Water Resources, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering

We offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs that allow students to pursue coursework and research in areas such as fluid mechanics and hydraulics, water and wastewater treatment, air pollution, solid waste and groundwater management, coastal and ocean engineering, risk analysis, energy and climate, and systems analysis. Our students learn laboratory and field measurement techniques, computational modeling, geographic information systems, and decision support methodologies, providing an excellent background for further research and professional practice.

Student educational and research experiences are supported by laboratories in environmental engineering, hydraulics, computation, and geospatial analysis, as well as by field instrumentation. Our students and faculty are active in communicating research results via peer reviewed journal papers, seminars and short courses. Our students frequently win best paper awards at national conferences. Our graduates find placement in local, state, and national government agencies, consulting and environmental service firms, non-profit research institutes, non-governmental organizations, and academia.

Focus Areas

Cross-disciplinary Activities

Our graduate students have the opportunity to benefit from an array of cross-disciplinary activities, with which the faculty are involved, and to shape their graduate programs accordingly. Ongoing cross-disiplinary activities include geoenvironmental engineering, biotechnology, geospatial information science and technology, and operations research.


Faculty members in this group cover diverse areas of expertise. Many faculty members serve on editorial boards of national and international technical societies and are active in policy-relevant public service (e.g., US EPA Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, US EPA Drinking Water Committee, Science Panel on Coastal Hazards, NC Governor’s Scientific Advisory Panel on Offshore Energy, Academy of Coastal Ocean Port and Navigation Engineers). Highly distinguished faculty have been honored with numerous national and international awards, including a Presidential Faculty fellowship, NSF CAREER awards, and the Brown and Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award.

Graduate Courses

We offer over twenty-five graduate courses that support education and research in the six focus areas. All of these courses are available to on-campus students and many are available to distance education students via the Engineering Online (EOL) program.

Graduate Degree Programs

We offer programs of study leading to the Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE), Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (MSENE), Master of Civil Engineering (MCE), Master of Environmental Engineering (MENE), and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees.

  • The MS degrees require a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate coursework that includes six hours of thesis credit, and a one credit seminar course.
  • The MCE and MENE degrees require 30 hours of graduate coursework, and a one credit seminar course; an independent study project may be substituted for up to three hours of course work with the agreement of a faculty adviser.
  • The MCE and MENE degrees are also available by distance education through Engineering Online
  • For the Ph.D program, there are no definite credit hour requirements, although 54 credit hours (~ 3-4 years) beyond the master's degree is typical. The major element of the doctoral program is the dissertation, which reports an original investigation leading to a significant contribution to knowledge.
  • Final oral examinations are required for the MS and PhD degrees.

Doctoral students have access to several additional professional development opportunities, e.g., Certificate of Accomplishment in Teaching (CoAT), Preparing the Professoriate (PTP), and Mentoring and Teaching Practicum (MATP), to help them prepare to succeed in research and academic careers.

Financial Support

Fellowships and graduate assistantships are available for highly qualified students. Outstanding applicants may also be considered for Dean's Merit Fellowship awards (approximately ten awards each year), which adds a supplement to a graduate assistantship. Exceptional doctoral applicants are eligible for several university Doctoral Fellowship awards (about two each year). In addition, several students are supported by NSF Graduate Fellowship awards and funding from the Fulbright Program. Graduate assistantship awards typically include tuition and health insurance coverage. Applicants wishing to be considered for financial support should submit a complete application, including GRE scores, by February 10 of each year.

Related information

Facilities and Centers

Contact Information

Joe DeCarolis (jdecarlos@ncsu.edu)
Group Coordinator, Water Resources and Environmental Engineering

Director of Graduate Programs, Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

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