UC Davis Civil and Environmental Engineering offers M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and boasts a diverse student body from around the world.
Known for our state-of-the-art research facilities, productive laboratories and progressive spirit, CEE offers collaborative and interdisciplinary curricula through graduate research and designated emphasis options, bringing students and faculty together to address real-world challenges.
UC Davis CEE master’s and doctoral graduates become leaders in their fields and go on to guide, define and impact change within our global community.
All applicants must indicate an area of specialization on the application: Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, Water Resources and Transportation Engineering.
- Required Application Materials
- ♦ Graduate Application -- You can find the online graduate application on the Graduate Studies website.
♦ Statement of Purpose and Personal History and Diversity Statements -- Please review the guidelines on the Graduate Studies website.
♦ Application Fee -- $120 Domestic, $140 International. Note: students who have participated in or are affiliated with certain programs (e.g. CAMP, LSAMP, UC LEADS, McNair Scholars) may be eligible for a fee wavier. See the Graduate Studies website for details. Also, the College of Engineering Dean's Office is offering an fee waiver for domestic PhD applicants- see details below (COE Equity Program). The fee may be paid by Visa, Mastercard or e-check. The fee must be paid before the application will be considered as complete, and the fee must be paid for each application submitted.
♦ GRE scores -- The GRE is required for all applicants. GRE scores must be sent electronically to institution code 4834. A specific department code is not necessary.
UPDATE: due to COVID 19 and testing restrictions, GRE scores will not be required, accepted, or reviewed for the Fall 2022 admission cycle as of July 16, 2021. The GRE will be required again for the Fall 2023 admission cycle.
♦ Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended -- UC Davis requires academic records from each college-level institution you have attended. You will be instructed to upload scanned copies of your transcripts after you have submitted your online application.
♦ Letters of recommendation -- Three letters of recommendation are required. They must be submitted electronically by the referee through the online application. We do not accept letters in hard copy or sent from a letter service such as Interfolio. The online application will automatically notify the referee and provide instructions on how to submit the letter.
♦ TOEFL or IELTS score (for nationals of non-English-speaking countries) -- English language testing is required for all applicants whose native language and primary language of instruction is not English. UC Davis accepts both the TOEFL and IELTS examinations. The minimum score required is 550 on paper-based TOEFL or 80 on internet-based TOEFL, or 7.0 on IELTS. TOEFL scores must be sent electronically to institution code 4834. For IELTS scores, please email the 15 digit Test Report Form Number (TRF) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Application Fee Waiver Programs
- Graduate Preparation Programs Fee Waiver
Applicants who are affiliated with one or more of the Graduate Preparation programs listed on the Graduate Studied website are eligible for graduate application fee waivers.
Please visit the Graduate Preparation Programs Eligible for Fee Waivers website to learn more.
COE Equity Program Fee Waiver Eligibility
Applicants must seek Fall 2022 admission to a PhD program administered by the College of Engineering. Applicants for MS programs are not eligible for a fee waiver through this program.
* Only US citizens or current permanent residents are eligible to receive a fee waiver through this program.
* Applicants who have participated in other Graduate Preparation Programs listed here already qualify for a fee waiver through that program.
Details About the Request Form
* Please visit the COE Equity Program webpage to access the fee waiver request form
* Applicants will need to provide brief contact/demographic information, as well as provide short responses to two questions.
* Those who qualify for a fee waiver will receive an email with directions on how to use the waiver. (NOTE: waivers will be sent daily Monday-Friday only)
- Deadlines and Admission Schedule
It is the policy of UC Davis to only admit graduate students for first enrollment in the Fall Quarter. Early application is encouraged; initial admission decisions begin in January and admissions are limited.
♦ Priority Deadline – 12/15/2021
♦ Prospective Student Fellowship Deadline – 12/15/2021
♦ General Deadline – 2/1/2022
♦ Space Available Deadline – 6/1/2022*
*Applicants who apply by the Space Available Deadline (but after the General Deadline) are not guaranteed to have their application reviewed by the graduate program. Their application will be reviewed only if the graduate program determines that they have additional space available.
After gaining admission for the Fall, it is sometimes possible to request a deferment of enrollment until the Winter or Spring Quarter, if circumstances prevent you from starting in the Fall. Approval is not automatic; a sound reason must be given. Under rare circumstances, the department will accept applications after the deadlines. Your chances for late admission increase if a faculty member in the department has expressed an interest in you joining the program or their research group. No applications will be accepted after the space available deadline.
- Admission Criteria
Admission is competitive. All aspects of your application will be considered in our evaluation. This includes your Statements of Purpose and Personal History and Diversity statements, your letters of recommendation, potential research or work experience, your undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, your graduating institution, your GRE scores (except for the Fall 2021 admission cycle) and (if applicable) your TOEFL or IELTS scores. Your overall application will all be evaluated by a committee of faculty in the department, including at least one professor from your area of specialization. While all of these components of your application are important and we aim to take a holistic approach, there is no substitute for a strong undergraduate GPA. For those students interested in the MS I (Thesis) or Ph.D. degrees, research experience is a definite plus.
Occasionally, the admissions committee will recommend admission for an applicant whose GPA and/or GRE scores would not normally warrant admission. This may happen if other aspects of the applicant’s background which are not reflected in the GPA and/or GRE scores strongly indicate a potential for success in our graduate program. A typical example is extensive and relevant work experience with excellent performance. Under these circumstances, the student may be admitted on a “Course Work Only” (CWO) basis initially. While in CWO status, the student may not hold an academic appointment (i.e. a Teaching Assistantship or a Research Assistantship). During the quarters spent in CWO status, the student must fulfill an agreement with the department that is made upon admission. This agreement usually involves a specified level of performance in a list of courses.
Applicants who already have an MS degree in civil engineering from another institution can only be admitted to pursue a PhD degree. Admission into our PhD program is based, in part, on the availability of a faculty member to serve as the student’s major professor in the area of specialization proposed by the applicant.
- Funding Opportunities
- Find out more about funding opportunities for CEE graduate students.