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University of Pittsburgh: Shaping civil and environmental engineers for a resilient future

Imagine a bustling city alive with vibrant parks, cutting-edge art galleries, and thriving nightlife. Picture the challenge of safeguarding its infrastructure, ensuring clean water and energy, and building a future resilient to climate change. This is the world of civil and environmental engineering, and the University of Pittsburgh‘s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) puts you at the heart of it.

Since 1844, Pitt CEE’s Civil and Environmental Engineering programme has empowered students to tackle the most pressing engineering, environmental, and societal challenges of our time.

Here, students follow a curriculum led by world-renowned faculty, armed with access to cutting-edge facilities and the invaluable support of industry partnerships. State-of-the-art laboratories provide students with the practical tools to translate theory into reality, while robust research partnerships with industry leaders ensure graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills sought after in today’s competitive landscape. This dynamic environment fosters collaboration and multidisciplinary exploration, empowering students to thrive in future careers.

Pitt CEE graduates have bright futures to look forward to. Civil engineering is ranked by US News and World Report as the #4 Best Engineering Job with projected growth of 5% through 2032. Such positive predictions bode well for anyone with a Pitt CEE education — and that’s thanks to how their programmes and research opportunities train them in the more advanced and sophisticated aspects of CEE.

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The Pittsburgh region is a living laboratory, with opportunities to integrate research into fieldwork, internships, and collaborations with government, private firms, and engineering organisations. Source: University of Pittsburgh

Graduate programmes that lead to rewarding careers

The MS in Civil Engineering programme has eight specialty areas: Environmental Engineering, Structural Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Pavements Engineering, Transportation Engineering, Sustainable Engineering, and Construction Management.

These programmes are designed to equip you with the advanced knowledge and skills needed to excel in your chosen specialised field. You can also engage in active research projects across various specialisations, gaining invaluable experience that sets you apart in the job market.

Take, for example, Pitt CEE’s research on climate change resilience. Engineers received over US$700,000 to create a digital twin of the building housing the sustainability institute. This advanced model will serve as a real-time virtual counterpart, allowing researchers to simulate the effects of various conditions, including weather, traffic, and even climate change.

This cutting-edge approach exemplifies Pitt CEE’s commitment to addressing current challenges like the impact of climate change on infrastructure. Life-cycle assessments (LCAs) of the effects of climate change are still under development. Pitt CEE’s research aims to bridge this gap by providing a comprehensive view of how changing environmental conditions can impact a building’s daily function.

For those seeking to broaden their horizons further, Pitt CEE offers an exclusive dual degree programme with the Katz Graduate School of Business. This programme allows you to earn a master’s degree in Civil Engineering and an MBA, giving you a decisive edge when applying for senior roles in several industries. There are also certificates that allow students to expand their knowledge in specific fields such as construction management.

“What surprised me was also what challenged me: Choosing which type of civil engineering to study since we have so many options,” said alumna Morgan Berger. “Construction management, water resources, environmental, geotechnical, structural, transportation, etc. The faculty help you find what fits you best.”

The benefits of studying in the US and Pittsburgh

As a Pitt CEE graduate student, you’ll be immersed in the pulse of Pittsburgh, a city teeming with vibrancy. It offers a unique blend of urban allure and green respite, from world-class arts and sports to sprawling public parks. The cost of living is lower than most, allowing you to focus on what truly matters: forging your path as an engineer with a purpose.

What sets Pitt CEE’s programme apart is its seamless integration with the city. Pittsburgh becomes the classroom, with research extending beyond textbooks and into the streets. Fieldwork, graduate internships, and collaborations with government agencies, private companies, and engineering organisations provide you with experience and a direct line to future careers. These are the opportunities that let you work with outstanding research facilities and forge connections with future employers.

“The transition from being a graduate student in Mexico to pursuing a PhD in the United States has been an enriching and transformative journey,” noted PhD student Carlos Alberto Garcia Verdugo. “The supportive academic community at the University of Pittsburgh has played a crucial role in easing this transition. The exposure to advanced research facilities, interdisciplinary collaboration, and a rigorous curriculum has significantly contributed to my academic and personal growth.“

Click here to learn more about the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Civil and Environmental. Teaching and research assistantships with full tuition scholarships are offered each year to outstanding candidates.

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