Carnegie Mellon University

Graduate Students With a Degree Outside of Engineering

We weclome students with a wide range of backgrounds who are interested in pursuing graduate studies in engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

While engineering backgrounds are frequently represented among our program applicants, we also regularly admit students with undergraduate degrees in mathematics and science. This is not an exhaustive list, but includes:

  • Biology 
  • Chemistry
  • Environmental Science
  • Mechanics
  • Physics
An outline of the math and science background expected for all entering students:
1 Semester General Chemistry
2 Semesters Calculus
1 Semester Differential Equations
2 Semesters Physics
1 Semester Biology (or other science) 
1 Semester

Probability and Statistics;
or 1 semester Linear Algebra

1 Semester Computer Programming, Applications or Tools 

Make-Up Requirements for MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering

To pursue the standard MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering degree, it is necessary to fulfill the requirement of completing four fundamental undergraduate engineering courses in addition to the courses specified for the graduate degree.

These makeup requirements are designed to ensure that you possess the essential foundation for advanced engineering studies at the graduate level. Your faculty advisor may consider substituting equivalent or closely related courses on a case-by-case basis.

Please note that the undergraduate makeup courses should be completed in addition to the minimum graduate unit requirements of your enrolled program.

Required Makeup Courses for students with a degree outside of engineering:

Engineering Mechanics
9 Units - First Fall Semester


Soil Mechanics
9 Units - Second Fall Semester


Fluid Mechanics
9 Units - First Fall Semester


Project Management Construction
9 Units - First or Second Fall Semester              

Additional Degree Options

We provide alternative degree options that do not have undergraduate makeup requirements. However, some of these programs may still require additional coursework to ensure students have the appropriate background knowledge for specific graduate courses.

These degree options are as follows:

MS in Environmental Management and Science
MS in Advanced Infrastructure Systems
MS in Computational Mechanics

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering oversees the administration of these interdisciplinary degree programs. Each program can typically be completed within three semesters or fewer, depending on the amount of required or desired undergraduate coursework. With guidance from your advisor, you have the freedom to select your courses; however, your curriculum must be approved by the CEE Department Head.