Postgraduate Studies


The School of Civil Engineering is a well-established and modern multi-disciplinary departments and has a long tradition of providing postgraduate research opportunities in a very wide range of topics across the spectrum of civil engineering activities and has been widely recognised for the high quality of its provision. The School is strongly committed to continuous improvement and development of this work, which represent an important part of every academic area across the institution. The Department regularly attracts research students from industry, institutions and government departments. The graduates not only develop career as high quality practising engineers, but are sought by top companies for their potential in management, finance, consulting and other senior professional positions.

The School is active in both basic and applied research, the latter supported by strong links with industry. Much of the research is funded by government agencies and proportion is carried out in collaboration with, and financed by, industry. Almost all academic staffs are having Ph.D. degree and have degrees and have served many years in teaching/research/consultancies. All areas of research in the School are supported by well-founded laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment and fully networked computing facilities with highly trained personnel.


The School of Civil Engineering USM offers two modes of graduate programme as follows:
(a) By Research
(b) By Mixed Mode Programme (Coursework and Research)

2.1 Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy by Research:
2.1.1 Mode of learning
Graduate students in the research mode may choose any topic in their specific area of study. They will be under the supervision of a main supervisor or co-supervisor. In some cases, field supervisors are appointed by the university to assist the graduate. At the end of their study, the students have to submit at thesis to be examined. The graduate may be required to pursue prerequisite courses (if necessary) with or before undertaking the research activities. Applications and registration for research-based programmes are open throughout the year. The research can be undertaken on both a full-time and part-time basis.

2.1.2 Period of Candidature

The periods of candidature for the masters and doctoral programmes for both part-time and full-time candidates are shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Period of Candidature

  Master's Degree Doctor of Philosophy
Min Max Min Max
Full Time 12 months 36 months 24 months 60 months
Part Time 24 months 72 months 36 months 90 months
Residential Requirement Full-time (12 months/year)
Part-time (15 days/year)
Full-time (12 months/year)
Part-time (15 days/year)

2.1.3 Area of Research
Specific area of studies for the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy Degree by Research are as follows:

Environmental Engineering
(Kejuruteraan Persekitaran)
Landfill Technology, Compositing, Water and Wastewater Treatment, Industrial Wastewater Treatment, Solid Waste Management, Environmental Impact Asscessment(EIA), Air Quality & Water Quality Studies, Sludge Management, Noise Pollution Control, Water Quality Modelling.

Geotechnical Engineering
(Kejuruteraan Geoteknik)
Slope Stability [Soil/rock], Soil Improvement, Reinforced Soil, Landslide Risk Management and Application of Geosynthetics, Rock Mechanics, Blasting & Vibrations, Foundation Engineering, Land Reclamation & Rehabilitation, Geotechnical Assessment, Piling Vibrations.

Water Resources Engineering
(Kejuruteraan Sumber Air)
Water Supply, Urban Stormwater Management, Hydrological Modeling, Flood Forecasting, River Engineering, GIS Application in water Resources, Land Use Hydrology, Urban Hydrology, Sediment Transport, Modelling of Pump Station, Ecohydrology.

Highway & Transportation Engineering
(Kejuruteraan Lebuh Raya & Pengangkutan)
Pavement Engineering, Asphalt Technology, Traffic Engineering, Road Safety, Intelligent Transport System, Public Transport Studies, Highway Capacity Studies, Travel Behaviour Studies, Sustainable Transport.

Structural Engineering
(Kejuruteraan Struktur)
Concrete Technology, Masonry Engineering, Concrete Repair Materials and Techniques, Wind Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, Timber Engineering, Tensioned Structures, Shell & Spatial Structures, Computational Mechanics and Advanced Structural Analysis.

Geomatic and Management
(Geomatik dan Pengurusan)
Monitoring Systems, Global Positioning System (GPS), Spatial Decision Support System (GIS), Geo- Information Science (GIS), Digital Mapping and Imaging, Engineering Survey, Spatial Statistics, Stress Management, Emotional Intelligence and Engineering Entrepreneurship.

2.2 Master of Science by Mixed-mode:
2.2.1 Mode of learning
The mixed-mode programmed (coursework and research) is a structured programme whereby students are required to attend lectures, sit for examinations, write a dissertation and be orally examined. The programme is run based on a semester system and offered in full-time basis. Minimum duration is 1 year. However, the actual duration for graduation is very much dependent on the initiative and performance of individual candidates. The title of the research project will be mutually agreed upon between the candidate and his/her supervisor. For the award of the Master degree, a candidate has to accumulate 40 units (including dissertation).

2.2.2 Degree Offered

The school is offering MSc Degree Programmes by Mix Mode (full time only) in the following areas:


2.2.3 Course Structure

Course Structure for Master of Science in Structural Engineering



CORE (4/4) Advanced Structural Mechanics EAS661 4 1
Structural Retrofitting Technology EAS662 4 1
Dynamic and Stability of Structures EAS663 4 1
Principle of Structural Design EAS664 4 1
ELECTIVES (1/2) Bridge Engineering EAS665  4 1
Engineering Management EUP501 4 1
TOTAL UNIT     40  

Course Structure for Master of Science in Environmental Engineering



CORE (4/4) Water Supply Engineering
EAP581 4 1
Wastewater Engineering EAP582 4 1
Air and Noise Pollution Control EAP583 4 1
Environmental Impact Assessment EAP584 4 1
ELECTIVES (1/2) Solid and Hazardous Waste Management EAP585  4 1
Engineering Management EUP501 4 1
TOTAL UNIT     40  

2.2.4 Medium of Instruction

The medium of instruction is English.


The School has various laboratories equipped with basic as well as sophisticated equipment and instrumentation. Most of the sophisticated equipment is computer-assisted with fully automatic data logging for high accuracy testing. There are 12 main laboratories in the School:

Heavy structures laboratory
Light structures laboratory
Concrete laboratory
Environmental laboratory
Geotechnical laboratory
Highway laboratory
Traffic laboratory
Hydraulics laboratory
Geomatics instrument portal
Drawing room/studio
Computer laboratory
Fabrication workshop


Master's Degree
Applicants for courses leading to the award of a Master's degree should possess a Bachelor's degree, preferably with a Second Upper Honours Devision (equivalent to a CGPA 2.75) from a recognized university. A candidate who has none of the above qualifications could be considered for admission based on relevant and suitable research experience.

Doctoral Degree
Applicants for admission to PhD courses should ordinarily have obtained a Master's degree from a recognized university or equivalent qualifications acceptable to the Senate of this University. In exceptional cases, the Senate may admit those in possession of a good Bachelor's degree.


Details of fee structure are available at


6.1 Malaysian citizen

Application to pursue a postgraduate degree/ diploma programme has to be made on prescribed forms obtainable at the Institute of Graduate Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang by enclosing a self addressed envelope measuring 28cm x 40cm with a RM1.20 stamp and a Postal or Money Order for RM10.00 made payable to "UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA"

Completed forms from Malaysian applicants and the necessary supporting documents must be submitted together with a Postal / Money Order for RM60.00 being payment for processing fee made payable to USM.

Payment of RM70.00 (Application Form & Processing Fee) will be imposed for applications (downloaded from IPS' Website). Payment in the form of a Postal/Money Order of RM70.00 should be made payable to "UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA"

Interested applicants can download the Application Form from

A research proposal should be attached with the application form. It should cover title, introduction and problem statement, objectives, methodology, research plan, expected outcome and any special request on certain equipment or softwares.

6.2 International applicants

Forms can be requested in writing. Completed forms from applicants must be submitted together with a Bank Draft  made payable to "UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA" (Payment for Application Form and Processing Fee) Interested applicants can download the Application Form from

Candidates pursuing course work and mix-mode degree programmes will be accepted for registration once a year, i.e. at the commencement of the University's academic year which normally starts at the end of August. Applications for these programmes must be submitted to the Institute of Graduate Studies before the closing date as mentioned in the advertisement (for local applicants). Overseas applicants are advised to submit their applications as early as possible to facilitate the Immigration process.
Application (for research degree programmes) and registration of candidates are conducted throughout the year and there is no closing date for applications. However, registration is done based on semester system.

Application form and procedures for admission is also available at

A research proposal should be attached with the application form. It should cover title, introduction and problem statement, objectives, methodology, research plan, expected outcome and any special request on certain equipment or softwares.

 The university provides financial assistance to eligible local and international post-graduate students in the form of scholarships or fee exemption. Financial assistance is also available to students in the form of a research grant, to attend a conference or research attachment locally or abroad. Details of the benefits of the respective financial assistance/ awards are available at


The University has a limited number of students hostels/housing. Students are advised to contact the Student Affairs Department upon receiving the offer letter. Details are available at


It is estimated that a foreign student would require US$4,000.00 per year for food, accommodation, books and other expenses. Details are available at

10.0 VISA

Foreign students who are offered admission this University are advised to contact the Malaysian Embassy for further details pertaining to their visas before their departure for Malaysia. Details are available at


For further information, please contact:

School of Civil Engineering,
Engineering Campus,
Universiti Sains Malaysia
Seri Ampangan,
14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang
Tel. No: +6 (04) 5996201
Fax No : +6 (04) 5996906
Email :
URL: (for admission information)

Application forms and details of the admission can be downloaded from, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Minden, Penang, Malaysia.

Graduate Prospectus (Master of Science) Mixed-mode Programme

ACEPRO Website -The ACEPRO is the body that represent the postgraduate student in the School of Civil Engineering.