MS - Civil Engineering

A student has considerable freedom in planning his/her M.S.C.E. program. Guidelines for curriculum are established by each discipline group. The faculty has a great amount of formal training, practical experience and ongoing research in the following areas: Environmental engineering, water resources, geotechnical engineering, structures/mechanics, and transportation engineering. Well-equipped laboratories in these and related areas are available for research. Graduate students normally specialize in one of these fields (also referred to as "areas of concentration").

The College cooperates with the Mathematics Department offers Mathematics 4038, Mathematical Methods in Engineering (also listed as ME 4563). This course or any approved course in mathematics numbered above 4000 may be scheduled to satisfy the mathematics/statistics requirement of the M.S. degree or as electives in any graduate program. 

All students are strongly encouraged to review and follow the Master’s in Civil Engineering Program Checklist. 

Academic Program

There are two options leading to the M.S.C.E. degree. The thesis option requires the student to complete a minimum of twenty-five (25) hours of approved course work and to submit an acceptable thesis worth 6 hours. The non-thesis option requires the student to complete a minimum of thirty-four (34) hours of approved course work and a Master's Report worth 3 hours. General guidelines for selecting courses in these two programs are given below.

Subject to approval of the advisory committee and Department, students transferring from graduate programs of other institutions can transfer a maximum of 50% credit hours of course work done. Per the graduate school catalog, transfer work may not be used to fulfill the master’s program requirement that at least one-half of the minimum required credit be in courses at or above the 7000 level.

Full time graduate students must register for the one credit hour seminar class (CE 7750) each and every semester. Part-time graduate students are required to register for this seminar only in their graduating semester. Only one hour of CE 7750 may be applied to satisfy the course requirements.

 

Thesis Option Requirements

Course work:

12 semester hours in the major field or interest
9 semester hours from a related field
3 semester hours of approved mathematics/statistics
1 semester hour of Graduate Seminar (CE 7750)
Total 25

Thesis: 6 semester hours of thesis

Non-Thesis Option Requirements

Course work:

12 semester hours in the major field of interest
18 semester hours from a related field
3 semester hours of approved mathematics/statistics
1 semester hour of Graduate Seminar (CE 7750)
Total 34

Project: 3 semester hours of project (CE 7740)

For the thesis option, at least twelve hours of the required graduate work must be at or above the 7000 level (thesis and seminar credit hours are not considered towards satisfying this requirement). A minimum of 12 credit hours must be in civil engineering. The students pursuing the non-thesis option will have to complete at least eighteen hours of the required graduate work at or above the 7000 level (thesis and seminar credit hours are not considered towards satisfying this requirement). A minimum of 18 credit hours must be in civil engineering. Courses numbered below 7000 (i.e., 4000) may be taken for credit if approved on the Graduate Degree Program. In some instances, courses may be added to a student's program (with no credit toward the M.S.C.E. degree) to correct deficiencies in a student's undergraduate education.

During a student's terminal semester, each student is required to pass a comprehensive Master's examination covering work related to research and course work. This examination will be administered by the student's advisory committee and may be oral and/or written. The Graduate School's Request for Master's Examination form (found on the Graduate School form page) for scheduling and reporting results of this examination must be filed with the Graduate School three (3) weeks prior to the date of the examination. This examination may be re-taken only once.

 

Master's Thesis Committee

A committee will evaluate the master’s thesis. Final acceptance of the student’s thesis rests with the Master’s Thesis Committee. The student, in consultation with the major professor, will recommend the members of the Master’s Thesis Committee to the department. After approval by the CEGPC, the chair of the CEE department will nominate the approved master’s thesis committee to the Graduate School for appointment by the dean of the Graduate School. In forming the master’s committee, the following requirements apply:

  • At least three (3) members of the Graduate Faculty, including the major professor (who is the chair of the committee) should comprise the student's master’s thesis committee. (To view a list of graduate faculty for our department, go to the Graduate School website for a complete list).
  • The Major Professor, who acts as chair or co-chair, must be from the CEE department.
  • If either an adjunct or a non-tenure track faculty member is the major professor, a full-time tenured or tenure track graduate faculty member from the CEE department must co-chair the committee. In such cases, the chair of the master’s committee must be a Full or Associate member of Graduate Faculty. The co-chair can be an Affiliate member or administratively approved to serve on the committee.
  • At least one-half (1/2) of the graduate faculty on master’s committees must be full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty at LSU.
  • A minimum of 2 of those faculty members must be from the CEE department and at least one of whom must be a full member of the LSU graduate faculty.
  • The remaining members may be from the CEE department or may be from outside the department if pertinent to the student's area of concentration, with the proviso that at least one of the remaining members must be a full member of the graduate faculty.
  • No more than one non-graduate faculty requiring administrative approval can serve on a student’s Master’s Thesis Committee.
  • Any declared outside minors require representation, either among the first 3 members of the committee or by additional appointments to the committee.
  • All committee members must be Full, Associate, Affiliate members of Graduate Faculty or administratively approved to serve on the committee.

 

The Master's Thesis

"...The Master's thesis should demonstrate capacity for research, originality of thought and facility in organizing materials. It must be acceptable in subject matter and exhibit creditable literary workmanship..." -LSU Graduate School Catalog

To ensure an orderly and thorough procedure in thesis preparation, students should proceed as follows:

Thesis Proposal

The student, after selecting the thesis topic in cooperation with his/her adviser, is required to submit a thesis proposal. Preparation and typing of the proposal is the responsibility of the student. The thesis proposal format should include:

Cover Page (Form G103)
Abstract (not more than 200 words)
Introduction
Literature Review
Objectives/Method
Scope of Study (state limitations)
Work Plan and Schedule
References

It is expected that an informative thesis proposal showing the student's interest, background and general grasp of the project will not be less than 5 and not more than 10 double spaced typed pages.

Thesis research proposals, for unfunded research, must include an estimate of computer and/or other costs associated with fulfilling the objectives of the project. Student should review this matter with his/her advisor so that a reasonable estimate of the costs can be included in the proposal.

The formal typewritten thesis proposal together with the graduate degree program (Form G101) should be submitted for approval by the CEGPC at least 2 consecutive semesters prior to graduation. The student will be notified of the Committee's decision and recommendations through the Chairman of the Department.

Conduct of the Research

Each graduate student is responsible for the performance of the thesis research. Progress will be reported to the assigned faculty advisor on a regular basis.

Preparation of the Thesis

  • Instructions on the preparation and submission of the Master's degree thesis may be obtained from the Graduate School website.
  • The Request for Master's Examination form (found on the Graduate School website) is to be filed with the Graduate School three (3) weeks prior to the date of the Master's Examination.
  • Copies of the thesis must be in the hands of the student's examination committee at least three (3) weeks prior to the scheduled Master's Examination.
  • The student is responsible for providing a finalized bound version of the thesis to the members of his/her advisory committee and the Department.

An "S" or "U" will be awarded as the final grade for the thesis. This grade is not averaged into the student's semester or cumulative average. 

Comprehensive Final Examination

Candidates for master’s degrees are required to pass a comprehensive final examination. The student’s Master’s Thesis Committee typically conducts the comprehensive final exam. The comprehensive final examination committee for student’s pursuing the non-thesis option MS degree shall follow the requirements listed under “MASTER’S Thesis COMMITTEE”.

The Dean of the Graduate School may appoint a member of the graduate faculty to serve on comprehensive final examination committee (aka Dean's Representative). The name and contact information of this Dean's Rep will be advised to the CEE Graduate Secretary who will forward the email to both the student and the student's advisor. The student is then responsible for contacting the Dean's Rep.

 

Revalidation of Course Work

Graduate student's coursework can be revalidated for master's degree older than 5 years and for doctoral degree older than 7 years subject to the following guidelines:

  1. Following an oral or written examination the student's graduate committee may approve by majority vote a course or courses it elects to revalidate.
  2. The student's graduate committee then recommends the revalidation of course/courses to the CEGPC for approval (via a memo/letter) and then transmittal to the Graduate School 
  3. Each class may be revalidated only for a period of two years. Classes for master's degree older than 5 years and for doctoral degree older than 7 years must be revalidated.