Structural Engineering (STRE)

Note: Any degree requirement stated below is applicable for 2017-2018 catalog year. Refer to catalog.gmu.edu for previous catalog year requirements.

Structural engineering, in its classical application, deals with analysis and design of buildings, bridges, tunnels, dams and other structures which are vital for our society. In this context, structural engineers ensure that the built environment safely resists loads (such as gravity, wind, earthquake, floods, and impact) using appropriate construction materials (such as steel, concrete, and wood).  Today’s structural engineers can be challenged to design buildings of unprecedented height or extremely long and deep tunnels as well as to use the newest, strongest, lightest materials.  Structural engineering principles are as applicable to the design of prosthetic limbs for amputees; of earthquake resistant shelters for a refugee camp; or of the shell of a space craft.  Structural engineers design for the near term and for a future that includes climate change. Structural engineers must learn not only the basics of structural engineering but also how to think out of the box to meet the coming challenges.

The structural engineering emphasis builds on undergraduate civil engineering education to prepare students for more advanced engineering practice in this area, or for further academic studies leading ultimately to the Ph.D..  Students with related undergraduate degrees, for example, in other branches of engineering or in the related physical sciences, may be admitted with a requirement to complete civil engineering undergraduate articulation courses before beginning coursework creditable toward the M.S.

Application for graduate studies begins by reviewing the graduate admissions requirements. Information on tuition and funding is provided here.

Students interested in a practice-oriented, coursework degree that integrates structural engineering, geotechnical engineering and construction engineering into one degree program, are referred to the M.Eng. program.

Plan of Study

Students must complete a faculty-approved plan of study with a minimum of 30 credits of graduate work, including two core courses (CEIE601 and CEIE605); at least three structural engineering core courses; electives selected by the student with the approval of a faculty advisor; and a seminar requirement (CEIE795).

Students are responsible for developing and receiving faculty approval on a plan of study no later than the end of their second semester of study. Courses taken without prior approval by the faculty advisor may not be accepted for credit toward the degree. No more than three courses used for credit toward the M.S. may be cross-listed as undergraduate courses. None may repeat material completed as part of the student’s previous studies. Most M.S. courses are offered on a three semester rotation.

Structural engineering students are required to take at least three of the following five STRE core courses.

  • CEIE 526 – Advanced Steel Design Credits: 3
  • CEIE 527 – Pre-stressed Concrete Credits: 3
  • CEIE 611 – Advanced Structural Analysis Credits: 3
  • CEIE 612 – Structural Mechanics Credits: 3
  • CEIE 613 – Structural Dynamics Credits: 3

The remaining elective credits depend on whether the student is pursuing research credits or not.  Students choose one of the following options:

  • Thesis: 6 credits of CEIE 799 and at least 9 credits of electives
  • Project: 3 credits of CEIE 798 and at least 12 credits of electives
  • All coursework: at least 15 credits of electives

A list of approved electives for the structural engineering concentration is provided below. Note that the remaining structural engineering core courses can also be selected as electives.

  • CEIE 512 – Structural Steel Design Credits: 3 *
  • CEIE 513 – Reinforced Concrete Design Credits: 3 *
  • CEIE 524 – Introduction to Bridge Engineering Credits: 3
  • CEIE 525 – Structural Evaluation and Rehabilitation Credits: 3
  • CEIE 532 – Foundation Design Credits: 3 *
  • CEIE 575 – Design for Constructability Credits: 3
  • CEIE 607 – Public Infrastructure Management and Finance Credits: 3
  • or GBUS 510 – Engineering Marketing and Financial Analysis Credits: 3
  • CEIE 619 – Special Topics in Structural Engineering Credits: 0-3
  • CEIE 620 – Intelligent Structural Systems Credits: 3
  • CEIE 623 – Advanced Reinforced Concrete Design Credits: 3
  • CSI 690 – Numerical Methods Credits: 3
  • CSI 742 – The Mathematics of the Finite Element Method Credits: 3

Electives outside of the chosen concentration can only be taken or substituted with the approval of the faculty advisor.

(Courses marked with * are cross-listed as undergraduate courses. No more than three electives used for credit towards the M.S. may be cross-listed as undergraduate courses)