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MSE, MEng, and PhD applications from students who are external to U-M are considered in our Fall admission cycle. Winter admissions are only available for existing U-M students. In rare cases, Winter admission to our PhD program to external students is possible if the recruiting faculty member files a petition to the department Graduate Committee; upon approval of the petition, the student can apply and the application will be reviewed. If you are interested in admission to our PhD program in a Winter term, please reach out to potential advisors before applying. Applications from external students for Winter admissions will otherwise not be reviewed and the application fee is non-refundable.

  • PhD deadline is December 15.
  • MSE deadline is January 15.
  • MEng deadline is January 15.
  • Winter Master’s deadline (for U-M students ONLY) is October 1.
  • Master’s applications received by January 3 are guaranteed consideration for internal fellowships.

The application is due by 11:59 p.m. EST on the deadline.

Admissions Requirements

  • The Civil and Environmental Engineering department expects an applicant to have earned a Bachelor’s degree in the field or an equivalent by the time they register in a CEE program. Applicants should possess a very strong background in math, physics, chemistry, or engineering. Admission is extremely competitive.
  • We follow the College of Engineering Admissions Criteria.
  • Applicants without a Bachelor’s degree in Civil or Environmental Engineering may be eligible to apply if they have equivalent academic experience. To determine if you have equivalent experience, read through the Bachelor’s Civil or Environmental Engineering program requirements and review the required courses.
  • A Master’s degree is not required for admittance to the PhD program. Most students who go directly into the PhD program get a MSE in Civil or Environmental Engineering along the way. Some students also plan their coursework so that they earn an additional master’s degree in another engineering department.

Department Application Procedure

Online Application

  • Overview of the Rackham Application Process
    • Online applications for Fall 2025 admissions will be available September 2024.
    • If you or your recommender need technical assistance regarding the application such as creating an account, logging in, using the application or the recommendation systems, please email: [email protected]. Include the following information: user name, full name, email address and phone number. Please allow 24 hours for a response.
    • After you submit your application through CollegeNet, you will receive a confirmation email immediately. A follow-up confirmation email with directions for setting up a U-M friend account will be sent about 5 days after submitting the CollegeNet application.
    • Applicants can login to Wolverine Access to verify that the data they submitted to U-M is correct, see their residency status, view what documents have been received by the Rackham Admissions office and accept or decline the offer of admission. You will need your uniqname and password to login. Once logged in, select the Students tab, then New & Prospective Business.

Application Fee

  • The application fee for United States citizens and those with permanent resident visa status is $75. The fee for non-U.S. citizens is $90. This fee is non-refundable and subject to change.
  • For information about fee waivers and need-based grants for PhD and MSE applicants, see the Rackham website. Our department does not give fee waivers or grants.

GRE Information

  • PhD applications for Fall 2024 admissions will not require a GRE as part of the admissions requirement. GRE scores are optional and may be submitted as part of your overall PhD application.
  • GRE scores are highly encouraged (but not required) for applications to join any MSE program in Civil and Environmental Engineering in the 2024/2025 academic year.
  • GRE scores are recommended but not required for MEng applications.
  • GRE reporting code is 1839; department code not required.
  • GRE scores of up to 5 years old as of the application deadline may be used.

TOEFL/IELTS Information

  • TOEFL (IBT) minimum is 84. If you are required to take the TOEFL and your score is below 84, you cannot be admitted as a graduate student at the University of Michigan.
  • TOEFL reporting code is 1839; department code not required.
  • IELTS minimum is 6.5. If your score is below 6.5, you cannot be admitted as a graduate student at the University of Michigan.
  • English Language proficiency scores of up to 2 years old as of the application deadline may be used.
  • Visit the Rackham website for information on the English proficiency requirement for non-native English speakers.

GPA Information

  • Average undergraduate GPA of our Fall 2021 PhD class is 3.74/4.0 and for the Master’s cohort is 3.56/4.0.
  • If your institution does not use a 4.0 scale, the Rackham Graduate School (or College of Engineering for MEng applicants) will convert your GPA when they receive your transcripts. More information on required academic credentials from non-U.S. institutions is available from the Rackham Graduate School.

Letters of Recommendation

  • Our department requires three letters of recommendation. They should be from professors, employers or others who know you well. These should be submitted with your online application.
  • Letters of recommendation should be submitted through the CollegeNet/ApplyWeb portal and are due by the application deadline. If your recommender has an issue submitting their letter of recommendation through the web portal, we will accept hard copies mailed to the address at the bottom of the page.


We do not require a set of official transcripts be sent to the department. However, applicants should upload their unofficial transcripts with their application by the deadline. The unofficial transcript will be used to make Departmental application decisions.

MSE and PHD Applicants

  • Applicants that are attending or graduated from a U.S. institution should upload a copy of their official transcript for each Bachelor’s, Master’s, Professional or Doctoral degree earned or in progress through their ApplyWeb application account. Do not upload academic records printed from your school’s website or student portal.
  • For non-degree transcripts, only upload a transcript if credit has not been transferred from the non-degree course to your transcript in which you earned your degree.
  • If you are recommended for admission, the Rackham Graduate School will require official transcripts. Recommended applicants will receive an email notification when the official transcripts are required for submission. At that time, you can request an official transcript be sent to Rackham either through a transcript service or via mail to their office.
  • Applicants who attended or graduated from non-U.S. institutions should upload copies of official transcripts and degree documents with their application through ApplyWeb. You will also need to submit official copies direct to Rackham at the application stage through the directions found on Rackham’s website.
  • Our department cannot confirm that transcripts mailed to the Rackham Graduate School have been received. It typically takes several weeks for Rackham to upload transcripts after they have been received.

Masters of Engineering (MENG) Applicants

Official transcripts should be sent to the College of Engineering Graduate Professional Program at the address listed in the Mailing Address section below.

Academic Statement of Purpose

  • This is a chance for you to give the Admissions Committee details about your academic background and career aspirations. You will want to talk about your engineering experiences, your motivation for pursuing a higher degree, your long-term goals, as well as your specific interests.
  • Academic Statement of Purpose should be a page or a little over a page long.

Personal Statement

  • In this document, you should indicate how your personal background and life experiences, including social, cultural, familial, educational or other opportunities or challenges have motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree at the University of Michigan.
  • This is not an Academic Statement of Purpose, but a discussion of the personal journey that has led to your decision to seek a graduate degree.
  • Personal Statement should be about 500 words (this is approximately one page single-spaced, or two pages double-spaced).

Resume / Curriculum Vitae

  • We require that you submit a resume or curriculum vitae.
  • You may update this document if you feel there is something significant that you would like to add after you have submitted your application. You would do so by sending the updated document to our department at [email protected]

Additional Information

  • Note for students applying to more than one degree program: You must submit the application, fee and ALL required credentials including the TOEFL scores (and GRE if submitting), transcripts, and letters of recommendation for each program separately.
  • Policy on transfer credit: Graduate credits may be transferred to Master’s degree programs only. Generally, up to 6 credits may be transferred, providing they meet program requirements. Please refer to the Rackham Graduate School Transfer of Credit Policy for regulations for transfer of credit into the Master’s degree program.

Admissions Decisions

  • Final decisions on admission are typically made by April 15.
  • If you are not accepted and you would like to apply for a future term, you must submit a new application.
    • An application fee is required for each new application submission.

Admission Deferrals

  • You may defer your admission for up to one year under the following circumstances: medical emergency, family emergency, delay or denial of a visa or a natural disaster (earthquake or hurricane).
    • If your circumstances meet these criteria, please prepare a request to defer admission along with an explanation for the request and send it to the CEE department at [email protected].
    • You may request admission deferral after your admission has been finalized by the Rackham Graduate School.

Financial Aid

  • All incoming PhD students are offered full financial support which includes a stipend, full tuition, health benefits and dental benefits while they are active in the program. Support may be offered in the form of a Departmental Fellowship, Graduate Student Research Assistantship (GSRA), Graduate Student Instructorship (GSI) or through External Fellowships for which the student may apply.
  • Limited funding is available for Master’s students. Master’s students may have the opportunity to apply for GSI, GSRA or grading (temp) positions after their first term at U-M. There are also a limited number of departmental scholarships depending on area that students admitted to our program can apply for. You will be notified if any of these apply to you. Please see our financial aid page to obtain more information about potential sources of aid in the College of Engineering.


If you need to determine your residency status, please see the Residency Clarification Guidelines.

Mailing information

All application information can be submitted online; however, if you need to mail materials to Rackham, the Department, or the College of Engineering (for MEng applicants), addresses are as follows:

Graduate Admissions (Letters of Recommendation)

c/o Graduate Services

Civil & Environmental Engineering

2105 G.G. Brown Building

2350 Hayward Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125

Additional Contacts

Admissions (When Official Transcripts Are Required)

University of Michigan Rackham School of Graduate Studies

0120 Rackham Building

915 E. Washington

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1070

Rackham Application Page

Graduate Professional Programs (Supporting Materials for MEng)

College of Engineering

2214 SI – North

1075 Beal Avenue

Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2112

College of Engineering

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