Scope and Objectives

Graduate study in geotechnical engineering at Oregon State University emphasizes the integration of the principles of soil mechanics and the art of foundation and earth structure engineering. Theory is prominent, but it is constantly and critically re-evaluated with respect to its limitations and applicability to the practice of good geotechnical engineering. The M.S. and M.Eng. Programs prepare students for careers in consulting, design, development, regulation, or construction. Additionally, the M.S. program provides the background for students more interested in research, teaching, or specialization to pursue the Ph.D. degree.

Program of Study

The program of study for the M.S. and M.Eng. degrees consists of a minimum of 45 credit hours, of which two-thirds of the work must be in the major area and one-third in the minor area. For the M.S. degree, a student with major professor approval may elect a thesis or non-thesis (technical report) option; a maximum of 12 credit hours is allowed for the thesis and 6 for a non-thesis option. Students who are supported with a GTA or GRA position must produce a research thesis.

Alternatively, the M.Eng. degree requires coursework only; students pursuing the M.Eng. degree are generally not supported with GTA or GRA positions.

Core Curriculum

Course Credit Hours
CE 514 – Groundwater Hydraulics (4)
CE 571 – Advanced Foundation Engineering  (4)
CE 572 – Advanced Laboratory Testing of Soils  (4)
CE 577 – Static and Dynamic Soil Behavior (4)
CE 578 – Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering  (4)

Geotechnical Electives. Offered yearly or every other year.

 
CE 518 – Groundwater Modeling  (4)
CE 570 – Environmental Geotechnics  (3)
CE 575 – Earth Retention and Support  (4)
CE 576 – Ground Improvement  (3) 
CE 570 – Unsaturated Soil Mechanics  (4)
CE 570 – Geomechanics   (3)
CE 588 – Probability-Based Analysis and Design  (4)
CE 592 – Pavement Structures  (3)
CE 579 – Slope and Embankment Design  (3)

 

 

Recommended Electives and Minor Concentrations

Geotechnical engineers work in multi-disciplinary settings, spending significant time in collaboration with structural, construction, and environmental engineers. The following courses are highly recommended for all geotechnical engineering graduate students.

Course Credit Hours
CE 505 – Construction Site Operations & Systems Engineering  (3)
CE 505 – 3D Laser Scanning  (4)
CE 527 – Temporary Construction Structures  (4)
CE 531 – Structural Mechanics  (3)
CE 532 – Finite Element Analysis  (4)
CE 534 – Structural Dynamics  (4)
CE 561 – Photogrammetry  (3)
CE 562 – Digital Terrain Modeling  (4)
CE 583 – Bridge Design  (3)
CE 585 – Matrix Structural Analysis  (4)
CE 589 – Seismic Design (4)
CEM 552 – Risk Management in Construction  (4)
BEE 542 – Vadose Zone Transport  (4)
BEE 546 – River Engineering  (4)
ENVE 534 – Fate and Transport of Chemicals in Environmental Systems  (4)
ENVE 554 – Groundwater Remediation  (4)
GEO 532 – Applied Geomorphology  (3)
GEO 533 – Coastal Geomorphology (3)
GEO 541 – Spatio-temporal Variation in Ecology and Earth Science  (4)
GEO 561 – Geology of Earthquakes  (3)
GPH 630 – Elements of Seismology  (4)
GPH 650 – Geophysical Inverse Theory  (4)
ME 517 – Optimization in Design  (3)
ME 526 – Numerical Methods for Engineering Analysis  (3)
MTH 563/4/5 – Probability I/II/III  (3/3/3)
MTH 581/2/3 – Mathematical Methods for Engineers and Scientists  (3/3/3)
OEAS 520 – The Solid Earth  (4)
ST 511/2/3 –Methods of Data Analysis  (4/4/4)

 

Additional courses may be selected at the discretion of the major professor.

Facilities
Geotechnical Faculty