Civil Engineering: The UDC Edge

Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, the University of the District of Columbia is an affordable and high quality educational option, attentive to your needs and committed to your success.  The Masters of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE) program offers graduate students one of the lowest faculty-to-student ratios in the region, and makes an effort to personalize every student’s educational experience.
The mission of the graduate program is to meet the advanced civil engineering educational needs of recent graduates of undergraduate engineering degree programs, practicing engineers and those non-engineering professionals wishing to redirect their career paths. Graduates of the program possess the following attributes or educational outcomes:

  • Knowledge  and skills in civil engineering and related fields significantly beyond the baccalaureate level;
  • Ability to independently conduct research or a significant practice-oriented project in civil engineering;
  • Ability to communicate their ideas and results in written, oral, and graphical forms and develop attitude for lifelong learning.

The civil engineering graduate students have the opportunity to work with faculty in grant-funded research and also have the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants for school of engineering and applied science as well as other schools at UDC.

Master’s Degree (MS) in Civil Engineering

Looking for professional advancement in civil engineering? Interested in developing an understanding on fast-moving developments in civil engineering systems specifically in the field of geotechnical, transportation water and environmental engineering? The master’s degree in civil engineering (MSCE) at the University of the District of Columbia gives you the tools to succeed in a competitive, high-paying job market while offering the flexibility you need as a working professional.

The MSCE offers students the opportunity to develop a more fundamental and complete understanding of the principles that govern their field including current design methodology and technical knowledge and skills to research and develop new sustainable design solutions in the civil engineering field for the 21st century. Students are encouraged to be innovative and imaginative in their quest for recognizing, stating, analyzing, and solving engineering problems.

The goal of the Master’s program is to develop technical depth of expertise for a professional career in the planning, design, construction, and operation of urban infrastructure systems, built facilities, and water resources management.

You will become an expert in state of-the-art technology and theory; conduct research in an array of civil engineering and design areas; and apply these skills to solving real-world problems. Our faculty members are enthusiastic researchers, passionate teachers, and committed mentors, and will guide you through every step of your educational and professional journey.

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Curriculum and Requirements in the UDC Civil Engineering Program

Program of Study

The MSCE at UDC requires successful completion of minimum 30 credit hours of graduate-level course work. The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options.

A non-thesis option is offered for those seeking to enhance their depth and breadth of engineering knowledge beyond the bachelor’s level, and who will subsequently be involved in day-to-day planning and design activities in the civil engineering industry  and are interested in developing the marketable skills needed to succeed in today’s job market. Credit for the degree option come entirely from combination of courses plus a design project.

A thesis option is offered for students who want the opportunity to obtain expertise in research in one of sub-discipline of civil engineering and who may be interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in civil engineering or closely related field. Thesis and project reports must be approved by the faculty advisor and the thesis committee. It is noted that students who are supported as graduate research assistants are required to pursue the thesis option.

Learn more about the curriculum for the master’s degree in civil engineering.
The civil engineering master’s degree curriculum also helps prepares students for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam to become a licensed Professional Engineer.

Student Organizations and Activities in the UDC Civil Engineering Program

The STEM Center for Research and Development is a valuable resource for civil engineering students, offering enrichment activities designed to boost academic competency, provide research opportunities, and increase student retention and graduation rates.

Students also participate in a number of social and professional associations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), National Society of Black Engineers and Society of Women Engineering (SWE).

Every February, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences hosts a week of special events to inspire current and future engineers at UDC. Engineers Week includes lab visits, project presentations, networking opportunities and other events sponsored by student groups and affiliated organizations.

Faculty Spotlight: UDC Civil Engineering Program

Dr. Bryan Higgs is an Assistant Professor of Transportation Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of the District of Columbia. Dr. Higgs received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech. Dr. Higgs’ research and teaching interests range from network design to human factors in transportation including: multi-level multi-objective game theory, network vulnerability, network optimization, psychophysiological driver behavior, driving simulators, road rage, aggressive driving behavior, and traffic flow theory.

Dr. Lei Wang, PE is an Assistant Professor of Geotechnical Engineering of Civil Engineering Department at University of the District of Columbia. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a Geotechnical emphasis from Clemson University and is a licensed professional civil engineer. His main research focus is to explore the fundamentals and develop innovative solutions for sustainable and resilient geotechnical infrastructures. His research interests include geotechnical risk and reliability, robust design for resilient infrastructures, computational geotechnics and centrifuge modeling, foundation engineering, tunnels and supported excavations, earth dams and levees, soil and concrete testing and characterization, soil liquefaction and geotechnical earthquake engineering. He has published more than 40 journal and conference papers in the geotechnical engineering field. He serves on four editorial boards including Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment (Springer), Marine Georesources & Geotechnology (Taylor & Francis), International Journal of Geotechnical Engineering (Taylor & Francis), and Geoenvironmental Disasters (Springer). He also serves on the ASCE/Geo-Institute’s Committee on Risk Assessment and Management, Infrastructure Resilience Division’s Committee on Risk and Resilience Measurements, and Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Tunnels and Underground Structures.

Dr. Pradeep Behera PE, D. WRE, Professor of Civil Engineering is the Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in academia and civil engineering industry specifically related to  practical aspects of water resources engineering, urban stormwater management. He earned his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Toronto. Prior to joining to UDC, he worked as a Senior Water Resources Engineer at BPC Group, Orlando, Florida and Clarifica Inc., Richmond Hill, Canada. He served as a Senior Lecturer at the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India during 1990-96 and worked as an Adjunct Professor at the Ryerson University, Toronto during 2002-03. His research interests include urban stormwater management, non-point source pollution, water resources engineering, irrigation and hydraulics and sustainable urban water systems, climate change and extreme event analysis. He has published several research papers in peer review journals, book chapters, and international and national conference proceedings during his 25 years of teaching, research and industry career. He is a Professional Engineer from the State of Maryland and District of Columbia and is a Diplomat from the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers.

Dr. Ahmet Zeytinci, P.E., Ph.D., Fellow-NSPE, Fellow-ASCE is an award-winning professor, structural engineer, Faculty Athletics Representative of UDC for NCAA compliance, author and mentor living in Washington, D.C. Since joining academia at UDC, “Dr. Z”, as he is known by his students and colleagues, has distinguished himself on campus and beyond. He is passionate about engineering, gifted in teaching, and is a true champion for professional licensure. Dr. Z. has extraordinarily high standards; has produced award-winning designs; is prolific in professional service; and infects others with these same values. He is the recipient of numerous local, regional and national awards, including recent national awards from the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) and American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). Since 2014, he has been regularly writing monthly articles for “Dr.Z’s Corner “ and offering hundreds of engineering problems, for free, every month for students, engineers and engineering educators worldwide. Dr. Z. also offers pro-bono Saturday classes for students and engineers; his free classes are open to all in the greater Washington metro area.

Career Pathways and Prospects

Civil engineers are in high demand, and a civil engineering degree from UDC will prepare you for career opportunities in both the private and public sector. You can find UDC engineering alumni working at the D.C. Metropolitan Transit Authority, NASA, Xerox, Motorola, Northwest Airlines, AT&T and the National Institutes of Health, just to name a few.

Your civil engineering degree also provides excellent preparation for you to pursue graduate studies right here at UDC or at other local and national institutions.

Regardless of your continuing education or career aspirations, a degree from one of the strongest ABET accredited engineering programs in the region will give you a leg up in achieving your personal and professional goals.

Contact info:

E: seas@udc.edu | T: 202.274.5126 | F: 202.274.5520