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The Master of Science degree with the thesis option is intended for students who seek a Master’s degree to prepare them for engineering practice and is appropriate for those students who are interested in a research component to their degree, especially students who plan to continue to the Ph.D. degree or who are interested in research positions at government laboratories.

Graduates are recruited to work in private consulting firms, large engineering firms, city and state government positions and federal government laboratories.

The Master of Science (Thesis) degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework. All students must also meet the program prerequisites. Students generally complete the degree requirements in 15 to 24 months. Students must take 9 hours in both the fall and spring semesters to have full-time student status.

A complete discussion of university requirements is found in the current Texas A&M University Graduate Catalog.

Environmental Engineering Faculty Members

Water Resources Engineering Faculty Members

Coastal Engineering Faculty Members

Thesis Committee

All student advising for the M.S. (Thesis) degree is handled by the student’s Advisory Committee. Students select a committee chair, who will direct both the thesis research and provide coursework advising. The student should also recruit a minimum of two additional committee members to their thesis committee, one of whom must be from outside the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

The coursework requirements for the M.S. (Thesis) degree in Civil Engineering with a focus in Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal Engineering are listed below. Within each rubric of required coursework, students should discuss their course selections within their Thesis Committee Chair each semester before course registration begins. The degree plan, listing all courses a student plans to take to meet the 30-hour coursework requirement, must be completed and filed with the Graduate and Professional School before the end of the second semester of study or 18 credit hours of coursework at Texas A&M, whichever occurs first. No exceptions are allowed. See the Graduate Student Services office for forms, deadlines and general requirements.

Coursework Requirements

  • Foundation Courses (9 hours)
  • Focus Technical Electives (9 hours)
  • Breadth Electives (6 hours)
  • Research (6 hours)


The following items discuss expectations for the major steps toward completion of the MS thesis and defense. A number of other requirements related and in addition to these steps are specified by the Graduate and Professional School and many are described in the university catalog. Each graduate student has the obligation to be informed of these requirements and to adhere to them. A checklist with all steps required to complete the M.S. (Thesis) in Civil Engineering is provided in the Graduate and Professional School Catalog.

Consult with the Graduate Student Services office for additional general guidance.

An M.S. (Thesis) generally consists of three major components. First, an M.S. degree candidate must prepare a Thesis Proposal that describes the research to be conducted in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree. The research proposal describes the proposed research, including relevant background information, and clearly demonstrate how this research will make a unique contribution of new knowledge to the student’s area of study.

Second, students report the results of their research studies in a written Masters Thesis. This is a comprehensive, written document that reports the major research effort conducted, the results and a discussion of their novelty and implications.

Third, students defend the results of their research study in an oral, Final Examination (thesis defense). This presentation is made to the thesis committee and invited faculty, staff and students. At this examination, the student will give a presentation of the research work completed for the degree and documented in the thesis.