Study Tracks for MS/PhD

Choose Your Path - Five Study Tracks

Graduate students in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department can choose from five engineering study tracks. These study tracks encompass a core set of courses that parallel the research interests of our faculty. Each student must fulfill both the required courses for a MS/PhD and also the requirements for their chosen track.

Civil Tracks

Environmental Tracks

Overview

Students must satisfy the course requirements for their chosen study track (listed below) in addition to the other requirements for the MS or PhD degree. Each student must take at least one course in each of the principal areas, and two courses in one area of specialization. Tracks are designed to be both preparation for the needs of their specific research and also as a foundation for their further professional growth in the years to come. The combination of departmental courses and track-specific core courses will greatly enhance that growth. 

Note: Students may request that their Qualifying Exam Committee (QEC) grant a waiver for a track core course requirement. They must document previous knowledge of the content of the core course. The documentation submitted to their QEC may include, but is not limited to: prior course work, evidenced by course outlines, textbooks used, and course descriptions from official bulletins or catalogs. The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) must approve the waiver in writing.

Study Track: Computational Mechanics and Scientific Computing

Computational mechanics encompasses the development and use of computational methods for studying problems governed by the laws of mechanics. Modern computational mechanics is embodied in the broad field of computational science and engineering. This discipline plays a fundamental role in a vast number of many important problems in science and engineering. Duke University has unique facilities and world-renowned faculty in this area. Students of computational mechanics at Duke receive premier training in the core disciplines of applied mathematics, numerical methods, computer science, and mechanics.

Students must take a total of at least five courses from the set listed below, with at least one course in each of the four principal areas.

Mathematics

  • Math 531. Basic Analysis I
  • Math 541. 
 Applied Stochastic Processes
  • Math 551. Applied Partial Differential Equations and Complex Variables
  • Math 561. Scientific Computing I
  • Math 635. Functional Analysis
  • CEE 690. 
 Mathematical Analysis of the Finite Element Method

Numerical Methods

  • CEE 530. Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • CEE 531. Finite Element Methods for Problems in Fluid Mechanics
  • CEE 630. Nonlinear Finite Element Method
  • CEE 690. Numerical Optimization

Computer Science

  • CS 201. Data Structures and Algorithms
  • CS 308. Software Design
  • ECE 551D. 
 
Programming, Data Structues, and Algorithms in C++

Engineering Sciences and Mechanics

  • CEE 520. Continuum Mechanics
  • ME 531. Thermodynamics
  • ME 555. Computational Materials Science
  • ME 631. Intermediate Fluid Dynamics
  • ME 632. 
 Advanced Fluid Dynamics

Study Track: Engineering Environmental Geomechanics and Geophysics

The Engineering and Environmental Geomechanics and Geophysics (EEGG) focus mirrors modern developments in Geomechanics and Geophysics, which address applications to new technologies in contemporary energy, global health issues related to the geo-environment and environmental protection industry: conventional and unconventional fossil fuel exploration and exploitation, including shale gas and oil, nuclear, industrial and municipal waste disposal, CO2 sequestration, geothermal energy production, storage, procurement of clean water in arid areas, to mention a few.

The core area of interest encompasses multi-physics and multi- scale problems for studying problems related to mechanics and a variety of physical and chemical processes of geomaterials. Duke University has world-renowned faculty in this area and offers possibilities for intense international collaboration and engagement. Students of EEGG at Duke receive premier training in the core disciplines of applied mechanics of geo- materials and non-invasive geophysical methods in characterizing geomaterials for engineering and environmental purposes and involves laboratory and field testing.

Students must take a total of at least five courses from the set listed below, with at least one course in each of the four principal areas.

Mathematics

  • Math 551. Applied Partial Differential Equations and Complex Variables
  • Math 557. Introduction to Partial Differential Equations
  • Math 561. 
 Scientific Computing I
  • Math 557. 
 Mathematical Modeling

Numerical Methods

  • CEE 530. Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • CEE 630. Nonlinear Finite Element Method
  • CEE 635. Computational Methods for Evolving Discontinuities and Interfaces

Geomechanics and Geophysics

  • CEE 525. Wave Propagation in Elastic and Poroelastic Media
  • CEE 560. 
 Environmental Transport Phenomena
  • CEE 621. 
 Plasticity
  • CEE 642. Environmental Geomechanics
  • CEE 686. Ecohydrology

Engineering Sciences and Mechanics

  • CEE 520. Continuum Mechanics
  • CEE 541. Structural Dynamics
  • ME 531. Thermodynamics
  • ME 631. Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • ME 632. Advanced Fluid Mechanics

Study Track: Dynamic Systems, Uncertainty, and Optimization

Dynamics are prevalent in the mechanics of diverse engineered and natural systems and system failures often depend on factors that can can only be estimated with considerable uncertainty. The engineering (or optimization) of failure mitigation measures therefore re- quires modeling the transient dynamic aspects of failure mechanisms, the uncertainties in system capacities and, importantly, the uncertainties in system loading. This graduate con- centration focuses on modern methods of dynamic systems analysis, numerical modeling, and parallel computing: tools that can be used to quantify risks with unprecedented realism. The curricular program leverages premier courses in the core disciplines of applied mathematics, numerical methods, uncertainty modeling, and mechanics.

Students must take a total of at least five courses from the set listed below, with at least one course in each of the four principal areas.

Mathematics

  • Math 551. Applied Partial Differential Equations and Complex Variables
  • Math 555. Ordinary Differential Equations
  • Math 561. 
Scientific Computing I
  • ME 627. 
Linear Systems Theory

Numerical Methods

  • CEE 530. Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • CEE 630. 
 Nonlinear Finite Element Method
  • CEE 690. Numerical Optimization

Uncertainty Modeling

  • Stat 611. Introduction to Modern Statistics
  • ME 555. Uncertainty Quantification Methods
  • Math 541. Applied Stochastic Processes
  • Math 641. Probability

Engineering Sciences and Mechanics

  • CEE 520. 
 Continuum Mechanics
  • CEE 541. Structural Dynamics
  • CEE 629. 
 System Identification
  • ME 527. Buckling of Engineering Structures
  • ME 742. Nonlinear Mechanical Vibration
  • BME 590. 
 Viscoelastic Biomechanics

Study Track: Hydrology and Fluid Dynamics

Graduate study in environmental engineering is highly interdisciplinary and offers students tremendous flexibility in crafting a graduate program that suits individual interests. Research focuses on some of the most modern open problems in environmental fluid dynamics, hydrology and water resources. Ongoing research topics include: hydrometeorology (rainfall dynamics, land-atmosphere interaction, remote sensing), eco-hydrology (impact of hydroclimatic variability on ecosystems and feedbacks on the hydrologic cycle and local climate), contaminant transport hydrology (surface-subsurface interactions), water cycle dynamics and human health, and stochastic hydrology.

In addition to courses offered within the Pratt School of Engineering, students may take courses from Duke's professional schools and institutes including the Nicholas School for the Environment and Earth Sciences, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

Within the MS/PhD course and research opportunities offered for Duke graduate environmental engineering students, there are two tracks of study encompassing water resource engineering, hydrology, environmental fluid dynamics, and chemical and biological aspects of pollution ofwater, atmosphere, and soil, among others.

Students must take a total of at least five courses from the set listed below, with at least one course in each of the four principal areas.

Applied Math/Statistics

  • CEE 501(202): Applied Mathematics for Engineers
  • CEE 502(200): Engineering Data Analysis
  • STA 611(213): Introduction to Statistical Methods
  • MATH 561(224): Scientific Computing
  • MATH 577(229): Mathematical Modeling 

Environmental Fluid Dynamics

  • ME 631(226): Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • ME 632(227): Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • CEE 690(265): Introduction to Turbulence
  • ENVIRON 856(356): Environmental Fluid Mechanics 

Hydrometeorology and Ecohydrology

  • CEE 684(224): Physical Hydrology and Hydrometeorology
  • CEE 686(220): Ecohydrology 
  • CEE 690(265): Vegetation and Hydrology
  • ENVIRON 564(282): Biogeochemistry 

Contaminant Transport Hydrology

  • CEE 581(245): Pollutant Transport Systems
  • CEE 585(260): Vadose Zone Hydrology
  • CEE 683(227): Groundwater Hydrology and Contaminant Transport

Study Track: Environmental Process Engineering 

Graduate study in environmental engineering is highly interdisciplinary and offers students tremendous flexibility in crafting a graduate program that suits individual interests. Research focuses on phenomena that govern the origin, transport, transformation and impacts of contaminants on our environment and technologies for reducing the associated risks to human health and the environment. Research includes chemical processes that affect the fate of trace metals in the environment, transport and impacts of nanomaterials, molecular biological methods to monitor and improve performance of engineered microbial systems; biodegradation of organic contaminants, development of advanced membrane processes for water treatment and reuse, energy technologies and their impacts, and the properties, measurement and effects of ambient aerosols.

In addition to courses offered within the Pratt School of Engineering, students may take courses from Duke's professional schools and institutes including the Nicholas School for the Environment and Earth Sciences, the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and the Sanford Institute of Public Policy.

Within the MS/PhD course and research opportunities offered for Duke graduate environmental engineering students, there are two tracks of study encompassing water resource engineering, hydrology, environmental fluid dynamics, and chemical and biological aspects of pollution ofwater, atmosphere, and soil, among others.

Students must take a total of at least five courses from the set listed below, with at least one course in each of the four principal areas.

Applied Math/Statistics

  • CEE 501(202): Applied Mathematics for Engineers
  • CEE 502(200): Engineering Data Analysis
  • ENVIRON 710(210): Applied Data Analysis in Environmental Sciences
  • MATH 541(216): Applied Stochastic Processes
  • MATH 551(211): Applied Partial Differential Equations and Complex Variables

Transport Phenomena

  • CEE 307(207): Transport Phenomena in Biological Systems 
  • CEE 560(208): Environmental Transport Phenomena
  • CEE 581(245): Pollutant Transport Systems 

Environmental Science

  • CEE 561(242): Aquatic Chemistry
  • CEE 563(240): Chemical Fate of Organic Compounds
  • CEE 566(250): Environmental Microbiology
  • CEE 569(229): Introduction to Atmospheric Particles

Environmental Design

  • CEE 562(244): Biological Processes in Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 564(241): Physical and Chemical Treatment Processes in Environmental Engineering
  • CEE 571(249): Control of Hazardous and Toxic Waste
  • CEE 575(247): Air Pollution
  • CEE 576L(230L): Aerosol Measurements