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Structural Engineering and Mechanics Master's Degree Program

UW CEE’s Structural Engineering and Mechanics Master’s Program offers students a comprehensive, practical and theoretical background that prepares them be successful in engineering practice or a future Ph.D. program. The program offers graduate students a wide range of courses in structural design, multi-hazard structural response, classical theory and advanced structural analysis techniques. The structures faculty members have expertise in each of these areas, with ongoing research related to many of these topics and collaboration with the local professional community. In addition to the nearly 20 graduate courses taught by structures faculty, approximately 50 additional courses in various engineering disciplines, applied mathematics, architecture, and construction management are approved for the program, allowing students to tailor the degree to meet their professional goals.

An overview of the graduate program, including courses and research projects can be found in Structural Engineering and Mechanics Graduate Program.


Many employers of structural engineers believe it is essential that new hires have graduate degrees, with a master’s degree now being considered the requirement for many of the more exciting and challenging jobs in the field. Recent graduates from our program are highly competitive in the job market across the country, but especially locally, where the Seattle job economy has provided excellent employment opportunities.

In addition to the coursework described below, a companion seminar series provides students with an opportunity to foster relationships within the local engineering community, develop presentation skills that area employers have stressed as a critical need, and learn about unique topics in the field. Graduates are well-prepared for careers in structural analysis and design, multi-disciplinary engineering, government research and more.

Degree requirements

A total of 42 credits is required for both Professional Master's Program and research track master’s programs. Students in both tracks choose from the same set of courses. Research-track students have fewer required coursework credits due to their research activities, for which they receive credit toward their degree. Master’s students enrolled in on-campus programs may take online courses as electives. Learn more about required coursework to complete each degree and a comprehensive list of approved courses.


Students interested in pursuing the thesis track master’s program have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in collaboration with renowned faculty. The breadth of expertise at UW provides students with research opportunities ranging from the development of novel approaches for improving traditional civil engineering structures such as buildings and bridges to the optimization and design of nontraditional structural systems such as renewable energy devices or aerospace and naval applications. Research includes multi-scale experimental programs in a number of facilities across campus as well as extensive computer-based simulation of structures. Learn more about structural engineering and mechanics research.