Mar 18, 2018  
2017-2018 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 UMass Dartmouth Graduate Catalog

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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The MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering assists the region’s and the nation’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 growth pressure and its attendant development, environmental and infrastructure problems. Our master’s degree program helps provide Civil Engineers, with skills that are needed to handle such challenges, now and in the future. The educational goals of the program include (a) enhancing the knowledge of practicing civil and environmental engineers and providing them with the skills, experience, and confidence to solve the complex problems of today, as well as problems not yet encountered and (b) providing civil engineering graduates with the necessary basis to embark on a journey of lifelong learning either in professional development or in higher education.

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


The faculty of 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, fate and transport of contaminants, geotechnical engineering, applied and computational mechanics and materials engineering, structural engineering, quantitative engineering sustainability hydrology, water resources engineering and ocean engineering. The Civil and Environmental Engineering Department maintains Geotechnical, Environmental, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Transportation Laboratories for research and educational purposes.

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

Financial assistance in the form of Teaching and Research Assistantships is available. Teaching assistantship is awarded by the graduate committee based on both merit and alignment of the applicant’s background to the needs of the department. For Research assistant, the applicant would need to consult the faculty member closest to his/her field of interest.  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

Asadpoure, Alireza Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2015), BSc 2003 University of Tehran, MSc 2005 Sharif University of Technology, PhD 2011 Johns Hopkins University. Specializations: optimal design of materials and structures, computational fracture mechanics.

Arghavan Louhghalam, Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2016), BSc 2000 Iran University of Science and Technology, MSc 2002 University of Tehran, PhD 2010 Johns Hopkins University. Specializations: Solid and fracture mechanics, structural dynamics and stochastic vibrations, quantitative engineering sustainability.

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.

MacDonald, Daniel Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2003) BSCE 1992 University of New Hampshire, MS 1996 Cornell University, PhD 2002 Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program. Specializations: Estuarine oceanography, hydrodynamics, stratified turbulence, environmental engineering.

Miller, Heather J Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1994), BS 1984 Northeastern University, ME 1986 University of Virginia, PhD 1994 University of New Hampshire. Specialization: Geotechnical engineering.

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

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

Taghavy, Amir Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2015), BS 2003 Amirkabir University, MS 2005 Sharif University of Technology, PhD 2013 Tufts University. Specializations: geoenvironmental engineering, modeling the fate and transport of emerging contaminants, nanotechnologies for subsurface engineering applications.

Tootkaboni, Mazdak (Graduate Program Director) Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering (2010), BSc in Civil Engineering 2000 and MSc in Earthquake engineering 2002 University of Tehran, MSc 2007 and PhD 2009 in Structural Mechanics Johns Hopkins University. Specializations: Computational solid and structural mechanics, uncertainty quantification, data analytics, topology optimization, design under uncertainty.


Dr. Mazdak Tootkaboni
Graduate Program Director
Civil and Environmental Engineering
508 999-8465
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300

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