Prospective Students

Application Process

Admission Criteria/Eligibility:

To be considered for admission to the MS program, a graduate applicant must meet the minimum eligibility requirements of the CCEE Department (listed below) and the university as listed in the University Catalog. Admission to MS program in CCEE primarily depends on GPA.

  1. The minimum GPA is 2.85 for US students, and 3.0 for international students.
  2. TOEFL requirements are imposed by the University, and the minimum score is 80 for the TOEFL internet-based score or 6.5 for the IELTS.
  3. There is currently no GRE test requirement for our program (in the past, we had required GRE tests with minimum 305 for combined score and 3.5 for analytical writing score; but the GRE scores were used as a floating criterion—if the GPA was near the minimum criteria, then we accepted a higher GRE score, and vice versa)
  4. The admission criteria for students with Bachelor of Science degrees in CCEE and those with non-CCEE degrees are the same, primarily depending on the GPA. However, deserving applicants with non-CCEE degrees may be admitted "Conditionally" since they are required to clear undergraduate CCEE courses as prerequisites.

Application Process

The application process requires multiple steps. If you do not complete all steps in the process, your application may be considered incomplete and this may prevent you from even being considered for admission. Below is a summary of the three steps that must be taken to complete your application, but please always check the official information provided by the SDSU Graduate Admissions website.

Step 1: Cal State Apply

All applicants to the program must first fill out an online application on Cal State Apply ( and pay the required fee by the deadline set by SDSU Graduate Admissions Office.  An SDSU ID Number will then be assigned which allows tracking of application status online. There are two different degree options: Master of Science in Civil Engineering (where you may take coursework in Construction, Geotechnical, Structural, Transportation, or Water Resources); or Master of Science in Environmental Engineering. For applicants seeking admission for the Fall 2024 semester, you may not see the Environmental Engineering option, because it was only recently approved. If this is the case, just select the Civil Engineering option, and you will be able to change your major to Environmental Engineering if you are admitted.

Step 2: Submit Documents to Graduate Admissions

After submitting the application, the applicant should send official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. If applicable, the TOEFL test scores should be sent directly from ETS (Institution Code: 4682). Official test scores and transcripts must be received by the deadline set by the SDSU Graduate Admissions Office at the address shown below:

Graduate Admissions Office
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-8225, USA

Step 3: Submit Additional Materials to the CCEE Department

After filling out the online application on Cal State Apply, the applicant must also submit the following documents directly to the Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Department through Interfolio:

  1. a personal statement of purpose (SOP);
  2. scanned copies of all transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (unofficial transcripts are okay for Interfolio; official transcripts should be sent to Graduate Admissions as described above);
  3. confidential letters of recommendation from at least two references (these should be individuals who know the applicant's scholastic abilities, relevant research activities/projects, or related work experience; at least one reference should be a former professor who taught, supervised, or mentored the student).

Applicants are also required to provide a Statement of Purpose (SOP). The SOP must describe your goal(s) for the graduate program, along with relevant background information expressing why you should be admitted to the graduate program. If your undergraduate GPA is close to or below the minimum required GPA, this is an opportunity for you to provide an explanation about your GPA, explain any circumstances that may have contributed to your GPA, and show any additional evidence about your academic performance or potential that might convince the committee to see that you are prepared to succeed in our graduate program. Your SOP should not exceed 500 words total.

Conditional Admission to the MS Program

Applicants admitted to one of the M.S. programs in the CCEE Department who have undergraduate degrees in areas other than Civil, Construction, or Environmental Engineering will be “conditionally” admitted, and will be provided with a list of “prerequisite” undergraduate courses that must be taken to become classified and remove the conditional status. The list of undergraduate courses that need to be taken by "conditionally" admitted students is determined by the CCEE Graduate Advisor after admission and after reviewing the students' transcripts.

Students with undergraduate degrees that are similar to CCEE are likely to have fewer prerequisites to complete than those with undergraduate degrees that are less related to CCEE. Applicants with non-CCEE degrees or with deficient scores should check the potential prerequisites list.

If the applicant needs more than 15 units of prerequisites to remediate because their degree is outside of the CCEE majors, the applicant will not be considered for admission. However, prospective applicants with non-CCEE degrees are encouraged to contact the program's graduate advisor to define a plan to take courses even before applying to the MS program (to bring down the list of deficiencies to a maximum of 15 units).
An applicant may be also admitted conditionally if the student's GPA is slightly below the minimum required: 2.85 for US students and 3.0 for international students. In this case, the student generally must achieve grades of B or better in all 600 level courses during the first semester.

Class schedules for the current and upcoming semesters are posted here:  

Please note that meeting minimum eligibility requirements does not guarantee admission to the MS degree program.

International Applicants

Please note the following:

  1. Please review the Graduate Admissions Criteria and follow the steps provided on the SDSU International Graduate website. Inquiries about the process for international applicants should be sent directly to the International Admissions Department at [email protected] or Contact website.
  2. The Financial Statement Form required of foreign applicants is available online on the “Admitted” page of the SDSU International Graduate website.
  3. Prospective international students visiting campus can meet with a designated person helping international students during regular office hours at the Prospective Student Center (Monday-Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm).
  4. Engineering Scholarships: Please visit the University’s Financial Aid and Scholarships website for more information on the various scholarship and financial aid opportunities available. Scholarships are awarded based on various criteria including academic excellence, career plans, membership in organizations, financial need, and city/area of origin. There are thousands of dollars in scholarships available for you to consider. We encourage you to apply!