanding undergraduates to earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Civil Engineering in as little as five years by taking graduate-level technical electives that will count toward both degree programs. Specifically, students who are selected into this program can satisfy the undergraduate requirement of nine hours of technical electives by taking 6000-level courses that will then be counted toward their graduate degree program. However, any graduate coursework will not apply to the undergraduate GPA.

Students are encouraged to begin planning to enter the Accelerated B.S./M.S. program early in their undergraduate career in consultation with their advisor in the Department of Civil Engineering. Students with a minimum GPA of 3.25 may apply for the accelerated program once they have completed 15 credit-hours of 3000-level CIVL course work. In addition to an application form, students must have the recommendation of their undergraduate academic advisor and the concurrence of the department chair and graduate coordinator in the Department of Civil Engineering. In order to remain in the program, students must maintain a GPA of at least 3.25. To continue in the program past the B.S. degree, students must apply for full admission into the Graduate School and the Civil Engineering M.S. program.

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