Master of Applied Science (MASc)

The Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering (MASc) is a research-based thesis graduate program in Civil Engineering, and is available in the following areas of specialization:

• Civil Engineering Materials
• Environmental Fluid Mechanics
• Environmental Systems Engineering
• Geo-Environmental Engineering
• Geotechnical Engineering
• Hydrotechnical Engineering
• Project & Construction Management
• Structural & Earthquake Engineering
• Transportation Engineering

Note that the specialization does not appear on the degree parchment or on the transcript.

Successful completion of the MASc degree requires the completion of 30 credits through 18 credits of coursework and a 12-credit MASc thesis, subject to various constraints and requirements as provided below. For further information, please contact the Civil Engineering Graduate Support Office.

University Policies and Regulations

All students should be aware of the relevant campus-wide Policies and Regulations within the University Calendar, including the Statement on Academic Freedom.  They should also be aware of the relevant University Policies, giving particular attention to: Policy 85 - Scholarly Integrity; Policy 87 - Research; Policy 88 - Patents and Licensing; and Policy 97 - Conflict of Interest.

Faculty Policies and Regulations

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (G+PS) is responsible for the MASc program, and its policies and regulations apply to the program.  Students should review and be aware of these as may be relevant.  A summary is given in the University Calendar (see Academic Regulations).  Additional information is available through the G+PS website.

Research Supervisor

By April of the first full year of study, all MASc students must arrange for a faculty member to serve as the Research Supervisor. The principal roles of the Research Supervisor are to provide guidance on the selection of coursework, to collaborate on and supervise the research effort, and to provide guidance on preparation of the MASc thesis. On occasion, a student may be co-supervised by two faculty members.

Prior to the first April in the program, the student may be assigned an interim supervisor, usually the Specialty Advisor.  If the Research Supervisor is on study leave or other leave exceeding two months, it is recommended that an interim co-supervisor be appointed.

Coursework Requirements

The MASc Program requires completion of at least 30 credits: 18 credits of coursework and successful completion of a 12-credit thesis (CIVL 599).  The 18 credits of coursework are subject to the following requirements:

  • 500 level courses.  A minimum of 12 credits of graduate level course (numbered 5XX) courses must be completed, of which at least 12 credits must be in Civil Engineering (labeled CIVL 5XX).
  • CIVL 597.  All students are required to register once in the appropriate section of CIVL 597 Graduate Seminar (1 credit, Pass/Fail mark); however, they are encouraged to attend the seminar series (without subsequent registration) throughout their time in the program.  All MASc students are required to give at least one seminar presentation within CIVL 597 during the program.
  • CIVL 592.  A maximum of 6 credits may be taken through CIVL 592 Directed Studies.
  • CIVL 598.  A maximum of 6 credits may be taken through CIVL 598 Topics in Civil Engineering.  (These are courses that have not yet been approved by the University Senate.)
  • 300/ 400 Level Courses.  A maximum of 6 credits of 300 or 400 level courses may be taken.
  • 100/200 Level Courses.  100/200 level courses may not be used for credit towards the MEng program. 
  • Specialization Requirements.  Coursework requirements specific to each area of specialization must be satisfied and may be found under Areas of Specialization.

Students are required to obtain approval of their course selection from their Specialty Advisor or the Research Supervisor.

Coursework Regulations

Coursework Plan.  Prior to registering in any courses, all MASc students are required to consult with the Research Supervisor or Specialty Advisor regarding a Coursework Plan, and thereby secure approval of the Plan.   The student should initially develop a draft plan that lists the proposed courses and schedule, taking account of course availability (not all courses are offered every year) and term in which they are given (see Course Schedule), and may take account of prior courses and course substitutions in the manner indicated below.  This will assure adherence to course credit requirements, coursework regulations, an appropriate course load and selection, and no scheduling conflicts.

Minimum Course Marks.  A minimum of 68% is required in each course used for credit. However, a maximum of 6 credits with grades between 60 and 67% may be accepted for credit, if the candidate has an average greater than or equal to 68% in all coursework. Supplemental examinations are not granted to graduate students: a course in which a grade of less than 60% is obtained may be repeated for a higher standing, subject to approval of the Department and G+PS. A student who obtains a grade of less than 68% in more than 6 credits will normally be required to withdraw for inadequate academic progress.

Prior Courses and Transfer Credit.  Transfer credit arrangements for the MASc degree are governed by the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (see Transfer Credit).  These allow students to transfer up to 12 credits of coursework taken prior to or after admission to the current program, subject to certain constraints.  The courses cannot have been used to satisfy the requirements of another credential; they cannot have been used as a basis for admission to the current program; they must have been taken within five years of admission to the current program; and a standing of a least 74% must be obtained in the relevant courses.  For clarity, transfer credits may be applied to all courses used for credit in the current program, including CIVL 500-level courses, but not CIVL 597, and need not entail exact course equivalencies.  Students requesting transfer credit, including advanced credit from prior studies, should consult the Research Supervisor or Specialty Advisor upon entry or prior to registering in affected courses.  The Supervisor or Advisor may so recommend to the Graduate Advisor, who may in turn so recommend to G+PS for approval.

Core Course Substitutions.  A Core Course may be substituted by an elective course if the equivalent course has already been taken.

Selection of Elective Courses.  Elective Courses may be selected from the list of Approved Elective Courses for the relevant specialization, CIVL 592 (which needs to be arranged with a particular instructor), a relevant CIVL 598 section (if available) and/or other courses including 300/400 level undergraduate courses and courses outside Civil Engineering.  However, beyond the Approved Elective Courses, the final selection of elective courses requires the approval of the Specialty Advisor, typically at the time of Coursework Plan approval.  At all times, Department-wide course credit requirements and constraints need to be strictly adhered to.

MASc Thesis

All MASc students should register and maintain registration in CIVL 599 MASc Thesis in order to complete the 12-credit research thesis.

The thesis is prepared under the guidance of the Research Supervisor.  The Research Supervisor, in consultation with a second reader, may request revisions to the thesis and must approve the thesis.   They assign a grade to the thesis.  A minimum grade of 68% must be obtained, in order to submit the thesis and request approval for graduation.

Part-Time Status, Leaves of Absence and Program Duration

MASc students are normally considered full-time, but may apply for part-time status, during the program.  They may apply for leaves of absence during the program, and any such leave, if granted, does not count towards the total duration limitations of the program.  (Such changes in status may impact the level of tuition fees charged.)  Full-time MASc students are required to spend at least one winter session at the University; and they typically complete the program within about 24 months.  In any event, the program must be completed within 5 years of initial registration.

Financial Support

Information on University awards and scholarships can be found at the G+PS site Award Opportunities for Current Students.  Information on financial support made available through the Department of Civil Engineering can be found at Graduate Funding Opportunities.

Thesis Completion and Degree Application

Thesis Completion

For detailed information on thesis preparation, refer to Dissertation & Thesis Preparation.  When the thesis has been completed and approved by the Research Supervisor and second reader[1], the student should arrange for the submission of completed and signed Department and G+PS Thesis Approval Forms, and the thesis should then be submitted electronically following the G+PS Instructions.   The thesis needs to be approved by G+PS before a student is eligible to graduate. When the thesis meets all G+PS requirements, it will be added to the UBC Library's cIRcle Institutional Repository.  The submitted thesis must be complete and accurate – it cannot be subsequently changed and re-submitted.  IMPORTANT:  If a student wishes that the thesis to be delayed from publication, G+PS approval must be obtained before thesis submission.

Degree Application

Upon the completion of program requirements, a MASc candidate must apply for graduation by submitting an Application for Graduation form, and immediately thereafter inform the Civil Engineering Graduate Support Office.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Students are responsible for ensuring that their program registration is complete, that all fees have been paid and that they meet all course requirements for the program. If you have any questions of clarification please contact the Civil Engineering Graduate Support Office.




[1] The second reader signs the G+PS Thesis Approval Form and needs to be identified on the Department Thesis Approval Form.