Two grad students work in the Zondlo lab

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers programs of graduate study and research in two areas: 1) Mechanics, Materials and Structures and 2) Environmental Engineering and Water Resources. Students applying to graduate school must choose one of these two programs on their application.

There is also an option to pursue a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Materials Science that is offered jointly through the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Princeton Institute for Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM).

Modern bridge spanning wide valley floor

Mechanics, Materials and Structures

The Mechanics, Materials and Structures (MMS) graduate program focuses on global challenges such as climate change and restoring and improving the civil infrastructure in the context of urbanization and aging infrastructure. Research related to these challenges includes: hazard prediction; structural design for coastal defense; sustainable concrete and materials for CO2 capture, utilization and storage; energy-efficient architecture; structural health monitoring; structural optimization techniques; hazard risk assessment of structures and communities following extreme events such as hurricanes and earthquakes; and smart, kinetic, deployable structures.

The design innovations needed to solve these challenges are rooted in fundamental science and engineering principles, but also are interwoven with economics, aesthetic and cultural considerations. This context of society and art enables the MMS group to be at the forefront in the study of ‘heritage structures’ (e.g. from ancient Roman masonry to 20th century steel and concrete structures) and modern design methods and tools to find appropriate forms for structures in a changing environment. 

Birdseye view of modern wastewater treatment facility

Environmental Engineering and Water Resources

Environmental Engineering and Water Resources (EEWR) is a broad and interdisciplinary program of graduate education that prepares students for a wide range of careers in research, education, government and industry. Students take advanced courses and conduct cutting-edge research on problems related to the hydrological and biogeochemical cycles and their sensitivity to climate change and weather extremes, the physical attributes of the atmosphere and water bodies, the dynamics and properties of ecosystems, measuring and modeling of earth systems, the intersection of the energy and climate challenges and how they impact water and air quality, and the policy dimensions of environmental science.


In both programs, faculty train students to push the boundaries of their fields by developing their ability to formulate impactful questions and to conduct rigorous, innovative research. The department's intellectual environment empowers students to think critically and creatively, both deeply within their area of study, and broadly within the societal context. Students engage in a vibrant research community that spans multiple disciplines, often taking courses and collaborating in other departments across campus. Learning to communicate with peers and with a non-technical audience is a vital tool for all career paths; thus professional development includes publications in peer reviewed journals, and oral presentations for department seminars and professional conferences. 


Director of Graduate Studies

Graduate Program Administrator

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