Starting in Fall 2011, the University of New Mexico School of Engineering will offer a Master of Engineering degree in Civil Engineering. Students can now choose between two distinct paths for their advanced degrees in civil engineering: the new Master of Engineering degree is a practice-oriented program that does not require a thesis, while the Master of Science degree is research-oriented and does require a thesis.

UNM is the only institution to offer the Master of Engineering degree as well as degrees in Construction Engineering and Construction Management in the state of New Mexico.

The new Master of Engineering degree combines advanced training in civil engineering practice and design, an emphasis on written and oral communication skills, and classes in engineering and project management.  "The Master of Engineering degree is a practice-oriented program that will provide students with the technical expertise and management training to be successful design engineers," says John Stormont, Chair of the Civil Engineering Department.

The program is designed for students who work full-time, and some of the classes will be offered on-line to accommodate students who cannot come to UNM main campus. "Graduates of the program should have no shortage of job opportunities," says Mahmoud  Taha, Director of Graduate Programs in Civil Engineering.  "The demand for professional engineers exceeds the supply."

The Civil Engineering Department collaborated closely with professionals in local engineering companies and the national labs to develop the program. Brian Burnett, president of Albuquerque-based civil engineering firm Bohannan Huston, Inc. (BHI), is also president of the Civil Engineering Department Advisory Board. "Many companies want a higher level of education than a Bachelor degree," says Burnett. "UNM's Master of Engineering degree program will create more highly-qualified employees and reduce on-the-job training," says Burnett.

A Master of Engineering degree recipient could later pursue enrollment in a Ph.D. program if a sufficient number of theory and research classes were taken prior to admission to Ph.D. candidacy, and reasonable scores on the GRE were obtained.

For more information on the program, contact Professor Mahmoud Taha, Director of the UNM Civil Engineering Graduate Programs, at mrtaha@unm.edu or go to the Civil Engineering web page.

Media contact: Tamara Williams (505) 277-5859; tamara@unm.edu