Masters Studies

The MS program is intended to provide the student with additional fundamental knowledge as well as specialized advanced knowledge in selected structural engineering aspects over and above the undergraduate degree course work. Two plans, the MS Thesis Plan and the MS Comprehensive Examination Plan, are offered. The MS Thesis Plan is designed for those students with an interest in research prior to entering the structural engineering profession or prior to entering a doctoral degree program. The MS Thesis Plan involves course work leading to the completion and defense of a master’s thesis. The MS Comprehensive Examination Plan involves course work and requires the completion of a written comprehensive examination covering multiple courses that the student has taken. The MS Comprehensive examination will be comprehensive and cover two focus sequences and at least one additional technical elective that the student has taken. The examination must be completed no later than the end of the eighth week of the quarter the student intends to graduate.

Core Requirements: MS students will be required to complete two out of seven core course electives. The courses are SE 200, SE 201A, SE 202, SE 203, SE 241, SE 271, SE 233, or SE 276A. They can be counted towards a focus sequence or a technical elective.

The M.S. Comprehensive Exam: In the above courses instructor selects one problem on the midterm or final exam (could be project/long HW) to be the “comprehensive exam” problem.  A separate Pass/Fail score is assigned to this problem. (Problem may still count toward the total exam score.) Minimum passing score is 60/100.  Any two courses from “Core Electives” may be selected for the MS Comprehensive Exam. A passing score must be obtained in both courses.

The M.S. Thesis Plan is designed for those students with an interest in research prior to entering the structural engineering profession or prior to entering a doctoral degree program. The M.S. Thesis Plan involves course work leading to the completion and defense of a master's thesis.

The thesis defense is the final examination for students enrolled in the M.S. Thesis Plan and must be conducted after completion of all course work. Upon completion of the research project, the student writes a thesis that must be successfully defended in an oral examination and public presentation conducted by a committee composed of three faculty members. A complete copy of the student's thesis must be submitted to each committee member two weeks before the defense.

Master students must complete forty-eight units of courses for graduation. For the M.S. Comprehensive Examination Plan all forty-eight units of credit must consist of regular courses (twelve courses). For the M.S. Thesis Plan, thirty-six units (nine courses) from regular courses are required, in addition to twelve units of graduate research for the master's thesis. For both M.S. plans, students are required to complete a minimum of two sequences from the focus areas listed below.

A focus sequence is composed of three regular courses from the same focus area. The courses comprising the focus sequences are listed in the table in this section. To allow for greater flexibility in the program, the remaining credits required from courses may be earned by completing additional focus sequences, parts of focus sequences, or other appropriate courses. Students may elect to take other appropriate technical electives (with the approval of their advisor and the SE Graduate Affairs Committee). In general, no undergraduate courses are allowed for the M.S. degree.

Units obtained in SE 290 and 298 may not be applied towards course work requirements. No more than four units of SE 296 may be applied toward course work requirements and only with prior approval of the SE Graduate Affairs Committee.

The department also offers a seminar course each quarter dealing with current research topics in Structural Engineering (SE 290). Students must take SE 290 every quarter in the first year, and are strongly recommended to take it for at least one quarter in every subsequent year.

Sample Focus Areas

Structural Analysis:

SE 201A Advanced Structural Analysis

SE 201B Nonlinear Structural Analysis

SE 202 Structural Stability 

SE 203 Structural Dynamics 

SE 204 Advanced Structural Dynamics

SE 206 Random Vibrations

SE 205 Nonlinear Mechanical Vibrations

SE 215 Cable Structures

SE 224 Structural Reliability and Risk Analysis

   
Computational Mechanics & Finite Elements:

SE 233 Computational Techniques in Finite Elements

SE 274 Nonlinear Finite Element Methods 

SE 276A Finite Element Methods in Solid Mechanics I

SE 276B Finite Element Methods in Solid Mechanics II

SE 276C Finite Element Methods in Solid Mechanics III

SE 277 Error Control in Finite Element Analysis

SE 278A Computational Fluid Dynamics

SE 278B Computational Fluid-Structure Interaction

SE 279 Meshfree Methods for Linear and Nonlinear Mechanics

   
Structural Design:

SE 151B Design of Prestressed Concrete

SE 211 Advanced Reinforced & Prestressed Concrete Design 

SE 212 Advanced Structural Steel Design

SE 213 Bridge Design

SE 214 Masonry Structures

SE 220 Seismic Isolation and Energy Dissipation

SE 223 Advanced Seismic Design of Structures

Earthquake Engineering:

SE 203 Structural Dynamics

SE 206 Random Vibrations

SE 220 Seismic Isolation and Energy Dissipation

SE 221 Earthquake Engineering

SE 222 Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

SE 223 Advanced Seismic Design of Structures

SE 243 Soil-structure Interaction

   
Geotechnical Engineering:

SE 222 Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering

SE 241 Advanced Soil Mechanics

SE 242 Advanced Foundation Engineering

SE 243 Soil-structure Interaction

SE 244 Numerical Methods in Geomechanics

SE 250 Stability of Earth Slopes & Retaining Walls

   
Advanced Composites:

SE 251B Mechanical Behaviors of Polymers & Composites 

SE 252 Experimental Mechanics and NDE 

SE 253A Mechanics of Laminated Comp. Structures I

SE 253B Mechanics of Laminated Comp. Structures II

SE 253C Mechanics of Laminated Anisotropy Plates & Shells

   
Solid Mechanics:

SE 234 Plates and Shells (or MAE equivalent)

SE 235. Wave Propagation in Elastic Media

SE 252. Experimental Mechanics and NDE

SE 271 Solid Mechanics for Structural & Aerospace Engineering 

SE 272 Theory of Elasticity

SE 273 Inelasticity

   
Advanced Structural Behavior:

SE 202 Structural Stability

SE 204 Advanced Structural Dynamics

SE 205 Nonlinear Mechanical Vibrations

SE 206 Random Vibrations

SE 224 Structural Reliability and Risk Analysis

SE 252 Experimental Mechanics and NDE

SE 265 Structural Health Monitoring Principles