Burke Graduate Program in Civil Engineering Degree Offerings and Requirements

Degree Offerings

The Lyles School of Civil Engineering Burke Graduate Program offers two master’s degree options along with a Doctor of Philosophy Degree. The admission process and requirements are the same for each of the degree options.

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE):

  • At least one-half of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered at Purdue University.
  • More than 50 percent of the Purdue credits must be earned through the campus where the degree is conferred.
  • At least 30 total credit hours are required.

The two master’s degree options:

Thesis Option Master of Science in Civil Engineering

  • Requires 30 credit hours: 21 coursework and 9 research and completion of thesis
  • Eligible for funding
  • Completion in 18-24 months
  • Highly Competitive - typically 25% of incoming students

Professional masters concentration Option - Master of Science in Civil Engineering

  • This is the standard route for Masters admission in Civil Engineering; this is a non-thesis degree.
  • Requires 30 coursework credits. If the student identifies a research thesis project with a faculty member, the student will be moved to Thesis-Option. This must be done within the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Students are guaranteed an industry/alumni mentor in their second semester in the Professional Masters concentration
  • Students in the concentration cannot hold teaching/research assistantships or fellowships. Should a student secure an assistantship or fellowship, we can move the student to a funding eligible concentration. This must be done within the first two weeks of the semester.
  • Completion in 12-18 months
  • Nine hours must be from leadership/entrepreneurship/management courses
  • Fall admission only
  • Applicants pursuing this concentration will be eligible to apply to the concurrent MS-MBA program, offered jointly by the College of Engineering and Daniel's School of Business at Purdue.
  • The Professional Masters concentration may be selected by the student at the time of submission of the application or may be recommended by the Civil review committee at the time of the admission decision.

For BSCE students at Purdue, we do offer a Combined BSCE+MSCE Program.

Doctor of Philosophy Degree:

  • At least one-third of the total credit hours used to satisfy degree requirements must be earned while registered for doctoral study at Purdue University.
  • At least 90 total credit hours are required: 48 hours of coursework, 42 hours of research.
  • A master's degree or professional doctoral degree from any accredited institution may be considered to contribute up to 30 credit hours toward satisfying this requirement at the discretion of the student’s graduate advisory committee.

General Degree Requirements

The general university degree and registration for all graduate students are:

Full-time registration: a minimum of eight credit hours.  Students with a .50 FTE assistantship appointment will be considered full-time with just six credit hours.

Maximum credit hours in a semester: a maximum of 18 credit hours will be allowed from any one semester (9 credit hours for the summer session).

Total credit hours: the total number of hours of academic credit used to satisfy degree requirements consists of all graduate course credit hours with a grade of C or better (B or better for 300- or 400-level courses) that appear on the plan of study and research credit hours with grades of S that appear on the Purdue transcript.


*Formal concentrations of Professional Masters, Architectural, Construction, Environmental, Geomatics, Hydraulics, Structural and Transportation will be noted on transcripts at the time of graduation.  Formal concentrations for the other areas are in progress.