MSU adds online master’s degree in civil engineering

EAST LANSING—The Michigan State University College of Engineering has launched its third online master’s degree program, a Master of Science in civil engineering from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE).

The new online degree joins the college’s online mechanical and electrical engineering master’s programs in providing students an MSU engineering education without having to relocate to East Lansing.

Peter T. Savolainen, MSU Foundation Professor of Transportation Engineering and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department directs the new master’s program.

Savolainen said the online option helps working professionals gain important skills in emerging areas, such as data science, smart materials, and connected and autonomous vehicles. The program also allows students to earn an MSU degree from anywhere and at any time.

“Our online master of science in civil engineering will prepare engineers and other professionals for the future of transportation and pavement engineering,” Savolainen said. “Technological advances have allowed for more proactive means of monitoring, operating, and maintaining our infrastructure systems. We can leverage data from in-roadway or roadside sensors, or even use the vehicles themselves as sensors, to better understand how our transportation and pavement systems are performing in near real-time. The online M.S. program will focus on data-driven methods and advanced software tools that will allow us to more effectively respond to issues that arise, including traffic congestion, crashes, and potholes. We also will help our master’s students to pursue licensure as a professional engineer or obtain credit for continuing education in support of existing licenses.”

MSU’s civil engineering curriculum combines knowledge of key concepts with practical skills and experience using industry-leading software. Students will study topics including traffic safety, statistical and econometric analysis, smart infrastructure, road materials, network modeling and pavement design and preservation. The program also allows students to choose from two focus areas, pavement engineering and transportation engineering.

Students will also explore concepts in analysis, materials, and design with a focus on statistical and econometric analysis, asphalt materials, data science, geometric design of highways, network modeling, pavement design, pavement models, pavement preservation, research methods, smart infrastructure, and traffic safety.

Faculty members teaching the online civil engineering master’s include CEE Department Chair and Professor Neeraj Buch, Professors Karim Chatti and Peter Savolainen; and Associate Professors Timothy Gates, Syed Waqar Haider, and M. Emin Kutay.

Classes begin in January 2021. Admissions information is available at

More information on the new online degree is available at

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