Master of Science in Civil Engineering - Structural Engineering

Application Deadlines

Spring 2018: September 15, 2017

Fall 2018: January 15, 2018

Structural Engineering is a Civil Engineering discipline which emphasizes analytical and experimental studies of the behavior of structures (e.g., buildings, bridges, and dams) under service loads (e.g., traffic) and environmental loads (e.g., wind and earthquake). Emphasis is placed on response predictions or computations for these structures and their constituent materials (e.g., steel, reinforced concrete, and composites). Study is made of the nature of these loadings, both static and dynamic, with implications being drawn for design.

Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings, and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.

  • A minimum of 27 units is required to earn the MS in Civil Engineering – Structural Engineering) degree
  • Required Courses: 15 units
  • Elective Courses: 12 units (elective courses must be pre-approved by a department advisor)
  • Additional courses needed for graduation may also be selected from any other area related to structural engineering with the approval of an advisor
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes

Fall 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)December 15, 2018
Fall 2019 (Final Deadline)January 15, 2019*
Spring 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)August 31, 2018
Spring 2019 (Final Deadline)September 15, 2018
*Applicants Interested in Online Delivery: Please contact to request an application extension for Fall 2018.
Visit our Application Deadlines page for more information.


  • An undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, Applied Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, or Physics from a regionally-accredited university. Students with a degree in Mathematics or Physics may be required to take additional engineering courses covering the basics of strength of materials, structural analysis, and design.
  • Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average)
  • Satisfactory GRE test scores. All scores must be officially reported to the university directly by ETS.
  • Satisfactory performance in previous coursework related to the intended major.


Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

GRE General Test: Satisfactory and valid test scores. Valid GRE scores must be dated within five years of the start of the intended application semester. The fall semester starts in August, and the spring semester starts in January. Official scores must be reported from ETS directly to USC using ETS school code 4852. A department code is not required.

Resume/CV (Required)

Statement of Purpose (Required): The statement of purpose should succinctly describe your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.

Letters of Recommendation (2 Required): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.


English Language Proficiency: In addition to the general admission criteria listed above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination to be considered a candidate for admission. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. For more details on English Proficiency Criteria for the University of Southern California, please visit USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.

The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.


Academic Year
Per Unit Rate
3-unit Course
4-unit Course
Fall 2017 - Summer 2018
Fall 2018 - Summer 2019



Fee Description
Fee Amount
Mandatory Fees (approximate)
Fall 2017: $450
Spring 2018: $400
Health Insurance
Fall 2017: $646
Spring 2018: $1,170
Norman Topping Student Aid Fee
ENGR Computing Access Fee (On-Campus students)
ENGR Computing Access Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)
Exam Proctoring
$40 - $100 per course
Detailed Information on Tuition & Fees
This program is also available online to professional engineers through DEN@Viterbi. Because the DEN@Viterbi program provides a fully equivalent academic experience, the degree a USC engineering student earns is the same whether they are on-campus or online.

If you are interested in beginning classes as a DEN@Viterbi student next semester, explore the requirements and steps to enrolling as a Limited Status Student.

Learn More About DEN@Viterbi
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes


The following courses and program requirements serve as program planning for DEN@Viterbi students. Course offerings and availability are subject to change. Please consult with advisor if you have any questions.

Required Core Courses
All courses are required – 15 units total. Students may choose either CE 537 or CE 539.
CE 507 | Mechanics of Solids I (3 units)
CE 529a |  Finite Element Analysis (3 units)
CE 537 | Advanced Reinforced Concrete or CE 539 (3 units)
CE 539 | Advanced Steel Structures or CE 537 (3 units)
CE 541a | Dynamics of Structures (3 units)
CE 525b | Engineering Analysis (3 units)
Elective Courses
Elective courses selected after consultation with an academic advisor – 12 units total.  Electives are listed below by topic.
Structural Mechanics and Structural Design Electives
CE 529b | Finite Element Analysis (3 units)
CE 536 | Structural Design for Dynamic Loads (3 units)
Concrete Bridges Electives
CE 529b | Finite Element Analysis (3 units)
CE 536 | Structural Design for Dynamic Loads (3 units)
Dynamics and Vibrations Elective
AME 522 | Nonlinear Dynamical Systems, Vibrations, and Chaos (3 units)
Earthquake Engineering Electives
CE 536 | Structural Design for Dynamic Loads (3 units)
CE 541a | Dynamics of Structures (3 units)
Solid Mechanics Electives
CE 507 | Mechanics of Solids I (3 units)
CE 543 | Stability of Structures (3 units)
CE 546 | Structural Mechanics of Composite Materials (3 units)
Computer Science Elective
CSCI 455 | Introduction to Programming Systems Design (4 units)
Subject to the approval of an advisor, additional courses may be taken in Structural Engineering or from related fields such as:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
Please complete the following form for more information.