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The MS in Civil Engineering (Water and Waste Management) is part of the Sustainable Infrastructure Systems program which prepares students for immediate and effective participation in the modern infrastructure workforce through a common core that includes smart-system design for sustainable infrastructures, the societal and regulatory context of infrastructure engineering decisions, and construction management.
|September 1, 2024
|Fall 2024 (Civil & Environmental Eng. only)
|January 15, 2024
Applicants to the master's of science programs in Civil Engineering are required to have a bachelor’s degree or be in the process of completing a bachelor's degree. Degrees in any engineering or engineering-related disciplines are frequently represented among our program applicants, including but not limited to the following:
- Aerospace Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Engineering Mechanics
- Mechanical Engineering
Applicants without a Bachelor’s degree in the preferred majors listed above will only be considered with coursework and demonstrated proficiency in the acceptable courses listed below (or equivalent).
Applications are reviewed holistically; simply taking these courses does not guarantee admission.
The following materials are required to be included with your online application:
- Personal Statement
- Letter of Recommendation (optional)
NOTE: The GRE is not required for 2024 applications.
For tips on completing your application visit
Ready to Apply
The following link will take you to an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students, including payment information. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition
Download the Cost of Attendance to see a summary of tuition and fees by semester. The document is a typical example and the number of courses, and time to complete the program, will vary by student.
After spending five years as a mechanical engineer at an aerospace component manufacturing firm, Sean Dempsey realised it was not his true calling. He moved to Mexico and joined The Anglo Mexican Foundation as an English teacher. “I knew I didn’t really enjoy what I did as a mechanical engineer and wasn’t passionate about it. So, I went to Mexico. I liked living abroad and teaching,” says Dempsey. But that wasn’t his true calling either. After a year in Mexico, Dempsey moved to the U.S. and pursued a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering (Water and Waste Management) at the University of Southern California.
During his search for his true interest, Dempsey also spent time as a volunteer with Engineers Without Borders USA. “That’s when I developed an interest in water and wastewater management,” he recalls. Dempsey completed his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After receiving acceptance letters from University of Colorado and USC, Dempsey chose USC for his graduate studies. “USC admissions team was aggressive in the recruitment process and their advisors were very responsive and helpful. They even flew me down to Los Angeles to check out the college and its resources,” says Dempsey. And that’s not the only reason. Having done his undergrad in a “small college town”, as Dempsey puts it, he wanted to do his Masters in Los Angeles which is known for its job prospects, great weather and interesting places to discover.
For Dempsey, graduate studies was a completely different experience and it revealed a different side of his personality. “I was a shy student in undergrad. But I had much better interactions while at USC and got along very well. I enjoyed smaller class sizes and great professors who knew me by my name and gave me constant support,” he remembers. During his first semester at USC, he joined the Salsa club where he learnt the fundamentals of the Latin dance style. In his free time, he also practiced Jiu-jitsu -- Brazilian martial art -- at one of the renowned gyms in Los Angeles.
During his first year at USC, Dempsey worked at the USC Foundation for Cross-Connection Control and Hydraulic Research. “They field-tested backflow preventers. I would put together pipe assemblies of various diameters and test different companies’ backflow preventer prototypes to check that they are in accordance with the standards set by USC.”Later, he also worked with the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering’s Environmental Engineering division. He also completed a fellowship with DIGDEEP, a human rights non-profit which works to deliver clean running water to Americans.
After successfully finishing his graduate studies, Dempsey signed up to take on logistical and water and sanitation projects for Doctors Without Borders USA. Looking back at his decision to switch his line of interest, from mechanical engineering to civil engineering, Dempsey believes he took the right decision at the right time which helped him land internship opportunities and connect with people from different walks of life.
2022 First Destinations Survey - Outcomes*
Alumni Employment - 2022*
(Companies & Job Titles)
Agility - Site Engineer
Air Astana – Commercial Pilot
ARAMCO - Lead Project Engineer, Project Engineer, Project Engineer III, Projects Management, Project Engineer
Arcadis Inc. - Environmental Engineer
BeaconFire Solution Inc. - Software Engineer
Boeing - EE System Design Engineer
Charles Abbott Associates Inc. CAA - Assistant Engineer
City of Los Angeles - Assistant Division Manager
Clinpharma Consulting Global Group LLC - Engineer Intern
Dow Chemical - Civil/Structural Engineer
Dreyfuss Construction - Assistant Project Manager
Emerald City Homes, Inc. - CEO - Founder
Fehr & Peers - Engineer/Planner I
FTF Engineering, Inc. - Engineering Designer
Google - Software Engineer
Hathaway Dinwiddie - Preconstruction Engineer, Project Engineer
HSA & Associates, Inc. - Structural Designer
JCE structural Group - Structural Designer
KAFD Development Management Company - Prevention and Risk Manager
KPFF Consulting Engineers - Civil Engineering
Lily, Inc. - Vice President
Los Angeles Department of Water & Power - Civil Engineering Associate
MainStreet Property Group LLC - Assistant Development Project Manager
Michael Baker International - Civil Associate I Water/Wastewater Engineer
MTM Construction, Inc. - Project Engineer
National Grid - Graduate Development Program (Associate Engineer)
Onshore Maintain Potential Projects Dept. Saudi Aramco - Project Engineer
Pinnacle Structural Engineers, Inc. - Graduate Engineer
PMI KSA Chapter - VP of Marketing
Propel Engineering, Inc. - Transportation Engineering Specialist I
Saudi Aramco - Project Engineer
Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries SAEI - Facility and Equipment Planning Manager
Secretariat International – Associate
Southwest Value Partners - Senior Asset Manager
TEKsystems - Quantity Surveyor Engineer
Turner Construction - Field Engineer
University of Southern California - Web Developer I, Resource Employee
Webcor Construction LP - Project Engineer
Internships (Previous Years)
Aperture LLC; Barry & Wynn Architects, Inc.; Condon Johnson & Associates; Corgan Associates; DPR Construction; Mark G. Anderson Consultants, Inc.; Nebraska Department of Transportation; Structural Focus; Tipping Structural; San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency; VINCI Construction LLC; W.E. O'Neil; Walter P. Moore and Associates, Inc.; West Power Energy; WSP USA Inc.
* Information is based on a voluntary survey and should not be interpreted as a comprehensive view of the 2022 graduating class.
Published on July 10th, 2017
Last updated on February 21st, 2024