Mar 19, 2018  
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2009-2010 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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The MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering assists the region’s industries, small businesses, and governmental agencies by providing an accessible source of graduate education for its engineering employees. The need for advanced degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering is both regional and global. The region is experiencing residential growth pressure and its attendant development and infrastructure problems. Moreover, this region has been facing a number of environmental problems that could impact its economic development. Our master’s degree program helps provide Civil Engineering professionals working in this region, now and in the future, with skills that are needed to handle such challenges. The educational goals of the program include enhancing the knowledge of professional practicing civil and environmental engineers so that they are equipped to handle the complex problems of today, and providing them with the skills, experience, and confidence to solve problems not yet encountered. Specifically, the program has the following goals for its graduates:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
  • An ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs.
  • An ability to function as a team member.
  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
  • An ability to communicate effectively.
  • An ability to act as a leader and direct civil engineering projects.
  • Knowledge of contemporary issues and professional culture in the specialty area.

The program offers small classes, close contact with a diverse faculty, and easy access to well supported research facilities to provide state-of-the-art learning and research experiences. Courses are scheduled to permit either fulltime or part-time study.


The faculty in Civil and Environmental Engineering Department are active in funded research activities and thus are in a strong position to support graduate students in conducting world class research in such areas as transportation materials and systems, water and wastewater treatment, hazardous waste decontamination, geotechnical engineering, applied mechanics and materials engineering, structural analysis and design, hydrology, and water resources engineering. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department maintains Geotechnical, Environmental, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Transportation Laboratories for research and educational purposes. The ATMC facility in Fall River, MA, currently has a transportation materials laboratory assigned to a faculty member in the department.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the MS program is competitive. Students possessing a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a recognized institution and a strong academic background in civil or environmental engineering or a similar discipline are encouraged to apply for admission. Typically, MS applicants with an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale for all engineering, math, and physics courses will be considered.

Applicants for the MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering must submit the required application materials to the Graduate Office.

In addition:

  • Transcripts should show class rank if available.
  • The three letters of recommendation should be from persons in the field of the applicant’s academic major at the institution most recently attended or be from supervisors familiar with the applicant’s recent job performance.
  • The essay should be from 300 to 600 words in length. This essay should indicate the prospective student’s graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If the applicant also applies for a teaching or research assistantship, the application must include any special skills or experience that would assist in assistantship decisions.
  • GRE scores for the general test must be submitted by degree seeking applicants, except by those who are or are about to be graduates of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in Civil Engineering or who are or are about to be recipients of a Civil Engineering graduate certificate. Quantitative GRE scores of 700 or higher will be considered.
  • Foreign students’ scores on the TOEFL should be 550 minimum for admission and 600 minimum to be eligible for a teaching assistantship (213/250 for TOEFL computer-based scores and 79/100 for internet-based scores).

Graduate Financial Assistance

Inquiries regarding graduate student financial assistance should be made to the Director of the Graduate Program. For information about loans or other assistance, please consult the chapter on “Expenses and Financial Assistance.”

Many employers will assist employees in furthering their professional education; contact the personnel office at your place of work.

Faculty and Fields of Interest

Fennessey, Neil M Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1995), BS 1975, BSCE 1983 University of Massachusetts Amherst, SMCE 1986 Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD 1994 Tufts University. Specializations: hydrology, water resources engineering.

Finnie, John (Department Chairperson) Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2004), BSAE 1975 California State Polytechnic University, Pamona, MSCE 1985, PhD 1987 Utah State University. Registered Professional Engineer (Idaho). Specializations: Hydraulics, water resources engineering, finite element analysis.

Miller, Heather J (Graduate Program Co-Director) Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1994), BS 1984 Northeastern University, ME 1986 University of Virginia, PhD 1994 University of New Hampshire, Registered Professional Engineer. Specialization: Geotechnical engineering.

Mogawer, Walaa S  Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1989), BSc 1981 Kuwait University, MSc 1984, PhD 1989 University of Rhode Island, Registered Professional Engineer. Specialization: Transportation engineering.

Rahbar, Nima (Graduate Program Co-Director) Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2008), BSc 1998 Sharif University of Technology, MSc 2003 Northeastern University, PhD 2008 Princeton University, Specialization: Structural engineering and Applied mechanics.

Sengupta, Sukalyan Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1994), BS 1985 Calcutta University, MS 1991, PhD 1994 Lehigh University, Registered Professional Engineer. Specialization: Environmental engineering.


Dr. Nima Rahbar

Graduate Program Co-Director

Civil and Environmental Engineering

508 999-8467

Dr. Heather Miller

Graduate Program Co-Director,

Civil and Environmental Engineering

508 999-8481

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300


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