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Department of Structural Engineering Office of Graduate Studies University of California, San Diego

  • La Jolla, CA
  • Public
  • Suburban
  • 19%81%
    student ratio
  • 153
    total students
  • $11,220 | $26,322
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • January 6
    fall application deadline
  • 36%
    acceptance rate
  • 4 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


University of California, San Diego -- An Accomplished Research University

Since 1960, the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) has been dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research accomplishments, excellence in education, public service, industry partnerships, and national acclaim. Today, UCSD is one of the top universities in the nation for physical, biological sciences, and engineering sciences.

National and Global Recognitions and Rankings

The University of California, San Diego has been the recipient of many national and global high rankings and recognitions. The "US News and World Report" ranks UCSD number 8 in the nation among public universities, and the School of Engineering as the number 14 among top engineering schools. The university has also garnered the top spot for positive impact on the country by the "Washington Monthly's College Guide." The National Science Foundation ranks UCSD number 6 in the US in total research and development expenditures.

Globally, the Center for World-Class Universities ranked the Jacobs School of Engineering 12th internationally, and the "High Impact Universities Ranking" named the school 9th in the world. The Department of Structural Engineering offers the only independent structural engineering degree program in the US. Because of its program size in the civil structures area, it has often been ranked with traditional civil engineering departments in the country. "US News" ranks the Department of Structural Engineering 16th in the specialty of civil engineering.

Innovative Laboratories Offer a Wide Range of Research Opportunities

More than 10 specially designed laboratories are used by the Department of Structural Engineering to provide unique educational and research opportunities across a range of specialties in materials and structural systems of different types and scales. Laboratory facilities enable one-of-a-kind experiments and the validation of sophisticated design and analysis models. This model provides a complete systems approach from materials development and large-scale experiments to implementation of sensor networks and development of design recommendations and nonlinear analytical models.

For example, the world-renowned Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories consists of both large-scale testing laboratories, as well as state-of-the-art nano-materials characterization facilities, composites and aerospace structures laboratories, non-destructive evaluation laboratories, a unique 6-DOF seismic response modification device test facility, and more.

The Englekirk Structural Engineering Center enables structural tests never before possible, and notably houses the world's first outdoor shake table. For an example of the groundbreaking tests being performed at the center, take those using the center's blast simulator to test new technologies that could one day protect buildings from terrorist attacks.

Doctoral Degree Available in Structural Engineering

Structural Engineering PhD students develop their individual course programs based on their background and interests. Students complete a series of requirements before graduating, including a comprehensive exam, teaching experience, candidacy exam, and dissertation defense. The program is designed to broadly cover the different areas of structural engineering, including civil and aerospace structures, earthquake and geotechnical engineering, composites, structural health monitoring and damage prognosis, uncertainty quantification and reliability engineering, engineering mechanics, and computational mechanics.

Master's Degrees in Structural Engineering

Students in the structural engineering department can earn a Master of Science (MS) degree in one of 2 concentrations, the first being "Structural Engineering," and the second being "Structural Health Monitoring, Prognosis, and Validated Simulations" (SHMP&VS). Within either structural engineering program, students have the option of completing an MS Thesis Plan or an MS Comprehensive Examination Plan. All programs in the department are designed to allow students opportunities to specialize their courses of study to build on their individual interests.

A Highly Accomplished Faculty

Faculty members from UCSD have been the recipients of such prestigious awards as the Fields Medal, Pulitzer Prize, MacArthur Fellowship, and Academy Award. The university even counts more than 6 Nobel Prize winners among its faculty. Faculty members within the Department of Structural Engineering are similarly honored, recognized, and renowned. For instance, with his research interests in slope stability, soil dynamics, and geosynthetics, one faculty member has won at least 12 awards over the course of his career, including the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers 2 years in a row.

Financial Aid Opportunities at the University of California, San Diego

"Kiplinger's Personal Finance" named the University of California, San Diego the best value public university in California, and "The Princeton Review" lists UCSD among the top "Best Value" public universities in the nation.

The Department of Structural Engineering offers graduate fellowships and research assistantships to outstanding first-year PhD students, including departmental fellowships, as well as those provided by the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Office of Graduate Studies. Teaching assistantships and readerships are available to all eligible graduate students, and may include fee remissions. UCSD also provides 1,480 affordable on-campus apartments for graduate students.

Located on the Seashore of Southern California

Located on the US-Mexico border, UC San Diego is only minutes from Tijuana, Mexico, and 2 hours from Los Angeles. The 1,200-acre campus spreads from the seashore to a large wooded portion of the Torrey Pines Mesa. This advantageous location gives students easy access to a wide variety of outdoor and cultural activities, from mountain sports to art galleries and museums.

Widely acknowledged as one of the nation's most accomplished research universities, UCSD is also known for its impact on the local culture and economy. The university contributes more than $7.2 billion annually to the California economy and employs nearly 40,000 people, making it the 3rd largest employer in San Diego County.

Location & Contact

Department of Structural Engineering

Office of Graduate Studies
University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

J. Luco


Phone: 858-534-4338

Yvonne Wilson

Graduate Coordinator

Phone: 858-822-1421

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Structural Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Computational Neuroscience Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Health Monitoring, Prognosis, And Validated Simulations Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 33
    • Doctoral Degrees 11
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


36% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 437
    • Accepted 159
    • Acceptance Rate 36
    • Enrolled 47
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $80
    • Application Fee - International $100
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 6th Not Reported Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test, minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT, IELTS required

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$11,220
    • Out-of-state tuition *$26,322
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year feesNot Reported
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 2
    • Types of financial support availableScholarship and/or loans

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students153
    • Female Percentage19%
    • Male Percentage81%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students153
    • Part-time Percentage1%
    • Full-time Percentage99%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino6%
    • Black / African American3%
    • White / Caucasian52%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian34%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown5%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchCivil structures, aerospace (composite structures), renewal of structures, earthquake engineering, structural dynamic/vibration modeling and analysis
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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