Information about our graduate course requirements and requisites is available on the UCLA Graduate Education website.
All mailed documents should be sent to the following address:
UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering, Attn: Admission
420 Westwood Plaza – 5732 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Decide on a Program
The Civil and Environmental Engineering department offers graduate programs in the following sub-disciplines:
- Civil Engineering Materials (M.S., Ph.D.)
- Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (M.S.)
- Environmental Engineering (Ph.D.)
- Geotechnical Engineering (M.S., Ph.D.)
- Hydrology and Water Resources (Ph.D.)
- Structures and Civil Engineering Materials (M.S.)
- Structural/Earthquake Engineering (M.S., Ph.D.)
- Structural Mechanics (M.S., Ph.D.)
Please take a moment to explore these areas before applying. To view program details and requisite information, please see our Program Requirements. Course descriptions can be found in the General Catalog.
University regulations do not permit an applicant to apply to more than one major field or more than one degree program. Please decide which of our programs is most appropriate for you prior to submitting an application.
Application Deadline: Given the potential impact of COVID-19 worldwide, the Civil and Environmental Engineering department will continue to accept applications to our graduate program. (This is subject to change)
The online application and application materials, including transcripts, test scores, and requests to recommenders to submit letters of recommendation, must be submitted by the deadline. Tardiness of an application or application materials may delay its review, and affect its eligibility for financial aid and consideration for admission.
Tuition and Financial Aid
For a tuition and fees estimate, please click here. Our graduate degree programs are considered ‘academic graduate’ programs.
For more financial aid information, please click here.
When submitting your application, please make sure you fully complete the submission process. You should receive an acknowledgment email from UCLA Graduate Division within 3 days of submission. (Check your “junk” email folder as well!) If, after 3 days, you have not received an acknowledgment email, please contact .
Helpful notes for the application:
- Specify M.S. or Ph.D. in Civil Engineering and intended field of study (Environmental, Hydrology and Water Resources, Geotechnical, or Structures).
- Fill out your grade point average(GPA) using your institution’s scale. Do not attempt to translate your GPA yourself; we will translate them when reviewing your application.
- Use your name as it appears on your passport. If the name on your passport does not match the name on your application documents (transcripts, test scores, etc.), fill out the “Other Name(s)” section with your name as it appears on those documents.
- The email address indicated on the online application will be the one used to communicate with you throughout the application process.
U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents: $120.00
All other applicants: $140.00
UCLA accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. Cash, checks, and money orders are not accepted. The application fee is not refundable under any circumstances, regardless of admissions decision, date of filing, time of review, or application withdrawal. Fee waiver information can be found on the UCLA Graduate Education website.
Minimum Degree and Grade Requirements
All U.S. student applicants’ degrees must be from regionally accredited institutions and comparable to ones from the University of California.
- Required to hold a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
- Required to hold a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
- Strongly encouraged to hold a Master’s degree with a minimum 3.25 GPA on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent).
- Post-secondary degrees completed outside the U.S. must represent completion of at least four years of study with above average scholarship from a university or university-level institution.
- Please read Graduate Division’s Required Academic Records prior to submitting your transcripts. You may need to submit supplemental documents such as degree certificates and/or diplomas. Failure to submit the Required Academic Records will delay the processing of your application.
- If you are a university/college senior, do not wait for senior-year grades before submitting your application and transcript.
- If you are a UCLA undergraduate, you do not have to submit official copies of UCLA transcripts. However, please upload an unofficial transcript to your online application.
- Please upload unofficial copies of your transcripts to your application. An official, mailed transcript is not required unless you are admitted.
- If you are currently earning a degree outside the U.S., please upload your unofficial transcript in both English and the original language.
Statement of Purpose
A Statement of Purpose should succinctly describe your interest in our program, your intended field of study, specific areas of interest within said field, future plans, and other aspects of your background which may help us evaluate your application. The Statement of Purpose is also used to match admitted students with assigned advisors. Please be as specific as possible in your Statement of Purpose.
Please upload your Statement of Purpose using the online application. Your Statement of Purpose should be 500 words or fewer.
The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to provide additional information that may help us in evaluating your preparation and aptitude for graduate study in our program. You are required to complete a Personal Statement; an application without one is considered incomplete.
- What are some ways in which your life experiences and educational background have informed your understanding of the barriers facing groups underrepresented in higher education? How will your research, creative efforts, or scholarly discourse contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education?
- How has your drive and motivation helped you persist and overcome barriers in higher education that may have disproportionately disadvantaged you? If appropriate, include evidence of your success in these efforts.
- How have you actively engaged (through participation, employment, service, teaching or other activities) in programs focused on increasing the representation of groups that have been historically underrepresented in higher education?
Letters of Recommendation
We require 3 letters of recommendation from faculty or individuals qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.
Please use the online application system to submit your letters of recommendation. Applicants are responsible for following up with their recommenders to ensure that letters of recommendation have been submitted. The application system allows for applicants to submit four letters of recommendation, but we request that you only submit three.
Submission of a resume/CV is strongly encouraged, but not required. Only students who submit a resume/CV will be considered for financial aid.
Please upload your resume/CV to the online application. A hard copy is not required.
The online application has a section where applicants may upload a writing sample. A writing sample is not required for our department. However, applicants who are interested in pursuing a Ph.D. or the thesis track for the M.S. degree may use this section to upload selected publications.
Fall 2021 Applicants only: Students who wish to apply for admission to our graduate program for the 2021-2022 academic year are not required to take the GRE or submit a GRE score report as part of their application package. However, students may voluntarily submit GRE test scores and they will be reviewed as part of the holistic application consideration. The applications with GRE scores will not be given greater weight than those that do not include scores.
We will consider all scores submitted before the application deadline.
GRE scores are considered valid if dated within five years of the intended application term.
Official GRE scores must be sent electronically by ETS to UCLA, using institution code 4837 “U CA Los Angeles” and department code 1102 “Civil Engineering”.
If the name on your GRE score report does not exactly match the name provided on the graduate application, upload a copy of your score report (including name and scores) as a supporting document.
TOEFL iBT and IELTS Academic scores
TOEFL and IELTS scores considered valid if dated within two years of your application submission date.
Applicants must have a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 and a minimum TOEFL score of 560 (paper & pencil test) or 87 (internet-based test). We do not consider applications that do not meet these minimum scores.
Official TOEFL scores must be sent by ETS to UCLA institution code 4837 “U CA Los Angeles” department code 65 “Engineering, Civil”.
Official IELTS scores must be sent to:
UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Attn: Admission
420 Westwood Plaza 5732 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
If the name that appears on your score reports do not exactly match the name provided on the graduate application, upload a copy of your score report (including name and scores) as a supporting document.
All applications are considered for department funding. Applicants will be notified if they are selected to receive a funding package.
The application has a section titled “Fellowship Application,” in which students can select to be considered for University Graduate Division fellowships. Please review the eligibility requirements before selecting these fellowships.
Applicants who want to be considered for a Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship or Graduate Opportunity Fellowship must submit a Personal Statement.
Application Status Check
Please do not contact the department to verify if materials have been received. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all required application materials by the application deadline. Requesting an application status check will delay the review of all applications.
There is also a checklist in the online application system. Currently, the test score section of the checklist is not accurately displaying the receipt of test scores (GRE, TOEFL). Do not contact us to check if we have received your test scores. We will contact you if we are missing materials.
We may send a courtesy email notifying applicants if we recommend admission, but only an official notification from the dean of the UCLA Graduate Division constitutes an approval of admission.
When a decision is made, applicants receive an email, directing them to Graduate Division’s application site and the option ‘Decision Status.’ Applicants sign in using the email address used to create their application account (not the User Name) and their application password. If admitted, the conditions of admission and information and instructions concerning registration (via a link to the Statement of Intent to Register and a Statement of Legal Residence) will be included as part of the admission letter, which can be printed out from the Graduate Division site. Admission letters are only available electronically and are not mailed to applicants.
Submitting the Statement of Intent to Register If you receive an offer of admission, please inform us of your intention to attend UCLA, regardless of if you accept or decline. If you accept our offer, you will begin receiving information about registration, orientation, and if you are an international student, I-20s.
You may be prompted to enter dates of attendance when submitting the SIR/SLR. MS students should enter “September 28, 2020 – June 16, 2023.” PhD students should enter “September 28, 2020 – June 12, 2026.”
Receiving your I-20 (International Students) If you are an international student, then if you accept our offer, you will receive communication from the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students & Scholars with information on how to request an I-20. Once your I-20 is ready, we will be notified and will email you to confirm your personal information, mailing information, and shipping options.
Submitting Final Transcripts Since staff are working remotely due to COVID-19, we prefer submission of final transcripts electronically. Please have your institution’s Registrar submit your official final transcript electronically to . If you prefer to submit official transcripts by mail, it must be issued by your institution in a sealed envelope. Either you or your institution may directly send your official transcripts to us.
If necessary, you may drop off your final official transcripts and degree certificates in Boelter Hall 5732-A when you arrive on campus. However, it is preferred that final transcripts and degree certificates are sent to our office as soon as your degree has been conferred. You will have a hold on your account until all necessary documents have been received.
Please send documents to the following address:
UCLA Civil & Environmental Engineering Attn: Admission; Final Transcripts
420 Westwood Plaza 5732 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Please read the Graduate Division’s Required Academic Records information prior to submitting your transcripts. Please note that both the original language and English translations of your degree certificates and diplomas must be submitted.
UCLA Undergraduate Students:
Since we have access to your records, you will not need to submit a final transcript.
Reviewing Conditions of Admission Students may review the conditions of admission thorugh their ‘Graduate Admission Checklist.’ Conditions may include, but are not limited to submitting final transcripts, attending provisional quarters, and taking the English as a Second Language Placement Examination (ESLPE).
Updating your Application Admitted students can update their application for up to one year without having to pay the application fee again. To do so, students must submit an online application for the updated term. Be sure to select “renewal” as the application type instead of “new”. Updating an application will require re-uploading transcripts. Students must apply by the application deadline for the new term. Please note that after updating the application, admission is not guaranteed.
Registration and Orientation During the Summer prior to your Fall start term you will receive communication from Mimi Baik, the Civil and Environmental Engineering Student Affairs Officer (). After you submit your SIR you should have access to update your contact information in MyUCLA. Please make sure the email account we have on file will be valid through the summer and does not send emails received from to junk/spam. You may also want to review the Student Checklists, including the New Student Checklist under the Graduate Student Forms section of our department website.
The admission committee conducts a comprehensive and thorough review of each application. We are unable to offer specific reasons for denial. Admission to UCLA, particularly to our department, is extremely competitive, and qualified applications outnumber available spots for students.
Can I apply for a spring or winter term? Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the fall term. Arriving in Winter or Spring may prevent a student from taking courses that have pre-requisites only offered in the fall term.
What are the minimum GPA and GRE requirements for admission? Our programs require a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution, comparable in standard to a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California. In general, successful applicants have demonstrated outstanding quantitative ability and proven success in previous academic endeavors, particularly coursework relevant to their intended major. Applicants to our M.S. programs are expected to hold a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or equivalent. Applicants to our Ph.D. programs should have completed a Master’s degree program with a 3.25 minimum grade point average, and hold a Bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 minimum grade point average (or equivalent). We do not have a minimum GRE score requirement for admission. We conduct a comprehensive and thorough review of applications and consider many factors when issuing an admission decision.
Can I apply if I do not have an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering? In rare circumstances, applicants without an undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering may be admitted to our graduate programs. Typically these applicants have related degrees who have completed requisite coursework. For example, an Environmental Science undergraduate major applying to our Environmental and Water Resources Engineering graduate program who has also completed requisites for the graduate degree. We encourage applicants to complete requisite coursework for their intended graduate degree program prior to applying. Requisite requirements may be found in our Program Requirements. Course descriptions may be found in the Catalog.
Can I apply for a M.S. program if I already have a M.S. degree? The University of California, in general discourages the duplication of advanced degrees. All applicants for a second academic graduate degree at the same level as, or at a lower level than the graduate degree they already hold, will be required to show compelling cause to the department before it reviews and recommends admission to the Dean of the Graduate Division. If admitted for a second graduate degree, students will be held to all the usual degree requirements and University regulations pertaining to fees, registrations, examinations, advancement to candidacy, residency, etc. Courses already applied to any earlier graduate degree cannot be applied to the second degree.
I am a current M.S./Ph.D. student. Can I transfer to your institution? We do not have a separate transfer admission process at the graduate level. All applicants submit the same graduate application. M.S. applicants should also refer to the M.S. transfer coursework policy by reviewing the Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.
I have already taken some graduate level coursework. Will I be able to transfer the coursework if admitted to the M.S. program? M.S. applicants should refer to the M.S. transfer coursework policy by reviewing the Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA. Through petition, courses completed in graduate status on other UC campuses may apply to master’s programs at UCLA, provided they were not used toward a previous degree. Such courses may fulfill up to one-half of the total course requirement, one-half of the graduate course requirement, and one-third of the academic residence requirement. A maximum of two courses completed with a minimum grade of ‘B’ in graduate status at institutions other than UC may apply to UCLA master’s programs. Two courses would be the equivalent of eight quarter units or five semester units. They may not fulfill the minimum five-graduate-course requirement or the academic residence requirement. The approval of the Graduate Division and the student’s major department is required on a petition for transfer of credit. Courses taken for any other degree previously awarded at UCLA or another institution, and courses taken before the award of the bachelor’s degree may not be applied toward a graduate degree at UCLA.
What if my GRE or TOEFL/IELTS scores arrive after the application deadline? Official test scores must be received by the deadline. If materials are received after the deadline your application will be considered late. Late application may experience a delay in processing and you may not be considered for university and/or departmental funding opportunities. We will do our best to review late applications, but cannot guarantee we will be able to review for the intended application term. It is recommended that you submit all other materials prior the application deadline and your test scores will be added to your application when they are received.
Can I submit test scores (GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS) prior to the application deadline and submit new scores after the application deadline? What about submitting other updated application materials after the deadline?
We will consider all scores submitted to the university. However, we cannot guarantee that a decision will not be made prior to the receipt of materials, including test scores, received after the application deadline.
Am I eligible for a TOEFL/IELTS waiver? The UCLA Graduate Division English Requirement website provides an extensive explanation of who is required to submit a TOEFL/IELTS as well as exemptions.
How do I apply for departmental funding? The Civil and Environmental Engineering department does not have a separate application process to be considered for funding. All applicants are automatically considered for departmental funding including Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and departmental fellowships. In addition, the online application has a section labeled “Fellowship Application” where you may select to be considered for UCLA Graduate Division Fellowships. Please be sure to visit the Graduate Division website to learn more about those fellowship opportunities. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to apply for University and external funding opportunities. More information on funding is located on the UCLA Graduate Division’s funding website. While all applicants are considered for funding, most funding opportunities are awarded to PhD applicants.
How long does it take to earn a MS degree? Most of our students complete the MS Civil and Environmental Engineering program in one year. The Civil and Environmental Engineering MS program of study consists of at least nine graduate and upper division courses completed while in graduate status. Typically, students take three of the nine required courses every quarter.
How long does it take to earn a PhD degree? Most students complete the Ph.D. Civil and Environmental Engineering program in 4 – 6 years. Applicants who are admitted into the PhD and do not hold a MS are required to complete and earn a MS degree within the first two years (6 quarters) of enrollment with UCLA. These students would then be expected to complete and earn the PhD within 5 years (15 quarters) of earning the MS. Applicants who are admitted into the PhD and hold a MS are expected to complete and earn the PhD within 5 years (15 quarters) of earning the MS.
- You may begin your application, save, and return to make updates before submitting.
- Application deadline is in December for the fall term.
- University application requirements and criteria for admission
- Application fee information
- International Applicant Information
- Civil and Environmental Engineering department overview
- Civil and Environmental Engineering course descriptions
- Tuition and Fee information
- Academic calendar
- Detailed information about required academic records
- English language requirements
- M.S. and Ph.D. program overview
- Requisite information
UCLA Exceptional Student Admissions Program (ESAP)
ESAP recognizes outstanding UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Sciences undergraduate students who wish to enter the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences graduate program upon completion of the Bachelor’s degree. ESAP students are genuine graduate students who are eligible for graduate fellowships and funding.
Please refer to the UCLA Engineering Office of Academic and Student Affairs website for ESAP eligibility. Students who meet the eligibility requirements will receive a formal notice via email informing them of their eligibility. The Civil and Environmental Engineering department will also receive notification. To maintain eligibility, students must continue to achieve the specified GPA and successfully complete the Bachelor’s degree. All ESAP students must complete the regular graduate admission application and meet the application deadline.
Admission is guaranteed to the graduate program in the department in which the student earned a Bachelor’s degree for the time period specified in the ESAP letter. Civil and Environmental Engineering undergraduate students are guaranteed admission to the M.S. Civil Engineering program for three academic quarters after earning the undergraduate degree. Because our M.S. program only offers a fall intake, students should plan to apply to the graduate program during their final year of undergraduate enrollment in order to begin the program during the fall quarter following the completion of their undergraduate degree. ESAP students are not required to take the GRE. ESAP students are required to provide 2 letters of recommendation. For the 3rd letter of recommendation, please enter the name as “ESAP ESAP”, email as your own email address, , or , and type as “Graduate Division Recommendation”. Students must meet ESAP requirements and the department must receive ESAP notification in order to receive the benefits of the ESAP program.
Refer to the ESAP website. ESAP eligibility questions should be directed to Jan LaBuda (). Civil Engineering application questions should be directed to .