Thank you for your interest in graduate studies in Civil Engineering at the University of New Hampshire!
The Department of Civil Engineering offers graduate students an ideal blend of excellent graduate-level courses, cutting-edge research projects, and graduate student life within a moderately-sized graduate program. You'll find that we have dedicated professors here who value teaching in the classroom, the laboratory, and out in the field.
If you're visiting this webpage, there's a good chance your thinking of applying here. Have a look around at our requirements, courses, our programs, and our people. If UNH looks like a good place for you, click here to find out more about applying to our program.
- Master of Science in Civil (Environmental) Engineering - Non-Thesis Option
- Master of Science in Civil (Environmental) Engineering - Thesis Option
What if I don't have a bachelors degree in civil engineering?
We do accept students into our graduate program that do not have an undergraduate or graduate degree in civil engineering. Normally, this is done by admitting you to Provisional Status. If you are so admitted, we will arrange for you to meet with a professor in your field of interest to decide on a plan of coursework that you must complete first. These courses are generally undergraduate courses needed to bring your background up to that expected for graduate courses and research. When you complete these provisional requirements, the Provisional Status of your admission can be removed.
Can I get the application fee waived?
No. It is the policy of our department not to waive the application fee, we have not done so in recent years, and we do not expect to do so in the future. We realize that the application fee may represent a considerable burden, particularly to international students. However, all students should be aware that, even with financial support, you will need some financial wherewithal to attend graduate school at UNH. If you simply cannot afford to apply, we feel it is quite unlikely that you will be able to attend.
What are our program requirements?
in general, there are two forms of a masters degree (thesis and non-thesis) and the Ph.D. degree.
Masters Thesis Option
You will be required to take 24 hours of regular coursework (which normally amounts to 8 classes), you will get 6 hours for your thesis work, and you will get 1 hour credit for a seminar course in which you'll present your research (a total of 31 hours). In addition, you will be required to conduct research and describe it and the results in a thesis which you must present to the public and defend before a committee. The minimum time to complete the degree is approximately two years though most students take a bit longer, perhaps with an additional summer of support or an extra semester.
Masters Nonthesis Option
Here you are required to take 30 hours of regular coursework (generally 10 classes) and the 1 hour seminar course. Additionally, you must complete a project, write a project report, and complete a final examination. Again, it generally takes two plus years to complete this degree.
PhD Degree Program
There are no set courses or numbers of hours required for a Ph.D. Each student's particular program is decided upon by a guidance committee. After a certain amount of coursework is undertaken, a qualifying exam must be taken. The qualifying exam generally consists of three parts: a written exam, an oral exam, and the writing of a research proposal. After the qualifying exam is taken and passed, a student goes from doctoral student to doctoral candidate and the candidate proceeds to complete his or her doctoral research under a doctoral committee. The student finally presents his or her dissertation to the public and defends it to the committee. It generally takes about four years after the masters degree to receive a doctoral degree.
What is life like for our students?
The best way to find this out is to visit our campus and talk to our graduate students. Our graduate students would agree that life here has cycles of intense studying and research where there doesn't seem to be enough time to eat and sleep followed by periods where there is enough time to combine research with intramural sports on campus, relax with friends in Portsmouth, or head out for a hike in the White Mountains. Some coursework will be very difficult at first, other coursework will review familiar material. Some professors will be very involved in your daily activities, others will let you proceed at your own pace.
Our graduate students are a diverse and friendly lot: roughly one of four in our program comes from other countries, about one third are women, and several are married. Our professors generally keep an open door to all our students, undergrad and graduate alike. We rely heavily on our graduate students and deal out as much responsibility as we can.
Winters get cold and there is always some snow, but the fall and spring are long and cool and the summers usually have plenty of sunny days in the 70's and 80's.
The campus is big enough without being overwhelming. We have a combination of brand new laboratories and buildings and tired old buildings that need work. Durham is a small town dominated by the campus, but Portsmouth is vibrant small city, Boston is a bit over an hour's drive, there are beaches nearby though the Atlantic stays cold, and the White Mountains are within easy reach for rock climbing, hiking, and skiing.
Hopefully, if you come here, you will find it challenging, intense, enjoyable, and rewarding.