Civil Engineering

Graduate Degree Program Summary

Graduate degrees offered


  • M.S.; Ph.D.


A specialization is a well-defined area of study that will appear on your transcript with your degree and major. Specializations are optional in most UNL programs.

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical and Materials Engineering
  • Structural Engineering
  • Transportation Engineering
  • Water Resources Engineering
  • Water Resources Planning and Management
Note: The specialization in Water Resources Planning and Management is not specific to Civil Engineering.
Promo image for Civil Engineering

Contacts for Civil Engineering

Graduate Chair

Dr. Shannon Bartelt-Hunt


Graduate Secretary

Ms. Mellanie Gilroy


Campus Address

N104 Scott Engineering Center

Lincoln NE 68588-6105

Application checklist and deadlines

Required by the Office of Graduate Studies

See also: steps to admission.

Required by Civil Engineering in GAMES

After you apply, allow one business day for us to establish your access to GAMES, where you'll complete these departmental requirements:

  • Entrance exam(s):
    - Ph.D. Applicants:  GRE
    - M.S. Applicants:  GRE
  • Minimum English proficiency: Paper TOEFL 550, Internet TOEFL 80, IELTS 6.5
  • Three letters of recommendation (Ph.D. and M.S.)
  • Resume or curriculum vitae (Ph.D. and M.S.)
  • Statement of purpose (Ph.D. and M.S.)

When sending GRE or TOEFL scores, UNL's institution code is 6877 and a department code is not needed.

Application Deadlines for Civil Engineering
For Financial ConsiderationSummer 2016: January 10 Fall 2016 : January 10 Spring 2017: January 10
International studentsApplication for Fall admission strongly encouraged.


The Civil Engineering Department offers graduate programs on both the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and University of Nebraska at Omaha campuses. The campuses are approximately 50 miles apart. Facilities include materials and geotechnical labs, environmental and transportation labs, and the famous vehicle crash testing facility at the Lincoln Airport. The structures laboratory is equipped to do gravity load, seismic excitation, and wind loading testing of full scale specimens, from bridges and buildings.

Many research opportunities are available depending on the individual interests of faculty and students. Projects include ultra high-performance concrete, self-consolidating concrete, innovative high strength concrete and steel bridge systems, composite materials and energy efficient composite structures, hydrologic effects of global climate change, hydraulic modeling, GIS and watershed management, alternate fuels, water quality, remediation of hazardous wastes, fate and transport of emerging contaminants, risk assessment, pollution prevention, green technology, highway geometric design and safety, intelligent transportation systems, traffic simulation using hardware-in-the-loop simulation, highway-railroad grade crossings, safety aspects of highway design with a unique full scale crash testing facility, risk analysis and reliability of structures, design code calibration, field testing of bridges, pavement engineering, advanced modeling of geomaterials, and application of fuzzy set theories.

When applying, students should indicate interest in one or more of the above areas of study. Minors may be selected from related civil engineering areas and other related departments.

Courses and More

Students in Civil Engineering are most likely to take courses in: See also: Course Catalog in the Graduate Bulletin.

Students will work with an advisor to create a Program of Studies or Memorandum of Courses during the first half of their coursework.

Faculty and research

David Admiraal
Environmental and Fluvial Hydraulics; Physics of Sediment Transport
Shannon Bartelt-Hunt
Contaminant Fate and Transport; Engineering Properties of Solid Waste
Mohamed Dahab
Water Purification and Wastewater Treatment; Risk Management
Bruce Dvorak
Small System Drinking Water Issues; Applied Pollution Prevention
Ron Faller
Protective Highway Structures; Vehicle Dynamics; Highway Safety Warrants
Junke Guo
Sediment Transport; Fluid Mechanics; Hydraulics; Watershed Modeling
Elizabeth Jones
Traffic Flow Theory; Transportation Operations; Intelligent Transportation Systems
Aemal Khattak
Transportation Infrastructure, Planning, and Safety; GIS; Intelligent Transportation Systems
Ayse Kilic
Crop Modeling; GIS; Precision Agriculture
Yong Rak Kim
Testing and Modeling Geomaterials; Computational-Experiemental Constitutive Damage Modeling
Gary Krause
Structural Engineering; Structural Steel Modeling
Xu Li
Environmental Biotechnology; Environmental Microbiology
Yusong Li
Fate and Transport of Contaminants; Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology; Groundwater Remediation
Daniel Linzell
Bridge Engineering; Structural Hardening; Force Protection
Massoum Moussavi
Transportation Planning, Economics, and Systems Analysis; Airport Planning and Design; Traffic Engineering
Laurence Rilett
Multimodal Transportation Systems Analysis; Transportation Planning and Operations
John Rohde
Geotechnical Engineering; Soil-Structure Interaction Modeling
John Stansbury
Risk Analysis; Hazardous Waste; Water Resources Engineering
Joshua Steelman
Bridge Engineering; Seismic Evaluation of Structures
Maria Szerszen
Testing and Modeling Structural Materials; Material Reliability Modeling; Foundations; Geotechnical Engineering
Christopher Tuan
Structural Dynamics; Blast Resistant Design; Finite Element Modeling; Specialized Concrete
Richard Wood
Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering; Non-Structural Components, Load Protocol Development for Seismic Qualification and Testing, Ground Motion Scaling, and Use of Laser Scanning within Structural Assessment.
Tian Zhang
Nonpoint Source Pollution Control Technologies; Biofilm Processes; Constructed Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment
Jinying Zhu
Nondestructive tTesting (NDT) of Structures and Materials; Sensor Development; Ultrasonics and Wave motion; Material Characterization

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.