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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

December 19, 2011
Susan Banovetz | Director of External Affairs | 218 726-6141|
Christiana Kapsner | UMD Public Relations Assistant | 218 726-8830 |

New! Civil Engineering Masters Degree

Hands-On Experience and Project Design in State-of-the-Art Facilities

A new masters program in the UMD Department of Civil Engineering began this past fall. The coursework includes basic requirements in civil engineering study, as well as a final project that is either design or research centered.

"The demand for graduate work in Civil Engineering is high," said Andrea Schokker, executive vice chancellor of academic affairs, and former UMD professor and head of the Civil Engineering Department. "The American Society of Civil Engineers considers the Masters degree the professional degree for Civil Engineers. Students will often choose to stay for their Masters degree immediately after graduation. Our undergraduate students have a very applied program and tend to have a good deal of lab experience before they enter the masters program. They are uniquely prepared to move straight into our MS program and begin their research and graduate level coursework. We also have a special program for the top UMD Bachelor of Science students in Civil Engineering. It allows them to start their master's degree early and count up to 9 credits for both the bachelors and master's degree. This is an attractive option to keep our top graduates in the program. The Civil Engineering faculty members have a significant amount of research funding that is used to fund Graduate Research Assistantships for many students. These projects involve cutting edge research in new areas, as well as research that helps develop portions of buildings, bridges, and other specialized engineering codes."

The Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MS-CE) is intended for students pursuing a research emphasis and seeking in-depth knowledge in an area within civil engineering. With the expansive, sun-lit labs and classes readily available for demonstration and first-hand experimentation, the facilities offer a top-tier education.

"We are really privileged here," said Justin Baker, a student of the first MS-CE cohort. "We have a new program and a building that's only two years old. It includes a structure lab, a highway lab, and all of it connects to the classrooms. Most campuses don't even have their labs on site, and if they do, it's like a warehouse. At UMD, the labs and classes are 'civil engineering on display' for everyone to experience."

The integration between classroom study and real-world experience is a key component of the program. Many students who invest in a graduate program want to know that their studies will ensure that they have the specific tools for future employment and success. "My main question was simple," said Baker. "Will the program prepare me for the real world? I think the masters degree program at UMD definitely answers that question, and offers even more as far as real world problem solving and hands-on coursework."

While the facilities promise integrated research that includes concrete testing, water fluctuation and flow, and structural study, the faculty is a key component to the success of the masters degree program. The faculty members oversee the students' projects and give direction through their lectures. They also work with the students in the workshops and labs, creating a unique and positive learning environment.

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Last modified on 12/19/11 04:57 PM
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