INTRODUCTION | RESEARCH | PROGRAMS OF STUDY | FACULTY


Master of ScienceEnvironmental Geotechnics

Eligibility and Admissions
Students studying Environmental Geotechnics (EGE) earn a Master of Science in Civil Engineering through Northwestern University's Graduate School. To be admitted to the M.S. program in Environmental Geotechnics, the student must meet either of the following two requirements:

These course requirements may be met at Northwestern, but credits from these courses cannot be applied to the graduate degree.  In addition, each applicant must meet the usual requirements of The Graduate School and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  These are detailed in the Admissions section of this departmental website.

 

 

Course Work
Students in EGE must take the following courses: Advanced Soil Mechanics, Foundation Engineering, Earth Retaining Structures, Air Photo Interpretation, Ground Improvement, and Engineering Aspects of Groundwater Flow. To specialize in environmental geotechnics, students will typically supplement this coursework with: Transport Processes in Porous Media, Chemistry of the Aquatic Environment, Soil Science, and one elective. Students complete the requirements for the M.S. program by writing a thesis focusing on some aspect of environmental geotechnics.

 

Core Program (units to be determined by adviser):

From courses listed below

CIV ENG 355 Engineering Aspects of Groundwater Flow

CIV ENG 356 Transport Processes in Porous Media

CIV ENG 358 Air Photo Interpretation

CIV ENG 395 Special Topics in Civil Engineering

CIV ENG 450-1,2,3 Soil Mechanics I, II, III

CIV ENG 451 Engineering Properties of Soils

CIV ENG 453 Rock Mechanics

CIV ENG 454 Constitutive Models for Soils

CIV ENG 458 Soil Dynamics

CIV ENG 495 Selected Topics in Civil Engineering

Required (no credit) seminar during winter and spring quarters:

CIV ENG 515-1,2 Geotechnics Seminar

 

Electives:

From the areas listed below

Environmental Engineering and Science

Mechanics of Materials and Solids

Structural Engineering and Materials

Chemistry

Thesis
Students specialize in environmental geotechnics primarily by performing research in this area. This research is incorporated into an M.S. Thesis. See Selected Research Projects for descriptions of recent research projects.   See Selected Research Projects in Environmental Geotechnics for descriptions of recent research projects.

Doctor of PhilosophyEnvironmental Geotechnics

 


 

Eligibility and Admissions
Students studying Geotechnics earn a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering through Northwestern University's Graduate School. To be admitted to the Ph.D. program in Geotechnics, the student must either hold a Master of Science in Engineering or a non-engineering degree with some course work covering mathematics through differential equations, fluid mechanics, first-year college-level chemistry, and statics and dynamics. These admissions course requirements may be met at Northwestern, but credits from these courses cannot be applied to the graduate degree. In addition, each applicant must meet the usual requirements of The Graduate School and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  These are detailed in the Admissions section of this departmental website.

 

Course Work
Ph.D. students are required to take 10 to 12 courses beyond their M.S. course work. These courses should be taken to broaden the student's background in geotechnics and to complement and support the student's research. All students in geotechnical engineering must take the following courses: Advanced Soil Mechanics, Foundation Engineering, Earth Retaining Structures, Air Photo Interpretation, Ground Improvement, and Engineering Aspects of Groundwater Flow. These are the only required courses for Ph.D. students who have not taken them or their equivalent.


Preliminary Exams
Written and oral preliminary exams and one qualifying exam are administered as part of the course of study. These preliminary exams are typically taken after one year of Ph.D. study. For the written exam, the student selects three topic areas from geotechnical engineering/ environmental geotechnics. The oral exam is administered by a committee of faculty selected by the student in consultation with their research advisor.  Once the student has decided upon a research topic, a proposal defense is required for the qualifying examination. This examination provides an opportunity for the student to meet formally with the Ph.D. advisement committee for direction and assistance on the proposed research.

 

Dissertation
Students in the environmental geotechnics program must perform innovative, high quality research and write a dissertation.   See Selected Research Projects in Environmental Geotechnics for descriptions of recent research projects.