Areas of Specialization - Coastal & Ecological Engineering

Program Overview

The M.S. degree in Coastal & Ecological Engineering was developed to train students to develop the skillsets and knowledge to work on coastal and ecological problems associated with deltas, both here in Louisiana and around the world. The program is designed to produce graduates who are well educated in fundamental disciplines, have a sound knowledge of relevant basic engineering practices, can adapt to change, and have the vision and insight needed to implement creative and cost effective solutions to growing demands. Graduate studies in coastal and ecological engineering provide the framework for a new generation of engineering professionals who are well prepared to plan, design, build, and maintain our important coastal infrastructure and ecological systems far into the 21st century.

Graduate students enrolled in the program come from around the country and abroad, and also from the large population of practicing engineers in the public and private sectors of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. These students bring with them a variety of training and work-related backgrounds, a diversity that enriches the educational environment. In addition, the seminar series coordinated by the faculty will regularly bring visiting researchers and professionals to LSU, exposing students to a variety of intellectual perspectives.

Fields of Study and Research

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a M.S degree in Coastal and Ecological Engineering. The Master's degree is designed as a broad-based curriculum that covers coursework in traditional coastal and ecological engineering fundamentals as well as the opportunity to take courses in other related, and highly relevant, areas such as coastal geology, estuarine dynamics, and wetland science. The Department's offerings are enhanced by access to the facilities and resources housed within other LSU departments (e.g,. Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Geology & Geophysics) as well as non-LSU organizations such as the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, The Water Institute of the Gulf, the U.S.G.S. National Wetlands Research Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Basic Degree Requirements

For the M.S. in Coastal and Ecological Engineering, there is only a thesis option available. The thesis option requires the student to complete a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours of approved course work and to submit an acceptable thesis worth 6 hours. One half of the coursework must be at the 7000 level or above and one half of the coursework must be in CE courses. Coursework for the M.S. degree is divided into two categories: a 12-hour set of core courses for all students in the program, and a set of approved electives for students wishing to specialize in either coastal or ecological engineering. Guidelines for selecting courses in this program are given below.

Subject to approval of the advisory committee and program coordinator, students transferring from graduate programs of other institutions can transfer a maximum of 50% credit hours of course work done.

Full time graduate students must register for the one credit hour seminar class (i.e., the 7000-level coastal graduate seminar course or, if that isn’t offered, then CE 7750) each and every semester. Part-time graduate students are required to register for this seminar only in their graduating semester. Only one hour of CE 7750 may be applied to satisfy the course requirements.

Core Course Requirements

12 credit hours of core courses (see list provided below)

12 credit hours from approved electives from the student’s concentration (see list below)
Total 24

Plus 1 credit hour of CE 7000-level coastal graduate seminar or, if that isn’t offered, CE 7750.

Plus Thesis: 6 credit hours of thesis are required to graduate in addition to the coursework requirements list above.

Major Field Courses

CE 4320 (3 credit hours) Coastal Engineering

EVEG 4xxx (3 credit hours) Ecological Engineering (cross listed and co-taught with Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences faculty)

MATH 4038 (3 credit hours) Mathematical Methods for Engineers

CE 7xxx (3 credit hours) Coastal and Ecological Engineering Design


Select 2 from the coastal list and 2 from the ecological list. Note that these are 4 courses distinct from any of the core course requirements.

The list of approved elective courses will be kept in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Ecological Engineering ElectivesCoastal Engineering Electives

EVEG 4159 Design of Wetlands for Wastewater Treatment

CE 4200 Hydrology

CE 7180 Water Quality Simulations

OCS 4308 Plants in Coastal Environments*

OCS 4372 Estuarine Ecology *

OCS 4128 Wetland Hydrology and Hydrodynamics

OCS 4410 Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis*

OCS 4560 Wetland Loss, Restoration and Management*

OCS 7010 Concepts of the Ecosystem*

OCS 7124 Applied Coastal Plant Ecology*

OCS 7165 Biogeochemistry of Wetland Soils and Sediments

CE 4445 Hurricane Engineering

CE 7*** Coastal Hydromechanics

CE 7*** Sediment Transport Mechanics

CE 7*** Advanced Fluid Mechanics

CE 7200 Free Surface Flow

CE 7255 Advanced Hydraulics

CE 7260 Advanced Hydrology

CE 7325 Marine Geotechnics

OCS 4024 Coastal Morphodynamics

OCS 4164 Deltaic Processes and Products

OCS 4170 Physical Oceanography

OCS 4210 Geological Oceanography

OCS 4465 Coastal Zone Management

OCS 7122 Gravity Waves in Shallow Water

OCS 7123 Oceanographic Data Analysis

Articulation Courses

For students without an engineering background, a series of articulation or preparatory courses will be required to prepare students with a calculus-based, science background to understand and apply coastal and ecological engineering principles. Minimum articulation requirements are as follows: MATH 1550, MATH 1552, MATH 2057, MATH 2065, CE 2450 (Statics), CE 2200 (Fluid Mechanics), CE 2250 (Fluid Mechanics Lab), EVEG 3200 (Water Resources II), CE 3300 (Geotechnical Engineering 1). The advisory committee may identify additional articulation requirements in the course of planning the program of study.


CEE: Clinton S. Willson, Ph.D., P.E., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 102 ELAB,, 225-578-8672

DOCS: Robert Twilley, Ph.D., Executive Director, Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and Profess, Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, 239 Sea Gran Building,, 225-578-6445

Principal Faculty

Q. Jim Chen, Ph.D., P.E. LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 105 ELAB,, 225-578-4911

John Pardue, Ph.D., P.E., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3516 Patrick F. Taylor Hall,, 225-578-8661

Victor H. Rivera-Monroy, Ph.D., LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, 3209 Energy, Coast, Environment Bldg.,, 225-578-2745

Larry J. Rouse, Jr. Ph.D., LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, 318 Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex,, 225-578-2953

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