Civil and Environmental Engineering

Application to the Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering programs is open to qualified graduates of universities and colleges of recognized standing. In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, the applicant must have adequate preparation in civil engineering. A Master’s degree in civil engineering is preferred for applicants to the Ph.D. program.

Financial Assistance

Research and/or teaching assistantships may be available. Applicants are considered based on scholarship, potential to undertake advanced study and research, and financial need. To be considered for an assistantship, a completed Graduate School application, official transcripts, and three letters of reference (and English test results for international applicants) must be submitted to the Graduate School.

For teaching assistantships, refer to the English tests and additional requirements for eligibility 

In addition to the stipend, graduate assistants receive a graduate tuition waiver. Tuition waivers cover base tuition for NDSU graduate credits only. Students are responsible for differential tuition, student fees, and tuition for non-graduate level credits taken or Cooperative Education credits.   

Master of Science

The Master of Science degree is a Plan A - Master's Thesis option. This format emphasizes research, the ability to analyze and interpret data, and to prepare a scholarly thesis. The student and adviser develop a program of study consisting of at least 30 credit hours of graduate level material to meet individual educational goals. A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better is required. An oral defense of the research-based thesis is required.

Accelerated Master's Program

Curriculum for the Accelerated (4+1) program

*Required Courses12
Leadership in Organization
CE 740
Pavement Evaluation and Rehabilitation (**)
Scheduling and Project Control
Infrastructure Management
Communication Theory
Theories of Persuasion
Information Resources Management
Natural Resources Management Planning
Engineering Tool6
Finite Element Analysis
Computational Methods for Engineering (**)
Machine Learning for Engineers
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Quality Assurance and Control
Total Quality In Industrial Management
Reliability Engineering
Data Analysis
Advanced Engineering Analysis
Applied Regression Models
Applied Regression and Analysis of Variance
CE 790Graduate Seminar1
CE 798Master's Thesis6
*Focus Area Courses - Select at least 12 credits from one of the following focus areas.12
Focus Area 1 - Civil Infrastructure
CE 611Design of Pre-stressed Concrete2
CE 625Bridge Evaluation and Rehabilitation3
CE 630Timber and Form Design3
CE 645Advanced Steel Design2
CE 646Basic Dynamics of Structures3
CE 647Stability of Structures3
CE 720Continuum Mechanics3
CE 793Individual Study/Tutorial (Deep Learning for Engineers)2
CM&E 665Bridge Engineering and Management3
CE 619Pavement Design3
CE 652Fundamentals of Oil & Gas Pipeline: Design, Operation, Inspection & Maintenance3
CE 654Geometric Highway Design3
CE 656Railroad Planning and Design3
CE 782Introduction to Intelligent Infrastructure3
CE 617Slope Stability and Retaining Walls3
CE 661Foundation Engineering3
CE 662Designing with Geosynthetics2
CE 663Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering3
CE 664Advanced Soil Mechanics2
Focus Area 2 - Water Environmental
CE 610Water & Wastewater Engineering3
CE 671Environmental Nanotechnology3
CE 672Solid and Hazardous Waste Management3
CE 673Air Pollution3
CE 679Advanced Water and Wastewater Treatment3
CE 790Graduate Seminar (Small Community Water Supply and Sanitation)3
CE 696Special Topics (Environmental Engineering Design)3
Water Resources
CE 621Open Channel Flow3
CE 674Groundwater Sustainability Design3
CE 676Watershed Modeling3
CE 677Applied Hydrology3
CE 776Ground Water and Seepage3
CE 793Individual Study/Tutorial (Advanced Fluid Mechanics)3

 * The above course list will be updated as new courses are considered or to be offered.
** Courses can be taken either in Category A or B but cannot be double counted.
*** Courses to be developed when the program starts. 

Doctor of Philosophy

The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires 90 credits beyond the baccalaureate degree in civil engineering with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher (60 credits beyond an M.S. degree in Civil Engineering or a sub-area of Civil Engineering) for graduation. A dissertation supervisory committee should be formed and a plan of study be filed by the end of first year of study. A minimum of 30 hours of additional course work chosen by the student and the supervisory committee from appropriate existing Civil Engineering graduate courses, new courses, and courses outside the department must be completed.

An M.S. degree from another institution may substitute for up to 30 credits of the 90 credits required; however, suitability of transfer or use of courses and research credits in the plan of study would be decided by the adviser and supervisory committee.

A comprehensive preliminary examination is administered after completion of the greater portion of the course work. The committee chair will coordinate the examination. The format and duration will be determined by the committee. The student will present a research proposal within one year after the preliminary examination. A minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 credit hours can be earned for research, preparation, and defense of a dissertation in Civil Engineering. A minimum of 12 credit hours in a minor or cognate area as deemed appropriate by the student and the supervisory committee may be completed by the student. The student will defend the dissertation in a final examination attended by the supervisory committee members and other academics.


Achintya N. Bezbaruah, Ph.D.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2002
Research Interests: Environmental Sensors, Recalcitrant and Micro Pollutants, Contaminant Fate and Transport, Small Community Water and Wastewater Treatment, Environmental Management

Xuefeng Chu, Ph.D.
University of California, Davis, 2002
Research Interests: Watershed Hydrologic and Environmental Modeling, Overland Flow and Infiltration, Integrated Modeling of Flow and Contaminant Transport

Surya Congress, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Arlington, 2018 
Research Interests: Transportation Infrastructure, Design and Stabilization of Geo-Materials, Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Design and Monitoring, Site Characterization and Visualization Models, Slope Stabilization, Dam and Bridge Inspections, Airport Pavement Inspections, Artificial Intelligence, Image Analysis, Digital Twins, Disaster Response, Traffic Safety, and Smart City Concepts.

Ying Huang, Ph.D.
Missouri University of Science & Technology, 2012
Research Interests: Structural Health Monitoring/Smart Structures for Transportation Infrastructure, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Applications of Adaptive and Smart Materials, Finite Element Modeling and Multi-Hazard Assessment and Mitigation

Syeed Md Iskander, Ph.D.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 2019
Research Interests: Sustainable Waste Management: Food Waste Treatment, Landfill Leachate Treatment, Environmental Health: Disinfection Byproducts, Antibiotic Resistance Genes, Microplastics, Water-Energy Nexus: Desalination, Membrane Fabrication, Advanced Oxidation, Environmental Biotechnology: Anaerobic Biotechnology, Bioelectrochemical Systems

Dinesh Katti, Ph.D., P.E. 
University of Arizona, 1991
Research Interests: Geotechnical Engineering, Constitutive Modeling of Geologic Materials, Expansive Soils, Multiscale Modeling, Steered Molecular Dynamics, Computational Mechanics, Nanocomposite, and Bio-nanocomposites. Computational Biophysics

Kalpana Katti, Ph.D. 
(Graduate Coordinator)
University of Washington, 1996 
Research Interests: Advanced Composites, Nanomaterials, Biomaterials, Biomimetics, Materials Characterization and Modeling, Analytical Electron Microscopy, and Microspectroscopy, Bone Tissue engineering

Trung B. Le, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota
Research Interests: Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics, Numerical Methods for Fluid-Structure Interaction

Zhibin Lin, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Wisconsin, 2010
Research Interests: Advanced Materials, High-Performance, Resilient and Sustainable Bridge Systems, Structural Durability and Structural Health Monitoring in Bridges and Earthquake Engineering

Kelly Rusch, Ph.D., P.E.
Louisiana State University, 1992
Research Interests: Microbial System Design and Modeling, Biofuels and Bioproducts, Engineering Education Research, Aquaculture Engineering, and Water and Wastewater Treatment.

David R. Steward, Ph.D., P.E., PG, F.ASCE
University of Minnesota 
Research Interests: Engineering Mathematical and Computational Methods, Groundwater Flow and Analysis, Interdisciplinary Water Resources: Water and Society

Wenjie Xia, Ph.D.
Northwestern University, 2016
Research Interests: Multiscale Modeling of Structural Materials, Polymer and Nanocomposites, Granular and Soft Matters, Bioinspired Materials, Mechanobiology, Computational Mechanics, Data-Enabled Design of Multifunctional Materials

Jiale Xu, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Buffalo, 2020
Research Interests: Wastewater and Water Treatment, Wastewater Reuse, Photochemical Processes, Electrochemical and Membrane Technologies, and Disinfection Byproducts

Mijia Yang, Ph.D., P.E.
University of Akron, 2006
China University of Mining and Technology, 1999
Research Interests: Advanced Materials, Structural Assessment, Solid Mechanics

Adjunct & Emeritus

Ravi Kiran Yellavajjala, Ph.D. P.E. (adjunct)
University of Notre Dame, 2014
Interests: Experimental and Theoretical Mechanics, Constitutive Modeling of Materials, Numerical Methods, Sensitivity Analysis of Structural Response, Forensic Failure Analysis and Advanced Visualization Techniques.

Eakalak Khan, Ph.D. (adjunct)
University of California, Los Angeles, 1997 
Research Interests: Water and Wastewater Quality, Water and Wastewater Treatment, and Storm Water and Non-point Source Pollution

Denver D. Tolliver, Ph.D. (adjunct)
Virginia Polytechnic University, 1989 
Research Interests: Transportation, Planning and Economics

Robert Zimmerman, Ph.D. (adjunct)
North Dakota State University, 1991 
Research Interests: Water and Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste

G. Padmanabhan, Ph.D. (emeritus)
Purdue University, 1980 
Research Interests: Stochastic Hydrology, Water Resource Systems, and Hydrologic Modeling