Carnegie Mellon University
Masters Program Requirements

Masters degrees are completed with a minimum of 96 units, with each unit generally requiring one hour of work per week. Semester length courses are 12 units each. The university also offers mini courses that run for half of a semester and are worth 6 units each. Students have the option to mix and match semester length courses and mini courses to complete the 96-unit degree requirement. 

Students in our Civil and Environmental Engineering Masters program are required to be registered full-time with a minimum of 36 units and a maximum of 48 units in each semester in which they are enrolled. Part-time and non-degree enrollment options are available to non-traditional students. 

The 96 units counted towards the MS degree course option must satisfy the following requirements: 

  • A minimum of 78 units (including both course and independent study units) must be at the graduate level (600 level and above) with at least 48 units at the 700 level. 
  • A minimum of 60 units must be from CEE, though up to 12 units of technical graduate courses from other departments can be counted towards this requirement if consistent with the students program of study and with the approval of the academic advisor prior to taking the course.
  • Up to 18 units of upper level undergraduate courses (defined as courses 300 level and above) may be counted towards the 96 unit requirement with the approval of the academic advisor. Courses numbered at XX-299 and lower do not qualify as MS degree electives. 
  • A minimum of two semesters of Graduate Seminar (12-794) are required for the MS degree. 
  • No more than 12 units of independent study will be counted towards an MS degree. 
  • Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA to receive their degree.

Masters students will be limited to taking one (1) course in the School of Computer Science during their masters degree program, regardless of whether it counts toward the degree requirements.  Exceptions to this “one course” rule can be granted by petition to the department head with the approval of the faculty advisor, if deemed necessary to the student’s masters curriculum.

It is university policy to deem a student as graduated at the end of the semester in which s/he has fulfilled a minimum of 96 units acceptable for the MS degree.

Students without a BS in Engineering

Students with an undergraduate degree outside engineering will need to complete five basic undergraduate engineering courses. These requirements are in addition to the MS degree course requirements.

Transfer Credits

A maximum of 24 units of transfer credit (one credit transfers to 3 units) may be included for coursework undertaken elsewhere, provided these credits were not used for other degree requirements. Transfer credits must have received a grade of "B" or higher and must be approved by both the academic advisor and the Department Head.  Students currently in the program wishing to transfer credits must complete the Graduate Transfer Request Form prior to taking the course when applicable.