Coastal Engineering Certificate Program (CECP)  
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Online MS Degree

Online MS Degree in Coastal Engineering at Old Dominion University

Master of Science in Civil Engineering

Coastal Engineering is one of five (coastal, geotechnical, hydraulic and water resources, structural, and transportation) focus areas in Civil Engineering for specialization to obtain the Master of Science (MS) degree at ODU. Potential students must apply for and be admitted to the Graduate School.


Requirements for Admission

Regular admission requirements include a (1) bachelor’s degree in engineering (2) 3.00 grade point average (4.00 scale) (3) 500 word (or less) essay on academic and personal goals and (4) two letters of recommendation from current or former professors. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in the physical sciences (oceanography, geology, etc.) are also welcome. They are required to demonstrate adequate knowledge in engineering mechanics (statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, soil mechanics, strength of materials, etc.) at the undergraduate level.

Applicants with non-engineering BS degree and  from foreign countries must also submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The English proficiency requirement for non-native speakers of English can be met through TOEFL scores or possession of the BS degree from a country where English is the native language.

Final approval for admittance is the responsibility of the Office of Admissions.  Apply early since the application process spans six to eight weeks. Delays are due to missing required documents. Apply online at   


Credit Hours Required for the MS Degree

A total of 30 credit hours are required for the MS degree. A 6 credit-hour thesis is needed leaving 24 credit hours (8 courses) to meet the requirements.


Transfer of Online, Non-Degree Courses at ODU (12 credits)

Students may take four, graduate-level, coastal engineering courses online for the Coastal Engineering Certificate Program (CECP) as a non-degree seeking student at ODU. Transfer of these ODU courses (The grade MUST be B or better to transfer. A grade of B- will not transfer) to the MS degree program is permitted. This totals 12 credit hours towards the MS degree.


Transfer of Graduate Level Courses from Other Universities (12 credits)

Coastal Engineering is a broad discipline. Graduate level courses in mathematics, statistics, physical oceanography, coastal geology, coastal zone management, etc. are generally accepted towards the MS degree. A partial List of Acceptable ODU Courses should be consulted to determine the course content for comparison with similar courses at other universities for transfer consideration. These courses may be taken on site at a University in your region or by distance learning from another University, as applicable. Approval for transfer will be required by Dr. Basco and the Graduate Program Director, CEE Department at ODU.

Effective Fall 2007, the University Administration approves the transfer of up to 12 credit hours (4 courses) from other universities (grades B or better) for the MS degree program. Together with the 12 credit hours of online courses from ODU, this totals 24 credits (8 courses) for the MS degree.  Courses appearing on transcripts from other Universities and counted for degrees from other Universities are not acceptable for transfer to ODU for the MS degree.


Online Thesis Course (6 Credits)

Successful completion of CEE 699 (6 credits) for the MS thesis requirement together with the 24 credits (8 courses) totals 30 credit hours for the MS degree. Coastal Engineering is a relatively young discipline needing research in a wide range of areas and using various research methods. Field, laboratory, computer and analytical methods are employed. Field data is site specific and laboratory data is limited by the scale of the facilities. In recent years, numerical modeling of coastal, physical processes has become an acceptable research method (e.g., numerical wave tank) applicable to any site at full, natural scales. The topic chosen and research method employed are geared for each student. The Internet permits continuous communication between the student and professor chairing the thesis committee. Written, oral and visual communication (Webcam) over the Internet makes the thesis research effort comparable with students on campus at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. 

Online MS Degree

The final requirements are acceptance of the thesis by the Thesis Committee and passing the final oral examination. Video conferencing facilities are available at ODU to facilitate this last step in the process.


Current Status

As of the Spring, six online, MS students are enrolled for the online MS degree. The first online MS degree in Civil Engineering with specialty area in Coastal Engineering was awarded in December 2010 and the second in May 2011. One hundred and three students have earned the Coastal Engineering Certificate and could transfer these courses toward the MS degree .Forty students were enrolled online in CEE 788 Coastal Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport course in the Spring 2014 semester. Over 325 students have taken online courses since 2003. The online Certificate Program (CECP) and the new online MS degree program are expected to continue to grow in the future.





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Norfolk, Virginia, 23529 • Phone (757) 683-3000
This page last reviewed: Dec 14, 2011
  Batten College of Engineering and Technology > Civil and Environmental Engineering Department > Coastal Engineering Certificate Program
Phone: (757) 683-3753 • Fax: (757) 683-5354
David R. Basco Ph.D., P.E.