The Master’s degrees offer students a chance to advance their knowledge above that of the undergraduate level, and a chance to begin to specialize in one of the sub-disciplines of Civil or Environmental Engineering. All Master’s degrees may require that students take one or more undergraduate courses as articulation (pre-requisite) if they are coming from a different undergraduate engineering or a related science field in order to become fully prepared for graduate work in Civil or Environmental Engineering.


Thesis Option

The Master’s degree programs can either be research-oriented (thesis option) or non-research-oriented (non-thesis option). The Thesis option is the only option for students who are receiving a fellowship or assistantship (GTA or GRA) from the department. Therefore, it is strongly recommended for all full-time students, even those who think that they can pay for their own education. A minimum of twenty-four (24) semester hours of approved course work along with a minimum of six (6) hours of thesis credits is required.

  • A minimum of twenty-four (24) semester hours of approved course work along with a minimum of six (6) hours of thesis credits is required.
  • No more than six hours of thesis credits will be applied toward degree requirements.
  • At least 15 credit hours must be at the 6000-level (includes thesis hours).
  • A maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate credit may be transferred into the program from UCF non-degree-seeking status or regionally accredited institutions. Only grades of “B-” or better can be transferred.
  • A minimum “B” (3.0) average must be maintained in the program of study and no more than two C+, C, and C- grades are allowed. No D+ or lower grades are acceptable.
  • A written thesis and final oral defense are required.
  • Once six hours of thesis credits have been completed and all course work has been satisfied, the student is required to have continuous enrollment in one hour of thesis until the final thesis has been received by the Division of Graduate Studies (but also see next rule).
  • International students have to meet all Graduate Studies and ISS rules to remain in legal standing as a full-time student throughout their tenure at UCF.

Master’s Thesis Committee

  • The thesis committee will consist of a minimum of three members. All committee members should hold a doctoral degree and be in fields related to the thesis topic. At least two members must be department faculty (one to serve as chair). Off-campus experts, joint faculty members, adjunct faculty, and other university faculty members may serve as the third person in the committee.
  • In unusual cases, with approval from the Department Chair, two professors may chair the committee jointly. Joint faculty members may serve as committee chairs, but off-campus experts and adjunct faculty may not serve as committee chairs.
  • All members vote on acceptance or rejection of the thesis proposal and the final thesis. The final thesis must be approved by a majority of the advisory committee

Non-Thesis Option

  • With a requirement of 30 semester hours of coursework, the non-thesis option is intended primarily for part-time students.
  • The program requirements are the same as for the thesis option except that the thesis requirement is replaced by 6 credit hours of course work.
  • An advisor is required, and he/she will review and sign the program of study.
  • For nonthesis MS students, the culminating experience is the submission of a portfolio that satisfies program requirements:

Non-Thesis Exit Portfolio


I. Resume: Students updated resume including education, skills, projects completed, work experience if any, publications if any
II. Summary: 1-page summary in own words of how the degree and the projects contributed to your skills and knowledge, and to your overall understanding of the field.
III. Project Summaries: Choose 2 course projects and include 1-page summary for each project. The summaries will consist of four particular sections and the following information must be provided:

  • Project Description and Problem Identification
  • Data Collection, Results, Interpretations
  • Conclusions
  • Engineering Knowledge Gained and Application Areas


      • 12 pts New Times Roman, single line spacing, 1 inch margins.
      • The portfolio needs to be 1 PDF file.

Portfolio Assessment by the Advisor

Advisor’s Evaluation:
Not acceptable

If Advisor’s Evaluation is not acceptable, please state what you expect in the next submission?

Portfolio Submission Workflow:

    1. The student will submit the portfolio to the Graduate Program Assistant (GPA), Ms. Salas, within the last two terms of their study. The deadline to submit the portfolio for their last semester will be set early enough to allow for processing.
      • GPA will confirm if the student is eligible for portfolio submission. If the student is not eligible, GPA will inform the student.
    2. If the student is eligible, GPA will confirm that the portfolio is submitted as one file. If not, GPA will email the student and ask the student for re-submit.
    3. GPA will forward the file to the student’s advisor together with the portfolio guidelines and assessment document. The advisor will be given 2 weeks to do the assessment.
    4. The advisor will e-mail their assessment to GPA.
      • If the evaluation is not acceptable, the student will have to re-submit. 2 submissions per semester are allowed. If both of these submissions are not acceptable, the student will have to wait for the next semester to re-submit. Maximum of 4 submissions will be allowed.
      • If the evaluation is acceptable by the advisor:
        1. GPA will prepare a letter to inform the student that their portfolio submission is accepted.

The purpose of the MSS&G portfolio evaluation is to test core knowledge in structures and geotechnical engineering that the student studied within the MS program. The portfolio will consist of taking a closed-book problem solving session. This process will be administered by the S&G Program Coordinator. The student must be present in person at the pre-announced session by the Coordinator. Remote participation will not be allowed. The student must complete the portfolio within three (3) hours, and one-page written note will be allowed to aid his/her memory related to the subjects.

The portfolio will cover 4 major topics from the MSS&G program out of the following areas:
Structural Engineering: Matrix Analysis, Design, Mechanics, and Dynamics
Geotechnical Engineering: Geotechnical Engineering, Foundations, and Pavement Design

The student must select four (4) topics, with a minimum of one (1) from each of the Structural Engineering and Geotechnical Engineering areas. Problems will be distributed among the appropriate faculty, depending on area of specialization.

The purpose of the portfolio evaluation is to test core knowledge of the student. The portfolio will consist of an open book problem solving covering 6 of the major topics that the student studied within the MS program.

The topics will be chosen from the following 8 topics: Air Pollution, Biological Process Engineering, Chemical Process Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Hydrology, Hydraulics, Solid and Hazardous Wastes, and Industrial Ecology. The portfolio will be designed to include the areas covered by the students MS course work.

The student will have one week to complete this submission and it will be evaluated to determine if the students’ performance is adequate. If not the student may attempt a second time the next academic year semester (this process is not offered in summer).

This process will be administered by the Environmental Program Coordinator, and problems to grade will be distributed among the appropriate faculty depending on area of specialization.