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Degrees Offered

At the graduate level, our Department offers the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) as well as four Master degrees: Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MSEnvE), Master of Science in Earth Sciences (MS), and the Master of Science (MS). A Master's degree is not required to pursue the Ph.D.

  • The Ph.D. is the highest degree conferred by the University of Notre Dame. As such, earning this degree signifies that a recipient has 1) obtained mastery of a topical area through formal courses and/or independent readings; 2) demonstrated the ability to formulate original questions and complete a research program to address those questions (resulting in the student's dissertation); and 3) developed his or her communication skills in order to interact with peers in both formal and informal settings, to make effective technical presentations, and to participate effectively in the critique process of such presentations.
  • Students with a wide range of backgrounds in engineering and sciences can apply to the Ph.D.
  • A Ph.D. student may receive a Master's degree without completing a thesis if the student has completed the course requirements for the Master's degree, passed the university candidacy examination for the doctorate, and been first or second author on a research manuscript accepted for publication or published in a refereed technical/scientific journal.
  • The MSCE and MSEnvE degrees are available to those students holding an undergraduate engineering degree or who have been, prior to beginning their graduate programs, accepted as qualifying to take the FE exam by an engineering licensing board.
  • The MSEnvE degree is intended primarily for those students studying environmental engineering and the MSCE degree is primarily intended for those students studying civil engineering.
  • The MS in Earth Sciences degree is available to those students holding an undergraduate degree in Geological or Earth sciences or who have or will have taken a minimum of three 60000 or above level courses in the area of earth sciences. This degree is primarily intended for those students studying earth sciences.
  • The general Master of Science degree is available for those students who do not fulfill the requirements of the above three degrees.

Course Catalog 

No graduate credit is allowed for courses below the 4000 level. The advanced advanced undergraduate courses numbered 40000 through 49999 and 50000 through 59999 may, with the approval of the Department Chair and the Graduate School, be taken to satisfy up to 10 hours of graduate credit requirements. The department may place additional constraints on the use of 40000- level courses to meet its degree requirements.