The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is committed to training whole-brain engineers. The McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science is committed to training whole-brain engineers.

Graduate Study
Structural Engineering
Curriculum & Requirements

Eligibility and admission

Students studying structural engineering earn a master of science in civil engineering through Northwestern University's Graduate School. To be admitted to the MS program in structural engineering, the student must meet one of the following requirements:

  1. A BS degree in civil engineering or closely related engineering, or

  2. A non-engineering degree, but with coursework covering mathematics through differential equations, first-year, college-level physics, statics and dynamics, mechanics of materials, structural analysis or mechanics, and soil mechanics.

These course requirements for admission 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.

Master of science requirements

The total course requirement for an MS degree is 12 course units, six core courses and six electives, in addition to the structural engineering seminars for three quarters (fall, winter, and spring). At most three course units may be research (with thesis) or at most two course units may be project or independent study. All courses must be taken for grades except for thesis (CIV_ENV 590).

All master students must complete the knowledge of six core courses:

  • CIV_ENV 319 – Theory of Structures II
  • CIV_ENV 320 – Structural Analysis—Dynamics
  • CIV_ENV 327 – Finite Elements Methods
  • CIV_ENV 415 – Theory of Elasticity
    - OR -
  • CIV_ENV 417 – Mechanics of Continua
  • CIV_ENV 421 – Pre-stressed Concrete Structures
  • CIV_ENV 410 – Plates and Shells
  • CIV_ENV 512 – Structural Engineering Seminar (0 credit, no tuition, required of all M.S. students for a minimum of 3 consecutive quarters)
  • All M.S. students are required to attend the M.S. Professional Development Seminars for a minimum of 3 consecutive quarters.

The six electives can be selected from a diverse list of courses relevant to structural engineering. Students may choose to use a thesis or MS design project to fulfill part of the electives requirement.

2016 MS Curriculum Plan

MS Handbook 2016