Areas of Specialization - Coastal & Ecological Engineering

All students are strongly encouraged to review and follow the Master’s in Coastal and Ecological Engineering Program Checklist.

Academic Program

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. 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 12-hour 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.

Application & Admissions

Students interested in applying to this program should clearly state in the "Statement of Purpose" section of their application the intention to enroll in the MS in Coastal and Ecological Engineering (SCECO) program.

Course Work

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

12 credit hours from approved electives from the student’s concentration (see list below of suggested courses)

Sub 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.

--> Total 31

Core 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 Electives Coastal Engineering Electives

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 4465 Coastal Zone Management

OCS 4560 Wetland Loss, Restoration and Management

OCS 7001 Coastal Systems Ecology

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

OCS 4024 Coastal Morphodynamics

OCS 4170 Physical Oceanography

OCS 4210 Geological Oceanography

OCS 7122 Gravity Waves in Shallow Water

OCS 7123 Oceanographic Data Analysis

During a student's last semester, each student is required to pass a comprehensive Master's examination covering work related to research and course work. This examination will be administered by the student's advisory committee and may be oral and/or written. The Graduate School's Request for Master's Examination form (found on the Graduate School website) for scheduling and reporting results of this examination must be filed with the Graduate School three (3) weeks prior to the date of the examination. This examination may be re-taken only once.

Master's Thesis

"...The Master's thesis should demonstrate capacity for research, originality of thought and facility in organizing materials. It must be acceptable in subject matter and exhibit creditable literary workmanship..." -LSU Graduate School Catalog

The Thesis Committee: The advisory committee, required for each student, will be comprised of a minimum of three faculty representing both Civil and Environmental Engineering and Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. An engineering faculty member will be the major advisor of the student although faculty from the Oceanography and Coastal Sciences can serve as a co-advisor. At least one representation from Oceanography and Coastal Sciences is required on every M.S. committee. 

To ensure an orderly and thorough procedure in thesis preparation, students should proceed as follows:

Thesis Proposal

The student, after selecting the thesis topic in cooperation with his/her adviser, is required to submit a thesis proposal. Preparation and typing of the proposal is the responsibility of the student. The thesis proposal format should include:

  • Cover Page (Form G103) 
  • Abstract (not more than 200 words)
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Objectives/Method
  • Scope of Study (state limitations)
  • Work Plan and Schedule
  • References

It is expected that an informative thesis proposal showing the student's interest, background and general grasp of the project will not be less than 5 and not more than 10 double spaced typed pages.

Thesis research proposals, for unfunded research, must include an estimate of computer and/or other costs associated with fulfilling the objectives of the project. Student should review this matter with his/her advisor so that a reasonable estimate of the costs can be included in the proposal.

The formal typewritten thesis proposal together with the graduate degree program (Form G101) should be submitted for approval by the CEGPC at least 1 semester prior to graduation. The student will be notified of the Committee's decision and recommendations through the Chairman of the Department.

  1. Conduct of the Research

    Each graduate student is responsible for the performance of the thesis research. Progress will be reported to the assigned faculty advisor on a regular basis.

  2. Preparation of the Thesis
    • Instructions on the preparation and submission of the Master's degree thesis may be obtained from the Graduate School website.
    • The Request for Master's Examination form (found on the Graduate School website) is to be filed with the Graduate School three (3) weeks prior to the date of the Master's Examination.
    • Copies of the thesis must be in the hands of the student's examination committee at least two (2) weeks prior to the scheduled Master's Examination.
    • The student is responsible for providing a finalized bound version of the thesis to the members of his/her advisory committee and the Department.
  3. An "S" or "U" will be awarded as the final grade for the thesis. This grade is not averaged into the student's semester or cumulative average.

Revalidation of Course Work

Graduate student's coursework can be revalidated for master's degree older than 5 years subject to the following guidelines:

  1. Following an oral or written examination the student's graduate committee may approve by majority vote a course or courses it elects to revalidate.
  2. The student's graduate committee then recommends the revalidation of course/courses to the CEGPC for approval and transmittal to the Graduate School.

Each class may be revalidated only for a period of two years. Classes for master's degree older than 5 years must be revalidated.

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

Scott Hagen, Ph.D., P.E., D.CE, D.WRE, F.ASCE, LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 106 ELAB,, 225-578-0446

Celalettin Emre Ozdemir, Ph.D., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3240J Patrick F. Taylor Hall,; 225-578-5045

John Pardue, Ph.D., P.E., LSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3240T 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,