Graduate Admissions

Minimum Admission Criteria

Applicants for admission to graduate study in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering are expected to have the following:

  • A baccalaureate degree in the field or in a closely allied field of science or mathematics
  • An undergraduate grade point average in engineering, science, and mathematics courses of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A minimum of three letters of strong support from former teachers or supervisors
  • A minimum score of 79 for internet-based or 550 for paper-based exam on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students whose first language is not English and who have not received a degree from a college or university in which English is the sole language of instruction. Additional information is available on the Graduate Admissions website.
  • The minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score is a 6.5 overall with no individual sub-score below 6.0

Students considering entering the doctoral program directly must have completed any previous graduate study with at least a 3.5 grade point average and have clearly demonstrated a capacity for independent work. If a master’s thesis or other comprehensive work was written at another institution, a copy must be provided to the advisor soon after the student enrolls at Delaware.

Admission to the graduate program in civil engineering at the University of Delaware is selective and competitive based on the number of well qualified applicants and the limits of available faculty and facilities. Those who meet these minimum academic requirements are not guaranteed admission.

You may apply for admission using the University of Delaware’s on-line graduate application. When writing your personal statement of objectives and interests, please indicate clearly which civil engineering concentration(s) you are most interested in pursuing: coastal, environmental, geotechnical, structural,  transportation engineering & civil infrastructure systems, or water resources.

Detailed instructions to guide you through the application process are available at the Graduate College website. Applicants from outside the U.S. should be sure to review the special instructions for international students.

Application Deadlines

The CEE Department adheres to the general University of Delaware application deadlines for admission:

  • February 1 for Fall semester, with full consideration for assistantships/fellowships
  • July 1 for Fall semester, final deadline
  • October 1 for Spring semester, with full consideration for assistantships/fellowships
  • November 30 for Spring semester, final deadline

Selecting an Advisor

Upon admission to the CEE Department, each graduate student is required to choose an advisor who is close to their field of interest. However, the process of matching students with advisors often begins before an application is even submitted and continues throughout the admission cycle.

The number of graduate students a professor advises frequently depends upon the size and number of grants the professor has received in support of their research. As the faculty review graduate applications, they look for an excellent academic record. However, they also carefully read the applicants’ personal statements of objectives and interests in order to locate students whose goals, interests, and experiences mesh well with their current research projects.

Students with well-defined interests may also take the initiative by researching prospective advisors and contacting them prior to admission. The internet has facilitated this process, since most professors have e-mail and web pages describing their research interests. We encourage communication between prospective graduate students and our faculty, including personal visits to the University and the department whenever possible.

The advisor should be consulted in the planning of a program of study for each semester and, unless you are in a non-thesis master’s program, in the conduct of your research. By the end of your first year, you and your advisor will agree on your research topic. Often faculty will be looking for graduate students to assist with specific projects that are already well defined. However, there are also frequent opportunities for students to explore their own research questions.

Graduate study is individual in nature and requires frequent interaction between the student, the advisor, and other professors. Therefore, the personality of a potential advisor should be a consideration. Do you feel this is someone with whom you will be able to work comfortably? Visiting and communicating with the professor prior to enrollment will help you determine the answer to this question. You may also want to contact current graduate students in our program.

Your advisor may also be of assistance and provide counsel in non-curricular matters such as health, housing, language deficiencies, etc. When necessary, an advisor may counsel a student to alter their course of study, to review academic goals, or to terminate work at the University of Delaware. The chair of the CEE Department and the chair of the department’s Graduate Committee are available to complement the services of the advisor and may be consulted whenever the student feels it will be useful.


The traditional master’s and doctoral programs in the department are highly individualized programs allowing for a great degree of freedom in planning your curriculum. Together, you and your advisor will select classes that will provide breadth and depth in your education and support your research interests. You will likely draw not only from upper-division and graduate-level courses offered by the CEE Department, but also from other departments including. For a full listing of available courses, consult the UD Graduate Catalog.

The non-thesis master’s degree options in coastal, environmental, and structural engineering have more specific course requirements. Please consult the current version of the Graduate Handbook for the most up-to-date requirements.

Contact Us

Jacquee Lukawski

Jacquee Lukawski

Graduate Academic Advisor
301-1 DuPont Hall

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