Apply through the Graduate Admissions Website
All applicants must make an official application, using the university's online forms and procedures, and following the directions from the Office of the Registrar, Graduate Admissions. Visit the Graduate Admissions website for more information about the graduate admissions process at Stanford and to apply for graduate admission.
IMPORTANT: Regardless of whether you are currently obtaining or already have an undergraduate degree or an MS degree, if you are applying to Stanford with the expectation of earning a PhD, you should apply to the PhD program in your application. Those students who do not already have an MS degree will most likely be admitted to the MS program. Provided that you are able to identify a faculty member to supervise your doctoral work, advancement to the PhD cohort is then made during the last quarter of MS work.
Details of these degree programs are published in the Graduate Student Handbook.
PhD Admissions Overview
Our Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is open to all applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree or will have completed one before matriculating as a graduate student at Stanford.
A degree in civil or environmental engineering is not required to pursue a PhD, but applicants should be familiar with key concepts and their applications. This typically means applicants have degrees in other science and engineering disciplines. We are looking for students who have completed coursework or have other experiences that demonstrate use of higher-level mathematics (e.g., linear algebra, partial differential equations, statistics) and recommend the completion of core civil engineering courses (e.g., solid mechanics, structural analysis, structural dynamics, fluid mechanics, project management). An MS degree is not a prerequisite for admission to our PhD program or for PhD degree conferral.
Master’s Admissions Overview
The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has two distinct advanced degree programs: MS and PhD. Our Master of Science (MS) program is intended to be a terminal degree for those seeking advanced knowledge in a focused discipline of civil and environmental engineering to pursue a career in industry or another professional degree (e.g., law, business). It is based on the completion of coursework focused on a theme within the discipline. No thesis is required, nor is research required.
Engineer Degree Admissions Overview
A student with an MS in Civil Engineering may satisfy the requirements of the degree of Engineer in Civil and Environmental Engineering by completing 45 unduplicated course work and research units for a total of 90 units.
Information for Prospective Graduate Students
The Application Process
Applications are submitted electronically through the Graduate Admissions office and are forwarded directly to the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for review. All materials, such as transcripts, statement of purpose, supplemental questions, resume (letters of recommendation can be submitted via email in the on-line application), are to be uploaded with your application.
The Graduate Admissions website provides comprehensive and detailed information to guide you through the process. Department-specific requirements that you will need to fulfill as part of your application can be found on our PhD Detailed Admissions Information page and our Master's Detailed Admissions Information page. These details are not on the Graduate Admissions website.
Are you applying for a master’s or a PhD degree?
For admission to the PhD program, you have to obtain an MS first. Thus, if you check off “PhD” on the application and you have an MS already, you will be considered for the PhD directly. If you check off “PhD” on the application and do not have an MS yet, you will be considered for the MS but we will be aware that you are ultimately interested in a PhD. In some cases where an applicant does not yet have an MS, the applicant may be admitted to the PhD program subject to completion of the MS, but these cases are not typical. Once admitted to the MS program, students may apply for the PhD during their MS year with a relatively short application form.