Transportation Engineering (TRNE)

Note: Any degree requirement stated below is applicable for 2018-2019 catalog year. Refer to for previous catalog year requirements.

The economic strength of any nation is highly dependent on its transportation infrastructure, and transportation engineers are essential partners in its planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance.  In addition to design, operation and maintenance of transportation facilities, transportation engineers evaluate transportation system capacity for transporting people as well as freight, and optimize links between roads and highways, railways, airports, and seaports.  They develop master plans that integrate the use of private automobiles with public transportation systems to meet the needs of city-dwellers and suburbanites.  They consider energy and environmental issues in their decisions, as well as economics, politics, and security.  They are highly numerical in their engineering evaluations, interacting with other civil engineers who will design and construct the tunnels, roads and bridges, yet also working extensively with public policy experts and the public who will be impacted by the ultimate engineering decisions.

The transportation engineering concentration builds on undergraduate civil engineering education to prepare students for advanced transportation engineering practice, 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 and mathematical sciences, may be admitted with a requirement to complete civil engineering undergraduate articulation courses before beginning coursework creditable toward the M.S. degree.

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

Students interested in broad training in transportation finance, law, safety and security, the environment, and policy-making, may wish to consider the M.A. in Transportation Policy, Operations, and Logistics in the GMU School of Public Policy.

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 transportation 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 first 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.

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

  • CEIE 662 – Travel Demand Modeling Credits: 3
  • CEIE 663 – Intelligent Transportation Systems Credits: 3
  • CEIE 664 – Transportation Engineering and the Environment Credits: 3
  • CEIE 767 – Traffic Engineering Modeling and Analysis Credits: 3
  • STAT 554 – Applied Statistics I 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 transportation engineering concentration is provided below. Note that the remaining transportation engineering core courses can also be selected as electives.

  • CEIE 560 – Public Transportation Systems Credits: 3
  • CEIE 561 – Traffic Engineering Credits: 3 *
  • CEIE 562 – Urban Transportation Planning Credits: 3 *
  • CEIE 607 – Public Infrastructure Management and Finance Credits: 3 or GBUS 510 – Engineering Marketing and Financial Analysis Credits: 3
  • CEIE 665 – Travel Survey Methods and Data Analysis Credits: 3
  • CEIE 667 – Multi-modal Transportation Systems Credits: 3
  • CEIE 668 – Transportation Economics Credits: 3
  • CEIE 669 – Special Topics in Transportation Engineering Credits: 0-3
  • CEIE 762 – Network Models for Transportation Planning Credits: 3
  • CEIE 763 – Discrete Choice Analysis in Transportation Credits: 3
  • CS 504 – Principles of Data Management and Mining Credits: 3
  • GGS 553 – Geographic Information System 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)