Graduate Degree Requirements

See Pages 11 and 12 of the Graduate Student Handbook, a comprehensive resource for policies and procedures that pertain to CCEE graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

Graduate Admissions

The CCEE department has a rolling admissions process, meaning applications are reviewed throughout the year. However, for the best chance at getting your application reviewed for your chosen term, the following application deadlines apply:

  1. On-campus programs, MS & PhD, first consideration for assistantships:
    • December 15, for fall semester of the following year.
    • August 15, for the next spring semester.
  2. On-campus or online, Master of Engineering:
    • June 1 for Fall Semester
    • October 1 for Spring semester

Completing the Application:

  1. Link: ISU Admissions Graduate Application.
    • In the Additional Information section, carefully review instructions that pertain to your status.
  2. Carefully review ISU Admissions Graduate Application Instructions.  CCEE-specific explanations are below:
  3. When you are ready, click CREATE ACCOUNT.
  4. Choose the Graduate Degree-Seeking Application.
    • REMEMBER: this is the official admissions application!
    • DO NOT skip any sections.
    • Enter information that best represents your background.
  5. Application choices:
    • Degrees Sought:
      • Full Graduate Degrees:
      • MS (Master of Science)
      • M ENGR (Master of Engineering) – this is coursework only program
      • PhD
      • CERT Certificates (not full degree program)
  6. Major (for all degree programs): Civil Engineering
    • Choose your specialization area(s), you are allowed 3.  NOTE: your application will be considered based upon your first choice
      • Civil Engineering Materials
      • Construction Engineering and Management
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Geotechnical Engineering
      • Intelligent Infrastructure Engineering
      • Structural Engineering
      • Transportation Engineering
    • Identify if you are interested in a distance (online only) or an on-campus program.
      • Note: Distance programs are M ENGR only
  7. Pay special attention to the following:
    • Name
      • Your name must be entered (spelling and order of your name) on your application exactly as it appears on your passport, driver’s license, or social security card.
    • GPA
      • Enter your GPA as it appears on your transcripts.
      • Do not enter any self-calculations if your institution’s GPA scale is not 4.0. 
      • ISU Admissions does not accept third party GPA evaluations such as Scholaro, WES, or others.
    • Transcripts
      • Upload unofficial scanned copies of academic records from your undergraduate degree, any graduate degrees, and any other diplomas or certificates.
      • International applicants:
        1. Degree statements are required in addition to transcripts.
        2. Transcript copies in both native language and English translation are required.
    • Exam Scores
      • Upload unofficial scanned copies of any examination results, if applicable:
        1. GRE
        2. English Proficiency: TOEFL, IELTS, DET
  1. Letters of Recommendation
  • You will be required to enter names and email addresses of 3 people who can submit LOR’s for you.
  • You must communicate with your recommenders the following:
    • They will be receiving a system-generated email request, which could go to junk mail.
    • The LOR request will contain links to an LOR form and instructions to submit.
    • The application deadline will not be included in the system request – you must inform them.
  • It is preferable that your recommenders submit their LOR’s online.
  • If your recommenders tell you they did not receive the LOR request, have them check junk mail.
  • If the request for the LOR is not in junk mail, the recommender should complete the PDF LOR FORM and send it to
  • Complete Application Review

Deferred Application Payment

  1. You will not be required to pay the application fee at the time you submit your application.
  2. Only if you are accepted for admission, AND you decide to enroll, will you need to pay the app fee.
    • The application fee will be charged to your first UBill.

Complete Application Review

  1. CCEE faculty review full applications only when they are complete with transcripts, exam scores and LOR’s.
  2. You will be notified by email from the CCEE Admissions Coordinator when faculty have made admission decisions.
  3. Should you be accepted for admission, official documents will be required. You will be given instructions at that time.

  1. Submitting a full application, and meeting or exceeding admission requirements, are not a guarantee of admission or an offer of assistantship.
  2. Graduate applicants preferably should have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in civil or construction engineering.
  • Applicants with degrees in associated disciplines, should they be accepted for admission, might be asked to complete undergrad background coursework to improve their academic preparation for graduate study.
  1. Applicants interested in assistantships need to specify their interest on their ISU Graduate application.
    • Consideration for assistantships will be determined from the application materials.
    • Assistantship (TA or RA) positions are very competitive, and not all applicants who want an assistantship will get a position.

If you are accepted for admission, and you choose to become and ISU student, we can finalize your admission by taking the following steps:

  1. Accept your admission.

If you are accepted by CCEE for admission, we do not automatically admit you. We want to be sure you will attend ISU.  ou will be asked by the CCEE Admissions Coordinator if you are going to accept admission and become an ISU student.  We hope you will say YES! You will not be required to pay an acceptance fee.

  1. Sending Official Documents

You will be required to submit official documents to ISU Admissions. Do not send any documents to the CCEE Department. Official Transcripts Official Transcripts include degree statements/diplomas (if available) and courses completed with grades. Transcripts must be sent from your institution directly to ISU Admissions in one of the following ways: Electronically: send to this email address from a secure transcript transfer system: OR Postal mail: Graduate Admissions 100 Enrollment Services Center 2433 Union Drive Ames, IA  50011-2042 USA NOTE:  Your transcripts will not be accepted as official if:

  • Transcripts are sent directly via email – they must be transferred from a secure system to the email listed above.
  • Transcripts are handled by you in any way.

Official Exam Reports

  • GRE Report, send electronically from ETS: ISU Institution Code is 6306
  • English Exam report:
    • TOEFL: send electronically from ETS, ISU Institution Code is 6306.
    • IELTS: send by postal mail to address above (see transcripts).
    • DuoLingo: send electronically from Duolingo to ISU.
  1. Admissions approvals

Your application and supporting documentation will be evaluated by the ISU Admissions team.

  • This eval is a procedural check by Admissions of your documents.
  • If Admissions has questions or requires other documents, they will contact you directly with the email address you provided on your application.

The ISU Admissions office will make an official offer of admission only after the evaluation is complete, and they verify as valid all of your transcripts, exam scores, etc. 4. International Students: Passport Upload Upload a copy of your passport (photo page) to your admissions account.

Graduate Admissions FAQs

  • The GRE is preferred, but not required by the CCEE department.
  • The GRE will not be used to determine admission.
  • The GRE is valuable to CCEE faculty to determine your skillset for assistantship consideration.

International applicants must take one of the following English proficiency examinations and meet or exceed scores listed below.  Applicants with scores below those listed will not be considered for admission.

  1. TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
    • Paper-based (PBT) = 553
    • Internet-based (IBT) = 82
    • ISU Admissions does NOT accept TOEFL “My Best” scores
  2. IELTS (International English Language Testing system) = 6.5
  3. DET (Duolingo English Test) = 105  Accepted through Spring 2025
  4. PTE (Pearson Test of English) = 55

An exam of English proficiency will be required if English is not the official language of an applicant’s home country, even if they attended an institution where the language of instruction was English.

An exam of English proficiency will not be required if an applicant has completed a prior degree (bachelor’s or master’s) in a country where English is the only official language.  Please see the International Admissions Instructions webpage for a list.

No, it is not necessary to identify/secure a major professor before applying. However, you are welcome to communicate with faculty about your interest in graduate study in their research area. You can use the CCEE Faculty Directory by Focus Area to check out faculty profiles, which include their contact information. It’s better to apply and upload all your documentation to your application, than to send faculty members documents by email.

You can. However, CCEE faculty might offer a master’s admission if they feel your credentials do not support a direct PhD admission.

Do not send application materials to the CCEE department. Upload all application documents (transcripts, exam scores, publications, etc. to your Admissions account, using the upload tool in the Manage Documents section.

Unofficial documents are OK for the application process. Only if you are offered admission will you be required to submit official documents.

Processing applications can take several months, especially during peak periods (December-March; August-October). It also depends on how quickly your application is complete. If any items are missing, such as transcripts, exam scores, LOR’s, etc., you will be notified that your application is incomplete. If any application items are not received in a timely manner, your application may or may not be considered for the term you originally applied for.

No.  You can be accepted academically for admission, but there may or may not be assistantship positions available at that time.  Assistantship positions are very competitive, and there are always more applicants than positions available. If you are accepted for admission, but not offered an assistantship, you might be encouraged to attend with your own funding or to find another funding source.

CCEE faculty do not have one set list of criteria. Every faculty member has different criteria based on their needs, which are determined by their research projects and teaching responsibilities. Graduate assistantship openings are filled based on application credentials.

MS and PhD students are considered for assistantships. Applicants must indicate on the ISU Admissions application (there are check boxes) that they want to be considered for a teaching and/or research assistantship. Applicants considered for assistantships are also automatically considered for departmental fellowships & scholarships, no extra application is required. Learn more about funding opportunities here.

CCEE Research Focus Areas

Each specialization has a multitude of research opportunities, and there are also interdepartmental research programs. For more details, visit the Focus Areas section on our Research and Facilities page. Also see our Faculty by Focus Areas page.

Additional Resources

Questions? We are here to help!

Want to learn more about graduate programs in our department? Just have a few questions you’d like to run by our professional staff? Email us!