M.S., M.Eng, and Ph.D. Degrees

DegreesCEE at Lehigh confers advanced degrees in civil, environmental, and structural engineering. Students may also choose to specialize in one of the department's four technical disciplines:

The CEE Masterís Degrees

At the master's level, CEE students may choose between the Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree programs.

The Master of Science degrees are research-focused. M.S. students team up with a professor on a research project, then write a thesis to fulfill the degree requirement. The M.S. prepares students for careers in industry as well as progression to a Ph.D. and an academic career track.

TThe Master of Engineering degree prepares students to enter the professional practice of engineering after graduation. These 30-credit, courses-only degrees provide a graduate-level option to students who want to complete a master's degree that has no thesis or project requirement. The exception is Lehigh's Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering Program, which emphasizes group and individual design projects.

Admission Requirements

1. College Admission Rules

In order to be considered for admission as a regular graduate student, an applicant must satisfy at least one of the following conditions:

1) have an undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 out of 4.0;

2) have a GPA of at least 3.00 for the last two semesters of undergraduate study;

3) have scores at or above the 75th percentile on the GRE or other recognized exam;

4) have a graduate GPA of at least 3.00 on a minimum of twelve hours of graduate work at other institutions;

5) have successfully completed the probationary conditions as an associate graduate student

Satisfying one of these five conditions is necessary but not sufficient for admission as a regular graduate student. If a department wishes to offer admission to a student who fails to meet any of the above five requirements, the department is required to submit its recommendation to the Associate Dean's Office with an explanation. Cases that cannot be resolved by the Chairperson or program director and the Associate Dean will be referred to the Graduate Research Committee for a decision.

2. Department Requirements for Regular Admission: Fundamental Engineering Science:

Students with a non-CE undergraduate background must demonstrate the following minimal proficiency:

a) the completion of courses equivalent to the Lehigh courses indicated below, with grades of B or better in three of the following five courses:

  • Solid Mechanics (or Engineering Thermodynamics)   Mech 12 (or ME 104 or ChE 210)
  • Fluid Mechanics                               CE 121
  • Soil Mechanics                                  CE 142
  • Structural Mechanics                      CE 159
  • Environmental Engineering          CE 170

b) Competency in his/her intended major area at the senior-elective (200-300) level courses


Not sure which degree is best for you? Consider the differences between the M.S. and M.Eng. in structural engineering.

M.S. and M.Eng. in Structures Degrees at a Glance

  M.S. M.Eng.
Orientation Research Professional Practice
Thesis Yes No
Duration 21 months 10 months
Credit Hours 3 credit hours of thesis
12 credit hours of required courses
15 credit hours of electives

30 total credit hours
9 credit hours of design projects
3 credit hours of structural laboratory
6 credit hours of required courses
12 credit hours of electives
30 total credit hours
Funding opportunities
  • Teaching assistantships
  • Graduate research assistantships
  • Fellowships
  • Partial tuition scholarships
Program Overview

Each class is
worth 3 credits.


  • Mechanics and Behavior of Structural Members
  • Structural Dynamics
  • Technical Elective
  • Advanced Structural Analysis
  • Finite Element Methods in Structural Engineering
  • Technical Elective

  • Technical Elective
  • Technical Elective

  • Thesis
  • Technical Elective

  • Design Project I
  • Structural Behavior Laboratory

  • Design Project II
  • Mechanics and Behavior of Structural Members
  • Technical Elective
  • Technical Elective
  • Design Project III
  • Advanced Structural Analysis
  • Technical Elective
  • Technical Elective

The CEE Doctoral Degrees

The doctorate is for students with career ambitions in research, providing opportunities for in-depth study as well as publication. It typically includes courses in the major field, courses in minor fields, and a dissertation presenting results of original research. Holders of master's degrees planning to become candidates for the Ph.D. take a qualifying examination at the first opportunity following one semester in residence. After qualification, the candidate, the candidate's departmental Ph.D. committee, and the department chair formulate the student's program of work.

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