Students may choose to pursue a Master of Science, Master of Engineering, or Ph.D. degree based on their interests and career goals. Students may also specialize in one of the department's four technical disciplines:

Our graduate programs consistently rank among the top 25 nationally on the U.S. News & World Report rankings. Our research facilities and faculty are world-class, and those who've studied CEE at Lehigh on a graduate level have quickly risen to the top of both academia and industry.

You can follow in the footsteps of industry leaders and the foremost minds of the profession. Click here to learn more about our faculty and their specific research areas and projects. Or read on for more information about the program and its requirements, and when you're ready, click below to apply to Lehigh University graduate school:

Interested in joining a Graduate Program with the Civil and Environmental Engineering department? Apply today:

Graduate Student Application Deadlines

For fall applicants, the final deadline is January 15. For spring applicants, the final deadline is December 1. After those dates, prospective students may be considered and accepted via rolling admissions.

For the M.Eng. structural engineering program, which starts annually in July, the final deadline is April 15.

CEE Department Admission Requirements

Graduate admission to the department of civil and environmental engineering is highly selective. The graduate admissions committee considers the entire application package in making admission decisions. We carefully review each applicant's academic transcript, GRE scores (if submitted), TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable), personal statement, letters of recommendation, and resume.

Students with a non-CE undergraduate background will be considered for admission on a case-by-case basis, assuming they've met certain core requirements and have demonstrated competency in the senior-level courses of their undergraduate major. Please contact the professor you're interested in working with to inquire about admission if you're an interested, non-CE student.

The CEE Master's Degrees

At the master's level, CEE students may choose between the Master of Science (M.S.) and Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) degree programs.

The Master of Science degrees are research-focused. M.S. students team up with a professor on a research project, then write a thesis to fulfill the degree requirement. The M.S. prepares students for careers in industry as well as progression to a Ph.D. and an academic career track.

The Master of Engineering degrees prepare students to enter the professional practice of engineering after graduation. These 30-credit, courses-only degrees provide a graduate-level option to students who want to complete a master's degree that has no thesis or project requirement. The exception is Lehigh's Master of Engineering in Structural Engineering Program, a unique program which emphasizes group and individual design projects.

Not sure which degree is best for you? Consider the differences between the M.S. and M.Eng. in structural engineering. 

M.S. and M.Eng in Structures Degrees at a Glance

  M.S. M.Eng.
Orientation Research Professional Practice
Thesis Yes No
Duration 21 months 10 months
Credit Hours 3 credit hours of thesis
12 credit hours of required courses
15 credit hours of electives

30 total credit hours
9 credit hours of design projects
3 credit hours of structural laboratory
6 credit hours of required courses
12 credit hours of electives

30 total credit hours
Funding opportunities
  • Teaching assistantships
  • Graduate research assistantships
  • Fellowships
  • Partial tuition scholarships
Program Overview

Each class is
worth 3 credits.


  • CEE 404: Mechanics and Behavior of Structural Members
  • CEE 352: Structural Dynamics
  • Technical Elective


  • CEE 450: Advanced Structural Analysis
  • CEE 366: Finite Element Methods in Structural Engineering
  • Technical Elective


  • Technical Elective
  • Technical Elective


  • Thesis
  • Technical Elective
  • CEE 416: Design Project I
  • CEE 419: Structural Behavior Laboratory


  • CEE 417: Design Project II
  • CEE 404: Mechanics and Behavior of Structural Members
  • Technical Elective
  • Technical Elective


  • CEE 418: Design Project III
  • CEE 450: Advanced Structural Analysis
  • Technical Elective
  • Technical Elective


The CEE Doctoral Degrees

The doctorate is for students with career ambitions in research, providing opportunities for in-depth study as well as publication. It typically includes courses in the major field, courses in minor fields, and a dissertation presenting results of original research. Holders of master's degrees planning to become candidates for the Ph.D. take a qualifying examination at the first opportunity following one semester in residence. After qualification, the candidate, the candidate's departmental Ph.D. committee, and the department chair formulate the student's program of work.

Prospective students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. should contact a faculty member whose research interests them. Please explore our four research areas to learn more about active projects.  

Financial Support Opportunities

The department of civil and environmental engineering offers a variety of financial support packages based on the research and educational needs of the department and the academic and research performance of the student.

Consideration for financial support is a part of the standard online application process. Types of financial support include:

  • Research assistantships receive funding from a specific project to subsidize the work of a graduate student. Contact faculty directly for supported research opportunity availability.
  • Teaching assistantships are funded by the CEE department to support the educational mission of Lehigh University.
  • Fellowships are awards made by the CEE department to recognize high achievement and academic promise.

In general, CEE support packages include graduate tuition and a monthly stipend.

For more details on financial aid options available through the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science, click here.