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Graduate Student Frequently Asked Questions

What courses and specializations are available?
  • Civil Engineering Graduate Program Planning Guide
  • Important: When you fill out the ApplyTexas application, please indicate your area of interest within CE (construction, environmental, geotech, infrastructure, structures, transportation, water resources). If you do not, processing of your application will be delayed.
What is the difference between an MS and ME?

MSCE: Master of Science requires 24 hours of coursework and a thesis (6 hours). Recommended if student wanst to pursue a Ph.D.
MECE: Master of Engineering requires 36 hours of coursework

What if I want to change my area of specialization?

E-mail the Graduate Advisor, who will have to re-evaluate your undergraduate transcript for deficiency courses for the new area, and they will change the department records..

How do I change between an MS and an ME?

Complete the “Tentative Program of Work” form.

What is the difference between the Master of Construction Engineering & Management (MCE) and the Master of Construction Management (MCM)?

The MCE is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, and requires all engineering courses.

Students with non-engineering background will need to complete a number of deficiency courses, listed in the Graduate Program Study Planning Guide

The MCE allows a student to sit for the Professional Engineering (PE) licensing exam in Texas. Salaries for PEs in Texas are 25% higher than non-PEs.

An MCE allows a student with a PE to take on a higher level of responsibility as a construction manager. A PE can make engineering design changes needed on a construction project (a non-PE would have to contract these out to a PE).

Even though the MCE (ME option) requires 12 courses (compared to 10 for MCM), the benefits of being able to become a PE are more than worth the 2 additional courses (25% additional salary over a 30-year career adds up to around $700,000).

The MCM is designed for students with non-engineering backgrounds, and allows students to take some non-ME courses.

Deficiency courses for the MCM are listed in the Graduate Program Study Planning Guide.

How do I change between MCE and MCM?

Complete the “Change of Program” form.

What funding is available?

A limited number of $1000 scholarships are available for continuing students.
     - Provide in-state tuition ($4000/semester instead of $8000)
     - Apply for a scholarship at  

Student can contact faculty members in their area of interest about research assistantships.
     - 20 hours/week
     - Teaching assistantships reserved for Ph.D. students, on a competitive basis, many available for Ph.D. students; few for master's students

Employment at local engineering firms 

On-campus jobs

TPEG grants

UTA Financial Aid Office

How can I find an internship?

Locate DFW area employers here, or ask a faculty member in your area of expertise

What paperwork do I need to fill out to conduct an internship?

U.S. citizens will not need to fill out any paper work.

For international students, you’ll need to fill out the CPT form here.

Then you’ll need to enroll in the 1-hour internship course CE 5191 under your course advisor’s supervision.

Can I have the GESP class waived?

Only if:
     - Your undergraduate degree was from a university where courses were conducted in English.

     - You retake the TOEFL or IELTS and score 78 or 6.5 overall, respectively.

     - You pass the GESP placement test.

If any of the above are true, contact the Graduate Advisor.

Must I complete all deficiency courses before I take graduate courses?

No, but we recommend that you start addressing the deficiencies the first semester..

Can I have a deficiency course waived?

If you have had the course content previously, e-mail the graduate advisor a syllabus detailing the course content.

I’m an MS student. How do I schedule my thesis defense?

Submit the Thesis Defense form to the Graduate Administrative Assistant, preferably 2 weeks prior to your defense.

Also, reserve a room

What do I need to do the semester I graduate?
What if I take a course not listed on the Graduate Program Study Planning Guide?

See the advisor for your specialization area. You may need to petition to be able to count the course.

What if I need to take a semester off?

Complete the Graduate School Leave of Absence form.

If you are an international student, complete the Office of International Education Leave of Absence form.

What if my GPA falls below 3.0?

If your GPA is still below 3.0 at the end of the following semester, you’ll need to file a petition to continue in the program.

What is the process for returning to school to earn a degree in Civil Engineering?

You must re-apply with the graduate admissions. Click here.

Does a Master of Engineering (12 classes) count as a year of experience toward a PE license, like a Master of Science (8 classes plus thesis)?

If the undergraduate degree is in engineering, the applicant would receive a one year experience credit for each advanced engineering degree (maximum of 2 years) from an EAC/ABET accredited program. Whether it is an MS or ME it is still an advanced degree.

Will your Master of Construction Management fulfill the education requirement of the licensing process for a person with an undergraduate degree that is not engineering?

Construction management degrees are judged to be management and business degrees and not engineering degrees. The board does have policy advisory opinion regarding the separation of responsibilities regarding licensed PE's and construction managers (See opinion).